There’s no such thing as a silly question when it comes to considering a surgical procedure! Contact our friendly team by calling 3202 4744 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m interested in a procedure; how do I know if it is right for me?
Often patients come to us after a long period of thinking about, or even researching, a procedure. They’ll have a particular procedure in mind, after seeing a family member or friend have the procedure - or seeing others’ results online or on web forums. Our approach is to treat each patient and their desired surgical outcome or results uniquely, creating a treatment or surgical plan specifically designed for them. In order to obtain an accurate opinion from a surgeon, you will need to organise a consultation with them.
How much will a consultation and surgery cost?
For more information regarding the costs, estimate of fees, Medicare or private health fund rebate, please read our financial information here. If you do not find the answer to your question, please feel free to contact our team on 3202 4744.
How many consultations will I need to have?
If you are having a skin lesion removed, you will only require one preoperative consultations. If you are having cosmetic or reconstructive surgery, you will require two preoperative consultations. If you decide to proceed with surgery after your initial consult, a second consultation will then be booked with Dr Sharp - this consultation is usually shorter than your initial appointment, and is provided free of charge.
Will I need to be examined during my initial consultation?
It is standard practice to examine each patients’ area of treatment/surgery as part of the consultation process, in order for you to receive an accurate opinion. However, it is always your choice as to whether or not you feel comfortable being examined at any stage during the consult process.
Dr Sharp offers all patients the option of bringing a support person into the consult room to be present during any examinations, and in the case where this is not possible and the patient wishes to have a female chaperone for comfort or cultural reasons, our experienced staff are more than happy to assist.
Dr Sharp and his team appreciate that some patients experience trepidation and embarrassment, particularly in anticipation of having their body examined, and we do our absolute best to ensure that the process is treated with the upmost respect and care. Anecdotally, we often receive feedback from patients after their consult, indicating Dr Sharp’s warm and down to earth manner has made this aspect of their consultation process much more comfortable and easy than they expected!
Does Dr Sharp offer Skype consultations?
Skype consultations for regional patients aim to cover all of usual aspects of a consult, only via video link. Sometimes you will be asked to provide further photos, measurements or radiology or pathology results to assist Dr Sharp with providing the best advice possible, and in order to plan your procedure. In addition to your initial Skype consult, a face to face consult with Dr Sharp is required prior to elective or cosmetic surgery, in accordance with Australian Medical Board guidelines.
Where will I have my surgery?
In most cases, your surgery will be performed in a private hospital, either as a ‘day case’ or inpatient. Dr Sharp will discuss your hospital options during your consultations. When you book your procedure, you will have an indication of the date and hospital facility. Dr Sharp operates at Greenslopes Private Hospital, Southbank Day Hospital, The Wesley Hospital and St Andrews Hospital Ipswich. In some cases, Dr Sharp may offer you the option of having your lesion removed under local anaesthetic in our in-clinic procedure room, as a minor procedure (or ‘MOPS’).
Will I have my procedure as a day case or with a stay in hospital?
Most skin lesion procedures are performed as day cases; meaning you return home after a short period in recovery on the day of your surgery. You cannot catch a taxi or public transport home from hospital, and must be collected by a support person who can stay with you for 24 hours after the procedure, as you recover from the anaesthetic. Day surgery patients are discharged with pain relief medication and 24/7 access to our post operative support nurse.
Most reconstructive procedures - or some skin lesion operations that require grafts or flaps that must observe a period of restricted movement - are performed as inpatient procedures with one or more nights’ stay in hospital.
For most cosmetic surgery procedures, Dr Sharp offers his patients the option of having the procedure as day surgery in hospital – or as an inpatient with a stay in hospital. Procedures such as breast augmentation, rhinoplasty and facelift surgery were once accompanied by a mandatory stays in hospital, but this is no longer the case and many patients prefer the reduced cost of day surgery, and convenience of returning to the familiar environment at home.
How do I get ready for surgery?
The process of preparing for surgery should be a holistic one that ideally starts long before you book your operation. Preparing both psychologically and physically is key to good healing, realistic expectations and a pleasing outcome. Having a healthy diet, abstaining from smoking and maintaining a healthy weight are key to good physical preparation for surgery. Psychologically, it’s important to consider:
- why you are having the procedure; the factors that have lead you to consider surgery
- the possibility of risks and possible complications; and how you would fund any revisional surgery required in the future
- time off family duties or away from work post operatively
- any at-home support required during the early post operative period
- what you expect your outcome to look like both immediately, and into the future
- how you expect to feel about your results, and your appearance after surgery
These are all things that Dr Sharp will discuss with you during your consultation process. Once you decide to proceed with surgery with Dr Sharp, we will guide you through the process of preparing for your hospital admission, liaising with your health fund or Medicare and will pre-plan your post operative care.
What happens after my surgery?
You will receive a post op instruction kit - and if applicable, post operative support garments and products. It is vital that you read the information Dr Sharp provides thoroughly, and if possible have at least one support person also read it too, just in case you forget anything in the immediate post-operative period. During your post operative visits, your nurse or Dr Sharp may also provide you with additional specific instructions regarding wound care or optimisation.
Understanding the recovery process and your role in healing healing will reduce the risk of complications and further surgery costs.
What is the difference between a ‘plastic, reconstructive and cosmetic/aesthetic surgeon’ and ‘cosmetic surgeon’?
A qualified specialist plastic surgeon has completed not only their medical degree (indicated by the letters ‘MBBS’ in their credentials), but they have then completed an additional 7-10 years of post graduate surgical training. For Dr Sharp, this involved serving two years in regional and metropolitan hospitals as senior house officer and principal house officer, before being accepted onto the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons’ general surgery training program. He then spent three years training in general surgery, followed by an additional five years training under the College’s plastic surgery fellowship training program. This training culminates in a Fellowship of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (indicated by the letters ‘FRACS’ in credentials). Most plastic surgeons are members of the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons and therefore adhere to the Society’s strict code of conduct, which upholds world-class standards of professional conduct.
In Australia, the Royal Australasian College of Surgeon’s fellowship programs are the only surgical training programs recognised by the Medical Board, however there is no legal requirement for doctors to undergo this training in order to call themselves a ‘surgeon’. It is important to understand that if your doctor is not a registered member of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, they have not undergone the rigorous selection process, advanced surgical training and passed the clinical and theoretical examinations required to become a qualified plastic surgeon. You can check the RACS register of surgeons here.
What is the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons?
ASPS is the peak body for plastic surgeons in Australia. All members pledge to uphold themselves to the ASPS Code of Practice, which provides guidelines on the professional standards and ethics required by members.