Did you know that in Australia, it’s legal for any qualified doctor to perform surgery? Given that almost anyone could be performing your next surgery, it’s crucial you choose a specialist plastic surgeon who not only has the years of training and experience required, but who is also honest about the results you can realistically expect, and the potential risks of surgery.
Therefore, there are a few important things to look out for when choosing your specialist plastic surgeon. Here, we’ll take you through the most important points to consider.
Is the surgeon suitably qualified?
All specialist plastic surgeons in Australia are Fellows of the Royal Australian College of Surgeons, which entitles them to place the letters ‘FRACS’ after his or her name. This means they are qualified to perform reconstructive and cosmetic plastic surgery in an accredited hospital.
Becoming a Fellow is a long process, involving a minimum of 12 of years medical and surgical education, as well as a minimum of five years of specialist postgraduate training. Choosing a specialist plastic surgeon therefore means you are choosing a doctor who is highly experienced, trained and accredited to perform the surgery you are seeking. Here at Avenue Plastic Surgery, Dr. Allan Kalus is both a Fellow of the Royal Australian College of Surgeons, and a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons, the UK’s equivalent body. He also has extensive experience in the sub-speciality of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.
Fellows are also required to undertake continuing medical education to ensure they remain at the forefront of their speciality. For this reason, most specialist plastic surgeons are members of several professional bodies. Dr. Kalus is a member of the following professional bodies:
- Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons
- Australasian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery
- International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons
- British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons
- Australian Medical Association
Have realistic expectations been set?
All aesthetic surgeons will require you to book an initial consultation where you can discuss your goals, and the surgeon can advise as to whether these are achievable for you.
Everyone responds differently to surgical procedures, so it is just not possible for your surgeon to make specific predications about the results of your surgery.
However, if you can prepare yourself before your consultation, and clearly communicate your desired results, then your surgeon will be able to set realistic expectations for the recommended procedure.
What’s more, you shouldn’t feel like you are being pressured into having a procedure done, or made to feel like you need to make a quick decision. It’s important you are given the time necessary to carefully consider if the surgery is right for you.
The surgeon is upfront about potential risks
All forms of surgery carry some level of risk. While you can certainly reduce the chance of risk by choosing a specialist plastic surgeon, it is crucial that your surgeon runs you through the potential risks that can arise from your surgery, including any complications that could arise during and after surgery.
They have a comprehensive aftercare process
The aftercare process can have a direct impact on your surgery’s outcomes. A reputable specialist plastic surgeon should have in place a comprehensive aftercare process, and you should know who your main points of contact are should you experience any complications.
Your surgeon should also tell you about the normal recovery process they expect after surgery, and the steps you can take to ensure best results.
The surgeon can provide you with exact costings
Specialist plastic surgeons are required to provide full financial disclosure before proceeding with any surgery. This means that you need to know the exact costs of the following:
- The surgeon
- The assistant (if applicable)
- The anaesthetist
- Implants (if applicable)
- The hospital, including bed, theatre and extras
- The GST (if applicable)
Some practices quote some services as ‘to be advised’, which can lead to unexpected costs after the surgery has been performed. To avoid this, make sure you ask the surgeon for full financial disclosure during your consultation. It’s your right to know this.
Don’t think you have to settle with the first aesthetic surgeon you meet. Shop around, and make appointments with a few different surgeons to assess their style and to find someone with whom you feel comfortable. Given that you are about to undergo a significant procedure, it’s crucial you find someone who is not only highly experienced and accredited, but someone who instils confidence in you, and is open and honest.
If you’d like to find out more about our team of experienced aesthetic surgeons, or to schedule an initial consultation, then please contact our clinic at any time.