Frequently Asked Questions

  • How is a Specialist Plastic Surgeon different from other medical practitioners?

    Currently in Australia, it is legal for any doctor with a basic medical degree to perform surgery. Specialist Plastic Surgeons are different because they have extensive surgical education and training, and are specialists in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery.

    A Specialist Plastic Surgeon is:

    • Commonwealth Government accredited in Australia and/or New Zealand
    • Trained and qualified to perform invasive cosmetic and reconstructive surgery
    • Accredited to perform surgery in public and private hospitals, as well as accredited day surgeries

    The Medical Board of Australia states that the “Specialist Plastic Surgeon” title can only be used by FRACS approved specialist surgeons in the recognised specialty of Plastic Surgery.

    All surgical procedures carry risk, but you can reduce the chance of risk and complication by consulting a Specialist Plastic Surgeon who is trained, qualified and accredited to perform cosmetic and reconstructive surgery.

  • How are Specialist Plastic Surgeons educated and trained?

    The surgical specialist pathway for a Specialist Plastic Surgeon includes a minimum of 12 years medical and surgical education, with at least 5 years of specialist postgraduate training.

    The five year postgraduate Plastic Surgery Education and Training Program (SET) is provided by the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) and administered by the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons Inc (ASPS). Selection for the training program is rigorous and highly competitive.

    It is important to note that RACS is the only College in Australia that is accredited by the Commonwealth Government to deliver specialist surgical training. Upon completion of their surgical education and training, qualified Specialist Plastic Surgeons become  “Fellows” of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (FRACS).
     

  • I often see “FRACS” after a surgeon’s name, what does that mean?

    FRACS means Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. The distinction is only awarded to specialist  surgeons who have completed a minimum of 12 years medical and surgical education, with at least 5 years of specialist postgraduate training.  It is important to note that the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) is the only college in Australia that is accredited by the Commonwealth Government to deliver specialist surgical training.

  • What does MBBS mean and is it the same as FRACS?

    MBBS stands for Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery, and is awarded to medical practitioners upon graduation from university. A doctors with an MBBS holds a basic medical degree.

    FRACS means Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. The distinction is only awarded to specialist  surgeons who have completed a minimum of 12 years medical and surgical education, with at least 5 years of specialist postgraduate training. A Specialist Plastic Surgeon with the letters “FRACS” appearing after his or her name is accredited to perform invasive cosmetic and reconstructive surgery.

  • Is there a difference between cosmetic (aesthetic) and reconstructive surgery?

    The medical specialty of Plastic Surgery encompasses both cosmetic (aesthetic) and reconstructive surgery. A trainee Specialist Plastic Surgeon completes an average of 3,000 procedures over the course of his/her training of which almost two-thirds have a cosmetic application. In fact, Specialist Plastic Surgeons draw from both their reconstructive and cosmetic skills and training in order to deliver the optimal result for each patient, no matter the circumstance.

  • Where can I find a Specialist Plastic Surgeon?

    All Specialist Plastic Surgeons in Australia and New Zealand are members of the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) and the New Zealand Association of Plastic Surgeons (NZAPS) respectively. Visit the ASPS or NZAPS websites to find a surgeon near you.

    Find a Specialist Plastic Surgeon in Australia

    Find a Specialist Plastic Surgeon in New Zealand

  • Can you recommend a Specialist Plastic Surgeon to me?

    We cannot recommend or refer you to a particular Specialist Plastic Surgeon. All Specialist Plastic Surgeons listed on the ASPS and NZAPS website are FRACS accredited and qualified to perform all cosmetic (aesthetic) and reconstructive surgery.