“Cosmetic Surgery are you serious?” is a very serious question. Let me explain.
Cosmetic Surgery had its beginnings in ancient times with the advent of surgery to restore the appearance and function of injured people. It was reconstructive in nature.
With time a sub speciality of Plastic Surgery developed. This is now a world recognised sub-speciality within Surgical Colleges throughout the world including Australia. In Australia it is the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons, with its sub-section, the Australasian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (which includes New Zealand).
Over the last century Plastic Surgery has evolved to include two major sub-sections: Reconstructive Surgery and Aesthetic (Cosmetic) Surgery. The development of operations by Plastic Surgeons in both arenas has been extensive, complex, science-based, and experience-adjusted to result in procedures which are optimal both in their safety and their outcomes.
So as Specialist Plastic Surgeons, we take it very seriously.
And so, should you. As the popularity and availability of Cosmetic Surgery has increased, and it has increased markedly over the last five decades, it has become taken for granted. It is not thought of in the traditional context of a proper traditional surgical procedure. It is often thought of as trivial, easy, a problem-free “thing you can have done.”
But surgery is surgery Complications can occur. Outcomes can be less than perfect. In extreme cases death can occur.
It is for these reasons that you should take it very seriously.
Let us look at a few examples.
I once consulted with a lady for consideration of a “tummy-tuck”. I did not think she was healthy enough to proceed with the operation and turned her down for that reason. She saw a doctor in Sydney, and he performed her surgery. Sadly, she died two days later. “The operation went well, but her heart just wasn’t strong enough” was the doctor’s comment
And then there is the current popularity of “Brazilian Butt Lift”. This operation has the highest perioperative death rate of any surgical procedure! Yes, it is substantially higher than Open Heart Surgery! A young Australian woman died in Mexico undergoing this operation and there have been deaths in Thailand and the United States as well.
I recently have seen a young girl with a terrible result from attempted correction of her prominent ears. This was done by a Sydney Oral Surgeon. He had convinced the girl’s mother that he was a Plastic Surgeon. By the way he also advertises that he does breast augmentation and liposuction.
Certainly, these are dramatic consequences of Surgery, but lesser complications can occur. These include bleeding, infection and tissue dying off as well as results which are less than favourable.
So, should you abandon any consideration of Cosmetic Surgery?
No, but you should take it seriously, not lightly.
What does this mean? Do your homework.
A growing number of medical practitioners without training in Plastic Surgery are performing Cosmetic surgery procedures. The term:” Cosmetic Surgeon” has been falsely adopted by many. In the eyes of most consumers the term “Surgeon” implies a level of training and experience and this goes unquestioned a lot of the time.
Firstly, ensure that your surgeon is a specialist trained surgeon trained in the aspect of surgery you are considering. All surgeons have complications, but it is important to minimise the potential for complications to occur. Many doctors performing cosmetic operations are not specialist trained. That is to say, they do not have advanced surgical training and are not recognised as surgeons by the Royal Australasian college of Surgeons or the Australian Government. Others do have specialist training, but not in the areas pertinent to Cosmetic Surgery.
Which brings us to “Plastic Surgeons”.
As I stated earlier, Modern Cosmetic Surgery had its beginnings in Reconstructive Plastic Surgery which was performed to correct deformity and restore function. Cosmetic Surgery is the flow-on from these areas.
At first glance, the series of framed medical certificates that greet you when you enter a Cosmetic Surgeons office can be impressive, but what is really important is that your surgeon possesses the correct qualifications as a specialist in the field of Plastic Surgery
Australian and New Zealand “Specialist Plastic Surgeons” are extremely well trained in both these areas. They are all members of The Australasian College of Surgeons. They are members of The Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons and The Australasian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons. Their training is long, thorough and in depth. They operate with a knowledge and expertise that will optimise your chance of safe surgery and a good result.
It is noteworthy that there are six “Specialist Trained Plastic Surgeons” working in the Newcastle and Hunter region.
Secondly, ensure that your surgery will be performed in a fully accredited facility. Australian Hospitals undergo strict regulation to ensure the highest standards of care and safety. Take advantage of this.
If you are “seriously” interested in Cosmetic Surgery, and need more information, you can contact the Australasian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons: 02 9437 0495, or visit the website: aestheticplasticsurgeons.org.au
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