How to Choose a Plastic Surgeon

(This information has been adapted for Australia courtesy of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons)

A Guide to Choosing the Right Surgeon for You

When considering plastic surgery, there is no substitute for an ASPS Member Surgeon.

Why is an ASPS Member Surgeon the Best Choice for Me?

ASPS Member Surgeons:

  • Are certified by The Board of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery or The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS).
  • Have completed specialist surgeon training in plastic surgery.
  • Operate only in accredited medical facilities.
  • Adhere to a strict code of ethics.
  • Fulfil continuing professional development requirements, including standards and innovations in patient safety.
  • Are your partners in cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery.

Form and Function

Plastic surgery is more than cosmetic surgery.

Through their reconstructive surgery skills, ASPS Member Surgeons often help people get their lives back. ASPS Member Surgeons are trained in reconstructive procedures such as: burn, wound and trauma repair; tumour removal and cancer reconstruction; correction of birth defects and acquired deformities; hand surgery; maxillofacial and craniofacial surgery; and microsurgical reconstruction.

Through their work, plastic surgeons make a major contribution to the health of our Australian community.

Looking Good, Feeling Great

The popularity of plastic surgery is soaring.

Any doctor can call himself or herself a cosmetic surgeon, so the importance of finding a properly trained and certified specialist surgeon to undertake your treatment cannot be stressed too much.

Choosing a doctor who’s a member of the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) is the first step. ASPS Member Surgeons are certified by the Board of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, are Fellows of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and are recognised as specialists by the Australian Medical Council and Medicare Australia.

What Can I Expect?

Before you have plastic surgery, you meet with your ASPS Member Surgeon for a consultation. During the consultation, you be able to discuss your goals. Your surgeon should undertake a thorough examination and if surgery is appropriate advise the best procedure to achieve your desired results.

Your Plastic Surgeon Should

  • Answer all of your questions thoroughly and clearly.
  • Ask about your thoughts to recommended treatment.
  • Offer alternatives, where appropriate.
  • Welcome questions about your procedure and his or her professional qualifications, experience, costs and payment policies.
  • Make clear the risks of surgery and possible outcomes.
  • Give you information about the procedure you want.
  • Leave the final decision to you.

Step 1: Questions to Ask When Choosing a Plastic Surgeon

  1. Are you an ASPS Member Surgeon? (If he or she answers "yes," you can rest assured that your surgeon is a genuine specialist in plastic surgery, has hospital privileges and only performs surgery in accredited facilities.)
  2. Are you a Fellow of The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS), in plastic surgery?
  3. Do you have hospital privileges to perform this procedure? If so, at which hospitals?
  4. Is the surgical facility accredited?
  5. How many procedures of this type have you performed?

Step 2: Questions to Ask Your ASPS Member Surgeon

It’s important to talk to your ASPS Member Surgeon about your goals and your treatment. Feel confident asking about your doctor’s credentials, experience, outcomes or safety record. It is your body, your safety and your life.

  1. Am I a good candidate for this procedure?
  2. What will be expected of me to get the best results I can achieve?
  3. What are the risks involved with my procedure?
  4. How long would an average recovery period be, and what kind of help will I need during my recovery?
  5. Will I need to take time off work? If so, how long?

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