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Separating the Myths from the Facts

Plastic Surgery Facts:

  • Plastic Surgery covers a broad scope of practice from procedures to improve one’s aesthetic appearance to reconstructive surgery.
  • Safety and patient care is always paramount.
  • All surgery, cosmetic and reconstructive, whether performed under local or general anaesthetic, in day surgery or in hospitals, can carry serious risk.
  • All patients should be very careful about their choice of surgeon.
    Results cannot be guaranteed. 
    The choice of surgeon may be the most important decision a patient makes.
  • It is important to be self aware and challenge one’s own expectations about possible results and motivations in seeking surgery. 
  • It is important to understand claims from practitioners about academic qualifications, training and experience as well as overly simplistic descriptions of procedures.
    Any doctor, who might not even be a specialist surgeon, is allowed to perform surgery if the patient consents to the operation.
  • All ASPS members are fully trained specialist plastic surgeons.

Plastic Surgery Myths
Myth 1: Only plastic surgeons can legally perform plastic surgery
 
Myth 2: Plastic surgery procedures cost the same no matter who performs them or where they are performed.
 
Myth 3: It is disrespectful to ask your plastic surgeon tough questions
 
Myth 4: It is inappropriate to ask surgeons to speak with their previous patients
 
Myth 5: All plastic surgery procedures are performed in accredited facilities
 
Myth 6: Plastic surgeons only perform reconstructive surgery
 
Myth 7: "Extreme makeovers" are routine in plastic surgery practices 
 
Myth 8: All College certifications are the same.


Myth 1
Only plastic surgeons can legally perform plastic surgery.
No regulations govern what type of medical practitioner can perform plastic surgery procedures.
Many practitioners who have not been through rigorous training but perform plastic surgery procedures call themselves 'Cosmetic Surgeons'. 

The best way to know your surgeon is fully trained and qualified is to choose an ASPS Member Surgeon.

ASPS Member Surgeons:

  • Are certified by the Board of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery to perform plastic surgery of the face and all areas of the body
  • Have at least five years of surgical training and experience specifically in plastic surgery
  • Operate only in accredited facilities
  • Fulfil continuing medical education requirements

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Myth 2
Plastic surgery procedures cost the same no matter who performs them or where they are performed.
There are many variables involved in the pricing of plastic surgery procedures - including geographic location, surgeon expertise and demand, and the time and effort your procedure requires.
Other factors include the costs of anesthesia, surgical facility fee, labs, and more.
Be sure to ask your surgeon about all costs involved.
When choosing a plastic surgeon, remember that the surgeon’s qualifications and experience as well as your comfort with him or her are just as important as the final cost of the surgery.
Many plastic surgeons offer patient financing plans.
Learn more about the ASPS Fee Policy.

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Myth 3
It is disrespectful to ask your plastic surgeon tough questions.
Asking tough questions is the best way to get to know your surgeon.
It gives you the opportunity to learn about their qualifications, experience, and demeanor.
Your questions let them know you’ve done your homework, want to be educated about your procedure, and will be an active partner throughout the process.
View a list of questions to ask your ASPS Member Surgeon.

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Myth 4
It is inappropriate to ask surgeons if you can speak with their previous patients.
Reputable surgeons will have no problem supplying you with contact information for some of their recent patients.
Speaking with patients about their experience and results is an excellent way to learn more about your surgeon.
Read more information on how to plan for a plastic surgery procedure.

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Myth 5
All plastic surgery procedures are performed in accredited facilities.
Some practitioners perform plastic surgery procedures in non-accredited facilities.
Making sure that your procedure can be performed in an accredited facility will significantly reduce safety risks and increase your comfort level.
ASPS Member Surgeons perform surgeries only in accredited facilities.

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Myth 6
Plastic surgeons only perform reconstructive surgery.
Plastic surgery encompasses both cosmetic and reconstructive surgery.
ASPS Member Surgeons are trained, experienced, and qualified to perform both cosmetic and reconstructive procedures on the face and all areas of the body.
Because many cosmetic procedures are rooted in reconstructive plastic surgery, ASPS Member Surgeons are uniquely qualified to handle your cosmetic needs.
Learn more about cosmetic and reconstructive procedures in our FAQs.

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Myth 7
“Extreme makeovers” are routine in plastic surgery practices.
Contrary to T.V programs, extreme makeovers are far from routine or common in plastic surgery.
Most patients inquire about one particular area of the body that they would like to improve.
During your consultation, your surgeon will ask you a series of questions to gain an understanding of your goals for plastic surgery and discuss them with you on a realistic basis.

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Myth 8
All College certifications are the same.
Any group of medical professionals can create its own “certification” board, or register a business name called a “College”.
ASPS Member Surgeons are certified by the Board of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons - a group designated by the Australian Medical Council to oversee credentialing in plastic surgery.
Their certification requires passing rigorous oral and written exams.
The College of Surgeons trains all the specialist surgeons in Australia.
Get more information on the qualifications for ASPS Member Surgeons.


Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons:

  • Are your partners in cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery.
  • Participate in volunteer plastic surgery organisation such as Interplast and Operation Smile which provide plastic surgery to more than 20 countries in need.
  • To make sure your surgeon has these outstanding qualifications, look for the ASPS Member Surgeon symbol.

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