Finding the BEST Plastic Surgeon in Melbourne – Tips for patients confused about WHO to choose
How do you determine WHICH of Melbourne’s best Plastic Surgeons you should CHOOSE for your surgery goals?
Choosing a Surgeon is no doubt challenging for many patients. Choosing from nearby FRACS qualified Plastic Surgeons is a very GOOD start for your selection research, and in this blog we explain WHY that’s so important. However, DECIDING between the top listed Surgeons still matters. Why?Because the success of ANY elective surgery is dependent on 5 key factors (click here for the full list).
Searching for the BEST nearby Plastic Surgeon in Melbourne? What you need to CONSIDER
One KEY factor in successful surgery is how well you and your SURGEON COLLABORATE (COOPERATE) to get a good end result.
That noted, other considerations for picking a nearby Surgeon is to fully UNDERSTAND the areas of expertise, formal training and experience of your Surgeon – and why it MATTERS.
- Expertise in SURGERY is typically revealed by a FRACS Specialist qualification; gained by having a lifelong pursuit of expertise in plastic, cosmetic and reconstructive surgery.
- This means the best Plastic Surgeons will have recognition as a Specialist from AHRPA and RACS; they will also have performed many operations performed of your particular procedure to be considered an expert.
What to AVOID when choosing your Plastic Surgeon for a Cosmetic Surgery procedure:
It’s wise to avoid choosing:
- a doctor in training (junior doctor)
- doctors who have NOT gained successful membership (fellowship) into the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) with a speciality in Plastic Cosmetic & Reconstructive Surgery
- discount surgery facilities or back rooms that aren’t adequately monitored for patient-safety
- Plastic Surgeons who focus on certain surgeries but agree to do a surgery they rarely ever perform
- Surgeons who cannot show you ANY personal before and after photos during a consultation
What other factors do I need to keep in mind as I choose from the list of Best Melbourne Plastic Surgeons?
- ANATOMY and current SHAPE
- SKIN and HEALTH
- OBJECTIVES or Surgery GOALS
- SKILLS and QUALIFICATIONS of your Surgeon
- COLLABORATION and COMMUNICATION between you and your surgeon
Your Surgeon’s skills are one thing, but if you and your surgeon can’t communicate openly and honestly, or aren’t cooperating as a team, your results can be compromised.
- So second to the SKILLS and qualifications is to ensure you LIKE your Surgeon’s methods of communication.
- This means you’ll feel comfortable asking ANY and ALL questions you have, or voicing any CONCERNS.
- AND it also means you work in harmony with your Surgeon and follow their post-operative instructions to reduce surgery risks and help you heal.
If you feel intimidated or disrespected by your Surgeon, then they’re not for you!
For the FULL LIST of factors impacting your SURGERY experience and RESULTS, read the BLOG about TOP 5 FACTORS that are important in determining your outcome from surgery.
We have additional patient resources and reading materials to help you CHOOSE your Surgeon and Surgery procedure. Visit our Downloadable Guides pages
For more information about Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery options and research in Australia.
Download our free guides or phone (03) 8849 1444 today – and ask for a no-obligation consultation.
Choosing the BEST Plastic Surgeon near me – what helps is doing RESEARCH!
- The internet is full of information, but not all of it is easy to decipher.
- So once you read the GUIDE and have a consult, you’ll be better prepared to do more research into cosmetic surgery or plastic surgery.
One of the MOST important choices you’ll make is deciding WHO is the BEST Plastic Surgeon in Melbourne to trust with your procedure.
- Not everyone understands that a so-called Cosmetic Physician or Cosmetic Surgeon does NOT tend to have the same levels of training or qualifications as a Specialist Plastic Surgeon with FRACS recognition (e.g., a “fellow” of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and specifically a Surgeon who dedicated their Specialist Training years and advanced post-grad continuing education to Plastic, Cosmetic & Reconstructive Surgery).
- It’s also a good idea to get a second opinion (but be sure you know what TYPE of Surgeon you’re consulting with to be sure they’re FRACS/Plas).
- Whatever choices you narrow your choice down to, remember that a FRACS (Plas) is likely to be the most substantially trained and experienced, especially if they have had over 20 years of surgical experience, because the LAST thing you want is a NEW surgeon or UNTRAINED doctor operating on your face, breasts, nose or body.
What does it mean to be qualified or recognised as a Specialist Plastic Surgeon by RACS?
Definition/Explanation of FRACS:
- “The distinction of being a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons) is ONLY awarded to Specialist Surgeons who have completed a minimum of 12 years medical and surgical education, with at least 5 years of specialist postgraduate training.”
- That extra time in surgical training to be a Fellow of RACS in Plastic Surgery essentially means:
- A Specialist Plastic Surgeon likely has had significantly more cosmetic & plastic surgery training than a GP, Dentist or other “so-called” Cosmetic Surgeon who is NOT a Specialist Plastic Surgeon would have undertaken.
