Do I Need a Second Opinion for Cosmetic Surgery?


Second Opinion for Plastic Surgery: Why you always need at least one from a specialist plastic surgeon

Should I get a Second Opinion before Plastic Surgery? Why Cosmetic Surgery is worth a second look!

Are you considering Plastic or Cosmetic Surgery? If so, you’re probably conducting ONLINE RESEARCH about your procedure and which Surgeon to choose. You might even be evaluating several top Surgeons OR comparing discount surgery offers on the web. Having a successful surgery experience IS, of course, all about doing ADEQUATE research. And one of those research techniques is seeking a second opinion about your cosmetic surgery procedure.

So we’re very glad you found this Cosmetic Surgery Second opinion discussion page.

  • Highlighting the VALUE of getting a second cosmetic surgery opinion from a fully-qualified FRACS (Plas) Plastic Surgeon
  • Discussing WHY and WHERE you can get a second opinion BEFORE proceeding with a surgical procedure or Surgeon choice here

Here are the most common questions relating to “should I get a SECOND OPINION before surgery?” including WHO, WHY, HOW, WHERE and WHEN.

Is it necessary to get a second opinion before I have cosmetic surgery?

  • No, it’s not required for COSMETIC procedures
  • It is, however, often recommended as being a good idea before choosing your SURGEON and your SURGERY procedure

WHO can provide a second opinion?

Surgeons offering cosmetic surgery may have significant differences in areas of expertise and training

  • For cosmetic surgery, the most elitely-trained Surgeons are usually those with FRACS (Plas) qualifications and Specialist Plastic Surgeon recognition from AHRPA.
  • Not all doctors are the same and not everyone is a Specialist Plastic Surgeon

Our Plastic Surgeon group includes some of the most highly-experienced Specialist Plastic Surgeons in Melbourne and Australia, including:

Some other FRACS qualified, highly-experienced aesthetic Plastic Surgeons in Melbourne – our esteemed colleagues – include:

  • Mr Bryan Mendelsohn
  • Prof Mark Ashton
  • Mr Chris Moss
  • Mr Hamish Farrow
  • Mr Graham Southwick
  • Mr Keith Mutimer
  • Mr Vlad Milovic
  • Mr Howard Webster
  • Mr David Ross
  • Mr Andrew Greensmith
  • Mr Andrew Breidahl
  • Dr Jane Paterson
  • Mr Tim Brown
  • Mr Andrew Ives

Who is NOT a bonafide Specialist Plastic Surgeon?

  • A Cosmetic Physician or ‘Cosmetic Surgeon’ that isn’t a member of RACS, ISAPS, ASPS or ASAPS
  • A Dermatologist – a skin specialist – is not a Plastic Surgeon
  • A Maxillofacial Surgeon – a Facial Bone & Skull specialist
  • An ENT Surgeon – an Ear, Throat and Nose Specialist
  • A GP or General Practitioner with an ‘interest in cosmetic surgery’

Why get a Second Opinion?

Benefits of SEEKING a second opinion for Cosmetic Surgery or Plastic Surgery

  • It’s VALUABLE to you in terms of being part of your research (what we call ‘pre-surgery homework’) as
    • a second opinion or second consultation may help you better understand the DIFFERENCES between SURGEONS
    • it may shed more light on your PROCEDURE OPTIONS
  • It can ease your mind about your decision or choice of surgeon
  • It can highlight the information you missed hearing in the first consultation OR allow you to ask more informed questions

But second opinions are NOT usually necessary unless it’s a REQUIREMENT for a rebate for a medically-indicated Plastic Surgery (reconstructive) rather than cosmetic.

Value of Getting a Second Opinion about Cosmetic Surgery BEFORE your procedure

A second opinion before consenting to Cosmetic Plastic Surgery is typically RECOMMENDED. AND it’s particularly VALUABLE if you feel uncertain or uncomfortable with your choice of Surgeon or his or her recommendations.

