Why We Charge For Your Initial Consultation

Do You Expect To Pay For A Consultation With A Surgeon?

There is always a debate as to whether to charge for consultations or offer them for free.

In fact I did a blog post a few years ago discussing the topic.

Traditionally a consultation with a doctor would carry with it a fee as you might expect with any professional service.

However, things are different in plastic surgery for two reasons.

  1. First of all, plastic surgery is a very ‘surgical’ speciality. There is very little in the way of diagnosis and the skill and expertise is very much weighted towards the surgical ability of the surgeon rather than any clever diagnosis. It might be required in other surgical specialities such as general surgery if you presented with abdominal pain.  Most people present to a plastic surgeon with a cosmetic feature that they dislike and they have an idea about how they would like it to be corrected, and so we understand the reluctance to pay a large consultation fee.
  2. Furthermore, a lot of plastic surgery is provided by commercial clinics and they routinely offer free consultations although admittedly these are often not with the surgeon themselves. This has created an expectation amongst patients to receive a free consultation. Because all of the surgeons here at the Staiano Clinic are members of the Plastic Surgery Professional Associations, BAPRAS or BAAPS, we are bound by professional guidelines and free consultations are not encouraged as we are doctors providing a professional service and we certainly do not want to be seen to be encouraging or coercing patients to have surgery.

We do charge a consultation fee.

However, I am very aware that there might be some resistance to pay a consultation fee, because you might not be able to have the surgery that you wanted, or what if you just do not like the surgeon, or are unhappy with the opinion given.

I have always stressed that the ethos behind the clinic is to create happy patients.

We are not about achieving targets and goals in relation to conversions or number of operations.

The key metric that I judge our performance on is whether our patients are happy or not.

We charge a consultation fee because I believe that there is value in coming to speak to one of us.

We are specialists in our field and we will always try and give you the best opinion on what might be right for you.

There are too many people in the cosmetic surgery world who are generalists and will operate on any part of the body, whereas here at The STAIANO Clinic everyone is a specialist with specialist knowledge and experience.

I believe that we give value to our patients and we do not take it lightly that there is a charge associated with the consultation.

Satisfaction Guarantee

That is why we have our satisfaction guarantee because if you feel that your consultation has been unhelpful or if you are not suitable for surgery, we offer a no quibble, no questions asked, full refund of your consultation fee paid.

We only ever charge for your initial consultation and all future consultations will be free, whether they are before or after surgery.

In fact we encourage our patients to come back for at least one more consultation to go over things before going ahead with surgery.

We also offer emotional support from a counsellor who specialises in the field of body image and weight management for all of our patients.

I think that you will find that if you come to The Staiano Clinic for a consultation, we will give you our best advice and you will feel the value that we offer every patient.

We are constantly striving to provide more value and to lift ourselves above the many poor standards and practices that the media loves to report on in the cosmetic surgery world.

We want to be the leading provider of cosmetic surgery that stands for quality and service and we will not be able to do this unless we can deliver over and above expectations to all of our patients.

Call us now on 0121-454 3680 or drop us an email to give us a chance to show you what world class service looks like.

Book A Consultation Online Here

What to expect from your Consultation

When you arrive

at the Staiano Clinic we aim to give you a warm and relaxed welcome so that you can feel at ease during a time that we appreciate can be quite daunting as well as exciting.

Our address is

50 Frederick Road, Edgbaston, B15 1HN and we are situated close to the Five Ways roundabout in the heart of the Edgbaston Medical Quarter.  We are 5 minutes walk from Five Ways Train station, which is one stop away from Birmingham New Street.  You can find a map here.

We are located

on a quiet road which always has on street parking for up to an hour.  If you think that you may be more than an hour with us (such as a new consultation or a procedure), then you can park on our driveway.  Don’t worry if you would prefer to park on the road at first, you can always move your car on to the drive if it is coming up to an hour.

For our high profile clients

we have a discreet car park and a private entrance to the rear of the clinic, which you can use by prior arrangement with us.

On arrival you will be

offered a hot or cold drink and given a moment to relax in our comfortable reception.  We will ask you to fill in an admission sheet to confirm your personal details and your GP information, so please bring details of your GP with you.  If you are lucky enough to look under 18, we will ask you for proof of age as we are only able to treat patients who are over 18.

We will give you a short questionnaire

asking some basic questions about your medical history and we will also ask for permission to send correspondence to your GP following your consultation.  There is no obligation for you to agree to allow us to correspond with your GP, although it is good medical practice to do so.  We do ask for your permission to write to your GP in the event that you go ahead with a procedure but please be assured that any communications or correspondence is strictly confidential.

If you are coming for an initial consultation

you can expect the consultation to last for about an hour, although we do not watch the clock and so you can sometimes find that it may be more or less than this.  We never charge for follow up consultations and will always encourage you to go away and consider things before making any decisions about your surgery.  We welcome you to come back for a second, third and fourth consultation if you need because we realise that surgery is a major life decision and not one to be rushed.  We would much prefer that you came back to the clinic to go over things as often as you need rather than having any unanswered questions or doubts when going ahead with your surgery.

If you are having a procedure

under local anaesthetic such as mole removal, cyst removal, tattoo removal, inverted nipple correction or areola reduction, then we do offer treatment on the day of consultation by prior arrangement.  However, even if you have arranged this, there is never any obligation to proceed and you will be free to cancel or postpone your procedure if you feel that you need more time, with a full refund of any deposit paid.  Click here for more information about what to expect for Your Minor Procedure at the Staiano Clinic.

