It is estimated that Australians spend more than $1 billion on cosmetic surgical procedures every year and more per capita than the United States.
The Australasian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS) has recently launched an important industry campaign, aimed at informing Australian market, titled Know the Difference.
ASAPS launched this national campaign to help educate consumers on the vital importance of knowing the difference between a registered Specialist Plastic Surgeon and those who portray themselves as Cosmetic Surgeons. A Cosmetic Surgeon is a fabricated title that is not recognised by regulators in either Australia or New Zealand.
The Know the Difference campaign is also calling for greater regulatory industry oversight in Australia to help clarify the difference (which can be confusing) for the general public.
Goals of the Know the Difference campaign
While registered plastic surgeons require eight to 12 years of medical training, in addition to a lifetime of ongoing learning, ASAPS president Rob Sheen said doctors could moonlight as “cosmetic surgeons”, enabling them to tap into the booming and lucrative cosmetic surgery market.
“The result of that is these practitioners don’t have proper training to the level of a specialist- so they are creating a lot of patient harm,” Dr Sheen said.
ASAPS Members Regularly Fixing “botched jobs”
Amid a surge in demand for aesthetic cosmetic surgery, a survey of ASAPS members illustrated that one in 10 plastic surgeons had found themselves having to fix “botched jobs”.
Based on this and other findings, ASAPS has begun important discussions with the corporate watchdog in an attempt to have the title “cosmetic surgeon” banned.’
ASAPS – Surgeon Checker
The Know The Difference campaign also includes a Surgeon Checker where consumers can search for their surgeon in the Royal Australian College of Surgeons (RACS) database to confirm their qualifications.
Research undertaken by ASAPS – Cosmetic Surgery and Non-surgical Complications – undertaken in 2019 also found that up to 60 per cent of cosmetic surgery patients would have chosen differently – had they known their doctor was not a qualified plastic surgeon.
Only doctors registered as specialists in the recognised specialty of ‘plastic surgery’ can call themselves plastic surgeons. Those with no specialist surgical registration portray themselves as surgeons by using the title ‘cosmetic surgeon’, and some of them are putting patients at serious risk.
ASAPS is hoping the Know the Difference campaign will help consumers make informed decisions when choosing a practitioner.
For further information visit ASAPS at: https://aestheticplasticsurgeons.org.au/