The Lotus Institute Plastic Surgeon

Dr Widdowson Bio and Qualifications

So whats the difference?

Currently in Australia, it is legal for any doctor with a basic medical degree to perform surgery. Only Specialist Plastic Surgeons, have a minimum of 12 years medical and surgical education, and 5 years of specialist postgraduate training.

IMPORTANT TO KNOW: When making your decision in selecting your surgeon, remember that the Medical Board of Australia states that the “Specialist Plastic Surgeon” title can only be used by Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (FRACS) approved specialist surgeons in the recognised specialty of Plastic Surgery.

The Medical Board of Australia does not recognise ‘cosmetic surgery’ as a specialty practice of surgery. Fields of speciality practice within surgery recognised include plastic surgery, oral and maxillofacial surgery, general surgery, orthopaedic surgery, among others. ‘Cosmetic surgery’ is not included.

The title ‘cosmetic surgeon’ therefore is not indicative of certain qualifications, such as would be expected of a ‘plastic surgeon’. It is important to note that a Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery is the general qualification of a General Practitioner, and does not qualify someone to practice in plastic surgery.

The Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons notes that: ‘currently in Australia, it is legal for any doctor with a basic medical degree to perform surgery. Specialist Plastic Surgeons, on the other hand, have extensive surgical education and training including a minimum of 12 years medical and surgical education, with at least 5 years of specialist postgraduate training.’

The President of the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons, Associate Professor Bartholomeusz, has said that:

‘[W]e can only reiterate that cosmetic surgery is not trivial surgery. Anaesthesia and surgery carries risks and it is vitally important that all surgeries, including all cosmetic procedures, are carried out, not just by appropriately qualified surgeons, but also in properly accredited facilities with an anaesthetist present.’

It is recommended that any individual considering surgery of an aesthetic nature:

  • Consider the difference between plastic and cosmetic surgery
  • Always check that the health practitioner from whom they are seeking treatment is registered, as required by law, with AHRPA, and seek if any restrictions are placed upon their practice.

When searching for a surgeon it is important to research thoroughly, ask for a practitioners qualifications and experience, and not rely on internet reviews. Keep in mind the following;

  • Genuine Specialist Plastic Surgeons have up to 12 more years of additional surgical trainingin cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery procedures.
  • They have Australia Medical board recognition AS a Specialist (this elite medical qualification takes over a decade of difficult training and numerous examinations)
  • In addition to using FRACS (Plas) by their names or in their BIOs, they’ll also have ASPS, ISAPS, ASAPS or similar memberships ONLY available to bonafide Plastic Surgeons.
  • Most Specialists have studied in top Universities in Australia AND have worked alongside international leaders in Plastic Surgery during internships or volunteer work overseas
  • They will have Hospital operating room privilegesand admitting rights – vs only being able to operate in a back room and NOT being able to admit patients .
  • They tend to work alongside very experienced general AnaesthetistsAND use fully-asleep forms of Anesthesia vs twilight only (most back-room clinics are restricted to using what’s known as ‘awake’ surgery.

Credit of information to ;

Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons,au

10 Daily story- Plastic Surgeons Vs Cosmetic Surgeons; Whats the Difference?- Jessica Dunne.

Nicole Montgomery- Trusted Surgeons

The Sunday project