Cosmetic vs Plastic Surgeon

When it comes to body reshaping using liposuction or a Tummy Tuck, what – exactly – is the key difference between Cosmetic doctors and a FRACS Plastic Surgeon?

In Australia, Specialist Plastic Surgeons have studied specialist surgery for a minimum of five years after their medical degree. They end up having over 12 years of total medical and surgical education before they can call themselves a Specailist AND they have to undertake rigorous exams.

Fully qualified Plastic Surgeons are also Fellows of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (FRACS) and have undergone extensive training to perform invasive surgical procedures.

cosmetic surgery after weight loss

Doctors with only a MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) degree are not AMC accredited surgeons as they are not trained for invasive surgical procedures. However, in Australia, it is not illegal for ANY medical practitioner (e.g. GP) to perform surgery or for anyone at all to call themselves a “cosmetic surgeon.”

Look for your Surgeon to have Full Membership and Qualifications in the top Plastic Surgery alliances

ASPS members are Specialist Plastic Surgeons with extensive specialist training in all aspects of cosmetic and reconstructive surgery (12 years total medical and surgical education).  Whereas someone who calls themselves a “Cosmetic Surgeon” can be – nearly – anyone at all.


What’s Important to Know about the Difference between Cosmetic Surgeons and Plastic Surgeons in Australia.

In Australia it is not illegal for a doctor WITHOUT formal surgical training to conduct cosmetic or plastic surgery if the patient agrees to the operation – and there’s typically little, if any, monitoring (scheduled for some changes as of October 2016)

Currently it is not illegal for a medical practitioner (e.g. a GP) to perform surgery.   But here’s what’s important to consider before choosing a body contouring surgery for something as significant as post-weight loss body shaping:

  • Doctors with only a MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) degree are NOT trained for invasive surgical procedures.
  • Whereas ASPS members are fully qualified Specialist Plastic Surgeons who have extensive specialist training in all aspects of cosmetic, plastic and reconstructive surgery (at least 12 YEARS TOTAL medical and surgical education, often more).
  • Qualified and highly-trained Surgeons are also Fellows of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (FRACS).
  • FRACS members have undergone extensive training and best-practice education to be able to perform invasive surgical procedures.

plastic vs cosmetic surgeons

FRACS is the Australian Medical Council (AMC) accredited qualification to perform surgery in private and public hospitals.

  • The best way for prospective patients to reduce their risk in body contouring surgery is to make sure they consult a Specialist Plastic Surgeon for post-weight loss body contouring procedures.
  • If your Surgeon is FRACS they will likely be authorised to perform surgeries in a fully accredited Australian hospital facility, rather than just a ‘back room’ in an un-monitored clinic

 

Cosmetic Surgeons and Cosmetic Procedure advertising is NOT highly regulated

While the ACCC and medical boards have advertising guidelines for medical professionals including Doctors and Surgeons, very little seems to be done to actually enforce them.

As a result there is an increase in irresponsible advertising by various medical practitioners and cosmetic surgeons. Many medical practitioners have begun to describe themselves as Surgeons or imply that they have formal surgical qualifications – when, in fact, they do not. But legally they can call themselves a Surgeon (but not the protected title of “Plastic Surgeon”, which tends to indicate not only extensive training and surgery specific training but also testing and qualifications with organisations and surgical bodies such as FRACS, ISAPS, ASAPS, and ASPS).

Currently it is not illegal for any medical practitioner (e.g. a GP) to perform surgery.

But as a consumer and as a surgery patient, you should know that Doctors with a MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) degree are NOT trained for invasive surgical procedures. Whereas ASPS members and FRACS members are often Specialist Plastic Surgeons with extensive specialist training. ASPS membershave extensive training in all aspects of cosmetic and reconstructive surgery (a total of 12 years or more of medical and surgical education).

In other words, it takes a VERY long time to become a qualified Plastic Surgeon, but not the same to call yourself a cosmetic surgeon with a standard medical degree.

Trained surgeons are also Fellows of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (FRACS).

  • They have typically undergone extensive training to perform invasive surgical procedures and they will have extensive supervision during their training.
  • Many also travel overseas to work with ‘the best of the best’ during their training periods, and each will often have a speciality area of focus.

FRACS is the Australian Medical Council (AMC) accredited qualification to perform surgery in private and public hospitals. The best way for prospective patients to reduce their risk is to make sure they consult a Specialist

In Australia, many GPs or other doctors who describe themselves as Cosmetic Surgeons – are NOT Plastic Surgeons. They do not have the appropriate training nor the extensive experience in invasive surgeries, yet they market themselves as if they did have this, and whilst patients remain unaware of the differences, the Medical Board is aiming to improve awareness in our communities that ‘cosmetic surgeon’ does not equate with ‘plastic surgeon.’

recommend that you check any credentials with the below organisations or click the link http://www.plasticsurgery.org.au

Or you can phone ASPS – 1300 367 446

Or RACS – (03) 9249 1200
www.surgeons.org

To ask if YOUR Surgeon is a qualified and recognised Surgeon or Plastic Surgery Specialists in Australia.