THE CURRENT STATUS OF COSMETIC BREAST SURGERY IN AUSTRALIA
Unfortunately for patients, “cheap overseas cosmetic surgery” has now come to Australia!
We’ve all heard horror stories about cheap cosmetic surgery gone wrong.
As a clinic specialising in Cosmetic Breast Surgery, we regularly receive calls from patients who have had cheap surgery and have ended up with problems that they either can’t afford to fix, or even worse, are unfixable!
Owing to the popularity of Breast Augmentation, especially among young women who often have limited financial resources, cut-price clinics have sprung up all over Australia offering Breast Augmentations for as little as $4,700 when the total cost among more skilled surgeons is generally much higher.
Cut-price clinics discount heavily in order to gain a market share through ultra-cheap prices simply because they cannot attract patients any other way. Some of these clinics are owned by non-medical people (business entrepreneurs) attracted to Cosmetic Surgery by the cash flow on offer from the many patients unable to afford more experienced surgeons.
The practice model of such clinics often depends on high volumes and a quick turnover of cases with cheaper brands of implants. Unfortunately, these criteria can adversely impact patient comfort, safety, and the final result.
So, now you no longer need to travel overseas for a cheap Breast Augmentation because they’re available right here in Australia!
But do you want that? After all, it is life-changing surgery on your body and if it goes wrong it’ll cost many more $$$ to get it fixed and that’s providing it’s fixable!
So, if you can’t afford to have it in the best and safest possible manner by a skilled doctor with a reputation for consistently good results, either borrow or wait and save till you can! Because nothing beats experience, skill, high standards, and safety – not even a cheap price!
BREAST AUGMENTATION MISTAKES TO AVOID NO. 1 – RELYING ON FORMAL QUALIFICATIONS ALONE
There are two important aspects to this issue that you must always look into:
- Firstly, ENSURE THE DOCTOR YOU ARE SEEING HAS THE REQUIRED SURGICAL TRAINING and is either a:
- Certified Cosmetic Surgeon, certified by the Australasian College of Cosmetic Surgery WITH Procedural Registration specifically in Breast Augmentation. Procedural Registration with ACCS means the doctor has performed a minimum of 100 cases of Breast Augmentation; OR
- Plastic Surgeon – but most importantly, always ask how many breast augmentations he/she has done because a degree in Plastic Surgery does not automatically confer extensive experience in Breast Augmentation!
- Secondly, always remember that FORMAL QUALIFICATIONS ALONE ARE NOT INDICATIVE OF A DOCTOR’S EXPERIENCE IN COSMETIC BREAST SURGERY. For example, a recently graduated Plastic or Cosmetic Surgeon may have performed very few or no Breast Augmentations even though they have been fully qualified in Plastic or Cosmetic Surgery. Or they may have been in practice for many years but only just started performing Breast Augmentations.
THEREFORE, YOU NEED TO ASK THE DOCTOR YOU ARE SEEING THE FOLLOWING SPECIFIC QUESTIONS:
- Are you a Certified Cosmetic Surgeon (FACCS) WITH Procedural Registration in Breast Augmentation that confirms you have performed a MINIMUM of 100 cases, OR a qualified Plastic Surgeon with a minimum of 100 cases of Breast Augmentation?
- How many years have you been performing Breast Augmentation?
- Have you had any litigation in Breast Augmentation? If so, how many times?
At Breast Excellence, we only have Surgeons that have the qualifications, training, and experience to ensure patients receive the highest standards of surgical care. Our Cosmetic Breast Surgeons currently are:
- Dr Sawjin Tew, Specialist Plastic Surgeon is our Australian-trained female Specialist Plastic Surgeon.
- Dr Lara Wetton (FACCS), Cosmetic Surgeon, who over the last 12 years has trained with many Cosmetic and Plastic Surgeons, has worked in over sixteen Hospitals and Day Surgeries in Sydney, has published multiple papers in Medical Journals, and has presented at many Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery Conferences in Australia and overseas.
BREAST AUGMENTATION MISTAKES TO AVOID NO. 2 – OVERLOOKING CLINICS WITH EXPERIENCE & A REPUTATION FOR CONSISTENTLY GOOD RESULTS
It’s not simply a matter of just inserting implants and you instantly have beautiful breasts! They would be bigger, but they may not look that good or could even look terrible!
To consistently create breasts that are not just bigger but beautiful as well, takes years of experience. And to achieve this, a surgeon must not only have the required formal qualifications and a lot of experience in Cosmetic Breast Surgery, he/ she must also possess a sense of artistry to consistently create beautiful breasts and earn a reputation for such.
