November 9, 2005
Cosmetic surgery checklist helps women find top clinics
Women planning cosmetic surgery are being urged to follow a new eight-point checklist in order to choose a professional clinic and to reduce the chances of the operation going wrong.
The checklist has been produced today by TJ Legal Solicitors, which recently became the first law firm to form a specialist team to support the growing number of women and men who have suffered cosmetic surgery negligence.
Since setting up the cosmetic surgery negligence team, TJ Legal Solicitors has been approached by scores of clients who want the firm to obtain compensation for their failed treatment and for their pain, prolonged suffering and trauma.
Many of the claims have been brought about because clinics have acted unprofessionally. And from the firm's findings, TJ Legal Solicitors says anyone looking for a cosmetic surgery clinic should:
1) Be precise about what they want. Although surgery can be very positive in appropriate circumstances, even minor mishaps can be embarrassing, so it is essential that patients are very precise about their expectations. Patients should be wary of surgeons who are not specific about the expected outcome, only promising a 'modest improvement' or a 'significantly better' result.
2) Choose a surgeon who is a member of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) and who is part of an NHS Consultancy, as they will have completed higher training. Any doctor can claim to be a cosmetic surgeon. Many private clinics employ doctors who advertise as being 'Fellows of the Royal College of Surgeons' (FRCS), but this does not guarantee that they have had any specialist training.
3) Make sure the surgeon specialises in the relevant body area. Patients can benefit from a greater level of expertise by choosing a surgeon who specialises in the body area that is to be operated on. Patients should ask for before and after pictures of the surgeon's work.
4) Have a thorough pre-operative consultation with the surgeon who will carry out the operation. The procedure should be fully explained and understood by patients. Some clinics employ 'surgical consultants' who have no medical training. Patients should take some time to think about treatment - ideally two weeks between consultation and surgery.
5) Avoid having surgery abroad. Increasingly, clinics are offering surgery abroad to maximise their profits, but the standards of care can be very different to the UK. Patients could have bigger problems if there are any complications following the operation.
6) Avoid choosing a clinic on the basis of its glossy advertisement. If there are any complications, these clinics often do not have a genuine interest in patients' welfare so will let the NHS pick up the pieces. Patients should ensure the clinic is registered with the Healthcare Commission and offers comprehensive aftercare. Sub-standard aftercare can lead to problems caused by infections.
7) Not trust a surgeon who promises miracles. Patients should think twice if a clinic uses persuasive or high pressure selling techniques, or offers easy finance terms or loyalty card schemes. It is vital that patients ask about the possible side effects and confirm realistic expectations, including how long the results will last.
8) Be prepared for some bruising and discomfort after the operation. Patients should ask about the aftercare, recovery times and whether someone will need to look after them when they return home.
"While most operations go to plan, there are hundreds, perhaps thousands, every year that don't," said Tanveer Jaleel, senior partner, TJ Legal Solicitors.
"In some cases even minor mishaps can leave women with considerable pain, prolonged suffering and trauma.
"TJ Legal's service is geared towards supporting these women by obtaining compensation to enable them to have corrective surgery and receive financial payments to cover any loss of earnings that they might have experienced."
Anyone who believes they have suffered from cosmetic surgery negligence has up to three years from the date of the operation or knowledge of injury to make a claim.
If you have any questions or are seeking immediate advice in this area then contact TJ Legal Solicitors on 0800 085 88 85 or access the Web at http://www.tjlegal.co.uk
Notes to editors:
TJ Legal Solicitors is a highly professional niche law firm that specialises in proactively handling personal injury litigation and cosmetic surgery negligence.
Formed in 2000, the Manchester-based firm has successfully represented more than 3,500 clients - and over 80 per cent of them received their compensation in less than 12 months.
The firm is regulated by the Law Society of England and Wales and subscribes to the Client Care Charter of the Law Society and the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers.
For more press information contact John Butters or Emily Goehler at Bell Pottinger North on (01625) 506444 or email http://email@example.com or http://firstname.lastname@example.org