PLASTIC SURGEON VS COSMETIC SURGEON
All surgery is serious and carries risk. Make sure you check your surgeon’s qualifications, and whether their training to perform the procedure you are interested in, is fully accredited by the Australian Medical Council (AMC). This is the only government-mandated body in Australia that can accredit specialist surgical training. Ask your surgeon to show you their Specialist Plastic Surgeon accreditation by the AMC. Some surgeons may claim to be Cosmetic Surgeons, which can be a misleading title as most ‘cosmetic surgeons’ do not have any specialist accreditation with the AMC.
Your surgeon should have FRACS after their name. This stands for Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. Similar letters may be used, so take care not to be misled.
Unfortunately, due to the current regulations in Australia, even doctors with basic medical degrees can call themselves surgeons… this may turn out to be a person with no formal surgical training at all. You should choose a doctor with the training to give you your best results, and manage any complications that may occur.
AMC ACCREDITED PLASTIC SURGEONS
Surgeons who display the logo of the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) are accredited by the AMC to perform cosmetic and reconstructive surgery. This means they have undertaken, on average, an additional seven to ten years of AMC-accredited training after receiving their basic medical degree.
This is the highest level of training available in Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery in Australia. All members of ASPS are entitled to use the letters FRACS after their name and are AMC-accredited.
Members of the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons adhere to a strict code of ethics, and are required to fulfil continuing education requirements that include maintenance of clinical standards and innovations in patient safety.
Plastic Surgeons are trained in a broad range of cosmetic and reconstructive procedures, and are at the forefront of surgical and non-surgical cosmetic solutions. Reconstructive surgery requires skills and the knowledge of latest innovations and techniques that would be beyond the training of other surgeons.
In June 2010, the Medical Board of Australia designated that all doctors should only use their allocated specialist titles. Be sure that your surgeon is using a title that is recognised by the Medical Board of Australia and is the correct one allocated to them and not one that belongs to another specialty.
DO YOU KNOW THE DIFFERENCE?
There is an existing patient safety issue in Australia and New Zealand in the Cosmetic Surgery industry. Practitioners who are not formally registered as specialist surgeons in plastic surgery are carrying out procedures under fake titles, such as ‘cosmetic surgeon’, and as a result are exposing unsuspecting consumers to invasive surgical procedures, with a risk of a negative outcome.
To help raise awareness of this problem and improve patient safety, ASAPS has launched Know The Difference, a campaign designed to educate consumers on the differences in registration status and AMC accredited surgical training between registered and non-registered Plastic Surgeons, and the associated dangers of undergoing procedures with practitioners who are not registered nor recognised as specialist surgeons by AHPRA, MCNZ or Medicare.
Any practitioner not registered as a Surgeon but operates under the fake title ‘cosmetic surgeon’ is acting unlawfully by breaching the National Law, and may put the consumer at risk.
Before you commit to undergoing plastic surgery, check that your surgeon is legally registered via the ASAPS #KnowTheDifference surgeon-register
Click HERE to download a checklist to help you in choosing the best surgeon for your procedure