How to choose a plastic surgeon
Choosing a surgeon should be based on some basic sensible principles.
FRACS & ASPS
It is very simple, but your surgeon should be someone trained in the craft of surgery. Surgeons in Australia have completed additional rigorous training over at least 6 years and sometimes much longer to acquire the credentials FRACS behind their name. This confirms their fellowship with the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons.
The letters FRACS does not distinguish between different types of surgeons such as general surgeons, neurosurgeons, urologists and so on. Each of these surgical subspecialties have an identifying society. Plastic Surgeons in Australia are additionally members of the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS).
You should check these 2 simple associations before choosing your Surgeon for your cosmetic or reconstructive surgery.
If your surgeon is in fact a cosmetic surgeon, then they may not have admitting rights to a hospital in your area. In the event of a complication requiring a hospital admission, your care will have to be transferred to the care of a Plastic surgeon in a private or public hospital.
Your surgeon should practice in facilities that are well equipped to handle the surgery and any unexpected events. The facility should be accredited and you should have confidence in the facility’s ability to provide a safe, comfortable procedure, anaesthetic and recovery.
Your surgeon should be available and easily reached during your immediate recovery.
If your surgeon is not local, ask when they will be leaving the state and ask what arrangements have been made to ensure continuity of care with another surgeon. If this is not clear and formalized, then be aware that you may not be adequately supported in the event of a post-operative complication.
In the same way, it is better to have your surgery locally with a local surgeon as this implies that you will be close to family and support, and you will be closer for follow-up visits. It also implies that your surgeon is likely to be in town to help if you have any concerns.
If you live in a regional area and need to travel to Adelaide for your surgery, it may be wise to stay in Adelaide for a short period after your surgery until your first follow-up before returning home. It is also important that you have a support person during this period. This is not absolute and depends on a host of factors including distance, your general health and the type of surgery. At a minimum, you should discuss this with your surgeon.
You should feel comfortable with your surgeon. You should not feel like you have been backed in to any decision. You should feel like you have made an informed decision based on the information that has been provided. The process, the fee structure, the recovery and risks of a procedure should be transparent. Seek this transparency and if it is not forthcoming then seek a second opinion.
We hope the experience you have at Cranford House Plastic Surgery is positive, simple and transparent.