Choosing a Laser and Skin Treatment Clinic
The popularity of Laser & Skin treatments such as botulinum toxin (Botox®) and dermal fillers (such as Teosyal and Juvederm) is growing, and these treatments are now offered by medical and dental clinics, and beauty salons.
Some of these treatments have a permanent effect, but most only last for a few months. They do not involve surgery, but that does not mean that they are risk-free.
They are invasive procedures and you should always think carefully about the benefits and risks before you undergo these treatments. Choosing a clinic and your practitioner is an important decision so please read the following advice on what to look for when choosing your provider carefully.
STEP 1: TALK TO FRIENDS & RELATIVES AND DO YOUR RESEARCH
Personal recommendation is an honest and reliable way to find out about clinics, hospitals, doctors and surgeons which may be suitable for you. Consider what you want to achieve from your procedure before making your appointment for a consultation.
STEP 2: CHOOSING YOUR CLINIC
In the UK all clinics offering Cosmetic Surgery require registration through The Care Quality Commission for England and the HIW for Wales. Ask if your clinic is registered with the relevant commissioning body and then you can be reassured that your clinic meets high standards and passes regular inspections to ensure medical safety and quality. All staff should be registered and trained medical professionals and have only your best interests at heart.
SET YOUR STANDARDS
The following advice draws on the Regulatory Standards set in the UK for choosing your clinic provider.
- You should look into the quality of their treatment and services as well as the safety and cleanliness of their premises and equipment.
- Ask to see the qualifications and skills of their staff, their provisions for training and professional development and their procedures for handling any complaints.
- Research the procedure and understand the risks, side-effects and possible complications.
- Choose a registered qualified and reputable practitioner who has been appropriately trained and can provide you with the necessary care after the procedure.
- Ask the right questions to help you decide on whether to have the treatment and what other alternatives exist - don't be pressured into having treatment immediately.
STEP 3: WHO SHOULD CARRY OUT THESE TREATMENTS?
Although many of these treatments are currently available on the high street, this does not mean that they are all unregulated. Laser and intense pulsed light clinics must be regulated by The Care Quality Commission, and you should ask to see details of their current registration before agreeing to any treatments.
Botox® is a prescription-only medicine, and must be prescribed by a doctor or dentist and from 1 May 2006, Nurse Independent Prescribers are now able to prescribe Botox® and Vistabel® independently. Ask the prescriber if he or she is a:
- doctor registered with the General Medical Council
- dentist registered with the General Dental Council,
- nurse registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council
Prescribers may delegate the administration to a suitably qualified and competent other person.
Do not have any treatment unless you can be satisfied that they meet the above requirements.
Other non-surgical cosmetic treatments are not currently regulated and are carried out in hospitals, clinics and beauty salons by doctors, dentists, nurses and beauty therapists. You must make sure that the person or people offering these treatments is adequately trained and sufficiently experienced to enable them to deliver the treatment competently and safely as well as the premises being suitable for the administration of Non Surgical treatments.
USEFUL QUESTIONS TO ASK
If you are considering a non-surgical cosmetic treatment there are a number of questions you should ask to help you to decide whether to have a treatment and where to have it carried out.
- Who will carry out the treatment?
- How long have they been trained in this treatment and do they have a certificate of/or accreditation?
- How frequently do they carry it out?
- Do they have professional indemnity insurance?
- Is the treatment right for me?
- How long does the treatment take?
- Is the treatment painful and if so what form of anaesthesia is used?
- Is all equipment used sterile and used only for me?
- For dermal fillers - what is the filler made of and do I need a test to find out if I am allergic to it?
- For Botox® - will I see a doctor, dentist or an Independent Nurse Prescriber and will he or she prescribe the Botox®?
- What are the risks involved?
- Are there any other treatment options available for me to achieve the results I want?
- Do you have any 'before and after' photographs that I can see?
- What type of aftercare regime will I need after treatment?
- Will I need pain relief following treatment?
- Will I have swelling or bruising and can these be treated?
- At what stage will I be able to judge the results of treatment?
- Will I be reviewed after the treatment - and is this included in the price
- How long do the results last?
- What will be the cost of the treatment, including any materials I may need after it?
- Will I need or benefit from a course of treatments?
- If I change my mind and decide not to complete the treatment, do I still need to pay the full cost for the treatment?
- What will happen if I am unhappy with any aspect of the treatment?
- Will my photographs be shown to anyone else for any reason?
Do not be afraid to ask lots of questions if you are not sure, our advice is ask, ask, ask!
THE HARLEY MEDICAL GROUP - WHY CHOOSE US?
The Harley Medical Group is a market leader, providing Cosmetic Surgery and Non Surgical excellence since it was established. We provide the highest standards of treatment and care in our hospitals and clinics and are concerned that these standards should apply to all clinics.
The majority of our professional medical staff have worked with us for many years and have an excellent understanding of the reasons why you might be considering having a Cosmetic Surgery or Non Surgical procedure.
All of our Nurses have successfully completed a minimum of three years general Nurse Training and they have also received extensive specialist training in consulting and treating both surgical and Laser & Skin patients. Our training is constantly reviewed and updated and accepted as being of a high standard by the health authorities that register all of our Cosmetic Surgery clinics in the UK.
You will always have the benefit of your own personal fully qualified Cosmetic Surgery Nurse Counsellor, both before and after your procedure, to support you and answer any questions you may have.
Cosmetic Surgery, whether it's a surgical procedure or laser and skin treatment it is a serious consideration with some risks attached, we strongly recommend that when considering the risks and undoubted benefits of cosmetic surgery that you choose a proper medical clinic to advise and treat you.