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.


Choosing a Plastic Surgeon

Monday, June 02, 2014

Deciding to undergo a cosmetic plastic surgery procedure is a major decision and one that should not be taken lightly.  There are many considerations including those related to selecting the surgeon performing the procedure to your individual circumstances and expectations:

When choosing a Plastic Surgeon:

  •           Of utmost importance: research and understand the surgeons qualifications and experience
  •           Check that the premises from which the surgeon operates is accredited
  •           Enquire as to other locations that the surgeon operates or hospitals he or she works or has worked
  •           Enquire how often the surgeon has performed the procedure you require
  •           Assess the surgeons willingness to answer any questions you may have
  •           Ensure realistic expectations and outcomes for the procedure are discussed and agreed
  •           Ask what you can expect before, during and after the procedure
  •           Understand procedure costs
  •           Ask around – often it is those closest to you who will recommend the best surgeon in your area

It is important to do your home work and ensure you choose a qualified specialist plastic surgeon.  We are advocates for our clients doing their own research however in selecting a surgeon and assessing their qualifications it is important our clients understand some basic terminology:

What is the difference between a Cosmetic Surgeon and a Specialist Plastic Surgeon?

The Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons website stipulates that “A Specialist Plastic Surgeon is a Commonwealth Government accredited plastic surgeon, trained and qualified to perform invasive cosmetic and reconstructive surgery in public and private hospitals, and accredited day surgeries. In Australia, the national Medical Board states that the “Specialist Plastic Surgeon” title can only be used by FRACS approved specialist surgeons in the recognised Specialty of Plastic Surgery.”

Why choose a specialist plastic surgeon?

Currently in Australia, it is legal for any doctor with a basic medical degree to perform surgery. Specialist Plastic Surgeons, on the other hand, have extensive surgical education and training including a minimum of 12 years medical and surgical education, with at least 5 years of specialist postgraduate training.

Mr Mutimer is a Specialist Plastic Surgeon based in Melbourne. 

Please check that your surgeon is a Specialist Plastic Surgeon by visiting: http://www.plasticsurgery.org.au/about-us/search/


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Considering Ear Surgery (Otoplasty)?

Ears are usually not the most not ..

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Ears are usually not the most noticed feature of the face but for people with prominent ears, they can find this upsetting, especially for children or people who wear their hair short.  Ear plastic surgery, also known as Otoplasty is designed to correct protruding ears. It can also be used to make ears more symmetrical or to correct ears that droop to low.

Ear surgery involves a surgeon pinning the patient’s ears back closer to the head, thus making them less prominent.

There are many benefits associated with undergoing surgical otoplasty. These include:

  • Low risk – the procedure is considered very safe with minimal risks involved (see important considerations below)
  • Minimal scarring once healed
  • Enhanced confidence and self esteem
  • Natural looking results

Ear surgery – important considerations

There are several key considerations for those exploring the option of ear surgery (otoplasty).

1) Timing (for young patients) – a person’s ears reach full development by the age of 4-5 therefore ear pinning surgery should not be performed until AFTER this age.

2)  Recovery time – overall recovery from otoplasty surgery is generally quick. There may be some discomfort in the first 1-2 days but this generally settles quickly.

3)  There will be some swelling and bruising post-surgery. Usually the bruising and discolouration is gone within 3 weeks. Swelling will diminish over the course of the first 6 weeks, however some minor swelling may continue for up to 2-3 months.

4)  It is important to note that a patient can only sleep semi-reclined on their back during the initially recovery period (generally for the first 2-3 week/s).

5)  Complications are generally minimal for otoplasty however as with any surgery risks can include bleeding, slow healing time, numbness and thickened scarring behind the ear. 

6)  One of the most problematic complications with ear surgery is if the ear is pulled on or knocked before adequate healing has occurred. If this happens the shape can be altered. Absolute care should be taken to avoid this and if this does occur you should reach out to your surgeon straight away to receive further advice.

Parents with a child who opts to undergo otoplasty will often find the first several weeks challenging, assisting the child to follow all instructions provided to ensure an optimal recovery. This includes keeping their head bandaged, ensuring they don’t scratch the ear area if itchy, minimising physical activity so as to not knock the ears etc. Knowing this in advance allows for pre-planning and makes it all very manageable.

If you are considering ear plastic surgery we recommend booking a consultation with a specialist plastic surgeon in Melbourne who will be able to discuss the intended procedure, perform a full suitability assessment, discuss expected outcomes and answer any questions you may have, including when may be the best time to have the procedure. 

For more information or to book a consultation feel free to call us on 03 9592 0522 or submit an enquiry via our website.



Interplast 35th Anniversary Celebrations

Last week Mr Mutimer had the pleasure of atten ..

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Last week Mr Mutimer had the pleasure of attending and addressing attendees of Interplast’s 35th Anniversary Celebrations.

 In attendance was Her Excellency the Honourable Linda Dessau AC, Governor of Victoria and Mr Anthony Howard AM QC who kindly hosted the reception at Government House. The Governor praised the work of Interplast in repairing bodies and rebuilding lives across 17 countries in the Asia Pacific region, as well as acknowledged the wonderful contribution of volunteers and donors.

The event was attended by over 120 Interplast supporters including Board members & staff, volunteers, corporate partners and donors.

To find out more about Interplast or to make a donation visit www.interplast.org.au

What is lip lift surgery?

A lip lift (http://www.plasticsurgeryaust ..

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A lip lift is a procedure designed to lift the top lip in people who have a thin upper lip. It is a permanent solution  and is most beneficial for those wishing to improve the perceived volume of their lips and aesthetic of their smile and facial proportions. A lip lift can also reduce the signs of ageing often prevalent around the mouth.

Lip lift surgery involves a surgeon carefully removing a small amount of skin under the nose in order to “lift” the upper lip.  The procedure is performed as day surgery, usually under local anaesthetic.  The procedure generally takes less than an hour. Lip lift surgery is tailored to each individual to ensure natural looking results are achieved.

It is worth noting that a lip lift is only performed on the top lip.  Often lip fillers are also used in the bottom lip to create balanced, voluminous lips.

Interested to find out more or book a lip lift consult? Feel free to call us on 03 9592 0522 or submit a confidential enquiry via our website.