Finding the Best Plastic Surgeons in Melbourne
What to consider when looking for a quality Melbourne Plastic Surgeon
If you’re considering a cosmetic surgery procedure, you have likely started to research the best Plastic Surgeons in your area. More often than not, this can be a difficult task. With so many options and varying information available online, it can be hard to know what exactly to look for in a potential Plastic Surgeon.
Choosing from a local FRACS (Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons) is a very good place to start, and in this blog, we will explain why, as well as take you on a step-by-step journey to finding the best Plastic Surgeons in Melbourne for your procedure.
What should I look for when choosing a Plastic Surgeon?
The success of any elective surgery is dependent on 5 key factors:
- Anatomy and Current Shape
- Skin and Health
- Objectives or Surgery Goals
- Your Surgeon’s Skills and Qualifications
- Collaboration and Communication between you and your Surgeon
Your Surgeon’s Skills and Qualifications
Before deciding on a Plastic Surgeon for your chosen procedure, you should fully understand their area of expertise as well as the level of formal training and experience they have.
Why is this important? A FRACS Specialist qualification is typically a good indication of a Surgeon’s level of expertise. It is only gained by having a lifelong pursuit of expertise in plastic, cosmetic and reconstructive surgery.
What is a FRACS qualification?
The distinction of being a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons is only awarded to Specialist Surgeons who have completed a minimum of 12 years of medical and surgical education, with at least 5 years of specialist postgraduate training.
A Specialist Plastic Surgeon with a FRACS qualification will have:
- Significantly more cosmetic & plastic surgery training than a GP, Dentist or other ‘so-called’ Cosmetic Surgeon.
- Been subjected to the highest levels of testing and review of their surgical skills before achieving fellowship in RACS.
- Had more plastic surgery education/advanced training & international Plastic Surgery Conference attendance than other types of doctors or surgeons.
Collaboration and Communication between you and your Surgeon
Your Surgeon’s skills are one thing, but if you and your surgeon can’t communicate openly and honestly, your results can be compromised.
It is important that you feel comfortable with your Surgeon’s methods of communication; you should feel able to ask any and all questions and voice your concerns.
To achieve the best possible surgical result, you will need to work in harmony with your Surgeon and follow their post-operative instructions. Listening to and understanding their advice will help to reduce any surgery risks and boost your healing and recovery.
If you feel intimidated or disrespected by your Surgeon, then they’re not for you!
What to avoid when choosing a Plastic Surgeon?
It’s wise to avoid choosing:
- A doctor in training (junior doctor).
- Doctors who have not gained successful membership into the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) with a speciality in Plastic Cosmetic & Reconstructive Surgery.
- Discount surgery facilities or back rooms that aren’t adequately monitored for patient safety.
- Plastic Surgeons who focus on certain surgeries but agree to do surgery they rarely ever perform.
- Surgeons cannot show you any personal before and after photos during a consultation.
Don’t mistake a Cosmetic Doctor for a qualified Specialist Plastic Surgeon
Many people are confused and think a so-called Cosmetic Surgeon is the same as a Plastic Surgeon with FRACS, however, they are not the same types of Doctors. In fact, Cosmetic Surgeons are not allowed to refer to themselves as Plastic Surgeons nor do they have permission to operate in accredited hospitals.
Only a Plastic Surgeon recognised as having Specialist Plastic Surgery recognition through AHPRA and RACS can call themselves a Specialist Plastic Surgeon. If your Surgeon cannot use that term, they are not a Plastic Surgeon. This is because ‘Specialist’ is a protected medical qualification term.
You should also make sure that your Surgeon is listed with the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).
- The ASAPS and ASPS directories can give you general guidelines about surgeries.
- These sites can also provide you with a list of accredited Surgeons (members) who keep up to date with advances in the plastic and cosmetic surgery field.
- ASPS and ASAPS MEMBERS are recognised as being fully qualified in reconstructive, cosmetic and plastic surgery – including having a record of accomplishment in these areas of medicine and surgery.
- Additionally, members commit to high ethical standards including patient care and patient safety processes.
- Our practice is a member of ASPS and receives many referrals each year from the Australian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons.
How do I find the best Plastic Surgeons in Melbourne?
I want to find a great Plastic Surgeon near me – but where do I start?
1. Do your research!
- Find out everything you can about your potential Plastic Surgeon
- are they FRACS qualified and a member of ASPS?
