ABC’s Four Corners Special Report on Cosmetic Surgery – Worth Watching


In the latest Plastic Surgery NEWS updates this month is ABC’s Four Corners’ special episode on Cosmetic Surgery and Cosmetic Injections.

It highlights WHY you should INVESTIGATE whether your SURGEON is actually a Specialist Plastic Surgeon OR some “other type” of doctor.

VIDEOS worth watching in terms of COSMETIC SURGERY and PLASTIC SURGERY in the news include the Four Corners report on Cosmetic Surgery, Breast Augmentation and Cosmetic Injecting.

Stories featured in the ABC Four Corners Cosmetic Surgery episode, which first aired in August of 2018, covered:

  • MAINSTREAM cosmetic surgery
    • the large number of cosmetic procedures that have now entered the mainstream
    • the degree to which social media influencers now openly discuss the procedures they have done
    • the ages at which patients are seeking treatments
    • the lure of discount pricing and ‘cookie cutter’ approaches
    • the ability of consumers to understand what a cosmetic surgeon’s real qualifications are (or ARE NOT) compared to a Plastic Surgeon’s expertise
    • the impact discount pricing advertisements have had on consumer expectations and experiences including class action lawsuits
    • the rise in non-surgical procedures
    • cosmetic injections
    • the fact these ARE invasive and DO carry risks, including Australia’s first case of permanent blindness in one eye in a patient who had cosmetic injections at a beauty clinic (no doctor was present, yet alone a Plastic Surgeon)
    • several cases presented of permanent disfigurement of breasts after complications from breast surgery
    • observed that presented cases were performed by cosmetic surgeons rather than Specialist Plastic Surgeons
    • the fact that patients do not recognise Surgeons are NOT all the same
    • the difference of up to 14 years of extra training to become a Specialist compared to weekend courses taken by GPS or other year-long courses that do NOT give hospital operating rights but lead to back room operations

VIDEO SYNOPSIS: Cosmetic Surgery Patients had problems when they chose discount breast surgery that ended up being performed by less experienced doctors and doctors-in-training, who were NOT recognised or qualified as RACS Specialists.

  • This episode is especially important to watch if you’re still not clear about the differences in the surgical training regimes between a Specialist Plastic Surgeon (a FRACS qualified Specialist Plastic Surgeon) vs a Cosmetic Surgeon (who might be a GP, dentist or dermatologist).
  • Also highlighted in this Four Corners episode/special report are the risks of cheap breast implant surgery offers, where some Sydney-based Cosmetic Surgeons were reported as having had less than a 2 day course before operating at a clinic now under a parliamentary inquiry, AND where patients were NOT informed their operating Surgeon was inexperienced in their procedure.


Link to ABC’s Four Corners news reporting on the Cosmetic Industry including Breast Augmentation and Cosmetic Injections:


Page updated on 19 December 2018.

“BEAUTY’s NEW NORMAL” Episode by our Blogging Team

Questions to RESEARCH about your Plastic Surgeon or Cosmetic SURGEON.

This media story again highlights the importance of carefully choosing your Cosmetic Injector, Clinic and Plastic Surgeon very carefully, and to aim to thoroughly investigate:

  • Your Surgeon’s original medical training and other formal education – where, and for how long?
  • Where they operate – and what Australian hospital operating permissions and admission rights they have (or don’t have)
  • Their level of surgical qualifications and their AHPRA recognition/medical registration information
  • Their recognition and professional memberships and what these actually mean

Ask yourself: have they reached the highest level of training and qualifications as a Specialist in that arena of surgery? Or are they NOT EVEN a member of RACS – yet alone NOT a genuine Plastic Surgeon?

  • Where they performed their internships and who they learned from during their career
  • If they ever LED or TAUGHT medical courses or surgery workshops at top Australian universities in Plastic Surgery
  • Their dedication to ongoing education and to contributing to advances in the areas of Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery
  • Whether or not they regularly attend Plastic Surgery conferences such as The Breast Masters and ASPS, ASAPS and ISAPS conferences, to better understand the latest techniques, statistics and patient-safety measures

You want to be SURE you properly investigate:

  • How many procedures they performed since they entered private practice; and where they performed them
  • Patient experiences and case studies for complex procedures (what do their patients say online? Do they have a wide variety of before and after photos to show you in the consultation, or just a few select photos from the web?)
  • How your surgeon manages complications and after-care guarantees or inclusions
  • Their surgical focus or procedure expertise and if this is proven over time, or a recent career or procedure change
  • Whether or not they have FRACS recognition as a Specialist (and in what field/fields)

This information should leave you BETTER equipped for choosing a Surgeon who has the RIGHT qualifications, training, skills and expertise to meet your needs.


Remember, cosmetic surgery and cosmetic injections are both invasive procedures and carry risks you need to carefully consider. Be sure you know what your Surgeon’s qualifications are as well as their memberships and AHPRA registration details.

** Note that our Specialist Surgeons in Melbourne and Sydney have from TWO decades to over FOUR decades each of surgical experience in cosmetic, plastic and reconstructive surgery procedures. They have performed thousands of procedures in Australian hospitals with fully accredited Anaesthetists. At our best-practice focused GROUP in Melbourne, you’ll have several FRACS Qualified Specialist Plastic Surgeons to select from for your breast, body and face or nose procedures.

Suggested reading: how to choose from the BEST of the BEST Plastic Surgeons near me

Choosing a Surgeon from the list of BEST trained Plastic Surgeons in Melbourne.

Watch the Four Corners VIDEO “Beauty’s New Normal” – a warning segment about cosmetic surgery and injections – before you choose your Surgeon.

Read more about cosmetic injecting risks and that part of the Four Corners episode and Louise Milligan’s report.

Find out WHAT TOP 5 FACTORS influence your surgery results – good or bad!


Cosmetic Surgery Patient Resources and Plastic Surgeon Directories

Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons (Find ASPS Specialist Plastic Surgeons in Australia), Patient Safety Regulated by Plastic Surgery Regulation Laws, (Information for patients), Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency AHPRA (Register of practitioners), Health Victoria (The Department of Health and Human Services).

Want more information before scheduling a consultation with your Surgeon?

*   DOWNLOAD A GUIDE about the procedure or contact us
*   Book a 15 MIN CHAT with the Patient Care Team
*   Attend a FREE MONTHLY INFORMATION EVENING and hear from our Team of Specialist Plastic Surgeons and past patients.

Please Contact Us using the form below to arrange a consultation with one of our Specialist Plastic Surgeons or to speak with our Patient Care Team on (03) 8849 1444

Visit our FAQ pages, learn more about your procedure and also have a look at our BEFORE & AFTER PHOTOS.


Our team of Specialist Plastic Surgeons’ affiliations include:


Dr Geoff Barnett - MBBS, FRACS (Plast)
Dr Geoffrey Barnett, FRACS (Plas) is a Melbourne based Specialist Plastic Surgeon who has over 35 years of expertise in Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon for Cosmetic Surgery, Plastic Surgery and Body Contouring Surgery after Bariatric Surgery.Qualifications and Memberships: Specialist Plastic Surgeon (FRACS) Member - Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery [FRACS (Plast).The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) is the only professional body recognised by the Australian Medical Council (AMC) and the Medical Council of New Zealand (MCNZ) to train Surgeons in Australia and New Zealand.Author BIO page: