Calls for Greater Regulation of Cosmetic Surgery in Australia

by Gopalan on  February 25, 2009 at 12:58 PM Lifestyle News
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 Calls for Greater Regulation of Cosmetic Surgery in Australia
Australian activists are urging greater regulation of cosmetic surgery.

An undercover investigation by consumer group Choice has exposed the highly unprofessional and dangerous practises of some clinics

In order to find out how some cosmetic surgery clinics operate, Choice recruited three women as shadow shoppers. The women visited 30 cosmetic surgery clinics in Sydney and Brisbane, requesting consultations for breast augmentation, liposuction and Botox, and reported back on their experiences. Choice then formally invited members of the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) to give expert opinions on how these consultations were conducted.

Choice spokesman Christopher Zinn says one of the most appalling examples of unprofessional conduct involved a woman seeking breast implants.

"This was where the woman in one case was shown the breasts of one of the sales consultants as an example of the doctors' handiwork, was told she actually needed to have the surgery done, was offered a discount if she agreed to before and after photographs of her breasts being published on the internet, and was even told that if she had the breast enlargement it would increase her chances of finding a boyfriend," Mr Zinn said.

Liposuction is a most dangerous procedure. It usually involves pumping the "problem" area with liquid before sucking fat out of the body. It can be painful and requires a high level of post-operative care.

The shadow shopper used for this case was rated by ASPS experts as a poor candidate for liposuction - they suggested she would need to lose weight first and that an abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) would probably be more suitable.

While the general advice about liposuction was sound, not all the doctors stated how many surgeries they had performed - and even when they did, they remained ambiguous. Very few doctors mentioned their actual qualifications and accreditations, hence placing the onus on the patient to do all the asking.

Plastic surgery complications can vary from scarring to fatalities and the effects of surgery can sometimes be traumatizing to patients both physically and psychologically.

The risks of plastic surgery will diverge depending on the individual and the procedure you opt for. Scarring is one of the most frequent risks that people considering plastic surgery should be alert of. Most surgeons will try to hide incision lines in places where they aren't noticeable but most surgeries will still result in permanent scarring.

Bleeding and infections are probable after surgery, but if these complications are caught early on they can usually be treated.

Nerve damage is a serious difficulty that people considering plastic surgery must be aware of. Some people who undergo plastic surgery will lose feeling in the area that was operated on while others may experience problems moving muscles in the area where the surgery was performed.

Other dangers include: sensory damage around the operation site, discoloration of the skin, tissue necrosis, asymmetry, abnormal looking features, premature aging and allergic reactions to sedation.

The Australasian College of Cosmetic Surgery agrees there needs to be further regulation and more transparency for consumers.

Its president, Doctor Daniel Fleming, says the College is still working on a code of conduct despite the first draft being knocked back by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

"It's quite normal for a draft decision for the ACCC to say 'we want you to make some changes before we approve it'," Dr Fleming told ABC Online.

"We're quite happy with the changes they've asked for, we're resubmitting the code within three weeks and we're absolutely confident the code will be approved by the ACCC and it will be the first and only code that will give consumers transparency in cosmetic surgery in this country."

Source: Medindia

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My name is Deidre Nolan and I am one of the activists in Australia trying to warn women and girls about the dangers of cosmetic surgery in this country. Its an unregulated industry in this country and any doctor is allowed to call him or herself a cosmetic surgeon. I am constantly hearing from distressed and disfigured women who have paid thousands of dollars, and undertaken serious procedures with doctors who said they were 'specialists' but who were really just GP's. There's a lot of word games and deceptions going on, and women are being ripped off and ripped up in this dangerous industry.I've just had a letter from an Asian woman who believes that Asian women are being lured to Australia by unsafe surgeons in this field. Its an irony actually because many doctors in cosmetic surgery in Australia are always telling women here not to go to Asia to have cosmetic surgery because its too dangerous over there! Perhaps some of them are just worried about the profits going offshore, instead of into thier own pockets! Make no mistake, cosmetic surgery is very bloody dangerous here in Australia too!
Please be warned, and google on my name to find my blogs and youtube publications for further information. Deidre Nolan


even the docs that are members of supposedly accredited organisations can be very dodgy, and over estimate their abilities. They are the "have a go at anything" surgeons. Egos are huge!!!When things go wrong they just deny everything.It is heartbreaking the butchering they get away with.


I find it hard to believe that the australasian college of cosmetic surgeons is serious about regulating its members code of conduct, when their is no one regulating their organisations own code of conduct. I made a complaint to the australasian college of cosmetic surgeons about one of their members and was told they would be in contact with me in due course (whatever that means) that was 1 1/2 months ago and I have not heard from them since. Giving them accreditation with the ACCC would further place patients contemplating surgery with one of their untrained Dr's at risk. Plastic surgery should only be performed by qualified plastic surgeons. It takes plastic surgeons seven years of post graduate training to qualify to perform plastic surgery on patients and there is a very good reason for it. Yet the govt is allowing GP's with no qualifications to perform cosmetic surgery on the unsuspecting public. Individuals whether they are contemplating cosmetic surgery or any surgery in general are all patients and deserve the same care and treatment.

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