Melbourne Plastic Surgery Blog

Melbourne Plastic Surgery Blog

How To Ensure Your Plastic Surgery Is Safe

Monday, October 02, 2017

This blog post was originally published on the American Society of Plastic Surgeons website.  Some content has been changed to reflect equivalent certifying bodies in Australia.

Not all physicians are created equally: this is an essential consideration when looking for a plastic surgeon in Melbourne, or any other location for that matter. How do you choose a plastic surgeon? Ensuring safety throughout your plastic surgery journey is just as important as the procedure you want and the desired result. To ensure a safe surgery with an expert in the field, we have outlined a 10-point checklist below to help you in selecting a plastic surgeon, what to ask, and qualities for which to look.

  • Your prospective surgeon should be certified by the appropriate specialty group for the procedure you are contemplating. With a multitude of medical practices throughout the country, you can immediately narrow your search down to doctors who are certified by the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS), this means they are a fellow of the College and will have FRACS after their name. In addition, the peak body in Australia for Specialist Plastic Surgeons (both reconstructive and cosmetic) is ASPS - check online that your surgeon is a member of ASPS. Do you want an occasional plastic surgeon or someone who has gone the extra mile to attain and maintain credentialing? RACS has a rigorous qualification, examination, and recertification process that ensures your plastic surgeon is qualified and an expert in their field.
  • Find references you can trust. Ask people you trust, i.e. your GP, friends, and people you know in healthcare to give you recommendations on plastic surgeons they may know or of whom they have heard. Also, reach out to people you know who have had plastic surgery, ask about their experience, and if they are happy with the results. Lastly, go online: review sites can be great places to see what people are talking about with a plastic surgeon. Remember, though, online reviews are not vetted so they might not be as authentic as they appear. A good guide for truth vs fiction is a rating site that has as many good and some not so good ratings. This is more realistic and truthful than someone who has a thousand great ratings and no negative ones. That is a red flag for fake reviews.
  • Examine your prospective surgeon's website. First look at the biography section of the plastic surgeon, this will give you information about their experience as well as certification. If there is no biography listed, ask yourself why. A great plastic surgeon will have nothing to hide. A well-organised website, with great design, and detailed information can tell you a lot about a prospective surgeon. Remember, also, that everyone can be famous on their own website, so, when referencing credentials, make sure also to research what each certification means, how is it obtained, how is it maintained, and what qualifications one must have to get that certification.
  • Verify that your prospective surgeon has hospital privileges. "Hospital privileges" refers to the right of a surgeon to use the equipment and facilities at a given hospital. Even though you might have your procedure at a Day Hospital rather than an overnight hospital, hospital privileges indicate that your surgeon has been vetted by their peers and by a hospital committee. It should be a red flag if your prospective plastic surgeon does not have hospital operating privileges.
  • Enquire about your surgeon's specific experience. You have the right to make sure the surgeon is right for you, possessing the experience and expertise they claim. A qualified plastic surgeon will be more than happy to explain his experience and expertise. If not, that should be a red flag. Make sure to ask if the procedure you are seeking is something they do at least once a week and is it in their top three procedures performed.
  • Ask your prospective surgeon to clarify all potential benefits, risks, and complications. If your prospective surgeon answers questions with "everything will be fine," or "you will not feel a thing," this should be a red flag that your surgeon is not being honest with you. Plastic surgery, as relatively safe as it is, can have complications and each patient's medical history can present different risks. Your plastic surgeon should be readily forthcoming with information about risks and potential complications.
  • When it comes time for surgery, if you don’t have to stay overnight, it should be performed in an accredited Day Hospital. Accredited Day Hospitals are subject to internal and external inspection by credentialing agencies, thus must maintain a facility that operates in such a manner. This type of facility will also have the emergency equipment and training necessary to respond to an emergency if the need arises. Check your Day Hospital is licensed and accredited.
  • A great surgeon will employ a carefully selected and certified anaesthetist. The person administering your anaesthesia is pivotal to ensuring a relaxing and comfortable procedure. A reputable plastic surgeon will only engage anaesthetists that deliver the same quality of care that they deliver.
  • Discuss your recovery period with your prospective surgeon. Understanding the recovery process and what to expect especially in the first 24-48 hours is crucial to maintaining safety. Every surgical recovery is unique, and your surgeon should explain in detail what to expect and how to get in touch with his or her staff if necessary.
  • Get additional opinions from appropriate professionals, if needed or desired. Remember: This is your body, and you are the boss. Choosing a plastic surgeon is a very personal decision. Selecting a plastic surgeon is an interview process, and sometimes 2 or 3 consultations with different surgeons are necessary to find one that meets your criteria and makes you feel comfortable.

