How to Choose the BEST Plastic Surgeon in Queensland
If you are looking into cosmetic plastic surgery, it is critical to select the best surgeon that meets your needs. For most people this will involve some online research, talking to your local GP or seeking out recommendations from people you know.
Once you have done your initial research and you are booking your consultation, make sure that you take with you a list of questions and topics you want to raise.
Not sure which surgeon to choose?
You may be considering the possibility of undergoing surgery to regain your youthful appearance or body shape, but you’re not sure where to start looking… Researching your options is essential when searching for an experienced Surgeon that best suits your needs and desires. So, should you be looking for a Plastic or Cosmetic surgeon?
What’s the difference between a Specialist Plastic Surgeon and just another doctor or ‘Cosmetic Surgeon’?
There is a great deal of confusion surrounding what exactly the difference is between a Plastic Surgeon and a Cosmetic Surgeon. The difference lies in their qualifications. Essentially, a Plastic Surgeon is a doctor who has specialised in Plastic Surgery, and performs cosmetic surgery. A Cosmetic Surgeon is a doctor who is referred to as a ‘Cosmetic Surgeon,’ and performs cosmetic surgery.
Both surgeons perform cosmetic surgery, and both appear to deliver quality results. In order for the surgery candidate to make an educated decision, they must be completely aware of the difference.
The Difference between a Plastic Surgeon and a Cosmetic Surgeon
- In Australia, Specialist Plastic Surgeons have studied specialist surgery for at least five years on top of their medical education (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery). Those trained to perform invasive surgical procedures are referred to as Plastic Surgeons.
- Any Doctor, who has obtained their Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) and NOT undergone specialist training, can perform Cosmetic Surgery. This is due to the minimal regulations around which doctors can perform what.
The Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons notes that: ‘currently in Australia, it is legal for any doctor with a basic medical degree to perform surgery’. Specialist Plastic Surgeons, on the other hand, have extensive surgical education and training including a minimum of 12 years medical and surgical education, with at least 5 years of specialist postgraduate training.’
Always Choose an Experienced Surgeon
With a Plastic Surgeon’s additional postgraduate training, comes their comprehensive knowledge of surgical techniques and solutions suited for a range of patients with diverse physiology. This simply means you’ll have more surgical options. For example, when discussing a Breast Augmentation you may be presented with options for the placement of the implants (above or below the muscle), the shape of the implants (round or tear-drop) and/or the type of incision used (inframammary incision or peri-areola incision).
A Cosmetic Surgeon may not offer you any surgical options to suit your anatomy and aesthetic preferences, as they feel more comfortable performing surgery their way.
When you opt for a Plastic Surgeon, you opt for more experience and training. With more experience and training, you’re likely to see a higher cost. However, you should never risk your surgical outcome with a Medical Practitioner with no formal surgical training, just to save yourself money.
With any surgery, there are risks involved. This is why research is essential before making a decision on who should perform surgery on you.
Tips for Researching Your Prospective Surgeon
- Ask them about their qualifications. Any surgeon should be happy to discuss this with you.
- Check your surgeon’s registration. You can access details of your surgeon’s registration on the Medical Board of Australia. You can access this Medical Surgeon Check link.
- Read patient reviews. Other patient reviews and testimonials will give you a good understanding of the care given and results obtained by the surgeon.
- Ask your friends and family about their surgeon. Word of mouth referrals are a great way to find you an expert in the field.
- Book a consult. This gives you a chance to meet your favourite surgeons and ask any questions you may have. For example, “how often have you performed this surgery?” and “what complications have you encountered?”
And finally, trust your instincts. You’re the only person that can make the right decision. If you feel at ease in your consultation and trust your surgeon with your body – you’re ready to pick a date.
