Importance of Consent Forms in Aesthetic Procedures
Consent forms are by far one of the most crucial elements in your aesthetic practice. The practice of taking informed and detailed consent from patients should never be underestimated. It is for the benefit of you and your patient and is both a legal and an ethical obligation.
What is on a consent form?
Every detail about the procedure and the filler or neurotoxin being used should be on a consent form. No detail is insignificant in this case. Details about the specific product should also be listed on a consent form. Consent forms usually consist of any major and minor details of a procedure that could possibly go wrong. Any small side effect such as swelling should be included as well as those very rare side effects such as blindness.
These should be included not only to protect yourself should anything happen, but should also serve as a talking point between you and your patient. You should tell them that these serious side effects are very rare, and that you’ve never had it happen. We’ve discussed before the importance of a consult, which should go over in detail the procedure, the side effects, the possible complications, expectations and more. You should also go through the consent form thoroughly during the consult.
It’s good practice to have a patient sign a consent form before any type of procedure. It is also good practice to have a different consent form for each type of product used as it should have specific information about a certain product. The patient must understand everything that they are signing for, and is typically signed by the physician and sometimes even a witness. You can never be too careful when it comes to consent.
Just because you have a consent form, does not mean your patient won’t try to come after you should something go wrong. It is your responsibility to exercise good patient care as you are held to a certain standard. If you cannot meet that standard, then it’s not safe to be treating patients. However, a consent form will protect you against certain circumstances that are outside of your control. It will also ensure that your patient understands the procedure to the fullest extent and any side effects that could occur.