New cosmetic surgery guidelines and cost of surgery

The Medical Board has come up with new guidelines for medical practitioners who perform cosmetic procedures, effective on 1 October 2016. The guidelines are welcomed by specialist plastic surgeons as they aim to keep patients safe, without imposing an unreasonable regulatory burden on practitioners. The guidelines are generally practised and followed by plastic surgeons who adhere to strict ethics and codes of conduct. Some of the new guidelines require a seven-day cooling off period for all adults before major procedures and a seven-day cooling off period before minor procedures for all under 18s. When clinically indicated, evaluation by a registered psychologist, general practitioner or psychiatrist is required. The treating medical practitioner will also take explicit responsibility for the post-operative patient care, and make sure there are emergency facilities available when they are using sedation, anaesthesia or analgesia.

While the above is generally basic medical knowledge, routine practice and common for the majority surgeons, some non-specialist doctors have pushed the limit, and as a result, the medical board had to act.

More regulations will be effective from March 2017, such as that procedures including breast augmentation, breast lift, full face lift, genital female surgery and rhinoplasty will only be performed in a fully accredited Hospital facility. While this is a safe practice, it will increase the overall cost of such cosmetic surgeries by around 25%-30%. It is a dream come true to private hospitals as they will pocket around $3,000 for each breast augmentation surgery and around $5,000 for surgeries such as breast lift and face lift surgery.

Since 1980, due to the increasing number of providers of cosmetic surgery, the cost of such surgeries declined – as a matter of fact, the cost of doing breast augmentation in some Sydney Clinics is as competitive as having it done overseas.

This will change from March 2017 due to the introduction of the new guidelines by the Medical Board