About Dr Alastair Taylor

“I don’t compromise on patient care and I don’t compromise on patient safety, if I don’t believe I can achieve the right result – I simply don’t offer it."

- Dr Alastair Taylor

Choosing Your Surgeon

FACT: In Australia anyone with a Medical Degree can call themselves a Cosmetic Surgeon. So how do you know who is surgically trained and who is not? The first thing you should look for is FRACS in the qualification. FRACS stands for ‘Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons” this means your surgeon has undertaken significantly more training in all facets of surgery than a General Practitioner. Next look for ASPS. ASPS stands for Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons. Members of these societies have not only qualified as surgeons but also specialised in Plastic and Reconstructive surgery.

There are many arguments about qualification for cosmetic surgery but the fact remains these qualifications are the ‘Gold Standard’. All members have spent at least eight years training in surgical procedures and four of those specifically in Plastic surgery.

You can check your surgeon’s credentials by contacting ASPS on 1300 367 446 or going to the website www.plasticsurgery.org.au.

So what does this really mean to you? Plastic surgeons are well trained, they have had extensive experience in all facets of reconstructive surgery, have experienced and had to cope with all sorts of medical issues and most importantly they know how to ‘think on their feet’. For these reasons patients can have confidence their surgery will be well considered and managed from consultation to recovery.

In saying this, it is also important you consult with your surgeon. This consultation should be a ‘two way’ conversation. You should have the opportunity to voice your concerns, your specific issues and your expectations and the surgeon should be your voice of reason providing you with options specific to your personal situation and desires whilst also ensuring you understand the risks and personal responsibility you are taking with the surgery.

Many surgeons perform surgery in Canberra in a private hospital but there are some who will operate in their own private rooms. Hospitals should be state and federally licensed to operate, they should also have accreditation with an external body such as ISO or NSQHS (National Safety and Quality Health Service). Private rooms often do not have this form of license or accreditation and therefore may not be able to provide adequate support in the case of emergency.

So the questions you should be asking are:

  • Where is the surgery performed?
  • Does the hospital hold a State Licence and is it Accredited or will it take place in their private rooms without appropriate equipment and drugs to handle an emergency?
  • Will the surgery be performed under sedation or general anaesthetic?
  • Is there a qualified anaesthetist present or is the Surgeon managing your anaesthetic as well as your surgery?
  • Will qualified nurses be taking care of you post operatively or will you be left unsupervised as you recover from your anaesthetic?

Answering all these questions should reassure you both the surgeon and the facility can manage any unexpected situations and significantly reduce the risk of your surgery.

The world is moving towards ‘shorter stay’ surgery but is this really what we want as patients? Certainly some surgeries are minor, require simple anaesthetic and minimal recovery – these surgeries are well suited to a ‘day stay’ procedure.

However the issue faced by these facilities is the ‘what if’.

  • What if the patient does not recover well from surgery?
  • What if the patient is nauseous after surgery?
  • What if the patient cannot cope with the pain of the surgery?
  • What if something happens in theatre which may delay the recovery of the patient?

Surgery should only be performed as a day case if the hospital has the ability to keep the patient overnight or transfer them to a private licensed hospital and the patient should be made aware of any costs incurred if this is required. Some surgeons prefer to perform this surgery as a day case, at CAPS we believe in providing an overnight stay.

We want our patients to take their time to rest and recover. It also provides us an opportunity to monitor our patients to ensure their pain relief and post op nausea (if present) is well controlled before being discharged to the care of their family or friends.

A nice hospital in a holiday destination that is cheap, looks tempting. But you really don’t know what is going to be happening to you once you are anaesthetised. There are many risks associated with surgery and to believe ‘it won’t happen to you’ may be the biggest mistake you make.

There may be language barriers, sterility may be compromised, and potential complications associated with international flights pre and post op. Plus you run the risk of having inferior implants not approved in this county inserted, or being left with results that do not meet your expectations.

Once you leave the country your opportunity to address these issues is limited and may be expensive to fix in Australia. Generally, you will not find Australian Surgeons in private clinics who will willingly take you on.

Surgery without accountability is good for the surgeon but not so good for the patient.

Nobody wants to talk about fees but here at CAPS Clinic we make the commitment that our patients will be fully informed of any expected out of pocket expenses prior to your surgery. Frequently, there are gaps between the surgical and anaesthetic fees and the rebate you will receive from Medicare and your health fund. Unfortunately, Medicare rebates continue to lag well behind inflation. Conversely, practice and insurance costs have risen much faster than inflation.

In setting its fees The CAPS Clinic also has regard to the AMA-recommended fee schedule, costs of providing professional and safe facilities and running an efficient and effective practice. Our staff are trained to understand this labyrinth of health rebates and we will endeavour to advise you of all fees associated with your surgery and Medicare and Health Fund rebates that may available to you.

If you have any questions in relation to this please talk to our Patient Services Team – they will advise you what to do.

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