How do I check my cosmetic surgeon’s qualifications and experience?

Cosmetic surgery can be an amazing experience – if it is the right procedure done at the right time and performed by the right person. Your choice of practitioner is probably the most important decision you can make but how do you check their qualifications and experience.

What training should a plastic surgeon have undergone?

Beware the aesthetic practitioner who claims to be a cosmetic surgeon but hasn’t undergone the correct training as they do exist. Any medical practitioner in the UK should be registered with the General Medical Council, known as the GMC and you can check this on their website or by calling 0845 357 3456.

A surgeon that has undergone the necessary training, such as Warwickshire plastic surgeon Mr Alan Park, will be registered as having a specialist qualification in plastic surgery.

Furthermore, they should hold or should have held in the past a consultant-level plastic surgery post in the NHS.

What questions should I ask my plastic surgeon?

The consultation is the ideal place to ask them about their qualifications and also their experience they have in the particular procedure. For example, how many times have they performed this procedure and how often do they perform it. What is their complication rate and how many patients have needed revision surgery.

Are there any other ways to check on their qualifications and experience?

A credible plastic surgeon will be a member of one of the UK’s leading independent plastic surgery organisations. Their members have to fulfil certain criteria to be a member and, furthermore, these organisations perform safety audits of their members annually which will look at complication rates.

Mr Alan Park of Just Cosmetic Surgery, who has private practices in Leamington Spa and Coventry, is a member of both the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (BAPRAS) and of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS).