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What is the difference between a cosmetic surgeon and a plastic surgeon?
Unfortunately, the term ‘surgeon’ is used incorrectly, and can potentially mislead patients and put them at risk.
In fact, according to the national statutory body the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA), “cosmetic surgeon” is not a title accredited in the field of surgery – it is a made-up title. Practitioners who are not registered surgeons misrepresent themselves as surgeons using a non-AHPRA title. This is a serious patient safety issue that the industry must fix urgently. When doctors use fabricated titles, they are deliberately withholding the truth of their accreditation and qualifications from patients. In November 2019, Australian State and Federal Health Ministers voted unanimously to “..restrict the use of ‘surgeon’, including by way of ‘cosmetic surgeon’ by medical practitioners, non- specialist surgeons or those without the other appropriate specific training, in order to prevent causing confusion among members of the public.”
Only plastic surgeons are registered as specialists in plastic surgery, with the qualifications, experience and accreditation.
Why should I choose an ASAPS member?
The Australasian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS) is the peak body for plastic surgeons in Australia
and New Zealand whose focus is aesthetic plastic surgery. ASAPS membership is exclusively composed of registered specialist plastic surgeons with world-class expertise in cosmetic surgery and aesthetic medicine. An ASAPS member is a highly qualified, experienced and ethical registered specialist plastic surgeon specialising in cosmetic excellence.
ASAPS represents the highest standards of cosmetic excellence by registered specialist plastic surgeons, so you can be confident that when you choose an ASAPS member, you are choosing the best possible outcomes from the only practitioners who are registered as specialists in Plastic Surgery and have the appropriate qualifications to be performing cosmetic surgery: registered specialist plastic surgeons.
What are the risks associated with getting a surgical procedure done by a doctor who is not a registered surgeon?
Being well-informed will help you make the best and safest choice. We are focused on educating the public about false and misleading advertising carried out by doctors who are not surgeons, and the potential risk of highly invasive surgery procedures that are carried out by unqualified practitioners who are not registered as Specialist Surgeons in Australia and New Zealand.
ASAPS implores all patients to understand the critical difference between cosmetic surgery performed by a specialist plastic surgeon registered as a surgeon by the medical board and a doctor or nurse who is not. Knowing this can help you make the right choice to protect your health or your life. Making the right choice has a huge impact on the outcomes of a procedure.
When you choose an ASAPS member, you know you are selecting a highly qualified and registered specialist in Plastic Surgery: a registered specialist plastic surgeon.
What are the risks associated with getting a surgical procedure done by a non-surgeon?
In Australia and New Zealand, a surgeon is understood to indicate a person with specialist, accredited surgical training in addition to their basic medical degree. Yet, some medical graduates with no specialist, surgical qualifications, call themselves Cosmetic Surgeons. Some of these self-described Cosmetic Surgeons include individuals who hold only elementary medical degrees. Compare this to a Specialist Plastic Surgeon, who undergoes an additional 8 to 12 years of surgical training in addition to their basic medical degree, and the situation looks scary. This deliberate lowering of cosmetic surgery standards can, and has, resulted in devastating complications. It is important for people to be aware that the mandatory qualification for Surgeons in Australia and New Zealand is to be a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (FRACS).
ASAPS members are on the Specialist Register of Plastic Surgeons maintained by the Medical Board of Australia (MBA) or the Medical Council of New Zealand (MCNZ). You can always check whether a surgeon is on the Specialist Register by contacting either of these registration bodies.
Choosing the right procedure and surgeon is important. I believe that helping my clients make informed decisions is key to a great result so if you have a question or would like to know more about something specific, please let me know – Regards, Alex.