Prior to the Internet era, people who wanted cosmetic treatments would count on their GPs recommendation of a reputable practitioner. These days, of course, Google has become the first port of call. While it’s the easiest route to a cosmetic beauty clinic, it’s not always the right one.
The problem with the web is that a high level of expertise and experience in the cosmetic industry is not always guaranteed by a flashy beauty clinic website. You should see past the web design and copy so you can learn more about the practitioner you’re eyeing.
As usual, research is needed. But when doing Internet research, you have to be cautious about information you take as fact. Community forums are great, for one, but sometimes they can also be biased for or against a certain clinic or practitioner. Thus, you need to stick to independent and reputable consumer websites if you want to know what real people are saying about a clinic you may be considering. And remember that while other people’s stories of their experiences can help you reach a smart decision, they shouldn’t be the sole basis for your decision.
So if aimlessly wandering around online is not an option, what’s a better way of searching for a good cosmetic beauty clinic? If you look around, you will find that there are so many online cosmetic surgery directories, all claiming to find you a clinic that best suits your needs. That sounds great, but the problem with these directories is that most of them don’t really screen the practitioners and clinics they list, especially in terms of regulatory compliance. So before taking any directory’s recommendations, be sure that they only list practitioners with verified qualifications and, if applicable, national regulatory certification.
If you intend to get a facelift, tummy tuck, breast augmentation or any surgical procedure, the name of your practitioner should have “FRCS(Plast)” at the end, which means they are qualified to perform plastic surgery. Preferably, you’d also want them to be on the General Medical Council (GMC) specialist register. You can check out the website of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons too and look for a specialist in the procedure you want. In England, private cosmetic beauty clinics are registered and routinely inspected by the Care Quality Commission, so dig into the CQC website to see whether your prospective clinic is certified and what their inspection reports look like.
If you’re planning to have a non-surgical treatment, like botulinum toxin and dermal filler injections, body contouring, etc., you will have a much broader range of choices. Note that these procedures should only be performed by certain medical professionals, such as a nurse or even a doctor, and there are others that require trained staff such as an aesthetician or beauty therapist. At the end of the day, you want a clinic that has the right experts to provide the treatment you’re looking for.