Cosmetic surgery not all prettty

CHOICE investigates the cosmetic surgery industry and uncovers some disturbingly unprofessional practices.
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04.Questions to ask + case study

Questions to ask

Before you arrive at a consultation it’s important to be prepared. Take a list of questions to ask the doctor. Below are some examples.

  • What are your qualifications and experience?
  • How many times have you performed the procedure?
  • How many times have you performed it in the past six months?
  • Can I speak to previous patients?
  • Are there any complications associated with the procedure?
  • If complications do occur or the procedure is not successful, how will you deal with this?
  • Where will the surgery be performed?
  • Will a qualified anaesthetist administer the anaesthetic and/or sedative medication?
  • Will I need time off work?
  • Are there other post-operative side-effects?
  • Will there be any visible scarring following the procedure? How can this be minimised?
  • What aftercare will be provided and will this be included in the treatment costs?

‘Everyone’s reaction is different’

ReactionWhen Kay from Queensland started developing slight jowls at the age of 36, she decided to try a cosmetic procedure. She began to research her options but found information provided by the colleges and organisations too overwhelming. She then investigated the website of a cosmetic surgeon who regularly advertises in the newspaper.

Happy with the information she found, Kay made an appointment with the doctor to discuss her options. He suggested a threadlift, which was described as less invasive than a facelift and involved pulling back sagging skin via a series of small threads attached under the skin.

Kay was quoted $5000 for the work and decided to go ahead with it despite her disappointment with the doctor’s manner. “I would have liked a more personal connection. It was very much like he was thinking ‘just show me the money’.” Despite being told the procedure was minimally invasive, Kay was alarmed by how much swelling developed afterwards. When she returned to the doctor she found him dismissive, saying only that “everyone’s reaction is different”.

Three years later, Kay says she is very unhappy with the results. “I have noticeable skin folds behind my ears, which the doctor told me would settle down, and every now and then I have a ‘pinging’ sensation in my temple, possibly as a result of one of the threads retracting. But I don’t want to go back to a doctor who will just tell me it’s a reaction and everyone is different. I thought the whole thing would be seamless and unnoticeable, but that hasn’t been the case.”


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