SO WHAT IS COSMETIC SURGERY?
Everybody deserves to feel good about themselves. For a variety of reasons, people may feel unhappy with some aspect of their appearance or how they present to others. Such feelings can lead to lack of self-esteem and confidence. This can lead to a justifiable desire to modify or improve ones appearance in some way.
Reasons people may feel they may wish to undergo some change to their appearance include:
- Congenital or birth defects
- Lack of development of a bodily part ( eg breast underdevelopment)
- Concern over the shape of a bodily part (eg nose reshaping)
- involutional changes (eg breast sag and decreased size following pregnancy and breast feeding)
- Changes of Aging
- Concern that ones appearance may adversely affect their professional prospects or success
- Comments from others (eg that one is looking tired or angry when they are not)
- Inability to attain the body shape one desires despite regular exercise and good diet (Liposuction)
- Symptoms related to bodily imbalances (eg breast reduction, abdominal reduction)
Cosmetic surgery offers individuals the choice to change and improve their appearance. Cosmetic surgery should not, however, be taken lightly. It should not be trivialised and its risks should not be underrated as often occurs with pressure advertising and the media. Risks associated with cosmetic surgery are fortunately uncommon and in properly trained hands cosmetic surgical procedures are very safe. Today cosmetic surgery is common and popular and viewed positively by the community in general.
Cosmetic surgery is aimed at achieving improvement, not perfection and it is very important to approach such surgery with realistic expectations. Given this is the case, patients undergoing cosmetic surgery procedures are likely to be extremely satisfied with their results. The improvements derived from cosmetic procedures can be life changing. These include elevation of self confidence and self esteem and feelings of well being. Some find their professional prospects are improved or maintained.
Cosmetic Surgery is a form of plastic and reconstructive surgery, being born from the developments of this discipline. Its roots are therefore from ancient times when surgery was devised to improve appearance following traumatic or congenital defects. Thorough understanding of general surgical principles and anatomy are essential to the safe and quality practice of cosmetic surgery. Ensuring your procedure is performed by a fully trained plastic and reconstructive surgeon is of paramount importance in planning your surgery.
Those seeking such surgery need to understand that cosmetic surgery is relatively unregulated in Australia and there are many unqualified practitioners masquerading as surgeons performing cosmetic surgical procedures. It is important to check with the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons (phone 02 94379200) to check the appropriate credentialing of your surgeon.
Important Note when Choosing Your Surgeon
All surgeons have differing levels of training, experience and expertise.
Plastic surgeons practice cosmetic plastic and reconstructive surgery. To qualify as plastic surgeons a doctor must be trained through the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS), which involves a minimum of 10 years of extensive training and exams after graduation from medical school. Most are also members of the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), a group whose members are ALL trained through RACS. In Australia, just about anyone with a basic medical degree (MBBS) is allowed to perform cosmetic surgery as there there is currently no legislation in place which stops any doctor, even your local GP, without having undergone formal surgical training calling themselves a ‘surgeon’.
Your only safeguard is to look for the letters FRACS under a doctor’s name and check that they are affiliated with the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), as only fully qualified plastic surgeons have these titles and memberships. To find if your doctor is a real surgeon, go to www.surgeons.org/find-a-surgeon/. Alternatively go to the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons website on www.plasticsurgery.org.au/