Surgery Safety for Patients

A recent story by the Eastern States’ Daily Telegraph reports on the “scary situation” that exists in the cosmetic surgery sector in Australia, following poor results and botched surgery from self-described ‘cosmetic surgeons’.

The Australasian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS), representing our properly-qualified and accredited profession of specialist plastic surgeons, is calling for regulations to be tightened to provide clarity and safety for patients undertaking cosmetic surgery procedures.

The ‘Legal Loophole’

The Daily Telegraph reports that anyone with a basic medical degree can call themselves a ‘cosmetic surgeon’:

“Medical school graduates are calling themselves cosmetic ‘surgeons’ after completing half-day training courses in breast enhancements and Botox, prompting calls for a wide ranging ­overhaul of the industry by concerned health professionals and terrified women who believe they have been misled on the operating table.”

Compare this to a ‘specialist plastic surgeon’ who undertakes an additional 8-12 years of surgical training in addition to their basic medical degree.

The concerning ‘legal loophole’ for cosmetic surgeons has prompted a government investigation into rogue operators who are ‘flouting regulations’.

The ASAPS has issued a statement emphasising:

“This deliberate lowering of cosmetic surgery standards, can and has, resulted in devastating complications.”

“The title or term ‘cosmetic surgeon’ is neither an official term nor a title recognised for the purposes of medical registration.”

“It is important for the public to be aware that the mandatory Australian qualifications for surgeons is to be a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (FRACS). The letters ‘FRACS’ however, represent more than a surgical qualification. It assures the public that the surgeon is trained to the highest Australian Standards and offers a guarantee of surgical safety.”

Choosing a Plastic Surgeon

To find out the key differences between a cosmetic surgeon and a specialist plastic surgeon, click here.

To make the right choice and ensure you are in safe hands, look for the full initials of ‘FRACS (Plas Surg)’ after your doctor’s name. ‘FRACS’ alone indicates they are a surgeon, but not a plastic surgeon.

You can check the official register of plastic surgeons by visiting the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons. If your doctor is not listed, it means they are not a plastic surgeon.

Click to read the full statement by the ASAPS.

To discuss your surgical options with one of our specialist plastic surgeons, click here.

Return to News & Surgeon Blog