- Monitoring and testing of their surgical skills in this arena of medicine (Plastic & Cosmetic Surgery) would have been subjected to the highest levels of testing and review before achieving fellowship in RACS.
- They are also more likely to have had more surgical skills testing/monitoring and Plastic Surgery Education/Advanced Training & International Plastic Surgery Conference attendance than other types of doctors or surgeons (Plastic Surgery conferences and trainings are typically NOT able to be attended by non-FRACS Specialist Plastic Surgeons).
Many consumers are CONFUSED and think a so-called COSMETIC SURGEON is the same as a Plastic Surgeon with FRACS. But these are NOT the same types of Doctors. In fact, cosmetic surgeons often do NOT have permission to operate in private hospitals such as:
- St Vincent’s Private Hospital – Kew
- Masada Private Hospital – St Kilda
- Epworth Hospital – Hawthorn
- Epworth Hospital – Richmond
- Epworth Hospital – Cliveden
- St John Of God Hospital – Berwick
- The Avenue Hospital – Windsor
Plastic Surgeons may call themselves Plastic or Cosmetic Surgeons but a Cosmetic Surgeon is NOT allowed to say they’re a plastic surgeon as they simply HAVEN’T had that level of training and testing.
- Only a Plastic Surgeon recognised as having Specialist Plastic Surgery recognition through AHRPA and RACS can call themselves a Specialist Plastic Surgeon.
- If your Surgeon cannot use that term, they are not a Plastic Surgeon.
- Why? The qualification of Specialist Plastic Surgeon and “Specialist” is a protected medical qualification term.
What to avoid: Mistaking a cosmetic doctor, GP or dentist for a Plastic Surgeon – then finding yourself UPSET if things don’t go to plan.
- Recently, ABC’s FOUR CORNERS revealed that MANY breast surgery consumers inadvertently chose COSMETIC SURGEONS rather than SPECIALIST PLASTIC SURGEONS for their surgery procedures. This was mostly because the public didn’t yet understand a COSMETIC SURGEON is NOT the same as a FRACS recognised Specialist Plastic Surgeon – the training is significantly less, sometimes less than a year of post-medical degree training versus 8 to 12 additional years.
- Read more about the differences in types of Surgeons who perform cosmetic procedures.
You are also wise to be sure your Surgeon is listed with the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).
- The ASAPS and ASPS directories can give you general guidelines about surgeries
- These sites can also provide you with a list of accredited Surgeons (members) who keep up to date with advances in the plastic surgery and cosmetic surgery field (there are serious continuing education requirements for Plastic Surgeons to belong to these groups)
- ASPS and ASAPS MEMBERS are recognised as being fully qualified in reconstructive, cosmetic and plastic surgery – including having a record of accomplishment in these areas of medicine and surgery. Additionally, members have a commitment to high ethical standards including patient care and patient safety processes.
- Our practice is a member of ASPS and receives many referrals each and every year from the Australian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons.
How do I choose between the best of the best Plastic Surgeons near me?
- Do your homework!
- Find out WHAT each FRACS (Plas) Surgeon FOCUSES on in their clinics, including:
- how many operations they performed over a lifetime AND in recent years
- what their patients say about them online
- and be sure you ask to see their before and after photos at a consultation!
- NOTE: Some results photos are published online, but many great Plastic Surgeons have far more “in clinic use” only before and after photo examples to show you during a no-obligation consultation.
- You can’t trust all online photos as many doctors selectively post photos and not all Patients agree to online usage – ask to see more Before and After Photos in the CLINIC.
- Attend a consultation, which allows you to ask questions and find out which cosmetic plastic surgery procedure(s) may suit you best.
- Bring a trusted, positive friend along who has good instincts and can help you assess the information or bring up concerns you might forget to ask yourself.
Why it’s best to BE CAUTIOUS and NEVER RUSH when you choose your Plastic SURGEON
- Surgery is serious and NOT to be taken lightly. Remember, there are risks and results can vary from patient to patient
- You want a Surgeon who is honest, patient and respectful – one who HAS your long term surgery outcomes and best interests in mind.
- No Surgeon will have perfect results 100% of the time – what you want is someone who’s honest about their successes and less-than-successful outcomes, and tells you how they promise to handle them should something not go to plan
- Go with your gut – but a second opinion from another highly recommended Plastic Surgeon is a great idea before you make your choice.
- Look for a GENUINE, AHPRA recognised Specialist Plastic Surgeon with FRACS, and either ISAPS or ASAPS or ASPS as a top level plastic surgery industry standard to be sure you’re choosing your Melbourne Surgeon from a selection of some of the BEST trained surgeons in Australia – an elite qualification that allows them to operate in genuine Hospitals versus back rooms only.
Additional valuable tips follow about what’s IMPORTANT to consider when researching Surgeons for your cosmetic procedure.
Which of Melbourne’s top Plastic Surgeons would you recommend?
I want to find a great Plastic Surgeon near me – but where do I start?
