Plastic surgery frequently asked questions

Plastic Surgery FAQs

Can I get injectables during COVID-19?

Whilst it is not dangerous to get injectables, the treatments do require quite close physical contact.  Beauty treatments, including injectibles have been banned by the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons and the Federal Government so any practitioners caught performing these treatments, could be prosecuted.

Plastic Surgeons are only permitted tp perform urgent surgical procedures at this point, including skin cancer surgery, trauma surgery and mor recently, surgery for breast reconstruction.  It is hoped that within the next few weeks we will be able to perform other procedures such as breast reduction and post weight loss procedures. It is unlikely that we will be able to perform cosmetic procedures until June/July at the earliest.  The issue is the consumption of PPE and the potential stress to medical resources in the event that there is a virus outbreak.

Yes most of us are open and consulting via telehealth.  We are seeing some patients face to face for urgent problems but in view of social distancing, most are not seeing cosmetic cases face to face at this time.  That is likely to change in the next few weeks if the Covid-19 numbers remain low.

Yes.  We are keeping a spreadsheet of patients who are wanting non urgent procedures and as soon as restrictions are relaxed, we will contact those patients and offer them available dates for surgery.

All patients should be referred by their GP or another consultant to ensure that they are involved in all aspects of your care.  You should therefore approach your GP for a referral letter before making an appointment with Mr Hanikeri.

In addition, your GP will be able to inform Mr Hanikeri of your past medical history so that this information can be taken into account when considering your procedure.  Sometimes patients do not realize that a particular medical problem, which they might have suffered from in the past, could increase the risks involved in an operation. ​

Do your research.  Make sure they are listed on the AHPRA website as a Specialist Plastic Surgeon.  Speak to your GP or friends if they have any knowledge of the surgeon.  It can be risky looking at SM reviews as they are often fabricated.  Independent sites such as Realself, Plastic Surgery Forum and Plastic Surgery Hub are more reliable.

As with all ASPS surgeons, Mr Hanikeri will charge a consultation fee, just like any other specialist. You will be asking him for a professional opinion about your condition and after consideration he will discuss the range of options available to you.

One option may well be that surgery is inappropriate. In some cases, Medicare rebates will apply to your consultation fee.

Your stay in hospital depends on how quickly you can recover which varies from patient to patient.

  • For breast augmentation patients, we may recommend an overnight stay in hospital if the implants are placed under the muscle
  • For breast reduction and tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) patients we advise a 1-2 nights

At the time of your consultation Mr Hanikeri will discuss the length of your hospital stay and explain why a longer stay may be required for certain procedures or patients.

The answer depends on exactly what type of breast surgery you are contemplating. As a Specialist Plastic Surgeon with 18 years’ experience in Surgery, Mr Hanikeri will take whatever measures are available to maximise your chances of maintaining normal breast function and nipple sensation – Unlike an underqualified ‘cosmetic surgeon’ or physician might do.

For breast augmentation surgery, we generally recommend “below the muscle” implants and making incisions under the breast for best results if you are going to breastfeed children later in life or want the lowest chance of loss of nipple sensation.

There are sometimes difficult situations like this, and one can understand the GP who is busy looking after ill patients who feel that the healthy asking for enhancement are not part of his/her practice.

In these circumstances, it is still possible for you to be seen by Dr Hanikeri since he is allowed to operate without a GP referral, however, no Medicare or Health Fund rebates will apply.

Yes. Dr Hanikeri can give you an opinion about the suitability of an operation. You may also meet his nurse and administrative staff members who can assist you with health fund information and hospital bookings.

The operation cost will be made up of Mr Hanikeri’s fee, the anaesthetist’s fee and hospital costs which will include the bed in the hospital, the facilities of the operating theatre and any other tests, which may be required.

We encourage leisurely walking and light duties following your procedure. At the time of your consultation, Mr Hanikeri will discuss the type of exercise that you would like to do and how soon you can return to the activity.  For fitness enthusiasts, this may mean 10-12 weeks before heavy gym exercise like weights, bouncing or running.

Dr Hanikeri recommends waiting several months after you’ve finished breastfeeding your last child before having breast surgery – typically a minimum of three months after breastfeeding finishes.

Patients often say that cost is the main reason for choosing to travel overseas for cosmetic surgery. However, if there are complications with your surgery and revisions are needed, that initial cost can increase significantly. It is therefore important to assess all the risks involved before making an informed decision.

Do your homework and make sure the person performing the procedure is properly qualified and accredited. It is also important to make sure that the surgery will take place in an accredited facility that is to the standards set by the Australian Day Surgery Council.

Some of the questions you should ask before making a decision are:

  • Is my surgeon a member of the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS)? This means they have some form of internationally recognised qualification
  • Have I got the right information and had enough time to give informed consent?
  • Has there been at least a week between appointments so that I have had adequate time to consider surgery and make an informed decision?
  • Are the medical standards of care and quality control requirements at least as good as those in Australia and New Zealand?
  • Have I been assured that the devices and products used in overseas hospitals meet Australian and New Zealand standards? For example, breast implants used in Australia must meet strict standards of safety and effectiveness, a process regulated by the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and Medsafe (New Zealand). Other countries may not have similar regulations
  • Have I got a plan for what I will do in the case of post-operative problems?
  • Did I actually see the surgeon, or was the initial ‘free’ visit with a nurse or administration person?
  • Did I get full, written financial details, including all out of pocket expenses for not only the surgeon, but also the anaesthetist, assistant and hospital theatre or facility costs?
  • Were the risks and complications explained to me?
  • What will happen if things go wrong? Will by surgeon accept liability?
  • Where will I be financially if things go wrong, what other costs do I need to consider?
  • Have I been told about post-operative care and what to do if complications arise after the surgery?

Post-operative care is vital to your recovery from surgery and should not be combined with a holiday. Sitting by the pool, drinking cocktails and snorkelling does not qualify as post-operative care. A qualified and accredited surgeon should offer you a high level of post-operative care.