Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need a referral to make an appointment?
Patients seeking advice about cosmetic surgery, do not need a referral to make an appointment, as there is no benefit from Medicare for the surgery.
However, many procedures regarded as “cosmetic” do have some reconstructive component and therefore will attract a Medicare benefit. Therefore, it may be an advantage to obtain a referral before consultation to maximise any Medicare rebate that may be obtainable.
The best way to discover if cosmetic surgery can help to solve your concerns, is to consult with Dr Turner, who will listen to you carefully, perform an examination and advise you of your options. He will tell you what you need to know in order to make an informed decision about what is best for you. He may offer you a solution which you had not previously known about or considered.
Are my medical records kept private and confidential?
Your medical file is handled with the utmost respect for your privacy. Our staff are bound by strict confidentiality requirements as a condition of employment regarding your medical records.
Ordinarily we will not release the contents of your medical file without your consent.
What is the difference between cosmetic and reconstructive surgery?
Reconstructive surgery is designed to improve or restore function that has occurred as the result of an accident, birth defect or disease.
Cosmetic surgery is that subspeciality of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery that is designed to improve a person’s appearance in an aesthetic manner by altering or reshaping a bodily feature.
With many of the procedures we perform combining elements of both reconstructive and cosmetic surgery
What is the difference between a Plastic Surgeon and a Cosmetic Surgeon?
This difference is confusing to many people. A Plastic Surgeon has the degree of FRACS – a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery and is a member of ASPS – the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons. You can be confident that this doctor has undergone an intensive post-graduate training in all aspects of Plastic Surgery and knows the anatomy and biology of the body and can prevent, and where necessary, treat any problems that may arise from your surgery.
A cosmetic surgeon is not a formally recognised title under the Australian Medical Board, and often has no more recognized training than a basic medical degree – with many cosmetic surgeons in Australia having the same qualifications as your local General Practitioner. Many of these ‘Surgeons’ have no specialized post-graduate surgical training and do not have admitting rights to accredited hospitals – to treat their patients in the case of a problem occurring. Due to this limitation they frequently perform procedures under ‘twilight sedation’ in their own unaccredited clinics as they are unable to be accredited in a fully accredited private hospital.
What is Cosmetic Surgery?
Plastic Surgery covers a whole range of surgical procedures which essentially deal with disorders of the surface of the body. It includes skin cancer, burns, birth deformities, hand surgery and cosmetic surgery. A well trained surgeon who has studied for 8-10 years to achieve the gold standard of surgical services in this country and universally recognized throughout the world, is awarded the degree of FRACS (Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons). Cosmetic surgery is one of the subspecialties of the broader field of Plastic Surgery and one field in which many Plastic Surgeons choose to specialise.
What is Plastic Surgery?
Contrary to its name, plastic surgery does not involve the use of plastics. The word “plastic” is derived from a Greek word “plastykos” which means “moulding” or giving form.
About my procedure
When am I able to resume regular exercise?
This depends on the operation performed. Most patients need about two weeks before light exercise can be undertaken. Strenuous aerobic exercise will depend on the nature of the operation and the patient’s recovery rate. As a rule, the longest period off exercise is experienced by abdominoplasty patients who need six weeks before full recovery is complete. Liposuction patients, on the other hand, are encouraged to commence walking almost immediately after surgery. All other patients will resume some mild exercise fairly soon after surgery and gradually increase the intensity in a graduated fashion.
What about the recovery from surgery?
Each patient tolerates the post operative discomfort in an individual way. We address your discharge and post-operative pain relief in consultation with you as part of the planning process.
Appropriate pain relief will be prescribed for you to minimise discomfort in the post-operative period, particularly if you choose not to be admitted to hospital for your procedure.
Most operations on the face and neck including rhinoplasty – have surprisingly little discomfort after surgery.
Liposuction can be somewhat more painful. Abdominoplasty, where the muscles of the abdomen are tightened with strong sutures to flatten the tummy, usually has pain similar to a hysterectomy or Caesarian section and therefore requires more medication for the relief of pain.
Do I have to stay in hospital?
This depends on the nature and complexity of the operation, your support at home and your preference.
Many cosmetic surgery procedures are safely and effectively carried out as day-only operations in a fully accredited Day Surgery Hospital.
A decision on all aspects of your surgery is made in consultation with Dr Turner and your specialist anaesthetist to ensure the safest, most comfortable experience for you.
Will there be pain?
All cosmetic surgery procedures will have an element of being uncomfortable, but should not be painful. Even when the operation is performed under general or twilight anaesthesia, local anaesthetic of long duration is infiltrated widely into the surgical field to provide long lasting pain relief once the procedure is over.
After surgery, specifically tailored medication is prescribed to ensure the discomfort associated with the operation is minimal, if experienced at all.
What is scarring? Will it be noticeable?
A result of any surgical procedure is scarring. Each and every time the skin is cut either by scalpel or laser a surgical scar is produced. The quality and appearance of scars vary widely with the individual’s healing process, the position of the scar on the body, and the degree of tension placed on the scar. The types of scars can be influenced by personal, familial and racial factors and CANNOT BE CONTROLLED by the surgeon.
Will it be noticeable – probably not. Your surgeon will make every effort to keep scars as minimal as possible and try to hide them in the natural lines and creases of your skin. For the majority of procedures, your scars will fade over time and become barely visible.
Will Medicare and my private Health Fund cover my treatment?
Many cosmetic surgery procedures enjoy a benefit from Medicare and Health Funds. In some instances, even breast augmentation qualifies for a benefit. You can be sure that our efficient office team will make all the enquiries and applications on your behalf to ensure the best possible rebate for you.
What are acceptable means of payment?
Fees will be fully explained at your consultation and before you commit to surgery.
Once your operation is confirmed, you will be given full financial advice, including what we expect to be your out of pocket expenses and any benefits you are able to receive from Medicare or your private health fund.
Payment for your cosmetic procedure is expected two weeks prior to the date of surgery.
Acceptable methods of payment include cash, personal cheque, bank cheque or Visa/Mastercard/AMEX. (We cannot process Diners Club cards). Patients seeking credit can be referred to one of several financing institutions which specifically cater to patients seeking to have cosmetic surgery.
What about your fees?
The standard fee charged in this office for reconstructive surgery is the Australian Medical Association (AMA) recommended fee. This means that in most instances there will be an out of pocket component for your surgical fee which will not be covered by Medicare and your health fund. If there is any problem with this it is important that you ask about this gap. With respect to cosmetic surgery, some of the operations will receive a benefit from your health fund insurer whilst others will not. We are able to give you the appropriate advice on all these matters and give you some exact estimates of what he final costs might be.
Please be advised that when you have an operation, not only is there a fee for your attending surgeon, but also for the anaesthetist and the hospital. Our staff are fully informed with charges and rebates and will be able to help you navigate your way through this area of your procedure.