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25 MARCH 2018 HEALTHCARE INNOVATIONS


COSMETICS & AESTHETICS 39


Cosmetic surgery can have risks — know the facts before making your decision


T


here’s no doubt that cosmetic surgery continues to be very popular and the to- tal number of procedures increases every


year, not only in Britain but worldwide, writes fully accredited plastic reconstructive and aesthetic surgeon Effie Katerinaki. But one should always remember that no


surgery is without its risks, and that the deci- sion to have any operation should only be tak- en after careful consideration of the benefits against the potential risks and complications. Be aware of the trivialisation of cosmetic sur-


gery and alterations of the human body pub- lished daily in the press and the social media. The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic


Surgeons (BAAPS) has published an excel- lent guide for anyone considering cosmetic surgery (available online at baaps.org.uk). One of the main things to remember is that


you should allow enough time between meet- ing your surgeon for your initial consultation and the actual date of your operation. No mat- ter how well you’ve researched the procedure you’re about to have, there’s every chance that something you hadn’t thought of will come up during the consultation. Is there an alternative to the proposed op-


eration? What are the potential risks and complications? Did you feel you had enough time to ask questions? Not only about the particular procedure, but also about your surgeon’s practice. The guidance to the public by the British


Associations of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS) is very clear: a cooling-off period is strongly recommended


Most surgeons would agree that two weeks is a reasonable length of time between having the consultation and the surgery


pressures to book your surgery date right from the first consultation, especially when the pro- cedure will change your appearance signifi- cantly. You may want to meet your surgeon for a second time prior to the date of surgery to ask further questions and this option should be clearly offered during your initial consultation. Another issue that’s often hit the head-


lines is going abroad for cosmetic surgery. People occasionally choose a ‘value for money’ package that’s cheaper in comparison to UK cosmetic surgery fees. What’s important to consider however is that no matter how well the surgery has gone, the surgeons practis- ing abroad aren’t accountable to the General Medical Council (GMC), which regulates all doctors practising in UK. There are also some very important practical safety issues that you should consider, including aftercare in the immediate post-operative period or long-term follow up arrangements if you have questions you need to ask, or discuss revision surgery, if you feel it’s required. Finally,


it’s important to remember that


subtle changes and enhancement of the ap- pearance are likely to have fewer potential risks and complications, and also be more aesthetically pleasing. Be aware of extreme ‘makeovers’ and drastic changes to your body and face. Cosmetic surgery has results and conse-


(more information is available online at bapras.org.uk). Most surgeons would agree that two weeks


is a reasonable length of time between having the consultation and the surgery. Be aware of


quences that are long-lasting and often irre- versible — you need time and enough infor- mation from an experienced plastic surgeon in order to balance your benefits and ‘trade- offs’ before deciding to go ahead.


Meet the expert


Mrs Effie Katerinaki FRCS (Plast), PhD, FRCS (Ed), MB ChB is a fully accredit- ed plastic reconstructive and aesthetic surgeon. She has completed a six-year specialty training programme in plastic surgery in the UK and has undertak- en fellowships in breast reconstruction in the UK and Canada. Mrs Katerinaki is also on the GMC specialist register for plastic surgery and a is full member of the British Association of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS). She offers reconstructive and aesthetic procedures aiming to provide the highest quality safe surgical care with an individualised approach to her patients’ needs and expectations.


Effie Katerinaki, consultant plastic reconstructive and aesthetic surgeon Birmingham, UK effiekaterinaki.co.uk


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