How to choose the right Plastic Surgeon

How to choose the right Plastic Surgeon

Around one in ten Australians has had plastic surgery over the past three years or is intending to do so within the next three years.

The Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons has made it easier for those people to select the right surgeon with the launch of our new website that matches surgeons with procedures and location.

“Undergoing plastic surgery, whether reconstructive or cosmetic is a serious undertaking and choosing the right surgeon is crucial to ensuring an individual’s satisfaction with the outcome as well as patient safety,” says Professor Mark Ashton, President of the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons.

New research commissioned by the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons show 4% of the population of Australia have undergone plastic, cosmetic or reconstructive surgery in the past 3 years, with an average of 1.7 procedures per patient. 8% of the population (including some who have already had plastic surgery) are intending to have surgery within the next 3 years. The net result is 10% of the population have had plastic surgery in the past three years and/or are intending to have it in the next three years.

Of those that have had surgery, the main procedures undertaken were facial contouring (37%); facial (31%) and breast/chest enhancement (27%).

“We want to ensure that Australians have a positive, and safe, plastic surgery experience. There is an enormous amount of information on the Internet but it’s not always clear what’s reputable and what’s not.

“People can be assured the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons website ( is a credible and accurate resource for anyone looking for a fully trained and qualified plastic surgeon as well as information about their procedure,” says Professor Ashton.

Below is a checklist to consider to help ensure you have the plastic surgeon that is right for you.

Always check your surgeon’s credentials and experience:

Not all medical practitioners performing cosmetic surgery are plastic surgeons or even practitioners with formal surgery qualifications. So check your surgeon’s qualifications.

All Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons’ Members are certified by The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) and have completed specialist surgeon training in plastic surgery (cosmetic and reconstructive and operate only in accredited medical facilities.

Additionally, they fulfil professional development requirements including standards and innovations in patient safety and adhere to a strict code of ethics which includes ensuring patients have a 10 day cooling-off period ahead of any procedure. Founded in 1970, the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons Inc (ASPS) is the peak body for Specialist Plastic Surgeons (both reconstructive and cosmetic). Its mission is to provide the highest quality plastic surgery care to all Australians.

Ask your GPs or Hospitals:

GPs and hospitals will be able to assist in finding an appropriately qualified surgeon in your area and will have feedback of their reputation and skill in certain areas.

• Ask your friends who they recommend for cosmetic surgery procedures:

Friends, or family, can be a helpful resource in recommending surgeons with whom they’ve had a positive experience. But still be diligent and check for yourself they are appropriately qualified. Just because they were right for your friend doesn’t guarantee they will be for you.

Be prepared ahead of your initial consultation:

Before you have plastic surgery, you meet with your surgeon for a consultation during which you will be able to discuss your goals. Your surgeon should undertake a thorough examination and if surgery is appropriate, advise the best procedure to achieve your desired results. It’s important you feel comfortable with your surgeon and that he or she has answered all your questions.

Be crystal clear about your goals:

Be clear about your expectations so your surgeon can advise whether your goals are realistic. Taking a photo can be helpful to show what you would like – this can be helpful in assisting your surgeon to advise whether or not this is a realistic outcome for you.

• Ask about risks:

In your consultation, you need to feel comfortable that your questions have been appropriately answered and any risks need to be outlined. No surgery, including cosmetic surgery is risk-free, so ask your surgeon about any potential complications during or after the surgery. Ask your surgeon about his or her safety record and their experience with the particular procedure you are considering.

You should not feel rushed or pressured into a procedure:

Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons Code of Conduct specifies patients must have a cooling-off period to consider their decision ahead of surgery. If you feel pressured into having a surgery take a step back and consider.

• What about aftercare?

Find out about what aftercare is provided and what you can do before and after your surgery to ensure the best possible outcome. Founded in 1970, the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons Inc (ASPS) is the peak body for Specialist Plastic Surgeons (both reconstructive and cosmetic). Its mission is to provide the highest quality plastic surgery care to all Australians. • Cost Ask about all the fees and costs associated with your surgery – these will include hospital and anaesthetic costs. If you have concerns, discuss these with your surgeon.

• Take time to consider:

Before you make your final decision ask yourself whether this is right for you; are your expectations realistic; are you satisfied your questions have been answered? If you have any doubts over any aspect of your surgery or costs don’t be afraid to go back to your surgeon and ask – or get a second opinion.

A list of questions that may be helpful to take to your consultation can be found here.

Media enquiries: Sandra Renowden 0403823218 or email

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