In contrast, a heavily discounted cost could reflect the use of surgeons with only limited experience in Breast Augmentation, a factor that increases your chances of a poorer result or a complication.
Moreover, such doctors may well lack the experience or knowledge to handle an unexpected complication during or after your surgery, and you could then find yourself being referred elsewhere at considerable additional cost!
BREAST AUGMENTATION MISTAKES TO AVOID NO. 3 – ACCEPTING A BRIEF CONSULTATION THAT DOESN’T FULLY INFORM
Stop and consider for just a moment that for a doctor to:
- take a detailed medical history & breast history; AND
- take many breast measurements; AND
- give you implants to insert into a crop-top to compare; AND
- allow you ample time to select your preferred implants in an unhurried fashion:
would be impossible to do thoroughly in a short space of time. So, if you’re being offered a quick consultation of less than 30 minutes it can only mean you’re NOT getting ALL the information you need to make informed decisions or are not being given enough time to view all your implant options before choosing.
We believe that every patient considering Breast Augmentation should know EVERYTHING about the procedure before deciding to proceed. That is why we allocate up to 2 hours for your consultation so we can provide you with ALL the information you need to make informed decisions and the right choices.
BREAST AUGMENTATION MISTAKES TO AVOID NO. 4 – HAVING SOMEONE OTHER THAN THE SURGEON DO ALL OR PART OF YOUR CONSULTATION
Some surgeons and clinics are keen to book you for surgery yet they employ nurses or non-medical ‘Sales Consultants’ to conduct a large part, if not all of the consultation.
In such situations, the role of the “Consultant” is essentially to ‘sell’ you the procedure, tell you how great their clinic is, and what wonderful results they deliver for everyone whereas, in reality, the exact opposite could be the case.
Moreover, it is illegal for any medically unqualified employee to examine you, assess your suitability for surgery, dispense medical information or recommend implants.
Those tasks should only be carried out by the Surgeon who’ll be doing your surgery, not by a Salesperson or Nurse of the practice.
In contrast, at Breast Excellence your entire consultation will be with the Surgeon who’ll be doing your procedure, not by a Nurse or Sales Consultant! Our Surgeon will explain in detail the surgery, show you the various sizes and shapes of implants that will achieve the results you’re after, hand you an itemized quotation showing a break-up of all costs, and finally give you printed information to take home.
BREAST AUGMENTATION MISTAKES TO AVOID NO. 5 – CHOOSING A CLINIC THAT RECOMMENDS ONLY ONE BRAND OF IMPLANT
“Don’t commit to any clinic that uses only one brand of implant until you’ve seen others.”
Some clinics offer only one brand of implant and this would mean you’re not getting a choice!
In effect, this prevents you from considering other brands of implants that could possibly deliver a nicer result.
A clinic offering only one particular brand may be doing so because of negotiated bulk-buying discounts.
Accordingly, the best implant for YOU needs to be chosen from a range of top-quality brands available!
At Breast Excellence, when it comes to implants, we are not brand-loyal where we only use one implant brand. Instead, we will recommend whichever brand, style, and shape of implant can best achieve the ‘look’ each patient is after.
BREAST AUGMENTATION MISTAKES TO AVOID NO. 6 – CHOOSING IMPLANTS BASED ON 3-D SIMULATION TECHNOLOGY
“The Surgeon you’re seeing should have a large variety of implant brands, shapes and sizes for you to compare instead of relying on 3-D Simulation Technology”
At Breast Excellence, we get the results we’re known for by carefully designing and customizing each patient’s surgery.
After taking many detailed chest and breast measurements, our Surgeon will hand you whichever implants from our large collection that suit your particular measurements and ask you to insert them one by one into a crop-top and choose whichever you feel will best deliver the ‘look’ you’re after.
Some clinics without large numbers of implant samples to show patients, use 3-D Simulation Technology.
Unfortunately, 3-D Simulations can be very unreliable and give patients false expectations of how they’re going to look.
At Breast Excellence, we don’t use 3-D Simulations. Instead, we prefer to be more accurate by having patients insert the actual implants into a bra to compare. No 3-D Simulation Technology can ever beat that!
BREAST AUGMENTATION MISTAKES TO AVOID NO. 7 – SOME SURGEONS OFFER ONLY ONE TECHNIQUE FOR ALL BREAST AUGMENTATIONS
“If any surgeon or clinic offers only one type of incision location, this could be the only technique they know, so always seek a further opinion from a clinic that offers all techniques”
Some surgeons are familiar with only ONE technique – for example, through an incision under the breast or through the armpit – in which event every patient gets the same technique irrespective of whether it’s the best one for them or not!
