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Melbourne Institute of Plastic Surgery
253 Wattletree Road
Malvern 3144
Victoria, Australia
Tel: +61 3 9508 9508
Fax:+61 3 9508 9588

Selecting your cosmetic surgeon: why qualifications count.

Recent media reports have been highlighting an issue close to our heart here at the Melbourne Institute of Plastic Surgery: the growing number of cosmetic and plastic surgery procedures being performed by those without proper training, incorrectly administering anesthetics and working within inadequate facilities. Often these procedures deliver devastating results.


One widely reported case from earlier this year involved a 20-year-old woman who went into cardiac arrest during a routine breast augmentation procedure. An investigation is currently underway into the alleged inappropriate use of anesthetics in this instance. Unfortunately stories like these are becoming more common, as the cosmetic industry continues its rapid expansion in our country.


Cosmetic or plastic surgeon; what’s the difference?

The scary fact is in Australia, any doctor can call themselves a ‘cosmetic surgeon,’ without undertaking any additional training or supervision. Plastic surgeons, on the other hand, complete eight years of specialist plastic surgery training on top of medical school.


Established in 1997, the Melbourne Institute of Plastic Surgery is a modern facility that provides high-quality plastic surgery. Our dedicated team of qualified plastic surgeons, highly trained nursing staff, and professional assistants are well known for their commitment to providing patients with the best possible care.


So what should you be looking for when choosing your surgeon?

1. Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (FRACS)

Does your doctor have the letters ‘FRACS’ following his or her name? Qualified plastic surgeons have completed specialist training through the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. This qualification is denoted by the letters ‘FRACS’, which are shown after a plastic surgeon’s name.

All specialist surgeons at the Melbourne Institute of Plastic Surgery are FRACS members. You should always be confident in your surgeon before undergoing any procedure. To learn more about the qualifications of our plastic surgeons, contact our office today.


2. Procedures only performed in accredited facilities

Always ensure your surgeon will only operate in an accredited facility. Accreditation means that the facility meets independent industry standards. An accredited facility offers a certified level of safety and professional care. Operations in office-style facilities without proper equipment and expertise can mean serious complications for you as a patient.

We urge anyone considering a cosmetic procedure to ask your surgeon who's going to be giving the sedation (if required) and what the facilities are in terms of managing any complications that may occur.

The Melbourne Institute of Plastic Surgery is associated with Stonnington Day Surgery - a fully equipped, registered, and accredited state-of-the-art operating complex. We also have strong associations with Monash University, private hospitals throughout the Melbourne area, as well as the public hospital system. Having access to such world-class surgical facilities allows us to perform a comprehensive range of treatments and provide our patients with convenient options best suited to their needs.


3. Honesty & integrity

A good surgeon will tell you all of the information you need to know about your prospective procedure, even the parts that you might not want to hear. You should be given a thorough explanation about whether the results you want are realistically attainable and safe, the best procedure to achieve your desired result, the risks and possible complications involved in the procedure, whether you are a good candidate for surgery, and what the costs will be.

Doctors Graeme Southwick, Morris Ritz, Andrew Greensmith, Damon Thomas, Edmund Ek and Natalie Ngan at the Melbourne Institute of Plastic Surgery are dedicated to educating you about the procedures, their benefits, and any risks involved so that you're well informed and prepared to undergo your surgery.


4. Experience

It is important to consider the level of experience your plastic surgeon has. Some surgeons specialise in certain procedures, so may have more knowledge or information about a specific surgery. Research what previous patients have said about your surgeon and ask to look at examples of previous work to get the full picture of your doctor’s expertise and levels of patient satisfaction.

If you are considering any form of cosmetic or plastic surgery, we urge you to do your research, ensure your procedure is being performed by an experienced and qualified plastic surgeon who you feel comfortable and confident with, in an accredited facility. This will help guarantee your surgical experience is a safe and positive one and protect your greatest asset of all: you.

To learn more visit the Melbourne Institute of Plastic Surgery, complete a contact form or call us on (+61 3) 9508 9508.