Your Guide to Cosmetic Treatment - Which Questions to Ask

Danielle Lowe
By Danielle Lowe

Danielle Lowe is the Marketing Manager for, the UK’s largest aesthetic information website. 

So, you’re probably reading this because you’re interested in seeking out a clinic for some kind of cosmetic treatment.
Well, you’re in the right place!
Let Consulting Room, guide you through the process of gathering information about surgical and non-surgical cosmetic treatments and products, as well as cosmetic dental services, hair loss solutions and laser eye surgery, and help you towards making the best decision on purchasing such services through a UK or Ireland based clinic.
Our guides will give you suggestions about how you may approach selecting a clinic or practitioner who provides any cosmetic procedure that you decide to undertake, the questions you need to think about asking and the things you need to consider to make sure that you make the right decision and choice for you, and you alone.
If you are looking to read more about what to expect during your first trip to a clinic, you can read: Your Guide to Cosmetic Treatment - What Happens When I First Visit a Clinic?

Below is a list of suggested questions to ask during an initial consultation for cosmetic treatment, (ideally with the practitioner). It is not an exhaustive list and not all of these questions will be appropriate for you. It is meant to be a useful guide so that you can highlight the questions that you do wish to ask at your consultation. 

In addition, you may want to think about additional, more detailed questions, which are pertinent to individual treatments or procedures, such as surgical variations, the choice of techniques or products used for dermal fillers, breast augmentation, dental implants, laser eye surgery or hair transplantation for example.

What questions to ask when first attending a cosmetic clinic
Examples of general questions to ask if you are thinking of having either non-surgical or surgical cosmetic treatments administered by a medical practitioner:
  1. Ask what treatment options are suitable for you for the area that you are interested in improving?
  2. How do they compare in terms of expected results, the longevity of results, pain/discomfort, recovery time, safety, risks and cost?
  3. Are there any medical reasons why you would not be suitable for any of these procedures?
  4. How often, if at all, will the procedure need to be repeated?
  5.  What will happen on the day of my treatment/surgery?
  6. Will I need to take any time off work? If so how long?
  7. What can I do pre-treatment or pre-surgery to ensure that I achieve the optimum results?  (Consider this if you smoke, engage in regular sun tanning, eat unhealthily, do not exercise, regularly drink alcohol in quantities above-recommended guidelines etc., as lifestyle changes can have an effect on improving outcomes for many treatments, so taking advice, acting on it and even delaying treatment may be important).
  8. How many of the procedures, that you are interested in, do they perform every month?
  9. Can I view your before & after treatment photographs?
  10. May I speak with any of your patients who have had similar procedures? Do you have a patient/referral list so that I may call them?
  11. Do you offer any treatment guarantees (i.e. another procedure if this one doesn’t work?) Can I have this in writing?
  12. Will I see the same practitioner for a follow-up evaluation of my results at a later date? 
  13. Are costs quoted all-inclusive, or are there any additional extras?
  14. Can I have a full written quotation outlining all of the costs of the procedure, and any additional costs, if I need any subsequent treatment or surgery to deal with problems or improve on any initial results?
  15. Does the clinic offer finance options?
  16. Who is the (sales) contract with? The clinic or the individual practitioner/surgeon?
  17. Who is responsible if there is a problem?
  18. Is the practitioner resident in the UK or visiting from abroad? Do they have UK practising permissions and medical indemnity insurance cover?
  19. Has the practitioner ever been involved in any medical malpractice complaints? If yes, find out the details.
Additional questions if you are considering more extensive surgical procedures, or those requiring an anaesthetic.
  1. For plastic/cosmetic surgeons only – are they on the UK specialist register for Plastic Surgery (have FRCS(Plast) after their name) – if not, why not?
  2. Are operations performed under general, light sleep sedation or any other anaesthesia? Which is preferred and why?
  3. Is the consultant anaesthetist on the UK specialist register?
  4. Must I abide by any special diet, both pre-operatively and post-operatively?
  5. Where will my operation be performed? Does the surgeon have an affiliation with a particular hospital? It is registered with the Care Quality Commission (England) or other national regulators?
  6. What is your protocol for post-operative care? Will I need to have an overnight stay in the hospital/clinic after my surgery? What level of pain/discomfort can I expect to experience?
  7. What can I do post-surgery to ensure that I achieve the optimum results?
  8. If I were to choose to undergo the surgery and I had a complication, what support can I expect? Is help available after hours as well? What if the practitioner is a non-UK resident?
Rating a clinic or practitioner

Rating a clinic or practitioner...

You may or may not schedule a date for treatment at the end of a consultation, (for some non-invasive, cosmetic treatment options, such as those within medical aesthetics, you may be able to embark on treatment after the consultation has completed, if you wish)

You are by no means obligated to have or book an appointment to pursue a treatment, and as we recommend that you visit more than one provider (especially for cosmetic surgery procedures) it is advisable for you to think about your choices first.

Following your consultation with a practitioner (i.e. the person doing the procedure), you should have enough information to consider, and you should also be able to request a second meeting if need be, should you feel that you need to ask any additional questions in order to reach a decision.
Again, it can be useful to jot down a few notes both during and after the consultation. This is helpful, especially when you are going on several consults, as recommended. It’s very easy to get mixed up!
In order to make an objective comparison between different clinics and practitioners we suggest that you compare qualities such as:
  • Attitude of staff
  • Appearance and cleanliness of the clinic/hospital
  • Patient information materials that you were given and/or shown
  • Whether the consultation was relaxed, yet informative
  • The qualifications, experience and training of the practitioner
  • Whether all your questions were answered
  • Whether a client referral list was available or if you were able to view before and after treatment photos for other clients.
From this, you should be able to decide for yourself what your overall satisfaction rating would be for the clinic and practitioner and how confident you would feel in visiting them for the treatment that you are considering.
Things to remember when thinking about cosmetic treatment...
  • Do it for you
  • Don’t feel rushed or under pressure
  • Cheap is not always the best option
  • Do your own research about the treatment and learn as much as you can
  • Speak to more than one clinic or practitioner
  • Ask as many questions as you need to feel comfortable in your decision
  • If it doesn’t feel right, or you don’t fully understand what you have been told, then don’t do it!
  • Do it for you
  • Don’t feel rushed or under pressure
  • Cheap is not always the best option
  • Do your own research about the treatment and learn as much as you can
  • Speak to more than one clinic or practitioner
  • Ask as many questions as you need to feel comfortable in your decision
  • If it doesn’t feel right, or you don’t fully understand what you have been told, then don’t do it!
Want to read more in our guide to cosmetic treatment series?
Your Guide to Cosmetic Treatment Abroad
Your Guide to Cosmetic Treatment - Which Clinic?
Guide to Cosmetic Treatment - Which Treatment? 
Guide to Cosmetic Treatment - first clinic visit? 
Take a look at our full Guide to Safe Cosmetic Treatment here. 

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