It goes without saying that safety is of the utmost importance to both plastic surgeons and the patients whom they treat.

As much as patients want pleasing, positive, and optimum results, they must also understand that any plastic surgery procedure carries a risk, and that there are no guarantees when it comes to altering your physical appearance.

A good plastic surgeon is positive yet realistic; they don’t make unreasonable claims or promises that they can’t keep.

We don’t say this to worry or dishearten you; we say it so that when it comes to choosing a plastic surgeon, you know exactly what to expect, from your initial conversation through to surgery day as well as your post-operative recovery.

We want you to enter this journey with confidence, knowledge, and understanding – and that comes from working with a trusted and experienced plastic surgeon.

With that said, let’s get stuck into today’s topic: how to choose the right surgeon to ensure your plastic surgery is as safe as possible and you’re choosing a reputable and experienced surgeon for your chosen procedure.

How to choose the right plastic surgeon

Understand the difference between a plastic surgeon and a cosmetic surgeon

Not all surgeons are created equal.

The terms ‘cosmetic surgeon’ and ‘plastic surgeon’ are inaccurately used interchangeably, so it’s little surprise why many people think they are essentially the same. But there’s actually a really important distinction between the two terms.

In Australia, current legislation allows any doctor with a medical degree to perform surgery.

As of 1 July 2023, there are changes coming that will allow doctors who have not completed a RACS certification, to be endorsed as cosmetic surgeons.

These doctors cannot call themselves plastic surgeons, but can indeed call themselves cosmetic surgeons. This might mean that a cosmetic surgeon has only a basic medical degree with some further training.

Plastic surgeons, on the other hand, earn their specialist degree following their medical degree. A specialist Plastic Surgeon undertakes a minimum of 12 years medical and surgical education, including at least 5 years specialist post graduate training in a formal program.

When it comes to certification, only plastic surgeons can be certified by RACS (more on this one below!)

At Brighton Plastic Surgery all our surgeons are specialist plastic surgeons and we are passionate about patient education, ensuring our potential patients know what to look for and what to ask when it comes to choosing a plastic surgeon they can trust to perform their procedure to the highest standard.

Look for these 5 letters: FRACS

FRACS stands for Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, and is one of the most important acronyms to look out for when it comes to choosing your plastic surgeon.

The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) was founded in 1927 and is Australia and New Zealand’s leading non-profit advocate for surgical education and regulation.

Your need to be a Fellow of RACS to call yourself a Specialist Plastic Surgeon.

Ask about the risks in addition to the benefits

While surgery is designed to provide a physical or functional benefit (or both!), every surgery has its risks, too.

As safe as plastic surgery is, your unique medical history may present different risks, which is why it’s so important to get the honest and realistic facts from your surgeon.

Understanding the risks is just another way your plastic surgeon ensures you’re armed with all the knowledge and facts to confidently decide about having surgery.

Be honest, and expect honesty in return, when it comes to both the risks and the benefits of plastic surgery.

Ensure you understand the recovery process

Your plastic surgery journey goes far beyond the operating day.

And as such, your plastic surgeon should be honest and upfront when it comes to preparing for (and understanding what’s involved in) the recovery process.

Your recovery is just as important as the procedure itself.

As such, it’s crucial that you not only understand what’s involved during recovery, but that you also give yourself adequate time to rest and heal during this important period.

Following your surgery, your plastic surgeon will assess your individual condition and help you understand the steps involved for a healthy and safe recovery. They have a whole team behind them to help you too.

We’re here for you long after the procedure is complete; our team is never more than a phone call away for your questions or concerns.

The first 24-48 hours following surgery are crucial, but it can take weeks and even months for your body to fully heal. Don’t rush recovery or try to cut corners, as this can not only impact your results, but can also lead to unnecessary complications.

Contact Brighton Plastic Surgery today

If you’d like to learn more about the procedures we offer, we invite you to get in touch with Brighton Plastic Surgery today. We’re here to listen to your needs and provide transparent and honest advice.

Call us on (03) 9592 0522 or fill in this enquiry form and we will be in touch.