Scott McLennan

Plastic Surgery Mistakes – simple!

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We have all heard those “horror Stories” or seen the pictures or even ran into that friend from school and gasped, giggled or even sniggered. You would be surprised how often people make simple mistakes that can let them be that person, often it is not the clinicians fault – crazy weird side effects can happen – you should be as informed as possible. Here are some of the most common mistakes people make when considering plastic surgery or a cosmetic procedure.

Mistake No. 1: Bad scarring

Many people believe that the only factor in a scar is the surgeon’s skill. Yes the more skilled the surgeon, the more trained – the risk is reduced; however a lot of the time it is down to the individual person. How a person prepares for surgery, and how they care for their wound post surgery plays upon the overall success. Also the darker your complexion, the higher the risk of developing discoloured scars etc.

Mistake No. 2: Not checking your clinicians experience or qualifications

So you are at the dentist and you notice that they can now offer you a chance of brighter more open eyes, or treating your excessive sweating or you are at the optometrist and they are offering kissable lips.

In Australia the cosmetic and plastic surgery market is generally unregulated, i.e.: any registered medical professional or person who is supervised by a medical professional can perform cosmetic procedures. General Practitioners can perform the same procedures as Plastic Surgeons.

Under Australian law, only registered medical professionals can prescribe Botox or Dysport, and clinicians such as nurses can administer these medications. Dentists can prescribe medicines for oral health issues.

Mistake No. 3: Not knowing where to start looking

You’ve seen the advert – it looks great. You’ve heard the radio advert – it sounds impressive. But just because it is slick doesn’t necessarily they are the right clinicians for you.

If it sounds to good to be true – it probably is.

Marketing is a way to introduce you to a clinician – but should not be the only determining factor why you choose them.

Ask friends and family, or even another health care professional for advice.  

Mistake No. 4: Forgetting to ask about possible complications

Yes, things can go wrong. There are risks associated with all procedures.

The more knowledge you have the better understanding of the risks involved the better and more informed decision you can make.

Not everything works immediately. Healing takes time, collagen takes 4-6 weeks to grow. Swelling and bruising can take a long time to dissipate.

You only have one body, you only have one face. Make sure you look after it. Get your surgery done once and get it done right.

Mistake No. 5:  Failing to disclose everything

Clinicians are not there to judge you, they just want you to get the best result possible, and reduce the complication risk. If you are a smoker, some plastic surgeons will not operate on you. Heavy smokers have low oxygen content in the blood, so when they have any type of cosmetic surgery that requires a pull or lift, like a breast or face lift, they suffer from poor wound healing, wound separation, or the skin can become necrotic, turning black and dying. 

Many people don’t realise dietary supplements can affect the way their body reacts to anesthesia, and that a bad drug/supplement interaction can kill them. Diet pills and over-the-counter stimulants like metabolic enhancers and fat burners make the heart muscle irritable and can cause cardiac arrest. Even simple things 

Mistake No. 6: Skimping on the price tag

I understand that money is tight, and you want to get the best possible deal available. We all shop around we do it for clothes, for cars, fridges and televisions.

But lets face it – Not all plastic surgeons or cosmetic clinicians are the same. They are not products – they are selling a service based upon their skills, knowledge, experience and talent. 

The next time you see Plastic Surgeon advertising discounted surgery, ask yourself “Why”? There is no bigger investment that you will make in your life than choosing the right, talented plastic surgeon to work with. Yes, cost is a definitely a factor – just don’t let it be a determining factor.

Why needlessly risk the consequences of living a life filled with regret? You can’t put a price on your health – or your looks.

I was recently asked to go to another country and teach cosmetic injectables again. But essentially asked to do it for free. My skills, knowledge and experience being given away to another country, which will then market back to Australian patients offering cheaper treatments and services.

Mistake No. 7: Getting surgery for the wrong reasons

Plastic surgery will not get you a new partner. Nor will it allow you to keep the one you have.

Yes it can help improve your self-confidence, your self-image, and improve your functionality, but you have to undertake a cosmetic procedure for you.

Having realistic goals, and being emotionally ready for surgery, not only gets the best outcomes, it also leads to faster healing times.

Mistake No. 8: Choosing a surgeon with whom you don’t feel comfortable

You are about to undertake a radical change. Whether it is as simple as having some Botox done, a chemical peel, or undertaking a face-lift, breast augmentation or body lift – you need to feel comfortable with your clinician. You are entering a relationship that is based on trust.

If you don’t feel quite right – then don’t do it.

I always advise that people should visit 3 surgeons before surgery – not only for an opinion and a quote, but to also see whom you feel comfortable with.


Scott McLennan

Consultant, Aesthetic Dermatology 


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