Plastic Surgery

Plastic Surgery

We all hear and see the results of successful plastic surgeries but it’s the unsuccessful procedures that are remembered far longer. To avoid being a statistic there are a few basic steps to follow, but please be aware, that even the best of the best surgeons can have post-operative complications despite optimal pre-operative conditions.

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Right from the start you must be sure to do proper due diligence or research on the surgeon you are considering and this extends to any clinic offering minor cosmetic procedures or injectables suchas botox. If you are not sure of which Cosmetic Surgeon you are going to entrust with your body make inquiries through your local institution and confirm that they are a Fellow of the college.

Many consumers are unaware that there is a difference between Cosmetic Surgeons and Plastic Surgeons. Many health care providers are now performing cosmetic procedures, but that doesn’t mean they’re all qualified to perform plastic surgery. Plastic Surgeons are trained in both cosmetic and reconstructive procedures and this requires 7 years of training. Any General Practitioner or Registered Nurse can perform cosmetic procedures. You need to be sure apart from word of mouth, that the practitioner is properly qualified, do not take their word for it.

Today we are bombarded with advertising mostly glamorizing the industry via television, internet and print media. Don’t be fooled! This is a serious business, these are surgical procedures that require full anesthesia and hospitalization, do not underestimate what is being done. It is very human to always focus on the end result and of course, that is the bottom line, however, this is about you, your personal development and achieving the ultimate outcome, so follow these guidelines when making your choice.


• Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Be sure to ask how many years they have been practicing – you want experience! Many clinics offer the first consultation for free and this is your opportunity to have them answer all your questions. Go in with the mindset of conducting your own interview, they must satisfy your concerns or they won’t get your business. Be aware that this will be conducted by a nurse or practice manager, not the surgeon. You can expect them to be very informative and qualified to answer all of your concerns. This is also a great time to check out the look of the clinician who may perform the non-invasive cosmetic treatments on you. Take note if they have had any ‘work’ done and in particular if you like it as this is an excellent opportunity to closely observe the quality of the practitioner you are considering. • Request before and after photographs. Every clinic will have a ‘brag’ book full of pre and post operative success stories. Check it out. • Ask about volume. It is very important to know how many procedures per week or annually the surgeon performs, specifically, which ones. Plastic and reconstructive surgeons are trained in all facets of their specialty however, many refine their skills even further and choose to perform only a few of the numerous procedures commonly known. You want to be sure to match up the right surgeon with the right procedure. Emotion and well-meaning referrals from friends can lead to disappointment. Enquire first before committing and ask the question how many? You want to be sure it’s in the hundreds at least. • Be crystal clear about what you want and what you are getting. Many patients often complain they didn’t understand what the surgeon said. Don’t be afraid to speak up and ask the surgeon to speak in ‘layman’s’ terms, until you get it. They are working for you – not the other way around.

• Accreditation. Be sure that the practitioner is associated with accredited hospitals and day surgery suites. This can be confirmed by the clinic and also by a simple phone call to your health fund or government department. It is essential to know you are in the best possible care offering state of the art equipment, industry standards and quality staff.

• After-Care. Will you have the support you expect? Many surgeons are absolutely masters at what they do but when it comes to post-operative procedure you can be left wanting. The first 24-48 hours are absolutely critical to the success of your operation as it is during this time complications can come out of nowhere and fast. Confirm with the surgeon and staff that he/she is available and contactable during this time and be clear about what their follow-up procedure is.

• Post-operative care at home. Be sure to listen as this is your role in the recovery process. Many prospective patients expect the surgeon and ancillary staff to be responsible for everything, this is very much a team event and your co-operation during this time can and does make the difference. These expectations of you are there for a reason and cannot be underestimated.

• Cost. You may note I have left this until last. The reason for this is simple, you get what you pay for! I recommend making enquiries through the medical insurance companies as this will give you the standard. However, there will always be a gap, which will vary from one practitioner to another, so be sure to ask the Office Manager for the exact total cost and refer back to your medical insurance company (if you have one).

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Doing the research on choosing the right plastic surgeon will take you from a good result to the ultimate experience. Careful selection ensures that you have mitigated your risks and optimized your outcome. You want to be as confident as possible when you make your choice prior to admission, after all this is about you and you deserve the best.

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