The Distinctions between Specialist Plastic Surgeon and Cosmetic Surgeon– Not All Surgeons Are The Same
Are all surgeons the same? When people hear the terms “Specialist Plastic Surgeon” and “Cosmetic Surgeon”, they think they are interchangeable terms but that is not the case. There is an important distinction between Specialist Plastic Surgeons and Cosmetic Surgeons and patients need to understand the difference so they can ensure they are getting the best care.
Dr Kennedy in an interview with 10 Daily said, “Patients are often misled by the term ‘surgeon’, and believe they are being treated by a practitioner who has had specialist training and accreditation”
So what are the differences?
Below are the key distinctions between Specialist Plastic Surgeons and Cosmetic Surgeons.
Specialist Plastic Surgeons:
The Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons defines a Specialist Plastic surgeon as follows:
“A Specialist Plastic Surgeon is a Commonwealth Government accredited plastic surgeon, trained and qualified to perform invasive reconstructive and cosmetic surgery in public and private hospitals, and accredited day surgeries. All 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 five-year postgraduate Surgical Education and Training Program (SET) for surgical registrars in reconstructive and cosmetic plastic surgery is provided by the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) and administered by the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons Inc (ASPS).
A Specialist Plastic Surgeon with the letters “FRACS” or Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeon, appearing after his or her name is accredited to perform invasive reconstructive and cosmetic plastic surgery”
A Cosmetic surgeon can be a General Practitioner who has completed a 5-year Bachelor of Medicine/Bachelor of Surgery.
It is not illegal for anyone in Australia with a basic medical degree to operate, however their experience and training is vastly different from a Specialist Plastic Surgeon and does not qualify someone to practice in plastic surgery.
They do not have a FRACS (Plast).
Whilst all surgical procedures carry risk, you can reduce the chance of risk and complication by consulting a Specialist Plastic Surgeon who is trained, qualified and accredited to perform reconstructive and cosmetic surgery.
Dr Dan Kennedy is a Specialist Plastic Surgeon. He is a member of the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons and The Australasian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons.
He is currently the Vice President of the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons.
Dr Kennedy is a trainer for Galderma Australia and focuses on teaching anatomy and safety to injectors. He is also on the faculty of the Melbourne Advanced Facial Anatomy Course and teaches facelift anatomy to an international audience of surgeons.