Is cosmetic plastic surgery even right for me?

If you’re considering plastic surgery then you’ll need to ask yourself if cosmetic plastic surgery is even right for me?  The American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery have a great set of questions that may help you figure out if you’re really ready for plastic surgery:

  • Am I physically healthy, eating right, and not smoking?
  • Am I prepared to make necessary lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking, in order to have my surgery?
  • Do I have realistic expectations for the results of my procedure?
  • Am I exploring plastic surgery for myself or to fit someone else’s ideals?
  • Have I spent time testing my knowledge about plastic surgery and exploring the qualifications of plastic surgeons?
  • Have I told my plastic surgeon about medical conditions, drug allergies, and medical treatments
  • Have I reviewed with my plastic surgeon my current use of medicines, vitamins, herbal supplements, alcohol, and drugs?
  • Am I ready to do my part to ensure the success of my procedure?
  • Do I know the procedure’s after-effects and recovery time?
  • Do I have a responsible adult to care for me for at least 24 hours (or as long as recommended) after my procedure?
  • Have all my questions been thoroughly addressed by my plastic surgeon?
  • Have I read, understood, and signed informed consent documents for my procedure?

Who should I talk to?

  1.  Talk to friends and family who may have had surgery if you feel comfortable sharing.
  2. Consult with your GP as they will often see a wide range of results from different plastic surgeons in your area.
  3. Use the Australian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeon’s find a surgeon page.  That way you can be assured of their qualifications and training!
  4. Have more than 1 plastic surgery consultation and make sure you feel comfortable with the surgeon and their team as you will be in seeing them regularly.

9 Qualities to Look For When Choosing a Plastic Surgeon:

1. The right qualifications

Australian Plastic Surgeons who are board certified have the following Credentials:- MBBS FRACS (Plastic Surgery) – MBBS FRACS stands for Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery.  FRACS stands for Fellow of The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and only those surgeons can call themselves the official title of  SPECIALIST PLASTIC SURGEON.  Make sure your surgeon has this title!!

Check your surgeon’s credentials carefully as not all cosmetic surgeons are Specialist Plastic Surgeons! In Australian even GPs are legally able to perform invasive surgical procedures like breast augmentation surgery. Your Specialist Plastic Surgeon should be registered with the medical board of Australia and their registration status should reflect that of a SPECIALIST PLASTIC SURGEON.




2.  Is my plastic surgeon endorsed by leading professional societies?

Look for professional memberships and endorsements by official organisations such as The Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons, The Australian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons ASAPS .  Qualifications gained via the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons can also help to confirm a surgeon has the appropriate level of experience, training and qualifications to perform cosmetic plastic surgery.

3.  Experience

Experienced cosmetic plastic surgeons perform cosmetic plastic surgery on a regular basis. Ask about your surgeon’s experience with the procedure being considered and be sure to look at a range of before and after photos online and in clinic.

4.   Where does my surgeon operate?

Selecting a Specialist Plastic Surgeon means that your surgeon abides by a code of ethics and rules relating to how and where they perform surgery.  Specialist Plastic Surgeons will only operate in accredited facilities licensed by Queensland Health. They operate alongside qualified Specialist Anaesthetists delivering anaesthetists.

5. Does my plastic surgeon have hospital privileges

Every hospital board carefully reviews and evaluates the credentials of a surgeon including their training and competency before allowing them to operate at their hospital.  Ask your surgeon where he/she operates?  Large hospitals such as The Wesley Hospital, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital and many other hospitals will only grant admitting and operating privileges to surgeons who have specialist qualifications.

6. Have I experienced a thorough consultation process?

Your consultation is an important part of determining your suitability and safety for a surgical procedure. Phone or video consultations should never be a substitute for an actual clinical consultation by your plastic surgeon.   Your consultation should involve the following components:

  • A thorough discussion of your medical history, any conditions and current medications
  • A review of your key goals and concerns
  • An evaluation of your specific anatomy including key measurements if required
  • 3D scanning or clinical images may be performed during your consultation
  • Education about the procedure or treatment plan, risks and recovery information
  • Alternative treatment options
  • Written material about your procedure
  • Informed financial consent or transparent written information outlining the cost of your cosmetic plastic surgery.

You may be required to attend additional consultations and typically Dr Cheng consults and discusses your treatment plan a minimum of 2 times prior to surgery.

7. Do I feel comfortable when asking my plastic surgeon questions?

Not every patient and every surgeon are made for each other.  You need to feel confident and comfortable with your surgeon and good communication is fundamental to your relationship with your surgeon.  If you don’t feel comfortable raising concerns before surgery it won’t get any easier after surgery so keep this in mind when choosing your plastic surgeon.

8. Will I see my plastic surgeon after my surgery?  Aftercare!

Recovery and aftercare are just as important as the surgery itself, so make sure you check with your surgeon about their aftercare process.  Is your surgeon going to be around to look after you following surgery as you may need their assistance .  Good plastic surgeons often provide their personal mobile to their post operative surgical patients.  Dr Cheng likes to keep a close eye on your progress and results so typically you will see him week 1, week 6, 4-6 months and 12 moths after your surgery.  Make sure you ask about follow-up visits and how to get in touch with your surgeon should any complications develop post operatively.

9. Will my plastic surgeon tell me the cost of my cosmetic plastic surgery?

Costs for cosmetic plastic surgery vary between surgeons and locations.  Often fees are based on 4 key costs including:

  • the surgeon’s fee including their assistant
  • anaesthetist
  • hospital
  • prosthetics such as breast implants
  • miscellaneous items such as compression garments, blood tests and medications like pain relief.  Keep in mind that costs for cosmetic surgery are generally not rebatable via medicare or private health insurance.

Keep in mind techniques, surgical complexity and the length of surgery can impact on the cost of your surgery.

Dr Eddie Cheng is a board certified Specialist Plastic Surgeon in Brisbane, Australia.  Socialise with us @arplasticsurgery to learn more about Dr Eddie Cheng and our Team.

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