Cosmetic surgery often involves an operation for which a person chooses to have an medical procedure to change their physical appearance rather than for clinical need or health. These procedures are most often (unless post cancer operation, to repair injury or due to degenerative or genetic disease) not covered by the NHS provision. The NHS will only pay for cosmetic surgeries which it feels are of clinical necessity and need.
Which Cosmetic Surgeries Are Most Popular?
In 2022 breast enlargement is still the most popular cosmetic surgery type, this is then followed by:
- Breast reduction
- Blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery)
- Abdominoplasty (surgery to enhance abs)
- Rhinoplasty (nose surgery)
- Fat transfer
- Otoplasty (ear surgery)
- Hair transplants
Even some dental treatments, such as tooth whitening and correction and brace fitting, is seen as cosmetic surgery.
Cosmetic surgeries can be invasive (such as breast augmentation) and non-invasive (such as Botox and dermal fillers). Invasive surgery carries more risk, especially if done abroad, where many “cosmetic tourists” use cheaper surgical options with untrained, unprofessional, unregulated, and unhygienic facilities, where the healthcare protocols and safety measures of bodies like UK regulatory institutions and the NHS are not in place. This can result in further surgeries in the UK to correct potential surgical error and infection.
Most people have cosmetic surgery as they are unhappy with some part of their body. Surgery improves their confidence and quality of life. Dental cosmetic surgery and fat transfer surgery can have health benefits too, improving access to nutrition and ability to exercise and stay physically healthy. Improved self-confidence can also improve mental health.
Where Do People Go For Cosmetic Surgery in the UK?
The most common facilities for cosmetic surgery, are private healthcare providers. When searching for a professional, it is important not to be swayed by marketing. Many providers claim to be the best, labelling themselves as “Harley Street consultants” with “specific expertise.” It is important you do your research and ensure that the claims match their academic qualifications and experience.
The British Royal College of Surgeons has developed guidance on professional standards for all surgeons who perform cosmetic surgery. Their standards ensure that risk surrounding cosmetic surgery in the UK is minimised. These guidelines were updated after the Department of Health insisted on enhanced protection for patients undergoing cosmetic private procedures.
Cosmetic surgery is made safer by informed communication between the professional, care facility and the patient. The care provider must help patients make choices surrounding operation and recuperation that are for the interest of the patient, rather than financial gain. With the cost of procedures so high, it is essential that no operational biases are undertaken and that the patient is not persuaded to have procedures that they are uncertain about.
How Much Does Cosmetic Surgery Cost in the UK?
The price of surgery depends on whether NHS or private, the type of surgery and the amount of care required pre and post operation and the expertise and seniority of the professional undertaking the surgery. Simple private Botox procedures can cost as little as £50, dental whitening starts at £500 and for breast surgeries and face-lifts the prices start at £6000.
The NHS does have provision for some cosmetic care, if for example it is necessary for a person’s health (a nose job rhinoplasty to help someone breathe better) or is following disease (for example post breast cancer breast surgery replacement or post skin burn scar treatments). However, the provision for this is vague and often limited based upon the local quality care commission group (CCG) funding, expertise, and rules.
Can Health Insurance Cover Cosmetic Procedures?
Health insurance will cover some cosmetic procedures, providing it is for a new and non-pre-existing condition following an injury for example. Most health insurance will not cover an optional, vanity-based procedure deemed unnecessary. Patients choosing to have surgeries for personal reasons, must often fund them privately.
Private care providers will often see you for a private charged consultation, where they will chat to you about your operation options and quote you the charges for the procedures. The patient will then decide on the options based on their budget and desires. Cosmetic surgeons will often show examples of previous work and testimonials from previous clients. It is important that you review independent feedback on the previous surgeries before making decisions on your choice of cosmetic surgery provider.
How Can GlobMed Help?
At GlobMed we are more than aware that cosmetic procedures can vastly improve self-confidence and mental health, be it through dental treatments, dermatological or something else. We know about the limitations to NHS care and the fact that most cosmetic procedures fall outside the NHS offerings. With private operations costs so high, we know about the complexity of research required to find the right professional teams for what you require.
The team at GlobMed is a highly trained and specialised team who have worked both with the NHS and privately. We help you to find healthcare professionals that are both within your budget and accessible to your needs, without hidden costs. We use our skills and networks to find you what you need and work with you throughout the surgery journey, to ensure you feel supported and that the surgery and post operative care is of the highest standard and meets expectations.