10th of May 2013

Forums – For Or Against

I started writing this blog after being startled at the advice being posted on various forums, about all kinds of surgery.

This advice was completely unrelated to a regulatory body, for example, ASAPS. The forums displayed advice from people who had or are considering undergoing a cosmetic or plastic surgery procedure.

An example of one of these blogs was an enquiry by a young girl considering breast augmentation.  She told the story of having had two consultations with different surgeons (unclear as to cosmetic or plastic surgeons) and was still confused about having her implants on top of or under the muscle.  The responses came thick and fast. Some replies where from people that had posted thousands – yes thousands – of posts on this forum, about their doctors and the size of the implants they chose.  They posted their recommendations as to what size this person should choose and why they think they should go on or under the muscle.

Whilst I think forums are good to encourage discussion and offer support, it is paramount to remember that the responses on this particular site were from non-medical professionals.  Each of us is of course built different and whilst a particular size and position (on top of or under the muscle) may suit one person, it is not suited to all. Anatomical differences such as body proportion, weight distribution, broad or narrow frames will all alter surgical outcomes.

There is one thing that all plastic surgeons agree on. Don’t use the internet as a substitute for surgical information and research the qualifications and experience of the surgeon you are considering.

ASK YOUR DOCTOR

  • What memberships to formal bodies do they hold?
  • What are the risks involved in the procedure?
  • What are the alternatives to the procedure?
  • Do they have photos showing results of patients similar to myself?

ASK YOURSELF

  • Do I feel comfortable and confident with this surgeon?
  • Do I feel confident having this procedure done?
  • Do I understand the risks and complications, and how will I cope with this if they occur?
  • Have I had all my questions asked to my satisfaction?
  • What post-operative care will I receive and who can I contact in an emergency?