Cosmetic Surgery in Australia to meet stricter regulations from 1 July 2023.

Australians seeking cosmetic surgery may find it more challenging to do so under sweeping new regulations. Starting on July 1, the Medical Board of Australia will enforce stricter rules requiring some patients to see a psychiatrist or psychologist before undergoing certain procedures. The regulations apply to all cosmetic surgeries that breach the skin, including breast lifts, nose jobs, Botox, and facelifts.

New Rules

Patients who want to undergo these procedures must first;

  • Receive a referral from their general practitioner and meet with the surgeon twice to evaluate their mental health.
  • Even after these consultations, patients may still be required to see a psychologist to ensure they are suitable candidates for the surgery.
  • The new rules aim to understand the reasons why patients want surgery and help to identify any underlying psychological conditions.
  • The Medical Board’s new regulations require the medical practitioner who will perform the surgery to assess the patient’s psychological health and discuss other options with them, including not having the surgery.
  • The practitioner must also use a validated psychological screening tool to screen for body dysmorphia disorder. A seven-day cooling-off period must be observed before surgery can commence.

New Advertising Guidelines

The Medical Board has also announced numerous new advertising guidelines for practitioners or clinics that offer cosmetic surgery. These include no uses of hashtags or taglines, no sexualised images, testimonials or use of social media influencers. It also specified that images of clients must only be used by pre-written consent; before-and-after images must not be misleading and be consistent across advertising. Changes to the title ‘surgeon’ might also be on the horizon, restricting it to specialists in surgery, obstetrics, gynecology and ophthalmology.

Some “Push Back”

While the new regulations seek to protect those with mental health issues such as body dysmorphia, some, like reality TV star Jessika Power, believe that it should be a person’s choice whether to undergo surgery. Ms Power has undergone various procedures herself, including an autologous fat transfer from her thighs to her breasts, Botox, and fillers.

The Medical Board has also issued new advertising guidelines for clinics and practitioners offering cosmetic surgery. These guidelines prohibit the use of hashtags or taglines, sexualized images, testimonials, or social media influencers. Images of clients can only be used with their pre-written consent, and before-and-after images must not be misleading.

Additionally, the Medical Board is considering changes to the title “surgeon,” which would restrict its use to specialists in surgery, obstetrics, gynecology, and ophthalmology. The new rules aim to protect Australians seeking cosmetic surgery and ensure that they make informed decisions.

Your Thoughts?

Let us know what you think. Good thing, great for patient safety, or too restrictive?  Let us know in the comments below.