Choosing a Surgeon
Choosing a surgeon in Perth
Choosing a highly qualified, reputable plastic surgeon in Perth can be a daunting task. Here’s where you should start…
While searching for a plastic surgeon may be smooth sailing for some people, others may not know what specifics to look for, the credentials to check, or certain questions to ask yourself when searching. You may have familiarised yourself with a particular surgery of interest and are now actively searching for a qualified plastic surgeon who may be able to carry out the desired procedure and achieve the results you are looking for.
When choosing a plastic surgeon, take the time to research their qualifications and experience. Unfortunately, any doctor can call themselves a Cosmetic Surgeon. If you are considering Cosmetic or Plastic and Reconstructive surgery, ensure your surgeon of choice is a ‘Specialist Plastic Surgeon’. They should also be a member of The Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). This is a not-for-profit organisation that aims to maintain the highest standard of surgical practice and ethics in Plastic Surgery in Australia.
What is a Specialist Plastic Surgeon?
A Specialist Plastic Surgeon is a Commonwealth Government accredited plastic surgeon. They are trained and qualified to perform invasive cosmetic and reconstructive surgery in public and private hospitals, and accredited day surgeries. In Australia, the national Medical Board (AHPRA) states that the “Specialist Plastic Surgeon” title can only be used by surgeons in the recognised Specialty of Plastic Surgery.
Why should I choose a Specialist Plastic Surgeon?
Finally, it is currently legal for any doctor in Australia with a basic medical degree (MBBS) to perform cosmetic surgery. Specialist Plastic Surgeons have extensive surgical education and training with a minimum of 14 years medical and surgical education. This must include at least 5 years of specialist postgraduate training. All surgical procedures carry risk, but you can reduce the chance of risk and complications by consulting a Specialist Plastic Surgeon.
Credentials, Fellowships & Surgical Training
To be considered or labelled as a ‘Specialist Plastic Surgeon’, doctors must have completed extensive surgical education and training for a minimum of 12 years of medical and surgeon education as well as at least 5 years of specialist postgraduate training. These Surgeons have all received training in Plastic Surgery recognised by the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS). They have therefore been awarded the title of FRACS (Plastic Surgery). Doctors who have MBBS behind their name have a medical degree only. Doctors who have FACCS or FMACCS who do not have FRACS after their name may have had no training that is recognised by RACS.
Many of them have received their training from other doctors who have not had formal training through RACS. These doctors operate as cosmetic surgeons or cosmetic physicians. They gain their experience by operating on patients who choose to see them.
When searching for a plastic surgeon, you may see the following societies listed on their profile.
- Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (FRACS)
- Member of the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS)
- Australasian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS)
- Member of the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS)
If you are unsure of a surgeon’s qualifications or legitimacy, you can check on the above websites to see if your surgeon is listed. If they are not listed on the website, it is highly likely they have not been truthful about their qualifications or credentials.
The Initial Consultation
Honesty and transparency are key to any situation in life, especially when it comes to your plastic surgery journey. If you decide to book a consultation with a plastic surgeon, there are some important questions you’ll want to ask. The questions can be divided into two categories: profession and the surgery proceeding you seek.
Questions About Profession
Questions to ask about your plastic surgeon are crucial to your decision-making process and, ultimately, the success of your surgery.
- What are your titles and qualifications?
- How many years of experience do you have?
- What board certification(s) do you currently hold? (ASPS, ASAPS, ISPS, etc.)
- What are your specialty procedures or procedures of interest?
Questions About Surgery
Questions about your desired surgery will vary depending on what you’re seeking, however, we’ve used Breast Reduction as an example.
- How many breast reductions have you performed?
- Is breast reduction something you specialise in?
- Am I a suitable candidate for this procedure?
- Do you have a gallery or showcase of breast reduction cases similar to mine?
- What are the costs and risks associated with the procedure?
- Where would my surgery be performed? Is the surgical facility accredited?
If the plastic surgeon you’re seeking can honestly answer these questions and are transparent about the costs involved, the risks and any doubts or concerns they may have regarding your case, this is exactly what you’re looking for!
If instead, the plastic surgeon cannot disclose prices or costs associated or tells you there are minimal to no risks at all, you may want to do some more research on this particular surgeon or seek another plastic surgeon.
All surgical and invasive procedures carry risks. No reputable specialist plastic surgeon should claim or guarantee a risk-free surgical procedure.
Asking these questions during your initial consultation will help to ensure that you are choosing a highly qualified and reputable plastic surgeon.
Realistic expectations are a crucial thing to keep in mind when deciding on a surgery to undergo. If you do not maintain realistic expectations, a plastic surgeon may be unable to perform the procedure safely or achieve your desired outcome.
For example, if you are considering breast augmentation surgery and you currently have a petite frame, seeking extra large breast implants may not be suitable for you. This is something your plastic surgeon will advise you of during your initial consultation.
If a plastic surgeon claims they will be able to perform the surgery safely or to your expectations, be sure to ask for previous cases similar to yours where the plastic surgeon has achieved a similar outcome.
Fake reviews are a common misconception when viewing some plastic surgeons on Google. Unfortunately, this issue is rarely touched on by other plastic surgeons, making it Dr Hanikeri’s priority to ensure all patients searching for a suitable plastic surgeon do check the reviews.
If you are unsure about a certain surgeon or their legitimacy, it’s always advisable to seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.
About Dr Mark Hanikeri
Dr Mark Hanikeri is a specialist plastic surgeon in Perth. He received a globally recognised qualification from the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in Plastic Surgery (FRACS) in 2003 and has since spent almost 20 years working in Reconstructive Plastic Surgery in Perth, Queensland and centres of excellence abroad.
Dr Hanikeri has spent the last 16 years in Australia upskilling and mastering his art in aesthetic/cosmetic surgery. He specifically specialises in all facets of cosmetic surgery including facial aesthetic surgery, breast surgery and body surgery.
He is a founding member of the Western Australian Plastic Surgery Centre which has grown to be one of Australia’s busiest plastic surgery practices. He has also been involved with surgical training in Western Australia since 2004.
Plastic Surgery Consultations in Perth
To learn more about Dr Mark Hanikeri and his qualifications in the plastic surgery field, check out his profile or call our practice on (08) 9380 0311 to book a consultation today.