It’s about time! What are the new Restrictions on the use of the title ‘Surgeon’?

Cosmetic Surgery in Australia

Cosmetic Surgery is one of the fastest growing medical fields in Australia, and the demand is only expected to increase. 

There has been a recent restriction to the use of the title Cosmetic Surgeon and it has been welcomed by many Australians in the medical field. 

It is expected that these changes will reduce the incidence of adverse complications occurring following cosmetic surgery and procedures.

There is also the need to educate consumers of the consequences that can arise from failing to check and understand the difference between a properly trained Plastic Surgeon and a Cosmetic Practitioner.

Why the Need for Change?

The recent restrictions to the use of the term ‘Cosmetic Surgeon’ has been a long time coming.

  • In the past, doctors have been able to call themselves Cosmetic Surgeons after doing just a half day course on something like liposuction, breast enhancement or facial procedures.
  • Some medical centers have allowed nurses to administer antiwrinkle injections while a doctor supervises via Skype, video or phone call.
  • Unqualified doctors performing cosmetic surgery have put uninformed patients at risk.
  • A Specialist Plastic Surgeon is NOT the same as a doctor who is referred to as a Cosmetic Surgeon. Cosmetic Surgeons are not necessarily members of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, and even though they are doctors they may have recognized specialist qualification.

The Restrictions

It has been a long time coming, but finally there have been restrictions put in place about who can call themselves a ‘Cosmetic Surgeon’. 

Just recently, the Health Minister has banned the use of the word ‘Surgeon’ by a doctor that has not gained fellowship from the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. 

The title ‘Cosmetic Surgeon’ is now heavily restricted and there have been strict guidelines put in place specifying who can perform cosmetic surgery.

Now, only doctors with plastic surgery training will be able to call themselves a ‘Cosmetic Surgeon’.

This change has come after a series of unfortunate incidents that have occurred as a result of unqualified doctors performing cosmetic surgery. 

The change will make it much clearer to anyone seeking a suitably qualified doctor to perform their plastic surgery

For anyone seeking cosmetic surgery, whether it’s facial surgery, breast augmentation or skin procedures, it is imperative to make sure the doctor is suitably experienced and qualified.

What is a Specialist Plastic Surgeon?

  • 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. 
  • 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.
  • Plastic Surgery is complex and complications can still occur. You can reduce your risks by doing your homework and making sure that the doctor you choose is a Specialist Plastic Surgeon with years of experience.

For more information:

Cairns Plastic Surgery

Ph: 07 4031 5755

Unit 4, Level 2,

193-197 Lake Street,

Cairns, QLD, 4870