Ultimately when deciding on a RACS qualified plastic surgeon, you must find someone who has experience, who is an expert in the desired field, and who can show you proof of exceptional results. Deciding to undergo surgery to alter your appearance is a big decision and should not be taken lightly. As an educated consumer, you must do your part to determine what you want, do your homework, and seek expert consultation. By following the above steps, you can rest assured that you are making a well-informed decision.


Breast Implant Study

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

On 11/11/14 The Herald Sun Newspaper reported on a recent breast implant study - linking breast implants to breast cancer.  

 The Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons have issued the following media release in response to this study:


 

A message from Mr Mutimer

Monday, June 17, 2013

The Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons held their annual scientific meeting in April 2013 in Melbourne.

This was very well attended, with a large contingent of surgeons from North America.  I was invited to present my experience with key hole brow lifts and eyelid surgery.  There was considerable interest with many surgeons expressing a desire to visit and observe the techniques.  There were many presentations from our overseas visitors which were very informative but it was also pleasing to realise that Australian cosmetic surgery is on par if not better than that offered elsewhere.

Currently I am seeing lots of patients who want improvement in the neck or double chin without undergoing a full facelift (and the look associated with this surgery).  Over the past year I have been developing a method whereby this can be done whilst also tightening the jawline and jowl areas.  This procedure has a quicker recovery time, less bruising and shorter operating times.

If you would like to find out more, Michelle and the team can inform you. Alternatively I am happy to see you for a consultation.

Keith Mutimer - Plastic Surgeon



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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update – Monday 30 March 2020

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As we continue to closely monitor and respond to the current COVID-19 situation, we’d like to advise of the following changes to our business operations as of 30th March 2020.

We remain open, however our surgeons are currently only seeing patients for skin cancers and trauma. As a result, our practice may operate on limited hours some days.

Wherever possible we have moved to telehealth for other appointments.   We are not able to undertake any wrinkle reduction or cosmetic treatments until further notice, we are however taking bookings for when it is safe to resume.

For urgent (trauma) cases arising after hours – we’ve added after hour surgeon contact details to our main office phone. If you call and our practice is closed, you’ll receive further instruction. Please note that contacting surgeons out of hours is only for urgent cases.

We thank you for your understanding and patience as we navigate these challenging times.

Please follow us on Facebook to stay abreast of any new developments as we’ll post timely updates there, and on our website. As always if you have any questions or concerns please call the practice on 03 9592 0522.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update – Tuesday 24th March 2020

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The team at Brighton Plastic Surgery would like to assure clients that we continue to closely monitor the unfolding COVID-19 situation and are implementing all necessary safety measures and closely following Health Department Guidelines.

Our practice continues to operate at this time however many changes are in place. Additional measures have been implemented to protect our patients and staff at this uncertain time. Some of these include:

  • Hand wash stations: you’ll find these at our entrance. All people entering our premises are required to thoroughly wash hands on arrival, and upon leaving.
  • Phone appointments – it is not always possible, however where we’re able we are now providing phone consultations, limiting the number of people passing through our practice whilst still providing important patient care and guidance.
  • Limited number of people in our practice at any given time– at this time only essential support people may attend a client’s appointment.  Please be mindful that as a support person you may be asked to wait in your car. If you are attending an appointment on your own, you may also be asked to wait in your car until we are ready for your appointment. The seating capacity in the reception area is deliberately very limited
  • Cashless payments – We’ve moved to cashless payments wherever possible.
If you are unwell you will not be able to attend the practice for your appointment. Please phone us and we will guide you in regard to your ongoing care.

If you have an upcoming appointment our staff will contact you to discuss how this will be managed for you.

We thank you for your understanding and patience as we navigate these challenging times.

Please follow us on Facebook to stay abreast of any new developments as we’ll post timely updates there, and on our website. As always if you have any questions or concerns please call the practice on 03 9592 0522.

Important update regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is understandably causi ..

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) is understandably causing a lot of concern and social disruption in both our local community and worldwide. We are following Health Department Guidelines and have measures in place with the aim of keeping our valued patients and staff as safe as possible.

Brighton Plastic Surgery would like to reassure all our patients that we are currently open and seeing patients. There is no need to cancel your appointment unless you have travelled overseas in the last 14 days or are currently unwell with COVID-19 compatible symptoms. If this is the case, please call 03 9592 0522 and we will reschedule your appointment. 

If you have any questions or concerns about upcoming surgeries or appointments, don’t hesitate to contact us.