What does “Plastic Surgery” mean?
The term Plastic Surgery is derived from the ancient Greek word “Plastikos”, which means to mould or give form. Plastic surgery aims to modify the shape of body structures to improve or restore the appearance of the deformed part. The interpersonal skills, technical expertise, ethics and clinical judgment of a Plastic Surgeon forms a crucial component for a successful surgical outcome.
Plastic surgery is commonly used to refer to cosmetic surgery procedures, such as breast augmentation and facelift surgery. In addition, plastic surgery can also be used to repair the damage caused by cancer, birth defects, or other injuries. In aesthetic or cosmetic surgery, plastic surgery procedures can be used to enhance or restore the natural appearance of the body. All Plastic Surgeons are trained in Plastic Surgery, which includes both cosmetic and reconstructive procedures, however, not all Cosmetic Surgeons are trained or are qualified in Plastic Surgery.
Are Plastic Surgeons qualified to perform cosmetic surgery?
Absolutely! There is a myth being spread by those who are not Plastic Surgeons, that Plastic Surgeons only perform reconstructive procedures. There are some who choose not to perform cosmetic procedures, however, there are a number of Plastic Surgeons who choose to specialise in cosmetic surgery. The truth is that cosmetic surgery was born from the reconstructive surgery experience, which only Plastic Surgeons are qualified to perform. Reconstructive plastic surgery grew from war, particularly after World War 1. Disfigured and maimed soldiers who survived their war wounds necessitated advances in facial and body reconstructive plastic surgery in order to return to their lives. Advances in plastic and reconstructive surgery not only improved function, but also cosmetic appearance and from this practice, cosmetic surgery was born to be accessed by patients who solely wanted to improve their cosmetic appearance.
Specialist Plastic Surgeons have a Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (FRACS), which demonstrates that they have a recognised, formal qualification in surgery. A Specialist Plastic Surgeon has to undergo intensive training in plastic and reconstructive surgery to perform invasive surgical procedures, including cosmetic surgery.
Doctors with an undergraduate MBBS degree (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) degree are not specialist trained in invasive surgical procedures. However, currently in Australia, it is legal for a doctor without a formal surgical qualification to call themselves “surgeons” and perform cosmetic surgery procedures. So, it pays to do your homework on your surgeon’s training, qualifications and experience in cosmetic surgery. No matter the claims, the only official professional body to recognise the practice of cosmetic surgery is the Australian Society of Plsatic Surgeons (ASPS) and the Australian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS).
All the members of ASPS and ASAPS, of which Dr Vlad Milovic is a Member of both, are certified as Specialist Plastic Surgeons and as such, are allowed to operate in accredited hospitals and day facilities, as well as utilise Medicare Item Numbers in cases which are not solely cosmetic. Being a Member of the ASPS is comparable to the concept of “Board Certified Plastic Surgeon” in the US.
It’s cheaper to have cosmetic surgery overseas. Why have it done here?
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 cost will increase significantly, and it is important to consider these costs when setting your budget. Revision surgery is more complicated than the original surgery, and if required, can cost more than the original cosmetic procedure. It is therefore important to assess all the risks and potential costs involved before making an informed decision, in case you are not happy with the outcome.
Do your homework and make sure that the surgeon performing the procedure is a qualified Plastic Surgeon, and at the very least, is properly qualified and accredited in their home country. A good place to start is the International Confederation for Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery (IPRAS) or International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ISAPS), both of which Dr Milovic is a Member. Also ensure that you have planned for your post-operative care and treatment for possible complications when you return home. You may not receive treatment after surgery by your Plastic Surgeon of choice, so plan ahead for this eventuality.
The reality is that we see patients who come to our practice for revision surgery who tell us that is that despite the attractive cosmetic tourism marketing hype, combining a cheap overseas holiday with surgery can be fraught with difficulties. You often won’t have the ongoing aftercare at home, and complications can arise even when surgery is performed with the utmost care. Who do you ask about your wound healing? Who will attend to an infected wound? Who will revise the scar, if you don’t like it or if it doesn’t heal well? Access to your Plastic Surgeon up to 12 months after your original surgery is important, whether you have your surgery in Australia or overseas, and like any service, costs are usually indicative of what to expect. Quality services will usually make sure that their costs are reflective of what is being offered. Specialist Plastic Surgeons have as their mission to ensure patients are safe as a paramount concern, and ensure that all Australians have access to the highest surgical standards in the developed world.
