Patients Reviews – How Accurate Are They Really?

If you have ever considered getting some Plastic Surgery such as breast augmentation, you have probably been online to do some research on Plastic Surgeons. A recent review showed that an increasing percentage of people check online reviews when selecting a Plastic Surgeon!  People today are turning to online forums, message boards and online reviews as an important source of information for making decisions.  These online reviews have replaced personal recommendations from family and friends that we used to rely on.  Many people prefer the anonymity of researching online as they prefer not to expose themselves to what can be a judgmental world!  Consequently, negative online reviews can have a significant impact on a Surgeons reputation.

Don’t always believe what you read…

While there is some value in online reviews, take care to keep in mind that they are not always factual. Not everything you see online is genuine feedback from personal experience.

Businesses have been known to post fake reviews either positive or negative to boost their business. It is an increasing online trend that is difficult to control.

Patients may occasionally write negative reviews as a way of punishing their Surgeon.  Perhaps the Surgeon failed to meet the patients expectations or they are seeking unattainable perfection.

Most negative reviews are a result of real medical complications that are a known risk of surgery.

Remember that nearly every Plastic Surgeon has some negative reviews.

The majority of people tend to report bad results or negative reviews as opposed to giving positive feedback when their Surgeon has done a good job. In fact, AHPRA guidelines prevent Surgeons from posting positive patient reviews on their websites and so it can often seem that there are more negative reviews than positive!

Do Your Research…

Plastic surgery, like any type of medical procedure, can have known risks or unexpected complications.

You can reduce your risk of complications by making sure you do your research and carefully select a doctor that is a Specialist Plastic Surgeon with years of experience.

A qualified Specialist Plastic Surgeon has had extensive surgical education and training including a minimum of 12 years medical and surgical education, with at least 5 years of specialist postgraduate training in a large teaching hospital.

There are 3 things to look for when selecting your doctor:

  1. FRACS (Fellow of The Royal Australian College of Surgeons). You can confirm if your doctor is a qualified Specialist Plastic Surgeon by taking note of the letters after their name. The letters FRACS (plastic and reconstructive) indicates that your doctor is a commonwealth accredited plastic surgeon who has been trained by the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and undergone 4 or more years of additional specialist training in plastic surgery.
  2. AHPRA (Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency).  In Australia, it is a legal requirement for any medical practitioner to be registered with AHPRA.  On AHPRA’s website, you can check that they are a registered medical practitioner and that they have recognised specialist qualifications.  You can also check if there are any restrictions to their scope of practice.
  3. Member of ASPS (The Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons). All Specialist Plastic Surgeons should be a member.

At Cairns Plastic Surgery…

Our Plastic Surgeon, Dr Isolde Hertess is a Specialist Plastic Surgeon with years of operative experience. You can check her profile on, AHPRA, ASPS and ASAPS.

We always ensure that our patients understand the risks involved in their Surgery.   

We are very proud to announce that we have recently invested in Crisalix, the worlds leading Virtual Reality 4D and 3D plastic surgery imaging, providing life-like simulations for plastic procedures such as breast augmentation.

Contact us at Cairns Plastic Surgery for more information on ph 07 4031 5755