Medical Board Guidelines ASPS Comment

Plastic Surgeons urge Governments to follow Medical Board lead on cosmetic surgery guidelines

The Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) and the Australasian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS) welcomes new guidelines around cosmetic surgery released by the Medical Board of Australia that include cooling off periods ahead of cosmetic procedures and counselling for minors.

“ASPS and ASAPS are both committed to sensible and appropriate regulation of cosmetic medicine and surgery so we welcome the Medical Board’s new guidelines and its increased emphasis on patient safety,” said Dr James Savundra, President of ASPS, and Dr Tim Papadopoulos, President of ASAPS.

Dr Savundra continued, “The ASPS Code of Practice already encompasses these guidelines and, in fact, includes a ten day cooling off period for cosmetic surgery”.

“We are particularly pleased the new guidelines provide greater protection for minors in relation to cosmetic procedures with the inclusion of a three month waiting period and mandatory counselling. This is a common sense approach that does not prevent essential surgery for those minors who require surgery for medical reasons,” says Dr Savundra.

We also support the Medical Board recommendation that the treating practitioner is to take “explicit responsibility” for post-operative care and the provision of emergency facilities when using anaesthesia.

“While we applaud the Medical Board’s intervention and increased emphasis on safety for patients having cosmetic procedures, the reality is that the Medical Board’s mandate is limited.

“We now urge State and Federal Governments to follow the Medical Board’s lead to protect patients who undertake cosmetic treatments by legislating for tighter controls around the use of high volume anaesthesia and the use of so-called ‘conscious sedation” in unaccredited premises.

“Nationally-consistent legislation is essential to ensure that, where anaesthesia used for a cosmetic procedure is above a proscribed minimal level, that procedure must be undertaken in a fully accredited medical facility, that is, an accredited and audited day surgery or private hospital. All patients in Australia deserve nothing less,” Dr Savundra said.

“Modern cosmetic surgery brings many benefits to a patient but a cosmetic procedure does not mean the procedure is trivial. All surgery is serious and carries risk; cosmetic surgery is not an exception. Patients have a right to be well informed and well protected,” he said.
Download media release.

Media enquiries:  Edwina Gatenby, phone  0402 130 254.