Would you have a medical procedure to an otherwise healthy part of your body, for no medical reason?  Many people consider undergoing cosmetic surgery because they want to feel better about their appearance. In this article, Amber Wang, Senior Associate with Snedden Hall & Gallop Lawyers, looks at some of the issues – including risks – associated with cosmetic surgery.

What is cosmetic surgery?

Cosmetic surgery refers to procedures that are designed to improve a person’s appearance.
Think dermal fillers, cool sculpting and botox. Getting some of these procedures can be as simple as a quick lunchtime visit to your local clinic.
Then there’s rhinoplasty, breast implants and liposuction. These and many other procedures can be done as day surgery.
And of course discounts and package deals can be enticing when considering your treatment options.

What’s the difference between a cosmetic surgeon and a plastic surgeon?

Often people aren’t aware that there’s a difference between a cosmetic surgeon and a plastic surgeon.
The title ‘cosmetic surgeon’ can be used by nearly any doctor, irrespective of their training or experience. By comparison, a plastic surgeon is a specialist who has undergone further training to become a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (FRACS). Becoming a FRACS allows surgeons to work in hospitals and alongside anaesthetists.

What do you need to know?

Cosmetic surgery and cosmetic injections are invasive procedures and so it’s important to be aware of the associated risks. There are many cases where cosmetic procedures have gone wrong. Sometimes drastically.
Before signing up for a cosmetic procedure, some good questions to research and to ask your surgeon include:

  • What is the level of surgical qualification the person performing the procedure holds?
  • Does the surgeon have FRACS recognition as a specialist?
  • What professional memberships does the person performing the procedure hold?
  • Where will the operation or procedure take place – in hospital, day surgery or a clinic room?
  • Who will be assisting them during your procedure?
  • What are the common and less common risks?
  • Will you be under general or local anaesthetic during the procedure?
  • How many of these procedures have they performed since they entered private practice?

You should also ask to see comparison photos or references from that surgeon’s past patients. And make sure that you read the consent form carefully, and well before the day of your procedure.

How can Snedden Hall & Gallop assist?

The price you pay when things go wrong during or as a result of a cosmetic procedure can be significant – financially and emotionally. Not everything that goes wrong during cosmetic surgery can be rectified, and you can be left disfigured and depressed. If you have questions about a cosmetic procedure that did not go as planned, please contact our Personal Injury team on 02 6285 8000 or by email.