The cost of a quality outcome in cosmetic surgery

Posted on Tuesday, December 5th 2017


In a society like Australia where we have a high standard of living it often comes as a surprise to people when they learn how relaxed our laws are around who can pick up a scalpel and operate on another human being writes Australasian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS) President and Plastic Surgeon, Dr Mark Magnusson.

Whilst it’s true that the health sector is a highly regulated sector, due to the unprecedented expansion of the cosmetic industry across a multitude of areas, the regulations have not kept up.  Today’s cosmetic industry is vastly different from the one I entered into 17 years ago.  It is big business with Australians said to be spending more than $1 billion a year on non-surgical procedures.

With this rapid expansion has been the rise of cut-providers who have moved into the market preying on the vulnerabilities of people seeking cosmetic procedures.  This no frills service, at what seems to be an affordable cost, has been reached because of serious cut backs that may compromise patient safety and surgical outcomes.

By seeking out the services of an ASAPS member, patients are afforded the protection of knowing their surgeon is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (FRACS), the only government recognised body to train surgeons in Australia and New Zealand.  This training is comprehensive, intensive and takes at least eight to 12 years on top of not only a medical degree, but also one’s medical internship and residency.

It often comes as a surprise to patients to learn that people using the title ‘Cosmetic Surgeon’ may have stopped their medical training after only their medical degree.

What you are paying for by engaging the services of an ASAPS member is:

  • Surgical outcomes at the highest standard in Australia and New Zealand
  • The appropriate accreditations and licences to practice in Australia and New Zealand.
  • The protection that if something does go wrong, you have access to the hospital system for revision surgery – something that is not readily available to you if you have travelled overseas. ASAPS‘s Specialist Plastic Surgeons only work in reputable hospitals and clinics in Australia and New Zealand.
  • Assurance of safety, cleanliness, infection control and the latest equipment.
  • Staff who also come with the appropriate accreditations and training.
  • Access to Specialist Anaesthetists and practitioners from other disciplines who are also registered by the Medical Board of Australia or the Medical Council of New Zealand as specialists in their specific fields.

Whilst I can fully understand the lure of cost being the main decision driver for a person in many aspects of their life, this should not be one of them.  Compromising on the quality of a potential outcome due to price sees patients left with disappointing results, ugly scars, and infections or in the worst case scenarios, life-threatening situations at the hands of unscrupulous providers who should have never picked up a scalpel in the first place.

To ensure you are in safe hands visit our ASAPS member portal to find your surgeon today.

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