How to Choose the Best Plastic Surgeon in Melbourne
Patients often want to choose the best Plastic Surgeon for their surgery. It is an important decision that takes time. Choosing the right or best Plastic Surgeon is critical to getting a great outcome.
Most patients remain unaware of the fact that many doctors who perform cosmetic surgery are NOT even qualified to operate in local Hospitals.
This is because many “self-named” cosmetic surgeons are NOT actually Specialists. They are NOT recognised or sanctioned by FRACS (The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons) and private and public Hospitals exclude them from having operating privileges or admission rights. They tend to build and run their own “Backroom” procedure room onsite.
Watch the following video of an interview discussing cosmetic surgeons.
It reveals how you can check if a surgeon you’re investigating is actually qualified to carry out the procedure they want to be done.
It’s helpful to know how to ensure your Surgeon is recognised by AHPRA, RACS and other Australian medical boards for having had proper training, experience and examinations.
Plastic Surgeons vs Cosmetic Surgeons: Training and Qualification Differences
- Not all surgeons have the same experience or intensive training and testing qualifications.
- Be sure you learn the differences between a plastic surgeon and a cosmetic surgeon or other types of surgeon.
- Anyone with an MBBS qualification (Bachelor of Medicine or Surgery) can call themselves a ‘cosmetic surgeon’.
- However, they may NOT have a minimum of 12 years experience and rigorous training a plastic surgeon requires.
Review the Qualifications and Experience of your Surgeon
It is highly recommended that you choose the right plastic surgeon. The right surgeon will:
- Have accreditation from a recognised association
- performs surgery in an accredited hospital rather than ONLY in a “backroom” or self-managed day-surgery clinic
- Look for members of FRACS, ASPS, ASAPS or ISAPS as a minimum qualification for your plastic surgeon.
It may also be helpful to consider the recommendations of your friends and family, as well as online surgeon reviews. Even so, all surgery has risks, and results can vary from patient to patient.
What’s best to review in terms of your Surgeon’s qualifications?
- Where they see patients and where they operate (look for a nearby local specialist plastic surgeon)
- Ensure they operate in an accredited, clean and safe facility (such as an actual hospital vs a backroom or day-surgery clinic, which aren’t typically as safe as hospital settings IF something doesn’t go to plan)
- Seek PROVEN experience and expertise – only trust reviews you read from real patients on reputable websites. Or widely-read forums and hubs (Plastic Surgery Hubs, Cosmetic Journey, Realself are some examples of widely used public forums). Learn how to spot a fake review or fake before and after photo
- Specialist Plastic Surgeons have proven expertise in cosmetic, reconstructive and plastic surgery procedures – that’s NO guarantee as surgery can be unpredictable, but the more training, testing and experience a Surgeon has had, the better
How to avoid Botched Surgery and needing Revision Surgery
Revision Tummy Tuck surgery is a challenging, emotional and costly procedure. Unfortunately, not everyone gets the results they want from their first surgery. Further, this is more likely if a patient opts for liposuction or an apronectomy rather than liposuction-assisted abdominoplasty.
The best-case scenario for surgery is having the right patient matched with the right surgery with the right surgeon at the right time of their life in the right facility, the first time. It simply isn’t ideal for patients to undergo revision tummy tuck surgery.
What to Ask and Consider Before Choosing Your Plastic Surgeon
To help avoid a revisional procedure, it is important to choose a qualified plastic surgeon. As a result, you need to do appropriate research into your surgeon.
Ask questions regarding the different types of abdominal procedures and what they can or cannot achieve for you. Remember, not everyone who performs cosmetic surgery is plastic surgeon with FRACS, ISAPS, ASPS or ASAPS recognition. So be sure you do your research before you select your surgeon.
Ask how many years your surgeons have been in practice and when your surgeon received their qualifications (not just in cosmetic surgery).
Ask how many procedures they’ve performed and how many of your specific procedure they have performed. Further, find out where your surgeon performs their procedures and whether or not they use drains,
Finally, discuss how your chosen surgeon manages complications and risks.
