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Plastic Surgeon vs Cosmetic Surgeon

All surgeries are serious and carry risks. 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.

According to the changes to current regulations in Australia, only doctors with specialist degrees can call themselves surgeons. You should choose a doctor with the training to give you the 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 fulfill continuing education requirements that include the 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 knowledge of the latest innovations and techniques that are beyond the training of other surgeons.

In June 2010, the Medical Board of Australia designated that all doctors should only use their assigned 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, 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.

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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 neither 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 

Click HERE to download a checklist to help you in choosing the best surgeon for your procedure.


Dr. Rohit Kumar is an Australian certified specialist plastic surgeon (MED0001630444). His particular area of interest is breast and body surgery. Often, patients who have achieved massive weight loss, have had one or multiple children (including twins), or have developmental or age-related physiological changes (e.g. large or ptotic breasts) may suffer from significant medical issues as a result. Some of these issues may benefit from plastic surgical procedures, and Dr. Kumar has over 15 years of experience as a specialist plastic surgeon to help guide you in choosing the right procedure for you.

Dr. Kumar, as a specialist plastic surgeon, has a particular area of interest in body contouring procedures that focus on areas such as the breasts, arms, back, abdomen, thighs, hips, buttocks, and flanks—the areas that are most affected after losing a significant amount of weight.

During your consultation, Dr. Kumar will evaluate your needs and take the time to understand your main concerns before suggesting a surgical plan that suits you.

As a patient of Dr. Kumar, you can expect a personalised and positive experience. Working in harmony with you, Dr. Kumar and his team strive to deliver results that surpass your expectations and do so in a safe environment. Along with him, his professional and caring team is there to support you on your surgical journey, from your first call to well after you have recovered from your surgery.