The difficulties are that there are not currently any legislative controls over the training of those who wish to practice as a cosmetic surgeon. The good news is that since 2002, any new cosmetic surgeons have needed to register with the General Medical Council. Anyone considering facelift surgery should consult their GP in the first instance, as they will be able to offer guidance and help you ascertain that the facelift surgeon is registered with the General Medical Council.
The British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons
BAAPS, or the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, is a professional organisation based at the Royal College of Surgeons in London. They set standards to ensure that every one of their members meets a minimum high standard required by themselves. Members are examined in aesthetic and cosmetic surgery, and have also been confirmed to be of sufficient standing to become a member by their colleagues.
The difference between a Cosmetic Surgeon and a Plastic Surgeon
Members of BAAPS are also members of the General Medical Council, and will be registered with them under one of the nine specialist categories that they recognise, which could be as a plastic and reconstructive surgeon. Plastic surgeons are able to perform work that may be cosmetic in nature but they carry out reconstructive surgery for problems such as burns, disfigurement due to disease and accidents, warts and moles, soft tissue repair, and repair to damaged tendons and joints. A cosmetic surgeon (or aesthetic plastic surgeon) carries out surgical procedures for cosmetic reasons only. To find a trained and registered aesthetic plastic surgeon, you can either use one of the many clinic comparison sites that are available throughout the internet or contact BAAPS directly.
People who are considered to be top in the Profession
Looking on the internet for surgeons who claim to be the best is really not the wisest option. It is important that your facelift surgeon is suitably qualified, registered, and trained to carry out the procedure that you want. The best recommendation is to visit your GP, and take a look at the BAAPS website to ensure that your facelift is carried out by one of the top professionals in their field. Visit the BAAPS website at baaps.org.uk.
The Royal College of Surgeons recommend that anyone considering using a cosmetic surgeon for a facelift should ask questions to ascertain that they are going to be putting themselves in the hands of someone competent. It is important to ask how many years experience they have for your procedure, and how often they carry out your type of facelift. Find out if they think that your goals for facelift surgery are realistic. Ensure that they explain the procedure fully including the anaesthetic procedure to be used. Ask about the risks involved, and whether there is anything with your medical history that might affect the procedure or result. Finally, check on who will perform the operation, the costs, and how long the results should last.