Researching and planning for your plastic surgery can be an exciting process, but at the same time it can be very daunting. Plastic surgery procedures are becoming more and more popular in Australia and there are a number of questions you should ask yourself and your plastic surgeon when planning and preparing for your operation.
It is very important that you consider carefully what you are trying to achieve with a plastic surgery and why you want it. You should plan it in a safe and considered way; and no matter how quickly you would like to have it done it is essential that you take your time to analyse your options, do your research and find the right plastic surgeon to perform your procedure.
For a successful outcome to your plastic surgery, it is important that you are making the best choices for yourself, and your chosen plastic surgeon should assist you finding the most suitable options.
At Breast & Body Clinic, we strive to ensure patients are given support and guidance underpinned by clear and accurate information, allowing them to be involved in and make informed decisions about their treatment. Dr Yunaev and his team are committed to tailoring a personalised approach to you and your concerns, so that you may benefit from our expertise and we can meet your expectations.
To assist our patients in the process of researching and planning for their plastic surgery, we have developed the following cosmetic surgery checklist. If you have any questions and would like to discuss it further with us, please contact us on 02 9819 7449.
1 – Initial Plastic Surgery Research
The initial research phase of planning a plastic surgery is very important. Every surgical procedure carries a degree of risk, so you need to be clear on what you would like to achieve with a plastic surgery and be aware of the complications associated with it.
There are key questions that you must ask yourself and the potential plastic surgeon when considering your procedure. Opting for a cosmetic surgery is a choice, so you need to be well informed and conduct your research properly.
There are plenty of resources available over the internet to assist you with your initial research, but at the same time you must be careful with information found online, as not always it is trustworthy. It is advisable that as part of your research, you look for information on official industry body websites such as the Royal Australia College of Surgeons one.
2 – Finding A Suitable Surgeon
Once you are clear about your needs and aesthetic desires, you will need to find a suitable surgeon. According to the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons, the number of patients opting to undergo a plastic surgery has risen over the last 10 years. Searching for a surgeon to work with you on your aesthetic goals can be overwhelming, but a good starting point is finding references with family members and friends. Another good place to start is to discuss your plans with your family doctor and get a referral to see a surgeon.
It is highly recommended that you consult with a specialist that holds appropriate training to perform a plastic surgery. It is important to mention that currently it is not illegal for a medical practitioner, for example a general practitioner, to perform surgery. However, doctors with only a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery degree have not undergone the training necessary for invasive surgical procedures.
To reduce your risk, you should consult with a specialist surgeon that are Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (FRACS) and have had extensive training to perform invasive surgical procedures. Therefore, it is important that you check the doctor credentials and be aware that a number of doctors who are described as ‘cosmetic surgeons’ are not actually plastic surgeons.
Once you have advanced on your research and have a few different potential surgeons in mind, it is important to explore in more details the surgeon’s experience with the particular procedure you are considering. Another essential aspect to consider is the surgical technique relating to the procedure. A fully qualified plastic surgeon who has undergone extensive training will have a wealth of knowledge of the body anatomy and physiology, therefore will be highly skilled with their surgical techniques. You should ask your surgeon what technique is recommended and how this will benefit you particular case and surgical procedure. The use of modern techniques should also minimise scarring.
3 – Plastic Surgery Consultation
Following the initial research and once you have chosen a potential plastic surgeon to work on your aesthetic goals, it will be time to arrange an initial appointment with the selected surgeon. It is recommended that you bring a referral from your general practitioner. A referral from your General Practitioner is not always needed, but if you have a referral, there might be some rebates available on the costs of your consultation. Also, a referral will be required if your private health insurance will be involved on some of the costs associated with your surgery.
During the consultation, make sure you cover all your questions. You shouldn’t feel rushed and the surgeon should give you the necessary time to go over all your concerns and carefully explain to you what is involved with the desired procedure. Your consultation should be performed with the surgeon, rather than with a sales person or a nurse. During the consultation the surgeon will go through your medical history, and it is very important that you are honest with yourself and the surgeon when answering the questions.
At the consultation, the surgeon will present to you all the necessary and relevant information about your desired plastic surgery. This will include details about:
- surgical options available
- suitable surgical methods to achieve your aesthetic goals
- procedure recovery times
- potential risks and complications
The surgeon will perform and examination during the consultation, and will be able to present to you the recommendations. It is important that the surgeon discusses with you the realistic expectations of what can be achieve in your individual case. Each patient’s needs are unique, and the surgeon should strive to find the best surgical solution to fit your individual needs. The surgeon should also be open and honest with you and inform if you are a good candidate for the plastic surgery you are considering.
You shouldn’t feel pressured to undergo a cosmetic procedure. Remember, a plastic surgery is a choice and not an emergency. To ensure you cover all your questions, it is a good idea to prepare a question list and also take notes. After the consultation you should receive a quotation outlining the estimated fees for your surgical procedure. This quotation is known in Australia as the “Informed Financial Consent” (IFC), and it should include the surgeon’s billing policies.
4 – Surgical fees
There are a number of fees that can be associated with your plastic surgery procedure, so it is important that you have a good understanding of the costs that the whole surgical process might incur.
When looking for a potential surgeon, it’s recommended that you don’t get persuaded by surgeons who offer free consultations or highly discounted fees. You should focus on getting a safe and successful result, instead of finding a discounted price.
When getting quotation for your surgical procedure, it’s important to account for a number of fees associated with your procedure, which can include:
- Initial consultation
- Subsequent consultation (which is a follow up consultation prior to your surgery)
- Surgeon fees (both the operation fees and the post-operative fees)
- Assistant (not all surgical cases will require and assistant; check with your surgeon if you particular will require one)
- Implants and prostheses (if your procedure requires it)
- Post-operative garments
- Hospital fees
5 – Booking your plastic surgery
Before you decide to go ahead with a plastic surgery, you should feel very confident that this is the right decision for your, and your surgeon should be supporting you with it. A responsible surgeon should be able to advise if a surgery is not suitable, as well as be very open and honest about the realistic expectations you should have with the planned surgical procedure.
Once you feel confident that you have a suitable and qualified surgeon to work with you on your cosmetic surgery goals, it is time to get prepared and book the surgery. It is recommended that you book in for a follow up consultation prior to the surgery, where you will have the opportunity to clarify any additional questions and get prepared for the procedure.
The chosen plastic surgery practice should provide you with information sheets for both the preparation prior to your surgery, as well as the post-operative stage. Other information that you should expect to receive is the hospital information, admission times and fasting times.
Additionally, if garments are needed, those will be recommended prior to the surgery. For some patients, exams might be ordered prior to the operation, including an ultrasound or blood test. If you are visiting from overseas, interstate or a different town for your surgery, you should include additional times in Sydney (for more information on Breast & Body Clinic’s information page for travelling patients, click here.