If you are coming to one of our free consultation events

then you will have the opportunity to meet with the clinic staff and have a chat with one of our surgeons about your chosen procedure.  There is never any obligation and it is simply a means for you to be able to visit and meet us to see whether you feel we might be a good fit for you (see blog post free consultations).  You will not be examined during the free consultation event, so you can relax and take time to get your questions answered and find out more about our services. We do not use salespeople or patient coordinators, so you will not be pressured or coerced in any way “ we just want to let you know who we are and what we can offer so that you can make an informed decision about whether it might be right for you or not.

We know that coming to a cosmetic clinic

can be a daunting undertaking and we do not underestimate the faith that you put in us when visiting.  We encourage patients to make a list of questions and bring this to the consultation as it is all too easy to forget that crucial thing when sitting face to face with the surgeon!  We really don’t mind if you bring out your list halfway through the consultation, in fact we positively encourage it.

It is also helpful to bring a friend or relative

with you for moral support and also to act as another pair of ears to help you to take in everything that is said and to ask questions on your behalf that you may have forgotten or not have thought of.

It can be difficult

to retain all of the information that you will receive during your consultation, so we will always provide a comprehensive summary of your consultation, which we send to your GP (with your permission) and also send a copy to you.

We aim to give you all the information

that you need about your chosen procedure, but give all of our patients the contact details of the clinic so that you can get in touch with any questions or concerns following your consultation.  Of course, you can always come back for another consultation to go over things, but if it is a simple query that we can answer by email or over the phone, we will be happy to do this.

Finally, following your consultation

we invite all of our patients to our closed Facebook group which is only open to people who have been to the clinic.  This is a place where you can ask questions and connect with other patients for support and guidance.  We also keep an eye on the group and so that if you have a question directed at one of our surgeons, we will be able to get a response for you.  Our director, Jonathan Staiano is also on Facebook Live every Tuesday at 7pm doing a live Q&A, so if you have any questions, you can always email us in advance or you can join in live and ask any questions that you may have.

We work hard to provide an experience

in which patients can feel listened to and looked after and will ask for feedback following your visit to the clinic.  We are constantly trying to improve our service, so it would be a great help if you could take a moment to let us know how we are doing.  It is only a short survey of 3 questions and will be sent to you by text after you leave the clinic.
Here is a response we have just received:

An excellent customer experience.
My initial email enquiry was answered promptly followed up with an informative telephone conversation.
My consultation was professional without being too formal, unhurried and I left feeling extremely confident with my choice of surgeon.

Click here to arrange a consultation.

We look forward to welcoming you to the Clinic and hope that we can help you.

Free Consultations or No Free Consultations?

Should We Offer Free Consultations?

This is a question that has divided plastic surgeons.

The argument for free consultations

On the one hand, patients may feel that they may not strike up a rapport with the surgeon or the surgeon may not be able or willing to give them the result that they are aiming to achieve and so they do not want to risk paying a consultation fee if they are not going to go ahead with surgery at that facility.  It is important to get a feel for the place where you are going to be treated and to make sure that the staff are polite, attentive and professional “ this applies not only to the surgeon, but also to the rest of the outpatient and hospital staff.
First impressions are important, and if you don’t get a good one, you may regret paying £100 or more for the privilege, which is why we offer a ‘satisfaction guarantee’ which means that we will refund your consultation fee in full if you feel that your consultation has been unhelpful or if you are not suitable for surgery.

The argument against free consultations

On the other hand, many surgeons feel that they should be paid for their professional opinion and we have costs such as secretarial fees, consulting room rental and medical indemnity that have to be covered.  Furthermore, there is the concern that patients are less likely to attend the appointment if it is free as the value is cheapened when patients are not paying.  There is also a concern on the wider scale, that some clinics may be offering free consultations in order to attract patients and then using ‘hard sell’ tactics to encourage patients to undergo procedures.  There should never be any pressure or incentives given to make patients feel that they have only a limited time to make a decision on what is often a life-changing event.

Why we charge for the initial consultation

I can see both sides of the argument.  They say that there is no such thing as a free lunch, and so if clinics are going to offer free consultations, then they will presumable expect a significant proportion of patients to go ahead with a procedure.  This is something that we really try to avoid.  I think that it is important to see every patient and give them the best advice.  We are doctors first and there must be no suggestion that any decision that we make, or advice that we give, has been given with any pressure or agenda, other than the patient’s best interest.  A good consultation is one where the patient has left feeling supported, informed and educated, whether or not they choose to have surgery.
We do charge for consultations and will give you our professional opinion and as much time as you need.  We only charge for the initial consultation, and so you can come back and go over things as often as you need if you have questions or queries.  In fact I encourage you to come back for a second consultation to go over things.  We do not charge for follow-up consultations.  We also give patients our email address if they have any questions or concerns that we can answer by email.   You can ask us about our qualifications and experience and we can talk about your expectations and whether surgery might be able to fulfil your goals. You will only see your surgeon, there will be no sales people or patient advisors and there will be absolutely no pressure to proceed with anything.  If you think that surgery might be right for you and you would like to go over things again, then you can come back and see us as often as you need for no extra charge.  We also offer a cosmetic surgery counselling service which allows you the opportunity to talk to someone about your feelings and your goals who can give emotional support with, what is often, a life changing decision.
Our initial consultation fee is from £100 and consultations are held in our boutique plastic surgery clinic in Edgbaston.
You can book an appointment online or get in touch with us here or by calling 0121-454 3680.  We would love to hear from you.