It’s often said that it’s the journey, not the destination, that counts — but when it comes to plastic and reconstructive surgery, the beginning steps are just as important as the final outcome.
Your choice of plastic surgeon is a choice that will live with you for years, perhaps even for the rest of your life. Finding the right surgeon is essential for a good experience and gratifying results. This is true for all patients and all procedures, but it may be especially true for Asian patients, who have a unique set of physical characteristics, cultural standards and aesthetic preferences that some surgeons may not be equipped to address.
Finding the best Asian plastic and reconstructive surgeons in Australia requires research and patience. Follow the step-by-step journey below to find the right plastic surgeon for your procedure.
Talk to Your Community
First, consider those closest to you. Have any of your family members, friends or acquaintances had plastic surgery? If so, are they comfortable talking about their experience and offering advice? A trusted source can provide an honest review of their surgeon and the entire surgical process. Any personal recommendations may be useful, but pay particular attention to those that come from people of Asian heritage. They understand the nuances of Asian plastic surgery that someone of another ethnicity may not.
If you don’t know anyone personally, reach out to a healthcare provider. Other medical professionals are usually attuned to the top plastic surgeons nearby and are very open to making recommendations.
Check the Credentials of Your Candidates
Once you have a list of candidates, it’s time to do your homework. Looking for the criteria below can help you find a Specialist Plastic Surgeon capable of providing the highest level of plastic surgery care, as recognised by the Medical Board of Australia:
The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) trains surgeons and maintains surgical standards in Australia and New Zealand. Being a Fellow of RACS (FRACS) indicates that a surgeon is a highly qualified specialist with a proven commitment to professionalism and lifelong learning. To become a FRACS, a doctor must do at least five years of specialist postgraduate training following a minimum of 12 years of medical and surgical education. You can search for a RACS surgeon in Australia here.
Medical practitioners in Australia are legally required to register with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). AHPRA’s online register has accurate, up-to-date information about the registration status of all registered health practitioners in Australia. You can check whether a surgeon is registered and whether they have recognised Specialist qualification here.
The Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) represents all areas of cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery. All ASPS members hold a specialist certification from the RACS. An individual applying for membership must have their name proposed and nominated by a Specialist Plastic Surgeon and subsequently be elected by the members of the Society at the Annual General Meeting. Find out if a surgeon is a member here.
Know the Difference Between a Cosmetic Surgeon and a Specialist Plastic Surgeon
These titles may sound similar, but they are dramatically different in practice. In Australia, it is currently legal for any doctor with a basic medical degree to perform surgery. Doctors may call themselves a ‘cosmetic surgeon’ and advertise that they perform cosmetic procedures, even though they do not have specialist training in plastic and reconstructive surgery.
A Specialist Plastic Surgeon is a Commonwealth Government accredited plastic surgeon who is trained and qualified to perform reconstructive and cosmetic surgery. The title of Specialist Plastic Surgeon can only be used by RACS-approved specialist surgeons in the recognised specialty of plastic surgery.
At Asian Plastic Surgery, both Dr Ellis Choy and Dr Quan Ngo are Specialist Plastic Surgeons who are qualified to perform cosmetic and reconstructive surgery.
Seek Out Relevant Experience
In addition to choosing someone who is board-certified and has the appropriate training, you should also look for a surgeon with substantial experience in the procedures you want. Each area of plastic surgery requires different skills. You can imagine, for example, how performing a rhinoplasty that involves skin, bone and cartilage would be quite different from performing a breast augmentation with implants or fat grafting. Even for nonsurgical procedures, it is critical to choose a provider with verifiable experience and a track record of results you like.
For Asian patients seeking an outcome that respects their ethnic identity and enhances their natural features, it is advisable to choose a Specialist Plastic Surgeon who focuses on Asian plastic surgery. Dr Choy performs in Asian plastic surgery with a particular emphasis on aesthetic plastic surgery. Dr Ngo performs in Asian plastic surgery with an emphasis on reconstructive plastic surgery.
Evaluate Your Surgeon's Aesthetic Sensibility
It’s time for one of the most fun parts of choosing a plastic surgeon: looking at before and after photos. Beauty standards and aesthetic preferences vary widely. For this reason, you can’t simply go off a friend’s recommendation or depend solely on a surgeon’s training and experience. You must look carefully at the results for each surgeon you’re considering.
As you review a surgeon’s results gallery, ask yourself questions. Do the results appeal to you personally? Do you see a significant number of Asian patients? Do you see patients who have similar qualities to you (for example, blepharoplasty patients with a similar eye shape or bone contouring patients with a similar facial structure)? Do you see many examples of the procedure you want? Are the surgeon’s results for that procedure consistently excellent?
Choose a Surgeon Who Demonstrates Cultural Sensitivity and Appreciation
This is a key quality that distinguishes the best Asian plastic and reconstructive surgeons in Australia from general plastic surgeons. Asian plastic surgery is different from Caucasian procedures. Not only are there differences in anatomy and skin quality, but the requests, aesthetic goals and cultural motivations come from a different place. It is vital that you can trust your surgeon will listen to your concerns and expectations and truly understand the vision you have.
In working with Asian patients, Dr Choy and Dr Ngo are careful to create a result that doesn’t erase all traces of your ethnic background, but rather adapts it to suit your aesthetic preferences. Being of Asian heritage themselves, both surgeons are well-versed in the unique features of Asian anatomy and the aesthetic desires common among Asian patients.
The Next Step: Schedule a Consultation at Asian Plastic Surgery
Having a personal rapport and open communication with your surgeon can mean the difference between a mediocre plastic surgery experience and a positive one. The best surgeons will give you honest guidance on the approach to your situation, the risks it will entail and the results you can realistically expect. Your surgeon should be sensitive to your feelings and make you feel at ease. You should never feel pressured, rushed, uncomfortable, unsafe, unheard, under-informed or overlooked.
These things can only be assessed by meeting your surgeon in person. You can request a consultation at Asian Plastic Surgery here or call us on 02 8962 9388. Ultimately, you should choose the Asian plastic surgeon you trust to deliver the results you desire with the utmost safety, care and personalised attention.