Cosmetic vs. Plastic Surgeon

Breast Augmentation / Breast Reduction / Tummy Tucks / Breast Lift / Post Pregnancy Surgery / Surgical Tips

12 Jul 2023

Cosmetic vs. Plastic surgeon

So you’ve heard the terms “Cosmetic” and “Plastic” surgeon. Unfortunately, not everyone knows there is a difference between the two. Understanding the difference will impact your perspective when doing your research!

Keep reading to learn about what they mean and how that could affect your surgical result.

What is the difference between plastic and cosmetic surgeons?

Plastic Surgeons

Becoming a Plastic Surgeon takes years of additional training and experience after a medical degree. In Dr Moncrieff’s case, he invested 17 years in total in training and an additional aesthetic fellowship, and has been in practice for 12 years since. That’s nearly 3 decades in medicine!  All surgery has risks, but obviously choosing someone with appropriate qualifications and experience can have an impact.

Cosmetic Surgeons

‘Cosmetic surgeon’ is a term that can be used by anyone with a basic medical degree! This shocks most people who thought it would mean some level of specialist training. We often see in the media the results of poor surgical outcomes, including patients who have come to see us afterwards wanting revision, who have been operated on by these doctors.

The best way to check if someone is a qualified Plastic Surgeon is to look for the full initials FRACS (Plas Surg) after their name (not just ‘FRACS’ which means they are a surgeon in any field from urology to general surgery). You can also visit the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons website and check their member register as all Plastic Surgeons working in the Hunter Region are members.

Things to look out for when doing your research on surgeons

1. Is the surgeon qualified? 

Are they a qualified Plastic Surgeon with the proper FRACS (Plas Surg) initials and can be found on the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons database?

2. Do they have proper before and after procedure photos?

Are you able to easily view their previous work on their website or social media? Unfortunately, we see many clinics who rely on pretty stock images of teenage models they have purchased who have never even experienced surgery. You should be able to see the results that a surgeon actually delivers for patients before you commit your time and money to a consultation.

Assessing before and after photos are a great way to compare the results on these patients with your own body with results matching your goals in mind. Why plastic surgery before and after photos are important?

3. Do they have the experience?

How many procedures have they performed? Do they specialise in the procedure you’re looking into? Dr Moncrieff only performs breast reductions, lifts, augmentations and tummy tucks. Focus matters.

4. Does it feel right?

Lastly, make sure you feel comfortable in their clinic, with their team and the connection you have with the surgeon. Surgery is a journey you want to feel comfortable on, if you don’t feel you are connecting with the clinic and surgeon it may be a sign to look elsewhere.

Want to read more about Dr Moncrieff?

Dr Moncrieff is a Specialist Plastic Surgeon MMBS (Hons), BSC (Med), FRACS (Plast Surg) operating in private hospitals in Charlestown and Newcastle. Learn more about Dr Moncrieff including his focus on making women happy and healthy here.

Practice Manager Jessica

Blog Author:

Jessica Laing, Practice Manager, Hunter Plastic Surgery

About Jessica

Jessica joined the Hunter Plastic Surgery team in 2010 after being a patient of Dr Moncrieff’s. She has worked very closely with him since then and supports our patients throughout their surgical journey.

She has even won awards for her focus on service including at the 2020 Stevie Global Sales and Customer Service Awards as Young Customer Service Professional of the Year, as the Australasian Practice Manager of the Year at the 2019 MyFaceMyBody Global Awards and at the 2017 Lake Macquarie Business Excellence Awards.

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