Cosmetic Surgery Negligence
Plastic and cosmetic surgery is an increasingly popular choice Australians are making each year. Understandably, it is extremely important that extensive research is completed prior to the procedure, to ensure you are choosing a qualified surgeon.
Plastic Surgeon vs Cosmetic Surgeon
Prior to undergoing a procedure, it is important to understand the difference between a cosmetic surgeon and a plastic surgeon. There are many sub-specialties within the realm of plastic surgery. This includes both reconstructive surgery, specifically, restoring any body parts that require medically necessary repair due to injury or illness, and cosmetic surgery which is the optimisation of aesthetics and appearance. With this in mind, it is important to note that the different procedures deal with alternate desired outcomes.
In Australia, any doctor with a medical degree is qualified to perform surgery. Shockingly, the requirement to specialise in cosmetic surgery ranges from a one-year fellowship to a series of weekend courses teaching how to place breast implants. In contrast, a plastic surgeon has undergone considerable surgical training and studies to obtain their specialist qualification. The recognised medical specialty requires that they have undergone at least 12 years of medical and surgical training, as well as a minimum of a further 5 years of postgraduate studies in a specialist setting.
Cosmetic Surgery Negligence and Malpractice
As touched on above, cosmetic procedures include those procedures designed to enhance the aesthetics and appearance of a body part, for example temporary or permanent fillers, or a breast augmentation. As a result of the minimal training required to practice in cosmetic surgery, malpractice and negligence can occur a lot more frequently than with a specialist plastic surgeon.
Examples of negligence and malpractice we frequently see in cosmetic surgery cases are:
Surgical procedures being performed outside of a hospital, where the necessary. medical equipment to manage any arising complications are not available.
- Operating environments not being sterile, leading to infection and other issues.
- Unregistered medical practitioners performing cosmetic procedures.
- Inexperienced medical practitioners performing complex procedures.
- Lack of explanations and warning to patients of the risks of surgery.
How Can I Tell if My Doctor is a Plastic Surgeon?
The most common difference between a cosmetic surgeon and a plastic surgeon is their cost. A cosmetic surgeon will generally charge significantly lower than a plastic surgeon. Cosmetic surgeons commonly do not practice out of a hospital or a medical clinic, meaning they do not have to incorporate the costs of theatre time, recovery time or medical monitoring. Even though many people want to save money by choosing a cosmetic surgeon, the risks significantly exceed the price difference.
This is why it is important to ensure the doctor you are considering for your surgery is qualified and trained to perform the procedure. In Australia, all plastic surgeons are trained by the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS). Once their training is completed, they are approved by the Australian Government to perform plastic surgery. If you are in doubt, you are able to conduct a search of all registered doctors at https://www.surgeons.org/Fellows/Find-a-surgeon?q=&page=0.
Speak to Us Today
If you have been left with undesirable results following your cosmetic surgery, this is no guarantee that negligence has occurred, however it is always worth speaking to someone to make sure you have investigated your entitlements.
If you believe you may have suffered as the result of a cosmetic surgery or procedure, speak to one of our lawyers today by calling us on (02) 8594 5400.