1) Ask family, neighbours, colleagues and friends who they think is the BEST nearby Specialist Plastic Surgeon for your Cosmetic Surgery procedure.
- Word of mouth – directly and from others in your area – are invaluable for finding great surgeons and for avoiding a not so great one.
- Many of our patients have been referred to us via ‘word of mouth’ from our prior patients.
- It is, however, important to understand individual surgery results vary from patient to patient – and that all surgery has risks.
- If you are seeking a revision, it is a more complex procedure which may require multiple, costly procedures – and for second operations by different doctors, it’s sometimes not possible to get you a result you’ll appreciate due to what happened in the earlier procedure. You want a surgeon who agrees to help you rectify any unwanted results – but this varies from Surgeon to Surgeon – ask yours about their POLICY and customer service policies.
2) Ask your local General Practitioner, preferred Specialist or Hospital for a recommendation
- Hospitals can also refer you to Australia Certified Specialist Plastic Surgeons for your preferred cosmetic surgery procedure.
- Hospitals also usually have high standards for Surgeons to be permitted to operate on their premises.
- Remember, you want to think about your SAFETY first, so choose a Surgeon who either operates in a hospital OR has hospital operating rights.
- Ask the surgeon you see WHAT Hospitals they are permitted to operate in, and to admit patients into, and if the answer is they don’t, or a colleague does it for them, think about choosing a hospital-authorised Surgeon instead.
3) Order our GUIDES to researching Cosmetic Surgery with Plastic Surgeons and READ this before you consent
4) Use the media properly – review the work and stories about less-qualified Surgeons, so you have a comparison.
- There are many different levels of quality surgery and many different types of Surgeons, some who love the media spotlight more than others.
- Not all surgeons in the media spotlight are true experts. Some just have good PR and publicity agents.
- Be careful selecting surgeons via the media or television stories.
- Just because a doctor has a radio advertisement or television story, does NOT mean they are a genuine FRACS Surgeon – you’re best to check out the qualifications of ANY so-called cosmetic surgeon.
- So do your homework and your research in a holistic way that includes talking to patients, looking at photos, meeting with different candidates (we think it’s beneficial to have TWO consultations – and be sure at least ONE is with a Specialist Plastic Surgeon with decades of experience – for comparing information and for getting opinions specific to your desired outcomes.
Once you complete your research and have met with at ideally TWO of your top listed Plastic Surgeons, you should have a strong sense of who you feel COMFORTABLE with and CONFIDENT IN CHOOSING as the BEST surgeon for your procedure.
5) Arrange an Initial Consultation for your Cosmetic Surgery Procedure
- We believe information and education are the cornerstone to any decision made about your body.
- In your consultation, you need to be assured that the surgery is right for you (sometimes it won’t be, or another procedure might be best).
- Your questions need to be appropriately answered and your decision should be easily made and feel natural and ‘right’ – whether that decision is to go ahead with the surgery or not.
- At your consultation you should ask any and all questions you have, and your Surgeon should willingly and respectfully answer all the questions you ask.
- Most importantly, your surgeon should NOT rush you into a decision.
And if you’ve read our GUIDES you’ll already be a step ahead in knowing WHAT questions to ask your Surgeon during a consultation – and what to expect.
Read our other blogs for more tips about having Surgery and choosing a Plastic Surgeon.
You’ll also enjoy attending one of our FREE events to meet our team and learn about the potential surgery procedures – and Surgeons – who can help you meet your surgery goals.
Browse our Frequently Asked Questions for more information on how to choose a Surgeon for your procedure.
Unsure about the Plastic Surgery and procedure best for you?
Our Specialist Plastic Surgeons and other team members located in Melbourne and/or Sydney will be able to assess your desired surgery goals and suggest some of the best-practice surgical options for your specific concerns and plastic or cosmetic surgery goals.
Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons (Find Specialist plastic surgeons), read ASPS Patient Safety Regulated by Plastic Surgery Regulation Laws, read Information for patients, search the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency AHPRA Register of Practitioners, visit Health Victoria (The Department of Health and Human Services) and read our world’s top 10 Plastic Surgery blogs.
Want more information before scheduling a consultation with our Melbourne Surgeons?
* 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
Our team of Specialist Plastic Surgeons’ affiliations include:
ASAPS VIDEO about Plastic Surgery may help you make a GOOD choice – by highlighting the differences between surgeons!
You will have seen some of our Specialist Plastic Surgeons featured in editorials in Vogue or commenting on Plastic Surgery News on 60 Minutes, Body & Soul, and other online publications like Mamamia. But our Surgeons are often too busy with patients to give extra commentaries in the news. Recently, however, Dr Wyten was featured in a Video from ASAPS.
This video explains the Difference Between Plastic Surgeons v’s Cosmetic Surgeons as not all Surgeons have the same experience or intensive training and testing qualifications. It also features one of our Specialist Plastic Surgeons Dr Rebecca Wyten.