26 September 2023

Health cuts a warning on cosmetic surgery

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Australians looking to kick off the New Year with a cosmetic surgery makeover are being encouraged by the Department of Health and Aged Care to be aware of the risks.

Releasing two resources for patients, the Department said it was important for those considering cosmetic surgery to obtain trustworthy information first.

“Cosmetic surgery has risks and it’s important to be informed,” the Department said.

“Doing your research before cosmetic surgery is essential,” it said.

“Make sure you have reliable information about who will be doing the procedure and where it will take place.”

The Department said that before deciding on surgery, people should choose a qualified medical practitioner who had skills and experience in performing the desired surgery, check the surgery would take place in a licensed facility, and understand the risks and possible complications.

It recommended patients ask for and understand the plan for their recovery and aftercare, and know what to do if something goes wrong.

Health said its Patient Safety Checklist was designed to help people prepare for their cosmetic surgery, while its Questions to ask before your cosmetic surgery provided a list of questions to help them make an informed and safer decision on cosmetic surgery.

“To make an informed choice about cosmetic surgery, you should rely on credible sources of information,” the Department said.

“Unreliable sources of information can put your health at risk.”

It said credible sources of information include a healthcare professional, Government health websites, and the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (Ahpra).

The Department advised people to be wary of information from social media, online reviews and patient testimonials as they were not always factual, credible or genuine.

“Patient testimonials are often used to sell a service, rather than provide accurate information,” it said.

“They do not indicate the level of expertise, quality, or safety of a service.

“Remember, other people’s experiences may not be typical and might be different to yours.”

The Department’s one-page Patient Safety Checklist can be accessed at this PS News link and its two-page list of questions at this link.

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