For anyone considering a surgical procedure, it’s important to understand that not all surgeons or practitioners who offer cosmetic surgery are necessarily qualified to do so. The appearance of the ‘cosmetic surgeon’ title has become seemingly more widespread over the last few years as demand for cosmetic procedures has continued to grow.

Today, it is legal for any doctor in Australia with a medical degree to operate – which is problematic for patients who aren’t aware of the crucial difference between the qualifications behind each title. Therefore, any doctor is able to self-identify as a ‘cosmetic surgeon’, regardless of their training or experience in the complexities of plastic surgery.

Any person considering a cosmetic procedure should always consult with a Specialist Plastic Surgeon to ensure they are receiving care and advice from someone who is fully qualified to do so. A Specialist Plastic Surgeon will have a medical degree, as well as –

  • Accreditation from the Commonwealth Government to perform invasive cosmetic and reconstructive surgery in hospitals and accredited day surgeries
  • Extensive surgical education and training including a minimum of 12 years medical and surgical education
  • At least 5 years of specialist postgraduate training

While many non-surgical procedures can be performed by a Registered Nurse (such as dermal fillers), oversight and training provided within a clinic overseen by a Specialist Plastic Surgeon is always preferable.

If you have any concerns about your surgeon’s accreditation, consult the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons website.