Cosmetic surgery is a growing business in Australia, where residents currently spend roughly one billion dollars a year on procedures. With so many elective operations being performed, the Medical Board of Australia is proposing a new set of guidelines to make sure consumers are adequately informed and protected.
These new guidelines are necessary, in part, because more complaints are filed following cosmetic surgeries than for any other kind of medical procedure.
Some of the proposed guidelines would address patient safety, especially as it relates to post-operative care. Although most cosmetic surgery is elective, it is major surgery nonetheless, and patients need to be adequately cared for following any kind of invasive operation.
A majority of the new guidelines, however, address the patients’ mental state as they seek to undergo cosmetic surgery. Recently, the Medical Board of Australia has noticed a growing trend of young people deciding to get plastic surgery. The fear is that, given their age, these younger patients may not be physically or mentally prepared for the risks of undergoing cosmetic procedures.
In response to the increase of young people seeking elective surgery, the board is proposing that all patients under the age of 18 be assessed by a mental health professional before the procedure takes place. Additionally, the board is recommending a three-month cooling-off period so that younger patients don’t make a hasty decision that could impact them for the rest of their lives.
The proposed guidelines wouldn’t just apply to teenagers though. Another recommendation by the board would force adults to undergo a seven-day cooling-off period. Placing this type of week-long moratorium on a cosmetic procedure would allow patients time to reconsider whether or not they want the operation.
Non-surgical procedures would be covered under the new guidelines as well. One of the proposed regulations would require doctors to meet face-to-face with patients before prescribing injectable dermal fillers like collagen and Botox.
Finally, a number of the medical board’s recommendations involve making sure that patients are adequately cared for following their procedures. The new guidelines would hold the treating doctor responsible for all post-operative care. Moreover, the rules would place limits on where cosmetic operations can be performed, helping to ensure that facilities have adequate medical care.
With the growing popularity of cosmetic surgery, these types of guidelines are increasingly necessary. Even in the case of elective surgery, patients need to be informed and cared for by their doctors.
If you or someone you know would like more information about plastic surgery, please feel free to schedule a consultation or contact one of our representatives today!