  • It’s well worth exploring a second opinion about having surgery IF:
    • you feel UNCERTAIN or CONFUSED about your original Surgeon’s qualifications, training, background or suggestions
    • you seem to have a few available options or different solutions to correct your concern
    • you’re not 100% comfortable with the first Surgeon you met with

Ideally, you want to feel VERY comfortable with your SURGEON CHOICE before proceeding.

  • If you’re not COMFORTABLE or CERTAIN about your Surgeon choice or procedure options
  • OR you’re unclear which of two SURGEON’s you want to choose between
  • You might want to delay surgery OR SEEK alternative solutions and a SECOND OPINION from a Plastic Surgeon.

Because SURGERY is serious and has risks and should never be taken lightly.

If you feel fully comfortable with your Plastic Surgeon choice AND you understand what their REAL qualifications are – including how many years or decade’s EXPERIENCE and EXPERTISE they have in YOUR procedure – then getting a second opinion is not necessarily required.

  • Even so, healthcare bodies often recommend it AND
  • It may STILL be a good idea unless you find it confuses you or you feel 1000% confident in your choice of Surgeon because you’ve done your HOMEWORK.

Here’s why a second opinion may prove valuable:

Getting a second opinion may SIMPLY serve to remind you of why you chose your Surgeon – it may reaffirm your decision all the more!

  • But another GREAT reason to have a second opinion is that it makes GOOD SENSE when you’re having elective surgery to learn AS MUCH as you CAN about the procedure and the methods available to perform the operation.
  • It may cost more to see a second Surgeon (unless they’re part of the same group), but might just help you avoid revision surgery dramas in the longer run.
  • As always, trust your intuition and don’t be fooled by someone who says back rooms are better only as they are not genuinely authorised to operate in hospitals.

Read the blog: Selecting a Surgeon: HOW to choose between the best of the BEST Melbourne Plastic Surgeons for your cosmetic Procedures

But remember, every patient is unique. You may get conflicting recommendations, so be prepared.

How to Get a Second Opinion from a Plastic Surgeon

Think it over before making a decision – remember, surgery should never be a rushed decision or taken lightly

  • Once you’re comfortable with your CHOICE of Surgeon or procedure, then schedule surgery OR another consultation if you have more questions before being ready to proceed
  • Do NOT have surgery if you’re not comfortable with your surgeon, surgical recommendations, surgical facility or personal mental state

Where to get a second opinion about your cosmetic surgery

  • Choose from the top-rated Plastic Surgeon in your local area
  • Be sure they have FRACS and expertise in the PROCEDURE(S) you’re considering having performed
  • We listed some of Melbourne’s best Plastic Surgeons above, and you can search for more on ASPS.

Remember, each individual Plastic Surgeon also has a unique way of approaching a patient concern and performing a cosmetic procedure.

While MOST FRACS (Plas) Surgeons might AGREE you will benefit from a tummy tuck or eyelid lift, for example, each Surgeon may approach your surgery UNIQUELY based upon:

  • what THEY believe is best for YOUR condition, complaints or Surgery objectives
  • whether or not they prefer to use DRAINS
  • how they manage incision lines and scar treatments
  • what techniques or incision approaches they feel most comfortable using (example: Anchor vs Le Jour/Lollipop)
  • your preferences and vocalisation of what you want to be adjusted, reduced, lifted or reshaped
  • their experiences and comfort with certain techniques

Other factors that influence HOW a Surgeon approaches an operation include:

  • their professional STANDARDS or patient care ETHOS
  • which of the world’s top Plastic Surgeons or other medical experts they MENTORED under and in which country
  • what cosmetic surgery METHODS, surgical OPTIONS or techniques they BELIEVE are MOST LIKELY to get you the best result in terms of their expertise and experience
  • their specific training and University affiliations
  • the hospitals in which they operate and WHO they operate with (surgical teams)
  • their degree of commitment to ongoing education and training through ISAPS, ASAPS, ASPS and more
  • their procedure expertise or focus areas
  • other factors

These can all lead to slightly varying or significantly varying OPINIONS or APPROACHES to surgery.

