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Know the difference between a Cosmetic & Specialist Plastic Surgeon

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Ensure your safety with a specialist Plastic Surgeon

Before you progress with plastic surgery, it’s important to know the differences between a Cosmetic or Plastic Surgeon with specialist training. As a patient, the best way to minimise risks associated with your surgery and achieve desired results is to choose the latter.

There are only 350 specialist trained Plastic Surgeons practicing in Australia – all of which have undergone specific training through the Royal Australasia College of Surgeons before practicing cosmetic or reconstructive plastic surgery. In contrast, many practitioners who have not completed full specialist plastic surgery training use the fabricated title ‘Cosmetic Surgeon’ – which is not recognised by AHPRA or Australian Government medical bodies.

Why choose a specialist Plastic Surgeon?

There are significant safety and aesthetic advantages to choosing a specialist plastic surgeon for your cosmetic procedure.

Qualifications

Anyone in Australia with a six-year medical degree can call themselves a Cosmetic Surgeon – even if they only have general practitioner training with very limited surgical exposure and no intrinsic anatomy or surgery training. As a patient, the widespread use of this misleading title exposes you to a range of doctors who may not be qualified to perform your surgery safely and successfully.

Ensure that your chosen surgeon is highly trained in achieving the optimal outcome for the specific surgery at hand and in understanding the anatomy on which they are operating. Most specialist Plastic Surgeons have a minimum of 3-4 years of surgical training, which gives them a strong understanding of the complexities and risks involved, as well as their most effective resolutions.

The years of experience that differ between plastic surgeon and cosmetic surgeon

Consultation

Specialist Trained Plastic Surgeons are wholly dedicated to their role as doctors first and foremost. Never acting as salesmen or service providers, they appreciate a number of factors before performing surgery, including the patients’ medical history, mental health and expectations. They will always advise the patient appropriately, potentially even declining to operate if it is the wiser course of action.

Commitment

Specialist Plastic Surgeons have an unwavering commitment to plastic surgery and their patients, continuing to meet ongoing training criteria set by the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons on an annual basis. They also partake in several courses and webinars with fellow Specialist Plastic Surgeons each year to ensure patients receive the highest standards of practice.

They will also be committed to performing procedures only in a surgically safe space with appropriate anaesthetics and in appointed premises.

Collaboration

All specialist Plastic Surgeons in Australia are members of the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) and/or Australasian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS). For your safety, confirm that the practitioner performing your procedure is a member of at least one of these societies.

Such groups of specialist trained plastic surgeons are associated with the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, American Society of Plastic Surgeons, American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons and British Association of Plastic Surgeons. This collaboration helps to maintain the highest quality of plastic surgery both locally and internationally.

Meanwhile, the Australian College of Cosmetic Surgeons has failed to gain formal recognition from the Government medical bodies as an official and legitimate entity.

Be aware of AHPRA-accredited titles

As the national medical regulator, the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA) has a Register of Practitioners titled according to their training and experience. However, many doctors adopt deceptive terms such as Cosmetic Surgeon to suggest qualifications that do not reflect their true status under this titling system.

ASAPS is requesting that AHPRA, the Australian Health Ministers’ Advisory Council (AHMAC) and Council of Australian Governments (COAG) to stamp down on practitioners who are using artificially-constructed titles to claim they are qualified to perform plastic surgery.

If doctors are only permitted to use their AHPRA-accredited title, patients will then be able to make an informed decision regarding who is suitably skilled to perform their cosmetic procedure.

Start your journey with a specialist Plastic Surgeon

Dr. John Newton is a qualified specialist Plastic Surgeon with decades of experience, so you can be confident that you are in safe and skilled hands.

  • Fully registered Surgeon with AHPRA
  • Member of the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons
  • Member of the Australasian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons
  • Member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons
  • Member of the Australian Medical Association
  • Member of the American Society Of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons
  • Past member of the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons
  • Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons
  • Awarded an FRACS, which is a distinction given only to specialist surgeons who have completed at least 12 years of medical and surgical training, including a minimum of 5 years specialist postgraduate study.

 

A dedicated member of several societies who strive to provide the best possible medical care, Dr. John Newton is committed to achieving the optimal outcome for all of his patients.