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When it comes to cosmetic surgery, will anyone calling themselves a surgeon do?

Posted on Tuesday, 27 November 2018

Surgeons don't always have surgical qualifications

Choose wisely when it comes to having cosmetic surgery says Dr Mark Doyle, Specialist Plastic Surgeon from Gold Coast Plastic Surgery Australia and Australasian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS) Member.  This extends to choosing a surgeon, what to consider before having cosmetic surgery, and what questions to ask your surgeon.

In the years that I have operating, I have met many patients who have spent more time choosing a pair of shoes, than they have on choosing the surgeon who will operate on their face or body.  This concerns me greatly as the choice of surgeon is unquestionably the most important decision you will make in this process.

Technological advances combined with a multi-billion dollar market have brought with them a flood of new treatments promising faster results with less pain and recovery time.  However, many have not been scientifically proven effective.  With so many treatments and providers to wade through as a patient, how do you ensure you make the right choice?

Is Cosmetic Surgery safe?

Despite what you may be told by the aggressive marketing tactics of some players in the cosmetic surgery industry, all surgical procedures carry some risk.  Seeming as though they are elective procedures, you want to ensure you are in the safest possible hands and that your surgeon has achieved the highest surgical skills recognised by the Australian and New Zealand Governments.  That is the training provided by the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons.

Specialist Plastic Surgeons and treatment costs

Price should not be a deciding factor in choosing a surgeon,  I would also implore you to be suspicious of special offers.  Most Specialist Plastic Surgeons charge a similar amount.  Beware of discounts and special offers, as you could end up spending a great deal more money fixing up the mistakes of an unqualified surgeon further down the track.

The only accredited training of surgeons in Australia and New Zealand is the Royal Australasian College of SurgeonsFellows are entitled to use FRACS after their name and will go by the title Specialist Plastic Surgeon.

What to expect during a consultation

During your consultation, your surgeon should patiently answer all your questions and give you advice on what procedure they recommend for you.  They should not pressure you into a decision and most surgeons prefer you to leave and think about everything you have discussed.

Ask to see before and after photos of the surgeons work, but don’t make your decision exclusively on whether a surgeon has good photos as obviously they are only going to show their best results!

Here is a summary of what I believe are critical factors in choosing a Specialist Plastic Surgeon:

1. Training matters

Check the training and qualifications of your surgeon.  The only accredited training of surgeons in Australia and New Zealand is the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons.  Fellows are entitled to use FRACS after their name and will go by the title Specialist Plastic Surgeon.

2. Artistic talent

Cosmetic Surgery requires the skill of a surgeon, but the eye of an artist.  So seek recommendations from past patients.

3. Before and After Photos

Ask to see before and after photos of patients.

4. Ensure you are in safe hands

By seeking out the services of a Specialist Plastic Surgeon, you can be assured that your surgeon is, in fact, a surgeon and will have your safety as the key decision driver for everything he or she is recommending for you.  Specialist Plastic Surgeons abide by the Code of Conducts of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons.

What’s involved in my surgery?

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