Sometimes it’s just a matter of different skill sets or training, and at other times varying opinions could make the difference between a GOOD SURGERY experience and a LESS THAN SATISFACTORY result. So be sure you do your research, and choose one of the best FRACS Surgeons nearby that:

  • Listens and understands your goals and asks you the right questions
  • You feel 100% comfortable in choosing – you’re trusting them with your appearance AND your life
  • You are able to communicate openly with including asking ANY and EVERY question you have, and who you feel is being honest with you and respectful
  • Has your best interests in mind over the longer term
  • Discusses how he or she will handle patient care over time including potential complications

Remember, even choosing a great surgeon doesn’t necessarily mitigate all surgery risks – it’s one of many factors that influences your outcomes and risks.

All surgery has risks and results can vary from patient to patient.

When to get a Second Opinion for Plastic Surgery and should I get a Second Opinion? Why Cosmetic Surgery is worth a second look.


While not required, second opinions for cosmetic surgery CAN BE extremely helpful to affirm your SURGEON choice AND that the selected procedure is a GOOD option for your concerns.

When is the best time to seek a second opinion?

  • Usually, in the early days of deciding, you’re SERIOUSLY interested in proceeding with your procedure.
  • When you want more information, are confused about choices, or NOT clear your Surgeon is the best choice for your needs or communication style.

That noted, not all SURGEONS approach a plastic or cosmetic procedure exactly the same.

  • If you hear conflicting opinions from your first Surgeon consultation to that of a second opinion consultation, it’s not uncommon.
  • Just be sure you do MORE research afterwards, so you can make a well-informed decision.
  • You might even want to go back to your original consultation Surgeon if you hear conflicting information in a second opinion plastic surgery consultation, and ask them WHY THEY RECOMMEND one technique or procedure over that of another Surgeon.

If nothing else, a second opinion allows you to learn EVEN MORE about choices or decisions in relation to your cosmetic surgery options; and WHY a Surgeon approaches your procedure in a certain way.

  • If you hear conflicting opinions from the best of the best Melbourne Surgeons, then do more research and choose wisely.
  • IT may be just a technique preference difference – drains or no drains, for example – or it may mean they hold very different views or skill sets.
  • Consider a 3rd opinion (consultation) with another expert if you’re confused; but DO ask all questions you have about the conflicting information, and recognise that numerous consultations with different doctors may confuse you further – so insist on a highly respected SURGEON with FRACS so you are at least choosing from a qualified Plastic Surgeon.

If comparing surgeon information, JUST be sure you are comparing the same levels of SURGEONS who have similar skills and operating rights.

It’s a good idea to choose between the best nearby FRACS Specialist Plastic Surgeons who are also members of ISAPS, ASAPS, ASPS or similar bodies so you know they are dedicated to ongoing training and continuing education.

Surgery Fears and Second Opinions Go Hand in Hand

  • Above all, if you aren’t comfortable with your Surgeon AND are confused about which options are best for your concerns, we recommend you seek a SECOND OPINION about your cosmetic surgery options – especially if you are comparing a Cosmetic Surgeon to a Specialist Plastic Surgeon.
  • Trust your gut – many people who call who chose a non-specialist tell us they had a gut feeling they weren’t in the best-trained hands of a Plastic Surgeon but they really didn’t know the difference.
  • Phone us if you’re still confused – 1300 264 811 – our Team can answer questions about different types of surgeons or READ THE BLOG about choosing the best Surgeons in Melbourne.

It’s simply good practice to get more than one opinion for any major medical procedure, especially for an invasive procedure such as Plastic Surgery or Cosmetic Surgery.

Not all Surgeons have the same training and experience.  And NOT enough cosmetic surgery patients seek a Second Opinion from a bonafide Plastic Surgeon before cosmetic surgery.