Ideally, your surgeon should:
- Have extensive knowledge of all types of abdominoplasty procedures including:
- Full tummy tuck
- Mini-tummy tuck
- Body lift
- Belt lipectomy/circumferential abdominoplasty
- Operate only in a hospital setting with an experienced anaesthetist and surgical team
- Take appropriate, extensive measurements for custom surgical planning
- They should take care to extensively measure and assess your condition
- Your surgeon should also give you very detailed information on how they will achieve a flatter, firmer midsection
- Care about his reputation and should have been in practice in the same city for years or decades
- Have respect for their patients and peers alike
- Be talented and skilled enough to be training others in advanced procedures
Considering Tummy Tuck Surgery? Download the Abdominoplasty Guide!
Aim to Avoid Revision Surgery
Firstly, you need to be prepared for anything that could crop up. This includes complications, minor scar revision or a ‘dog ear’ needing minor corrective surgery. Healing processes are variable from patient to patient and all invasive surgery carry risks. Further, results can vary significantly from patient to patient.
There are measures you can take to give yourself a better chance of having a good result you’re happy with. Remember that achieving the results you’re wanting in your first procedure requires a combined effort and great communication between you and your surgeon. Further, you and your plastic surgeon each have an important role to play in terms of optimising your chances for a good surgery experience and an aesthetically-pleasing result. Having good communication can also help minimise your surgery risks.
However, some risk and complications may occur despite precautionary measures. All invasive surgery carries risks. Just be sure you do your research and understand these fully before proceeding with your selected procedure.
Key Factors for Optimal Tummy Surgery Results
Tummy tucks results, while they vary for all patients, are still based on some universal key factors. These include:
The Right Tummy Tuck Patient
An ideal tummy tuck patient has reached their ideal, healthy weight and goal BMI. Their weight is stable and they live a healthy lifestyle. Further, the ideal patient is a non-smoker with realistic expectations as to what surgery can achieve. They attend all pre and post-surgery appointments and follow all surgeon instructions. Finally, the ideal tummy tuck patient follows all rapid recovery guidelines and wears the recommended support garments.
The Right Tummy Tuck Operation
The correct tummy tuck operation might include Liposuction-assisted tummy tuck for post-weight loss or post-pregnancy patients. This may also include diastasis recti repair, which involves the repair of the abdominal muscles. Further, the patient is afforded appropriate scar treatment such as Fraxel or Healite II sessions. Finally, the patient did not require drains (while we aim for drain-free operations, some patients may require drains)
The Right Facility for Tummy Tuck Procedures
The procedure was performed at a qualified, Australian private hospital in a theatre setting. Further, the patient was overseen by an experienced team of nursing staff and an anaesthetist and was given a general anaesthetic.
Finally, the patient stayed overnight in the hospital, for several nights, for observation during the early recovery stages.
The Right Time of Life for Tummy Tuck
Patients seeking tummy tuck procedures should be able to take adequate time off work to heal properly. Further, they need good support from family and friends during recovery. The patient needs to be in a good state of mind, as well as prepared for surgery and knows what to expect.
The Right Plastic Surgeon for Tummy Tuck Surgery
Both patient and surgeon need to communicate openly, honestly and with mutual respect. The plastic surgeon should be empathetic, respectful, and supportive throughout the process. Further, the surgeon should custom plan and perform the surgery for the individual patient based on extensive measurements, and health and medical histories.
Additional body contouring procedures should be considered to provide the best-practice techniques to get the right results and minimise scars.
The patient should have done extensive online research and explored all plastic surgeon options. Further, they should have had several pre-surgery meetings with their chosen surgeon, including bringing family members or friends with them to consultations.
A patient should trust their choice of plastic surgeon and choice of procedure.
Case Study 1: Tummy Tuck After Weight Loss and Pregnancy
Case Study 2: Tummy Tuck after Weight Loss and Pregnancy
For more information Download Medicare and Health Insurance Guide!
Please contact Dr Rubinstein’s office to book a consultation or enquire about further information regarding plastic surgery procedures.
Dr Rubinstein is a FRACS qualified Specialist Plastic Surgeon.
Dr Craig Rubinstein performs custom breast lift with implants, breast lift without implants, breast reduction and breast augmentation procedures. His focus is on patient education so that patients know what to expect and what their options are. He is particularly concerned about low-rate, production-line cosmetic surgery clinics like the ones featured in ABC’s report on the breast surgery industry.
“I take particular care in ensuring clients are able to make fully informed decisions regarding their surgery. It is extremely important that patients are aware of their options and choices, and how their recovery period can be optimised for good scar minimisation and pain management.”