Do you offer cheap cosmetic surgery, such as cheap boob jobs?
Dr Milovic’s surgical fees fairly reflect his training, years of experience, availability, and complexity of the procedure in the case of the patient presented, and importantly, his comprehensive aftercare.
Cheap cosmetic surgery, especially breast implant procedures, are being increasingly offered in Australia for a number of reasons. One reason is to try and keep patients from travelling overseas for surgery, however, it has been reported that patients often don’t receive comprehensive aftercare despite the procedure being performed in Australia. Another reason is to compensate for limited cosmetic surgery experience or lack of qualifications. Revision surgery, with a more experienced Plastic Surgeon, could cost in excess of what was originally paid by the patient because revision surgery is often more complicated and can involve reconstructive work. Ask your surgeon about their qualifications and experience, if you are at all unsure.
How much will a cosmetic procedure cost?
Cost is always a consideration in elective surgery, such as cosmetic surgery, but it should not be the only consideration. Prices can vary widely between Specialist Plastic Surgeons for the same procedure. Some factors that may influence the cost include the surgeon’s experience, the type of procedure used, and the geographic location of the office.
Costs associated with the procedure may include:
- Surgical fee
- Hospital or surgical facility costs
- Anaesthesia fees
- Prescriptions for medication
- Post-surgery garments
- Medical tests
After your initial consultation, you will be provided with an information pack about your surgery and a written estimate of surgical fees.
Because every patient is an individual, we don’t actually have a “price list”. We prefer not to publish or give out broad figures for surgery because there are a number of variables that are considered when setting your fees. Each treatment plan is personalised for each patient. One price does not fit all, nor should it. Whether your case is more complex than another, the surgical technique chosen for your surgery, length of the procedure (measured in operating room minutes)…these are just some of the factors that will be considered. By giving out “ball park” estimates over the phone or email, patients can feel misled if the surgical estimate is much higher than the general price they were initially given. So, this is a practice which we do not engage in.
In fact, we have found that patients who are willing to visit and talk with Dr Milovic about their cosmetic surgery goals, and the financial cost of their surgery, have a more serious approach to surgery and present as better candidates.
Dr Milovic’s Practice Manager, Sonja, welcomes any questions you may have about fees/costs after your initial consultation.
Do you offer free consultations?
Patients generally attend at least two pre-operative consultations with Dr Milovic, both of which run for approximately 60 minutes in duration. The first consultation is paid at the time of booking and covers the cost of the second consultation as well, which is effectively free.
After the first consultation with Dr Milovic, patients are provided a written estimate of surgical fees, an information pack relating to the cosmetic procedure/s being considered, and can return to their second consultation with any questions. Having a second consultation gives patients time to seriously think about the cosmetic procedure/s, advice provided, goals and possible risks and complications associated with the surgery.
I have an event coming up soon. Can I have cosmetic surgery or non-surgical treatment before the event?
You should plan well before the event and it is not advisable to undergo any major procedures prior to the big event unless it is some months away. As always, you should discuss your plans with Dr Milovic and seek his advice. For the bigger surgeries, the first few weeks after surgery should be reserved for your unfettered recovery and this process shouldn’t be rushed.
Any cosmetic surgery you are considering for your big event should be done many months before the actual date to ensure complete recovery. Complications may arise from time to time, and you need to prepare for the possibility and give yourself sufficient time to recover. If this happens, the last thing you need is the added pressure of trying to rush your healing process. This inevitably fails.
With injectables, especially dermal fillers, you may have an instanteous result but its highly likely that you will be swollen for between 7-14 days. You may also have bruising at the injection sites. Plan ahead with your appointment to ensure that you glow at that next event, rather than worry about your healing. Stress will only delay your progress.
I am worried someone will recognise me or see me after surgery. Do you have a private area where I can sit?
We completely understand if you feel this way. Please let our Receptionist know that you wish to be seated in a private area when you arrive. We have a private lounge at the back of our clinic where you can wait to see Dr Milovic, out of view from the waiting and reception areas. We take privacy seriously and discretion has been built into our fit out. You can leave via a side door exit if you do not wish to walk past the waiting room and Reception area after your visit.