Limbo may be the word of the month, but when it comes to health and wellbeing, no one wants to be left hanging. With all facial and body procedures – cosmetic, reconstructive and plastic surgery – ensuring we place ourselves in the right hands, has never been so important.
Adversity can bring greater clarity, and many of us have heard of the devastating effects of unregulated overseas plastic surgeries – especially in the past 10 years – here is just one example. Many Kiwis have been left facing scary times after suffering long-term physical, emotional and financial hardship because the surgeons they turned to lacked the necessary training, qualifications and experiences.
Sadly, too many of us have put our trust in the wrong places – but we weren’t to know, explains Da Vinci Clinic’s cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery, Adam Bialostocki. “Unfortunately, anyone can claim to be a ‘cosmetic surgeon’ – which is why so many patients aren’t receiving the expertise and care they deserve,” explains Adam. “The term ‘Plastic Surgeon’ is protected i.e. you need the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) qualification in plastic surgery, but since the term 'Cosmetic Surgeon' is not owned by RACS, there is no control over it.”
This lack-of industry policing has caused great confusion for those looking for a qualified cosmetic surgeon to carry out procedures. “A general practitioner can hang a sign up that says 'Cosmetic Surgeon' but not actually have done any real training,” explains Adam. “A basic medical degree (MBChB) contains “Bachelor of Medicine" and "Bachelor of surgery”, so despite not being a specialist surgeon, a GP can argue he/she has a surgery qualification. This is very confusing for people.”
Fortunately, here in New Zealand we can rely upon the expertise of surgeons like Adam Bialostocki and Da Vinci Clinic’s Brandon Adams, because they have undertaken appropriate cosmetic training. “The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons is the only institute to include cosmetic surgery training in its plastic surgery qualification – and many RAC plastic surgeons will do additional post-fellowship training too,” affirms Adam.
Seeking the guidance and expertise of New Zealand cosmetic and plastic surgeons – staying close to home – is what many of us are holding fast to more than ever before. Keeping core training and qualifications at the top of our search list, should remain a top priority now and into the future. Be safe, stay well.