Choosing the best plastic surgeon for you in Australia- plastic surgeon vs cosmetic surgeon, what is the difference?
It is important to select a highly trained surgeon, who is a member of the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons.
Anyone with a medical degree can call themselves a “cosmetic surgeon”, regardless of them having any further training. A plastic and reconstructive surgeon differs from someone who purely uses the title “cosmetic surgeon” in that they have had years of supervised operating, had to pass barrier exams and meet certain training standards. They may add “cosmetic” to their title to demonstrate that they do cosmetic as well as reconstructive procedures.
Many people will seek more than one consultation opinion prior to going ahead with surgery. For many problems, there is no single best technique. If you seek a few different opinions, you may be given different approaches at each consultation. This is quite normal with plastic surgery, as people use the techniques they are trained and comfortable in to get the best results. There is no “right” answer but choosing the best plastic surgeon for you is the one you are ultimately most comfortable with and whose technique suits you best.
People are can be lured by cheaper overseas surgery where the cost is often less with the inclusion of a “holiday”. Follow up is an important part of the surgical process. If anything goes wrong, the costs to have it revised can far exceed the savings initially made. And with most procedures, you really should be quietly recovering and not flying around and holidaying.
Why chose a female plastic surgeon?
Even with male plastic surgery on the rise, the overwhelming majority of patients presenting to a plastic surgeon are female (around 86%). Only about 15% of plastic surgeons are female although numbers are continue to gradually increase.
Plastic surgery can involve needing to reveal private and potentially embarrassing problem areas. It may in some cases be easier for a female to speak to another female honestly and share their concerns, particularly one that understands one’s body concerns.
A female plastic surgeon is able to empathise well with common plastic surgery concerns as they too experience similar problems as they age, and are able to advise the right treatment for them.
Plastic surgery statistics and interesting plastic surgical facts.
The demand for plastic surgery continues to rise with both surgical and non-surgical procedures rising around 9% in the last year.
The top five countries for plastic surgery are USA, Brazil, Japan, Italy and Mexico and account for 41.4% of the world’s cosmetic procedures. Australia comes in at number 18 in the world for plastic surgery and accounts for only 1 per cent of the global market.
The most commonly performed plastic surgery procedures in women is breast augmentation, closely followed by liposuction. Other procedures in the top five are eyelid surgery, abdominoplasty and breast lift.
By far the most common non-surgical treatment is botulinum toxin injections with over 4.6 million procedures per year.
Why is it called “plastic”?
It is not because people who have it look plastic! The word originates form the Greek word “plastikos” to mould or shape.
A good plastic surgeon can give you all the options both surgical and non-surgical.
You will be presented all the options from the most simple, with the lowest downtime to the more extensive. Which one, if any, you decide to go for is your own choice.
Dr Simone is a highly trained plastic surgeon with all the options available for anti ageing; both non-surgical and surgical. Depending on your problem she will give you a tailor-made individualized treatment plan taking in account your needs, your budget and expected recovery time.
There are numerous doctors practicing cosmetic medicine who may only have non-surgical options in their clinic and may not offer you the surgical options that are available.
In most people, starting with a more minimal non-surgical option is a good way of testing out whether you can cope with something larger, particularly in the face.
However, non-surgical treatments are often not a good fix for certain problems, which can be better and more cost-effectively addressed with surgery (rather than overuse of injectables such as fillers and botulinum toxin).
Why have plastic or cosmetic surgery?
Some people undergo surgery to fix a problem that they were born with or has arisen out of trauma. Others simply want to enhance and be the best possible version of themselves.
The decision to have plastic surgery is entirely personal. Some people prefer to accept themselves the way they are and do not want any surgery. This is fine and if you are unsure, it is better to wait before diving into a procedure.
Everyone is getting a little help to be the best version of themselves- if you want to do it go ahead.
The list of people in the public eye who have had plastic surgery is extremely large. Celebrities more often than not have had something done; if its well done you generally can’t see it.
Plastic surgery procedures are more accessible and affordable than ever in this day and age to the average person. Plastic surgery in a well informed patient who is suitable and understands what is involved has the potential to improve self-esteem and quality of life.
