Choosing A Plastic Surgeon
Which Surgeon is right for me?
There are a number of things you should consider before deciding to go ahead with any surgical procedure – most importantly, who is the best surgeon for me?
Think about some of the following points about you:
- You must feel comfortable talking to your surgeon about what it is you want
- You must never feel rushed or pressured to make a decision that you are not entirely comfortable with and have not been given a chance to fully consider.
Some things to consider about the surgeon you choose:
- What training have they had?
- Do they seem concerned about you personally?
Some things to consider about the practice the surgeon works in:
- Is there someone you can contact at all times if you are concerned?
- What procedures are in place in the event of a complication?
- Does the staff treat you with respect and act in a courteous manner at all times?
Some things to consider before having any procedure:
- Does the surgeon understand exactly what I want done?
- Do I understand what the surgeon is planning to do?
- Have I been told the risks associated with the procedure, and what I should do if they occur?
- Have I been told what to expect after the operation?
- What follow-up has been arranged?
The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons
The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons is the peak body tasked with training surgeons and maintaining surgical standards in Australia and New Zealand. Doctors that have undergone training with the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons are recognized by the letters FRACS after their name (Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons). Some surgeons may indicate after these letters which subspecialty they trained in, for example, surgeons who have trained in plastic and reconstructive surgery sometimes have FRACS(Plast.) after their name.
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons
Plastic and reconstructive surgeons are trained to manage the restoration of form and function of the human body. They are trained in aesthetic surgery (sometimes referred to as cosmetic surgery), and surgery that restores function of all areas of the body, such as the hands, the lower limbs, the head and neck. Some plastic surgeons choose to focus on one particular area (such as hand surgery, breast reconstruction, head and neck surgery, burns, etc) where they gain experience in managing more complex problems. For this reason, you may find that the plastic surgeon you are referred to consults one of his/her colleagues from time to time.