Created on 10th September 2009
The UK's leading independent cosmetic surgery adviser, Linda Briggs, answers all your cosmetic surgery questions and offers advice on embarking on surgery both here and abroad
Who is Linda Briggs?
Well, sitting on a plane on my way back from Tunisia, I look very much like a tourist, but, believe it or not, it was all work. I visit many countries around the world looking for surgeons who specialise in anything different. I set out on this quest in 1999 after I had a facelift, that was OK but it was only afterwards that I realised how much research needed to be done before embarking on such a life-changing procedure.
As a result of this I started building an information website. It was the first of its kind and the more information I put on the website, the more information patients wanted.
The title ‘UK's leading independent cosmetic surgery adviser' came about after I was reported as not being independent, so Trading Standards carried out an investigation and concluded that I was totally independent.
My column in this magazine is designed to give patients information on where and how to start looking for cosmetic surgeons. There are plenty of people out there calling themselves ‘advisers' but from me, you can get as much information as you want, totally free.
I get great pleasure in saving patients money and helping them find a surgeon to suit their budget and give them an above average chance of having trouble-free surgery.
Surgery is not an exact science. Surgeons are human and patients are often specific in their requirements. If you have any questions, please let me know and if I don't have the answers, I know where to get them.
I'd really like cosmetic surgery but it is such an important decision to make. How do I start?
Decide what you would like to change about yourself. You might be able to use a minimally invasive treatment instead of surgery.
It is useful to have a consultation with an experienced surgeon to get their opinion. Remember you are a customer and everyone wants your money! Don't be taken in by ‘hard sell' tactics.
Another opinion might help. See at least a couple of surgeons and do some research on the procedures suggested. The internet can be useful, but don't get information overload.
I'd like a facelift but can't afford the prices quoted in the UK. Are there any other options?
There are many surgeons around the world offering good surgery. Just be very careful how you find them.
There are numerous surgeons from abroad who are registered with the GMC to be able to work in the UK, but they choose to work abroad, where the hospital facilities are cheaper and the cost of living is lower.
If the surgeons offer consultations and follow ups in the UK and by following a few guidelines, surgery abroad can be safe and cheaper.
SPOTLIGHT ON... CROATIA
Former Yugoslavia, Croatia is now looking to join the EU, so all the medical facilities are up to EU standards. There are some beautiful modern clinics and some wonderful specialists. Flights from Luton start from £50 return and hotels are very varied and there is a large choice.
Croatia has a lot of dentists and the Italians go there regularly for their dental implants. Like all countries there are good and bad surgeons, but, on the whole, the regulations are very strict with regards infections and clinics are closed down instantly if the monthly inspection shows they have an infection.
Available from: For independent advice contact Linda Briggs at www.lindabriggs.co.uk or call 01354 610368