- how many operations have they performed over a lifetime and in recent years?
- what do their patients say about them online?
- Do they have any before and after photos? (Be sure to ask to see before and after pictures of real patients at your initial consultation
- Word of mouth – directly and from others in your area – is invaluable for finding great surgeons and for avoiding a not-so-great one.
- Ask family, neighbours, colleagues and friends for their recommendations.
2. Ask your local General Practitioner, preferred Specialist or Hospital for a recommendation
- Hospitals can also refer you to Australian Certified Specialist Plastic Surgeons for your preferred cosmetic surgery procedure.
- Accredited Hospitals will usually have high standards which Surgeons are required to meet in order to operate on their premises.
- Remember, you want to think about your safety first, so choose a Surgeon who either operates in a hospital or has hospital operating rights.
- Be sure to ask for a list of Hospitals your Surgeon is permitted to operate in at your initial consultation. If the answer is that they don’t, think about choosing a hospital-authorised Surgeon instead.
3. Order our free guides to research your chosen procedure in detail
It’s important to research your chosen procedure in further detail, and understand exactly what is involved before scheduling a consultation with a Plastic Surgeon.
Our free procedure guides are a great place to start and cover:
- An in-depth procedure overview
- How to determine if you are a good candidate for surgery
- Step-by-step surgery outline
- How to plan for your procedure
- Answers to our FAQs
- Real patient before and after pictures
Simply click the image below to browse our collection of surgery procedure guides.
4. Use the media properly – don’t believe everything you see and hear
- There are many different levels of quality surgery and many different types of Surgeons, some who love the media spotlight more than others.
- Not all surgeons in the media spotlight are true experts, some just have good PR and publicity agents.
- Be careful selecting surgeons via the media or television stories.
- Just because a doctor has a radio advertisement or television story, does not mean they are a genuine FRACS Surgeon.
- Be sure to do your homework and detailed research that includes: talking to patients, looking at before & after photos and meeting with different candidates.
- It is beneficial to have two consultations or seek a second opinion so that you can compare information and be sure you will receive the best possible treatment and care.
Once you completed thorough research and have met with ideally two of your top-listed Plastic Surgeons, you should have a strong sense of who you feel comfortable with and be confident in choosing the best surgeon for your procedure.
5. Arrange an Initial Consultation for your Cosmetic Surgery Procedure
- We believe information and education are the cornerstones to any decision made about your body.
- In your consultation, you need to be assured that the surgery is right for you (sometimes it won’t be, or another procedure might be best).
- Bring a trusted, positive friend along who has good instincts and can help you assess the information or bring up concerns you might forget to ask yourself.
- Your questions need to be appropriately answered and your decision should be easily made and feel natural and ‘right’, no matter the outcome.
- You should ask any questions you have, and your Surgeon should willingly and respectfully answer all of them.
- Most importantly, your surgeon should not rush you into a decision.
Why it’s best to be cautious and never rush when choosing a Plastic Surgeon
Surgery is serious and should not be taken lightly. Remember, there are risks and results can vary from patient to patient. Ideally, you want a Surgeon who is honest, patient and respectful, and who has your long-term surgery outcomes and best interests in mind.
No Surgeon will have perfect results 100% of the time, however, you need someone honest about their less-than-successful outcomes, and tells you how they promise to handle a problem should something not go to plan
Go with your gut – but a second opinion from another highly recommended Plastic Surgeon is a great idea before you make your choice.
ASAPS Video: Plastic vs. Cosmetic Surgeons – the differences
This video explains the difference between Plastic Surgeons vs Cosmetic Surgeons as not all Surgeons have the same experience or intensive training and testing qualifications.
Unsure about the Plastic Surgery and procedure best for you?
Our Specialist Plastic Surgeons and other team members located in Melbourne and/or Sydney will be able to assess your desired surgery goals and suggest some of the best-practice surgical options for your specific concerns and plastic or cosmetic surgery goals.
Want more information before scheduling a consultation with our Melbourne Surgeons?
- Download a free guide about the procedure or contact us.
- Book a 15-minute chat with the Patient Care Team.
- Attend a free monthly information evening and hear from our team of Specialist Plastic Surgeons and past patients.
Please contact us using the form below to arrange a consultation with one of our Specialist Plastic Surgeons or to speak with our Patient Care Team on 1300 599 990