Be wary of any surgeon or clinic that offers only one type of incision location as it may be the only technique they know and it may not be the best one for YOU!
In contrast, our Surgeons do not restrict their patients to only one technique. Instead, we will recommend whichever techniques we see as worthwhile choices for you – be it through an incision under the breast, around the nipple or through the armpit.
BREAST AUGMENTATION MISTAKES TO AVOID NO. 8 – ALLOWING SOMEONE ELSE TO CHOOSE THE SIZE OF YOUR IMPLANTS!
“At Breast Excellence, we have a large variety of implant shapes and sizes in the top implant brands for you to choose from”
Some surgeons choose the size of the implant for the patient in the belief that they know better what will look best. Others may recommend implant sizes based on before/after photos of similar breasts, or offer 3-D Simulation Technology which is generally regarded as inaccurate and therefore unreliable.
At Breast Excellence, we have many samples of implants in different shapes and sizes for you to insert into a crop-top one by one and actually see in a mirror the ‘look’ each can deliver. This is by far the best way for you to choose your size of implant.
Rest assured that in the very unlikely event that at the time we don’t have the implant sample size you want, we’ll get it in for you BEFORE you make a final decision. We NEVER just give you the next closest one!
BREAST AUGMENTATION MISTAKES TO AVOID NO. 9 – HAVING SURGERY WITHOUT PROPER PRE-OPERATIVE PREPARATIONS AND INVESTIGATIONS
“Avoid any clinic that offers to see you on one day and operate on you the next”
Rushing you into Breast Augmentation Surgery without proper Pre-Operative preparations is both unwise and unsafe.
At Breast Excellence, we ALWAYS allow enough time for Pre-Operative Preparations that include:
- Routine blood tests to confirm you are fit and healthy to undergo anaesthesia and surgery.
- If indicated, a Mammogram or Breast Ultrasound.
- Purchase of anti-embolism stockings to prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis.
- Purchase of specific support bras to fit your new breasts.
- In the two weeks prior to surgery, the avoidance of all medications and substances that could trigger bleeding during surgery or compromise post-operative healing.
Equally important, if for any reason, your chosen implants are currently out of stock, we’ll defer your surgery until they’re available. We will NEVER give you the next closest ones!
BREAST AUGMENTATION MISTAKES TO AVOID NO. 10 & NO. 11 – BEFORE/AFTER PHOTOS & TESTIMONIALS
Avoid clinics with no Before/After Photos or very few. This could mean the Surgeon hasn’t done many Breast Augmentations, or their results would not impress, or BOTH!
Always insist on seeing photos of the Surgeon’s results, and hopefully, he/she should have many!
If the Surgeon you’re seeing doesn’t have an extensive array of before/after photos to show you, or they are not what you would consider ‘beautiful results’, you owe it to yourself to seek a second opinion!
Under the National Law, Doctors providing Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery are currently prohibited from posting Patient Testimonials on their websites.
However, reviews of Surgeons and Clinics are often posted by patients on Cosmetic Surgery Forums and other Social Media platforms.
Profiles of Surgeons or Clinics that feature only glowing reviews without a single negative comment could mean they are not genuine, or that all the negative reviews have been edited out.
BREAST AUGMENTATION MISTAKES TO AVOID NO. 12 – COMMITTING YOURSELF TO TEMPTING BUT POTENTIALLY CRIPPLING FINANCING SCHEMES
“Patients needing to finance their surgery should be wary of offers of financing with 6 months’ zero interest”
Since new National Regulations were introduced in 2016, doctors providing Cosmetic & Plastic Surgery are not permitted to arrange financial loans for patients wishing to finance their surgery.
Accordingly, if you need to finance all or part of your surgery, we recommend you talk to your own bank or Medical Loan Provider easily found by searching on Google.
The above National Regulations were enacted following a spate of complaints by consumers who had committed to financing contracts offering zero interest for the first 6 months following which their interest rate skyrocketed to a crippling rate of 20% or more!
“Our advice to patients is to always choose on quality. Nothing beats quality – not even a cheap price!”
Currently, there is a wave of ‘cheap’ Breast Augmentation surgery being promoted and performed in Australia causing us to receive 2-3 calls per week from patients desperately unhappy with their results.
Unfortunately for these patients, they chose a clinic purely on low price and not on standards or reputation.
To make matters worse, most of these patients now don’t have the money to fix the problems.
Our regular advice to patients is to always choose on quality and if you can’t afford it now, or can’t afford to borrow for it, don’t do it until you can!
Never choose on price alone. Cheap surgery can end up very expensive surgery if something goes wrong or the result is not as you had hoped!