So you are doing your research and find yourself Googling, “Who is the best plastic surgeon in Newcastle?”
And I bet you came to this article expecting I would say you had found the answer!
But no, the actual answer is a lot more complex… it is actually another question, “who is the best Plastic Surgeon for YOU?”
First things first – why does it matter?
Surgery is one of the most important decisions a person can make in their lifetime. That’s why we understand finding the right Plastic Surgeon to undergo the surgery journey with is crucial to your final results aesthetically, functionally and emotionally.
Unfortunately we see far too much surgery gone wrong, often the result of under-qualified “cosmetic surgeons” (can you believe anyone with a basic medical degree is allowed to call themselves that?!). More on this later.
What surgery are you after?
I can officially say Dr Moncrieff is not the best Plastic Surgeon for you if you are after all of the surgeries he does not offer. Dr Moncrieff only performs breast and body surgery, so you need to look at other options if you want: a facelift, a rhinoplasty (nose job), eyelids, skin cancer, reconstructive surgery, etc.
There are hundreds of Plastic Surgeons around Australia who offer all of these procedures, including 4 who live locally. They should be amongst those you consider in your research.
All local Plastic Surgeons are members of the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons. You can find all their details, along with other plastic surgeons’ here.
What does the surgeon focus on?
Many Specialist Plastic Surgeons have a specific area of focus, reflecting their passion. Some love facial surgery, others love reconstructive surgery. Dr Moncrieff’s passion is breast and body surgery. That’s why he only offers breast augmentation, reductions, lifts, tummy tucks and body lifts.
After nearly 30 years in medicine, these are the procedures he enjoy doing the most and which we find lead to the happiest, healthiest patients.
Join forums and read reviews
Some patients like to join support groups and see how surgeons are reviewed and discussed in a private setting.
In private groups you may find personal stories supported by patients’ own photos. You also have the ability to ask direct questions to past patients. If you are interested in joining a support group, Plastic Surgery Support Forum for Aussie Chicks is run by Plastic Surgery Hub with over 8,000 members.
And online reviews can be helpful too. While we take pride in our genuine reviews from our patients, there are unfortunately some clinics with reviews that are not from genuine patients. Even on social media like Facebook and Instagram, followers and likes can easily be paid for, creating a misleading impression of popularity. We could never fathom doing any of this but it’s important to be aware some clinics do. So just keep your critical thinking hat on!
Ask your local GP, nurse or trusted friend
Make an appointment with your local GP and ask if they can refer you. Most of the referrals we receive are from GPs, friends and family, a happy patient or nurses that work at the hospital we operate in. The benefit of receiving a GP referral could mean a claim for a Medicare rebate, depending on the type of surgery.
Cosmetic vs Plastic Surgeon
Often we see in the media the results of ‘botched’ surgical jobs, and we certainly see patients with those issues in our practice. A strong pattern links unqualified surgeons to these surgical jobs gone wrong. Understanding the important difference between a cosmetic and Plastic Surgeon could potentially reduce the risks associated with surgery. Choosing a Plastic Surgeon minimises that risk due to extensive training and experience completed before acquiring their title.
While anyone with a medical degree can call themselves cosmetic surgeons, becoming a Plastic Surgeon takes years of additional training and experience. In Dr Moncrieff’s case, he invested 17 years in training and an additional aesthetic fellowship before opening Hunter Plastic Surgery in 2009.
The best way to tell if they are a real Plastic Surgeon is to look for the full initials of FRACS (Plas Surg) after their name (not just ‘FRACS’ which means they are a surgeon specialising in another area of medicine, not a Plastic Surgeon).
Additionally, you can visit the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons website. Search for them in this directory as every genuine Plastic Surgeon working in Newcastle is a member. If you can’t find them, they aren’t a genuine Plastic Surgeon.
Proper before and after photos matter
Are you able to see lots of clinical before and after photos of their patients? Unfortunately, we see many clinics which are reliant on pretty stock images they have purchased. These feature models, many of them who are overseas who have never had surgery, let alone met the surgeon using their image!
Plastic surgery is about how something looks – so 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.
Ask how many procedures the surgeon you are considering has performed.
Dr Moncrieff has performed thousands of procedures, including over 3000 breast augmentations, lifts and reductions and over 350 tummy tucks.
Are they upfront about costs?
Some clinics choose not to publicly display their total fees, requiring you to pay to visit to get more information. Others quote a price, but it is just one element of the overall costs of surgery, not the whole amount.
Be mindful of what is included in the quoted cost. Is the quote inclusive of the surgeon’s fee, anaesthetist’s fee, hospital stay, garment and follow up consultations? You don’t want to risk committing to surgery and then finding the real costs are thousands of dollars more.
Lastly, make sure you feel comfortable in their clinic, their team and the connection you have with the surgeon themselves. Ensure the vibe feels natural, if you feel you aren’t connecting with the clinic and surgeon it may be best to look elsewhere. Surgery is a journey and you want to feel comfortable with every step of the way.
Ready to learn more? Book a consultation with myself or see my Practice Manager Jessica for a breast 3D Vectra Simulation. This is a great way to ‘try before you buy’.
To contact our team to make an appointment, please call 4920 7700 or send us a message via the form below.
Amber Moncrieff, Practice Director
About Amber Moncrieff
Amber is our Practice Director. She and Dr Moncrieff founded Hunter Plastic Surgery together in 2009.
Amber previously held senior roles in business and politics in Sydney and Canberra. She holds a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) and degrees in Law and Commerce.
The focus Amber has on service and continued learning in our practice has been recognised many times a local, national and global awards. These include when when she accepted the 2019 Best Small Business Management Team Award at the Stevie Awards for Women in Business (global awards presented in New York) and the 2019 MyFaceMyBody Awards in 6 categories. In total the practice has won 17 awards under Amber's leadership.
Amber is also heavily involved in our industry and 2014 she co-founded the non-profit Plastics Practice Managers group to help provide support, facilitate sharing and helping her counterparts around the country shine. She is a regular speaker and moderator at industry conferences including presenting at the 2018 Breast Masters Workshop in Sydney and 2019 Australasian Society of Plastic Surgeons' Conference in Brisbane.