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How to choose the right surgeon for you

There are lots of competing claims all of which are designed to try to convince you that you must go to a certain type of surgeon and, guess what, the doctor making the claim just happens to be that type of surgeon! With all the opinions it can be really difficult for a patient to distinguish what is FACT from just advertising HYPE.

Here at MINKST we have over 50 years of cumulative experience in the industry working with both cosmetic and plastic surgeons and we have seen every marketing tool in the book. So, we should be able to help you navigate this minefield and be better informed.

Here are 4 things you should look for to help you weed through the noise on your way to choosing a surgeon that is right for you.

1. Ensure the surgeon specialises in YOUR SURGERY

It is essential you make sure the surgeon you choose is highly trained, skilled and experienced in your procedure. Just because a surgeon is called a cosmetic or plastic surgeon doesn’t mean they necessarily have experience in your procedure with your body type. For example, a plastic or cosmetic surgeon may be an expert in breast augmentation but not in liposuction or vice versa.

We all know the more we do something the better we get at it. Surgery is no different. Do not be afraid to ask the surgeon how many cases of the procedure he or she has performed. You should ask to see the results of their own past patients.

2. Ensure your surgeon operates in a fully LICENSED hospital / facility

Be aware that ‘licensed’ and ‘accredited’ are not the same thing. A clinic might be ‘accredited’ without being ‘licensed’. If the hospital or day hospital is ‘licensed’ by the state health department they have met the necessary safety standards. Accept nothing less and don’t let anyone tell you that ‘accredited’ alone is enough.

3. Ensure your surgeon is qualified

This can be really confusing and is the topic of A LOT of HYPE and even DISINFORMATION!

Do not be misled by any surgeon or their staff telling you theirs is the only qualification to ensure your safety. Plastic surgeons’ representative societies (and some, but by no means all, plastic surgeons) do this a lot but it is not true. In fact, the Australian Medical Council says that Australian plastic surgeons qualify as specialists with ‘a deficit’ of training in cosmetic surgery and have ‘a gap’ in this area of practice¹. Plastic surgeons may or may not subsequently get extra training and/or experience and become experts in cosmetic surgery.

Another source of confusion is any registered medical practitioner may call themselves a ‘Cosmetic Surgeon’ whether they started doing cosmetic surgery yesterday or have been fully trained and doing it for decades.

The table below explains the differences, but the most important thing is to ensure you choose a surgeon that is qualified with either the Australasian College of Cosmetic Surgery (ACCS) or the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS). The latter may also be a member of the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) and or the Australian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS) – lots of acronyms :). Be aware that ASPS and ASAPS are societies (or clubs) that represent plastic surgeons interests and plastic surgeons pay a subscription to join them if they want to.

Even if the surgeon is a Fellow of ACCS or RACS (that means they have been awarded the College’s qualification) you should still ask about their own experience in your procedure. In the case of RACS, you should ask about their specific cosmetic surgery training as they may not have had any.

A diagram, illustrating the cosmetic surgery training of practitioners and cosmetic surgeon.

4. PERSONALITY – do you mesh well?

Do you feel comfortable with the company, the entire team AND the surgeon. Ensure that the relationship is built on trust and you feel comfortable to proceed with your surgery.

Make sure you don’t allow yourself to be pressured. Take all the time you need to research and make the right choice for you.

In Australia there are plenty of highly qualified and experienced surgeons both cosmetic and plastic, but If the surgeon or company does not make you feel 100% comfortable, go to someone else that will!

At MINKST you can be assured all surgeons we partner with are Australian qualified surgeons who meet our stringent standards developed and overseen by our Medical Director, Dr Daniel Fleming who has more than 25 years of cosmetic surgery experience and has performed over 6000 breast procedures.

You can also BE CONFIDENT with our refundable surgery consultation. If you meet your surgeon and don’t want to proceed we will refund you.

We are here to share our knowledge to help you make an informed decision. Reach out with ANY questions!

1. Australian Medical Council Ltd, Accreditation Report: The Training and Education Programmes of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, (Canberra 2018), p 123. Find full report here.