Cosmetic surgery and procedures

Cosmetic procedures - be safe first

 

Cosmetic procedure: Be safe first

Thinking of a cosmetic procedure or surgery? Get informed and make a safer choice

No matter how simple it may seem, every cosmetic procedure or surgery carries risk. Even if you’ve had a procedure before, it’s important that you think carefully about your decision every time. If you decide that a cosmetic procedure or cosmetic surgery is for you – be safe first. Know which questions to ask and what to look out for, so you can make an informed decision.

Who is involved in carrying out the procedure or surgery?

When considering higher risk cosmetic procedures such as cosmetic injectables, there are additional protections if you choose someone who is registered to practise in Australia. You can check this on our national online Register of practitioners. But this may not be enough to tell you whether they are qualified and experienced in this specific area of practice. The person might be a registered health practitioner but may have very little experience or knowledge of the specific procedure or surgery you want. Choose someone who is qualified, knowledgeable, skilled and experienced in performing the procedure or surgery. Ask about their qualifications and experience.

See the fact sheets below for more information about what to think about before deciding on a cosmetic procedure or surgery and who to go to if you have a concern.

Where is the procedure or surgery taking place? Is it clean? Is it safe? Does it meet state or territory licensing requirements?

Where the procedure occurs is very important. At a minimum, all clinics must meet infection control standards set by state and territory health departments. Other standards also apply, depending on how invasive or risky your procedure is. Some surgical procedures can only occur in a state or territory licensed facility like a day-procedure facility or hospital.

See the fact sheets below for more information about what to think about before deciding on a cosmetic procedure or surgery and who to go to if you have a concern.

What medicines, medical devices or other health products are being used?

The procedure or surgery you are considering will likely involve a medicine and/or medical device. Make sure any medicine and/or medical device that will be used in the procedure or surgery is approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA). You can check whether a medicine or medical device is approved for supply by looking for it in the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG).

See the fact sheets below for more information about what to think about before deciding on a cosmetic procedure or surgery and who to go to if you have a concern.

Informed consent

The registered practitioner who will perform the procedure should provide you with enough information to make an informed decision about whether to have the procedure. In addition to the information described above, you should also be given information about:

  • what the procedure involves
  • the risks and possible complications
  • total cost including details of deposits required and payment dates, refund of deposits, payments for follow-up care and possible further costs for revision surgery or additional treatment, and
  • the complaints process and how to access it.

For major cosmetic surgery, there should be a cooling off period (of at least seven days) after you give consent, before you have the procedure.

Do you know where to go if something goes wrong?

If you have concerns about a cosmetic procedure or surgery or if something serious happens, there are some places you can contact, depending on the type of concern you have.

As well as talking to your registered health practitioner, many organisations across Australia have a role in regulating cosmetic procedures and surgery. If you have a concern and need to tell someone, in almost all cases, it’s always best to start with the person who provided the service, but failing that, there are some places you can contact such as (see ‘information about who to contact’ to understand who does what):

  • Ahpra and the Boards.
  • Health complaints organisations in your state or territory.
  • Health department in your state or territory.
  • Consumer protection agencies.

See the fact sheets below for more information about what to think about before deciding on a cosmetic procedure or surgery and who to go to if you have a concern.

Remember, be safe first.

More information

 
 
Page reviewed 20/02/2020