How to choose the best surgeon for your Cosmetic Surgery Procedure
Dr Mark Doyle discusses how patient’s should approach choosing a surgeon, what to consider and questions to ask. –
“In the years I have practiced I have met many people who have spent more time choosing a pair of shoes than they have on the doctor or 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.“
Here is a summary of what I believe are critical factors in choosing a plastic surgeon:
- Experience matters – Check the number of years in practice, number of cases done and track the surgeon’s results
- Artistic talent – Aesthetic Cosmetic Surgery requires the skill of a surgeon, but the eye of an artist. So seek recommendations from past patients
- Before & After Photos – Ask to see before and after photos of patients of the physician
- Have a good consultation with the surgeon ahead of time – This is the time to discuss your goals and find out how the surgeon hopes to achieve them. A good doctor will reassure you when you’re making good choices and discourage you if you’re not. If you don’t feel comfortable – seek a second opinion
Plastic surgeons and Cosmetic Surgery costs
Price alone should not be a deciding factor in choosing a surgeon, please do be suspicious of offers and cheap deals. Most top quality plastic surgeons charge a similar amount. Beware of discounts and special offers, you could end up spending a great deal more money fixing up the mistakes of an unqualified surgeon further down the track. If you can’t afford quality surgery – wait and save up.
What to expect during your cosmetic surgery consultation
During your consultation the 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!
10 Questions to Ask Your Surgeon during your Surgery Consultation
Your Surgeon Consultation is vital. This one-on-one meeting is an essential part of your decision to have plastic surgery. Be sure to take notes so that you remember what the doctor tells you. Here are some suggestions for Questions to ask your surgeon:
1. What are your credentials and experience?
- Never be afraid to ask a surgeon about his or her qualifications, where he/she has practiced and for how long. Most surgeons will be happy to share this information with you.
2. How often do you perform this particular procedure?
- Find a plastic surgeon who specialises in the procedure you’re considering.
3. Can I see before and after pictures of your patients who have had this procedure?
- During your consultation, the plastic surgeon should show you before and after photos of his/her work.
- This will help you get an idea of the surgeon’s skills, as well as the results you can expect from your surgery.
4. Where do you perform this surgery?
- Find out if your surgery is performed on an inpatient or outpatient basis. Your surgeon should be operating in an accredited Hospital – not a day surgery centre. Hospitals have high standards and will not let dodgy doctors operate. Accredited Hospitals also have sterility & Cleanliness standards to prevent infection and provide a backup in case of complications.
- Quality Surgeons work with top surgical talent in theatre – an anaesthetist, assistant and nurses. Ideally they use the same people and have built the best surgical team.
5. What are the risks and possible complications of this surgery?
- Always get all the facts so you can make an informed decision about the surgery you are considering.
6. Will my surgery be subject to Medicare Rebates?
- Plastic surgery is either categorised as ‘Medical’ or ‘Cosmetic’. Ask your surgeon to discuss with you whether your surgery is likely to be covered by Medicare Rebates. Cosmetic Doctors cannot access Medicare eligibility.
7. Is the procedure I’m considering the best one to achieve the results I want?
- Ask your surgeon to recommend a different procedure than the one you have in mind if he or she feels it is better suited to giving you the results you want.
8. How long will my recovery period be?
It’s important to know how long it should take you to recuperate after your surgery. Your surgeon will let you know how soon after surgery you’ll be able to resume your normal activities. Knowing this, you can arrange your business and personal schedule to allow yourself the time you need to fully recover.
9. What happens if I’m not satisfied with the results?
- Your satisfaction should be paramount to your surgeon. In the event you are less than satisfied with any aspect of your surgery, your surgeon should meet with you and recommend the best way to remedy the situation.
10. Do you consider me a good candidate for this surgery?
During your consultation, the plastic surgeon will evaluate your suitability for the plastic surgery you are considering.
A good surgeon will consider factors such as:
- Your medical history and overall health—you need to be in good health to undergo surgery and the recovery process.
- Your goals and expectations for plastic surgery—a patient with realistic goals has the best chance of satisfaction.
- Other factors that may affect you after surgery—for example, if you plan to have more children your surgeon will likely advise you to postpone having a breast lift or tummy tuck.
Next Steps on Your Patient Journey
For more information call Gold Coast Plastic Surgery or contact us