Some clients come in for injectables and pay cash so their significant other does not find out, or sneak in a fat graft while their partner is overseas. This is fine and quite common for people not to want to tell anyone they are having a procedure.
With many available procedures with a small amount of downtime, no one has to know!
Plastic surgery procedures can be ageing if performed poorly or too early.
Some people start anti-wrinkle injections, such as botulinum toxin in their early twenties in order to prevent wrinkles (even though they have no visible lines at rest). Starting these things too early has no long-term benefit.
Over time if the face if excessively paralysed, compensatory lines develop in odd patterns that are the only remaining non-paralysed areas. For example, a common effect of being unable to make a full smile due to excessive paralysis of the crow’s feet area are “bunny lines”; scrunching at the top of the nose instead of raising the corner of the mouth. Fine lines can develop above the outer brow too if the central forehead is excessively paralysed.
A small group of people may get forehead lines earlier than average, such as the frown line or forehead if they happen to have very expressive faces, raise their eyebrows a lot when speaking, or frown recurrently when concentrating. If lines are present at rest (when there is no facial movement) that are fairly deep, injections of botulinum toxin can help unlearn the recurrent muscle contractions and gradually soften the lines.
Generally, over time, the need for botulinum toxin decreases with injections needing to be spaced further apart and a decreasing dose. Good skin care and other procedures such as broadband light or laser can also help improve results. So if you have lines developing by all means treat them, but paralysis prior to this is unnecessary.
Whilst the wish to do things like enhance ones lips or cheeks is entirely personal, badly done obvious work is ageing. One needs to only look at certain “celebrities” to see that adding ridiculous amounts of volume to an already normal cheek looks odd and certainly does not make someone look younger or better.
This also applies to the older patient population as well. The trend to overvolumise the face is common, often as a compensation to avoid lifting procedures. Facial volume tends to be over replaced, and it does look extremely odd to have significantly larger cheeks at 50 than you did at 20.
Surgery is not necessarily easier if done earlier.
It is a myth with many problems that having surgery earlier means the procedure is easier. A facelift or eyelid lift is really the same operation if done at 50 or 70; a little more skin may need to be excised or a slightly greater lift of the underlying tissues, but it is not particularly technically harder.
Regular non-surgical treatments can delay the need for surgery.
People are coming to facial surgical procedures later these days due to better non-surgical techniques available.
Excellent skin care, broadband light, lasers, radiofrequency skin tightening devices, anti-wrinkle botulinum toxin injections and hyaluronic acid fillers used correctly can delay the need for surgery. For many, the change achieved from these may be enough without needing to undergo surgery.
What constitutes beauty and our response to beauty are somewhat scientifically determined.
Whilst there is great diversity in what is considered beautiful, there is overwhelming evidence that human’s perception of beauty is hard-wired our brains.
In certain regions of the face, how closely the proportions resemble Phi or what is known as the “Golden ratio” determines how beautiful we perceive a face to be. This is consistently seen across all races.
Interestingly, we intrinsically find other things beautiful with Phi proportions in nature and architecture; examples of things with Phi proportions are the nautilus shell, certain plants, the Parthenon, the Egyptian pyramids and Renaissance Art.
The science of beauty- Divine proportions and the Golden Ratio
The Golden Ratio is a ratio or proportion defined by the Greek letter Phi, and is an irrational number with the value 1.618033988749895…
In mathematics, two quantities are considered to be in the golden ratio if their ratio is the same as the ratio of their sum to the larger of the two quantities as demonstrated in the diagram below.
Striking the correct balance that we find most aesthetically pleasing between, for example, the size of the upper lip to the lower lip or the relationship between the brow and eyelid, is dependent on the ratio of one to the other. The closer such ratios approach Phi, the more pleasing we tend to find a face.
Despite certain proportions being beautiful, absolutely perfect symmetry does not equate to beauty.
If you analyse many faces that are considered beautiful, they are often not at all perfectly symmetrical. Studies where people that are considered beautiful have had photo simulations of what they would look like with two left or two right sides. In fact they mostly appear, unnatural and strange with perfect symmetry and their own asymmetric self looks better.
Dr Simone Matousek is a Plastic surgeon working in Sydney, Australia in the grounds of St Luke’s Hospital Potts Point.
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