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A Guide to Choosing Cosmetic Surgery

We pride ourselves on researching the latest medical news, procedures and guides that are available to help you make informed, impartial decisions about choosing cosmetic surgery.

Recently, we came across an article written by psychologist Vivian Diller, Ph.D on The article gives pointers on how to safe-guard yourself against rushing in to a cosmetic surgery procedure.

The SAFE Choice breakdown

Dr. Diller advises her patients to approach cosmetic surgery using the acronym S.A.F.E. to help them make knowledgeable cosmetic surgery decisions. She encourages patients to think about four topics before making a decision: safety, affordability, for who and experience. Dr. Diller also focuses on the long-term impacts of each procedure; not just medically but psychologically too.


Don’t rely on sources such as stories from magazines or friends to inform you about a particular cosmetic surgery you are considering – a lot of the time these reviews and tales will be fabricated and exaggerated. Gather your research from trusted, reliable medical sources to understand the cosmetic procedure you are considering.

When speaking with a surgeon, try to personalise your questions so they relate to needs specific to you. A good practitioner should make you feel at ease, and take the time to listen to your individual concerns. Questions such as; “if I was your wife/husband, daughter/son or friend, would you recommend they perform this?” help attach emotive engagement.

Other useful questions to ask:

  • How long will the benefits last?
  • Will I need anaesthesia?
  • Can I do anything to speed up the recovery time?
  • How many procedures like this have you performed?

Cosmetic surgery is a personal, physical and psychological individual experience. This is your body. Be safe.


Once you’ve got your head around the medical jargon, it’s time to think about costs. Too many patients sign up for cosmetic procedures without fully knowing their full, long term associated cost.

If you’re receiving treatment such as fillers, botox or laser treatments, they’re likely to require ‘top up’ surgery to maintain the benefits, so it’s crucial that you factor this cost in before you commit to surgery.


It seems obvious, but you need to have a firm hold in your mind about who you are undergoing the surgery for. The first reaction is to say ‘for yourself’, naturally. But, let’s think about this.

Has your desire for surgery been prompted by someone? An unintentionally harmful comment perhaps, made by a friend or stranger in passing. Innocuous comments can push women into thinking that surgery is necessary to reverse signs of their ageing bodies.

Friends and peers can also influence your decision to have surgery; especially if they’ve undergone a similar procedure and have experienced positive results.

Think carefully about who you are changing your face and body for. You are the one who has to live with the changes.


It’s easy to create an image of perfection in your mind and translate this to how you imagine your surgery will turn out. Many people are shown unrealistic ‘before’ and ‘after’ pictures that or see unbelievable advertisements magicking away wrinkles. Sure, plastic surgery can correct and alter your body – but it should not be marketed as ‘magic’ cure.

Using the S.A.F.E guide can help you assess whether cosmetic surgery is the right decision for you.

Helpful Tips

Using the SAFE Guide can help you assess whether cosmetic surgery is the right decision for you.

1. Do Your Research

Make a rule with yourself to check that each surgeon or dermatologist you book a consultation with is board certified and if the procedure is MHRA approved.

2. Be Financially Realistic

Worrying about the cost of affording such surgery becomes a stress in itself, so it’s important you weigh up the finances and enter in to the surgery fully aware of the finances. Are they affordable? Be realistic.

3. Make A Rule With Yourself

Research has shown that cosmetic surgery is most satisfying when it fulfils personal goals.

4. Small Changes

The most satisfying results from surgery are the small changes made that result in a healthier, happy looking appearance.

And Finally

Using the S.A.F.E Guide can help you assess whether cosmetic surgery is the right decision for you.