About 45% of Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery patients consult with only ONE Surgeon before going ahead with their procedures, despite life-changing results which may or may not meet your expectations or goals.

  • It does pay to do your homework.
  • If you don’t investigate enough, you might end up coming to our Surgeons for a Revision Surgery rather than a primary surgery.

For something as important and life-changing as Plastic or Cosmetic Surgery, always Seek A Second Opinion About Your Cosmetic Surgery

  • Many patients also don’t fully check the experience levels and Specialist surgical qualifications of the Surgeon they have chosen.
  • They are entrusting their bodies and faces to Surgeons of unknown qualifications or experience levels.
  •  We also hear that a number of patients are basing their Surgeon and surgery location choices based solely on price rather than on qualifications. Some then find the advertised prices either didn’t include important surgical components OR find the discount surgery offer was available either because they will be operated on in a ‘backroom’, by a less-experienced or less-qualified Surgeon, or both (rather than operated on in a fully-accredited hospital by a highly-qualified Specialist Plastic Surgeon).

You Only Have One Body and You Will Live with Your Plastic Surgery Results Every Day of Your Life – Choose Your Surgeon Wisely


The Dangers of Medical Tourism

“The best time to get your surgery right is the first time.” – Dr Craig Rubinstein and whilst you only have one body and one face, you’ll have an entire lifetime of living with the results of your decision.*

Visit our Downloadable Guides pages

For more information about Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery options and research in Australia.

Plastic Surgery Patient Information Guide

Download our free guides or phone 1300 264 811 today – and ask for a no-obligation consultation.

Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons (Find Specialist plastic surgeons), read ASPS Patient Safety Regulated by Plastic Surgery Regulation Laws, read Information for patients, search the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency AHPRA Register of Practitioners, visit Health Victoria (The Department of Health and Human Services) and read our world’s top 10 Plastic Surgery blogs.

Further Reading about Plastic & Cosmetic Surgery

Last updated: 08/05/2022
Author profile image
Dr Craig Rubinstein - MBBS, FRACS (Plast)
Dr Craig Rubinstein MBBS, FRACS (Plast), a Specialist Plastic Surgeon, is one of Australia's most respected Melbourne Surgeons for Breast Augmentation, Breast Lift (Mastopexy), Breast Reduction surgery and Abdominoplasty procedures. Using advanced surgical techniques to gain better body contouring and natural-looking surgical results, Dr Rubinstein is highly regarded by peers and patients for best-practice Clinic Patient-care and patient education strategies. He published a chapter on corrective surgery for Breast Asymmetry. Qualifications/Training Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (FRACS) The Australasian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS) The Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) The Australian Medical Association (AMA) American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) The International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ISAPS) Founder: Coco Ruby Plastic Surgery previously Cosmetic Surgery for Women and Men Bio Page:

Coco Ruby’s Specialist Plastic and ENT Surgeons

With a wealth of experience and training, our Specialist Plastic Surgeons are dedicated to best practice patient care and education, customising Breast Enlargement Surgery for each and every patient to best meet their needs and desired surgical outcomes.

coco ruby specialist plastic surgeons 

What to do next?

Our Patient Liaison Team can assist with any questions you may have when considering a procedure. You can send in an enquiry form below or call our Melbourne Clinic between 9 am – 5 pm Monday to Friday.

Phone 1300 264 811, Email us: or Book a FREE 15-minute Phone Chat with our Patient Liaison Manager or a Virtual Consultation with a Surgeon.

Disclaimer: Results depend on individual patient circumstances and can vary significantly. Results may also be impacted by a variety of factors including your lifestyle, weight, nutritional intake and overall health. Consult your Specialist Plastic Surgeon for details. This information is general in nature and is not intended to be medical advice nor does it constitute a doctor-patient relationship. Surgery risks and complications will be covered in detail during a consultation with your Surgeon.