Iain Curry

Not a pretty picture - 14 plastic surgeons on notice in Qld

SOUTH-EAST Queensland has recorded the highest number of complaints against botched cosmetic procedures, and dodgy boob jobs top the list.

A report by the Health Quality and Complaint Commission has revealed 245 complaints were made about 281 cosmetic surgical and medical procedures between July 1, 2006, and June 30, 2012.

Of the 239 complainants, 17 were from Sunshine Coast residents, representing 7% of the complaints made across Queensland.

Fourteen (6%) of the reported procedures were conducted on the Coast.

Across Queensland, 14 practitioners accounted for almost half of the complaints. They have been issued with a quality improvement action plan and ordered to improve their practice.

The HQCC will now monitor how these practitioners perform against their improvement plan.

Eighty-three percent of the procedures were surgical. Breast enhancements were the procedure most frequently complained about, followed by face and neck, and abdominal surgeries.

Cosmetic injections and laser treatment received the most frequent complaints about cosmetic medical procedures, followed by chemical peels.

Australian Medical Association Queensland president Alex Markwell said people who underwent cosmetic surgery might have unrealistic expectations, which could lead to disappointment and complaints.

Dr Markwell said cosmetic surgery also had been falsely portrayed as "routine and low risk".

"Risks are the same as any other surgery, particularly if there's general anaesthetic involved," she said.

"Those risks will increase or decrease depending on the health of the patient.

"The public tend to think cosmetic surgery is superficial and less dangerous."

Dr Mark McGovern, from Vie Institute in Maroochydore, said people considering cosmetic surgery should do their homework.

"Cosmetic plastic surgery is non-reversible," he said.

"If you don't like the end result, it is difficult to 'go back to your former self' and there are risks involved with any surgery.

"In Australia, the only plastic surgical qualification is a Fellow of the Royal Australian College of Surgeons in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (FRACS, Plast.Recon.Surg.).

"If your surgeon does not have these initials after his name, he is not a qualified plastic surgeon."


Between 85% and 90% of cosmetic procedures are performed on women, with breast enhancement the most performed surgery.

The most common cosmetic surgery for men is breast reduction.

The most common cosmetic medical procedures are botox injections, fillers for lines and wrinkles, laser treatments, microdermabrasion and chemical peels.