Australia Demands Plastic Surgeons Disclose Number of Procedures - Is the US Next?

The Australasian College of Cosmetic Surgery is implementing a mandatory system for all of its members that requires them to disclose exactly how many times they've performed a particular procedure if it is less than 100. According to the ACCC, this allows patients to determine if the college member has enough experience with the procedure during the first consultation.

While this does allow patients to gain an understanding about the physician's ability to perform the procedure consistently, the numbers do not necessarily indicate success.  Dr. Howard Webster, The president of the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons says that the mandate 'does not go far enough.'

"We do believe [the college] cares about patient safety and we applaud that. But if a GP does 101 liposuctions, all of them terrible, should he then be able to call himself an expert?"(Source: smh.com.au)

The United States isn't currently under such mandates, but doctors are required to disclose the risks associated with each procedure, and ensure that patients are educated and informed about the entire process. The American Society of Plastic Surgeons requires all of its members to have more than six years of surgical training and experience, with at least three years in plastic surgery.

Doctors who are not board-certified may not have the level of training and experience required to perform the surgery successfully, and patients can put themselves at risk.

In the U.S., patients can ask doctors how many times they've performed a procedure or look at real before and after photos to determine the level of success for the surgery.

For now, it's up to the patient to do research about their procedure, learn about their doctor and review before and after galleries in order to make the best decision.

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