Question of the week: changes to the blepharoplasty item number

My heavy eyelids make it hard for me to see, especially when I’m tired. I often find myself raising my eyebrows to try and elevate my lids. I’ve heard that Medicare’s recent changes mean that I might not be covered by my private health insurance for this procedure anymore. How have the rules changed, and can it be done under local anaesthetic in your clinic, if my fund won’t cover surgery in hospital? - patient above: before and three months after blepharoplasty surgery with Dr Sharp Dr Sharp: Up until the 1st of November 2018, if you had loose eyelid skin that rested on your eyelashes (when looking straight ahead), your procedure met the Medicare Benefit’s Schedule item number criteria for a ‘medically required’ blepharoplasty, as Medicare deemed that the procedure was required to improve your vision. Medicare recently decided that the current criteria wasn’t adequate, and as of last week, the item number criteria was revised. It no longer relies upon only the plastic surgeon’s assessment of the patient, so if you wish to access Medicare rebates or use private health insurance cover, you now also have to make an appointment with an optometrist or opthalmologist to undergo examination and have obstructed vision confirmed, before undergoing surgery with the plastic surgeon. If you think this applies to you, mention this when you book your consultation, so we can provide you with a referral letter to an optometrist or opthalmologist explaining why you require the examination and report. Once this occurs, we can determine your rebates and out of pocket costs. So what do out of pocket costs for blepharoplasty surgery look like now? If you don’t have private health insurance: If...

Medicare plastic surgery changes: will they impact you?

Medicare has announced significant changes to plastic surgery item numbers on the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) that will be effective from the 1st of November 2018. If you do not have item numbers listed on your informed financial consent document, this news won’t impact your costs. This will impact rebates and health fund coverage for patients with certain item numbered procedures, so if you are having plastic surgery from the 1st of November onwards, it’s important to be aware of these changes and read on. What does this mean? Some MBS item numbers are being abolished altogether, while others will have a tighter eligibility criteria. If we have issued you with a quote that lists an item number, this quote is only valid for surgery performed up until the 31st of October 2018.
 Dr Sharp’s fees are not changing, but some rebates are, and so for surgery that’s planned from the 1st of November onwards, we will need to provide you with an updated quote based on the final version of the new Medicare item numbers. Which procedures are impacted? This list covers some popular procedures involved, and is not comprehensive: otoplasty: must be performed before the age of 18 or costs will increase by approximately $2,500 blepharoplasty: an optometrist or ophthalmologist will need to confirm that your excess eyelid skin obstructs your vision - if you don’t meet the criteria, costs may increase by approximately $2,500 breast reductions and lifts (mastopexy): in you don’t satisfy the criteria, costs will increase by approximately $3,000 - $6,500 (depending on inpatient stay) removal and replacement of breast implants: if you don’t satisfy the...

Dr David Sharp before and after photos 2017 highlights

This is a small selection of our before and after photos from 2017! Thanks to all the lovely patients who permitted us to share their images this year, to help educate others about plastic surgery and the outcomes that can be achieved. Our patients come in all shapes, sizes and ages - and from the young to the mature aged, we believe it’s important to provide insight into the ‘real’ faces of plastic surgery; everyday patients! Despite the fact that much of what we see on social media probably reflects otherwise, the average plastic surgery patient is not a size 8 model with perfect breasts, a blogger’s body or celebrity with deep pockets; they’re everyday people investing in their health, wellbeing - and aligning how they look on the outside, with how they feel on the inside. This video provides an insight into the spectrum of procedures Dr Sharp performs every week. Happy New Year to all of our amazing patients, and thank you for making us part of your journey in 2017!...

The Aston Baker Cutting Edge 2017 Highlights

The Aston Baker Cutting Edge Aesthetic Surgery Symposium has been running for 37 years and brings together some of the world’s leading aesthetic plastic surgeons. This year, Dr Sharp and practice director Liz Washington joined hundreds of plastic surgeons and their clinic teams to learn more about the innovative techniques for facial and body rejuvenation. The program featured 94 instructive surgical videos, 26 presentations, 13 expert panels and 8 debates. Dr Sharp loves being abreast of the latest advancements in plastic and cosmetic surgery, and these forums provide a valuable opportunity to hear about the techniques, trials, anecdotal experiences and standards from across the world. The overall message from the symposium was: aesthetic surgery has changed, and the over-stretched, over-enhanced, over-done look is a thing of the past. Progressive surgeons are working together to develop new techniques to approach cosmetic surgery to achieve a more balanced, proportionate and natural look than ever before. We thought some of our patients may be curious to hear more about the ideas discussed, so in these videos, Liz briefly covers some of the symposium topics that often arise in our discussions with patients. Fat grafting Fat grafting has been used for reconstructive purposes for many decades, but its use for rejuvenation and enhancement is still a relatively new concept, and something that surgeons are still experimenting with to perfect and hone the right technique for different areas of the body. We saw some exciting results from the panel, and of particular interest was ‘micro’ and ‘nano’ fat grafting for facial rejuvenation, which is providing not just volume replacement, but also dermal rejuvenation. The faculty also addressed the...

Australia’s most popular cosmetic surgery procedures

The people over at Whatclinic.com have revealed the top procedures that Australians are requesting in their plastic surgeon’s office - according to the most common enquiries received by the clinic comparison website. The top 5 were: 1. Breast implants 2. Liposuction 3. Blepharoplasty (eyelid reduction) 4. Abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) 5. Rhinoplasty Breast implants are still the most highly sought after cosmetic procedure, while gynecomastia procedures - which remove male breast tissue - made it into the top 10, recording a 6% increase in popularity.   What's on your list of most-wanted procedures? Name Email Address Contact number I'd like to know more about... Submit...

Popular procedures for modern men

Men are more open to the options that aesthetic surgery and cosmetic medicine offer than ever before. And while women still comprise the majority of our patients, data from the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery indicates that the number of men having cosmetic procedures increased by more than 106% between 1997 and 2012; an ongoing trend echoed by the growing number of men seeking cosmetic improvements at our clinics. Often, male patients say they don’t like the tired, stressed or unhealthy appearance they see in the mirror - because they still feel young, strong and fit on the inside. Others are looking to freshen up their appearance before re-entering the dating scene. And many mention a desire to stay competitive in the workplace, linking their looks to their recruitment and promotion prospects - something noted by London economics Professor Daniel Hamermesh in his study of the financial benefits of aesthetic appearance. Here are some of the surgical and non-invasive treatments most commonly requested by men in our clinics: Rhinoplasty Nose jobs are a powerful way to change the entire dynamic of the face. Previous surgery, nose trauma or genetics can leave men with misshaped, prominent or irregular nasal characteristics. It can also cause breathing problems and snoring. Rhinoplasty surgery reshapes bone and cartilage, changing the underlying structure of the nose and creating functional improvements - such as improved breathing - while making aesthetic adjustments that improve its appearance and proportion with the rest of the face. The surgery requires about 7-10 days off work while bruising and swelling subsides. Dr Sharp’s patients receive a post treatment care pack that assists with accelerating...