Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What is plastic surgery?

The ‘plastic’ in plastic surgery is derived from greek: "Plastikos". It means to change shape, or to mould. It does not involve the use of plastics during the surgery. The aim of plastic surgery is to change the shape of any part of your body, for cosmetic or functional reasons. It requires specific principles, skills and techniques, and judgement. Plastic surgery is not just about breast augmentations and facelifts, it is more often used to restore and reconstruct areas of the body which has been distorted by cancer, trauma or birth defects. In cosmetic (or aesthetic) surgery, it is used to enhance or rejuvenate specific parts of the body.

Plastic surgeons are trained to perform both cosmetic (or aesthetic) surgery as well as reconstructive surgery.

What is the difference between cosmetic and reconstructive surgery?

Reconstructive surgery

Is surgery to improve and restore function, to minimize disfigurement and reconstruct structure which was lost due to trauma, disease, cancer or birth defect.

Aesthetic or cosmetic surgery

Is surgery to enhance, or to rejuvenate a specific body part, It is designed to improve a person's appearance by reshaping facial or bodily features.

What is the difference between a Plastic Surgeon and a Cosmetic Surgeon?

Plastic surgeons are Fellows of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (FRACS), and have undergone intensive plastic and reconstructive surgical training to perform invasive surgical procedures on top of a full medical school education. FRACS is the standard qualification required in Australia for plastic surgeons to perform surgery in private and public hospitals.

Doctors with only a MBBS (bachelor of medicine and bachelor of surgery) degree are not surgeons. They are not trained for invasive surgical procedures. However in Australia surgically unqualified doctors are also allowed to perform cosmetic surgery and call themselves surgeons.

To ensure your surgeon is fully qualified and has extensive surgical training, patients should make sure their surgeon is a FRACS. All members of Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) are FRACS and uphold the highest standard in plastic surgery. Medicare Australia recognises all ASPS members as specialist plastic surgeons.

To find out more about ASPS members and their qualifications, please click here.

Are my medical records confidential?

Our practice is electronic and paperless. You medical records are stored as computer data, and constantly backed up. Your personal details and clinical records are handled with the utmost respect for your privacy. Our staff members are bound by strict confidentiality requirements as a condition of their employment. Any release of your clinical records, photos or information will required a signed consent from yourself.

How do I make an appointment with Dr Vrtik?

The best way to make an appointment is to ring the office on 3353 6165 during working hours (9am – 4pm, Monday-Friday). It is important that you let us know at the time of booking your appointment what you are seeing Dr Vrtik for. This will allow our receptionist to allocate the appropriate amount of time for your consultation. Sometimes we may ask you to fax or email your referral to us so that Dr Vrtik can review the information provided by your doctor to determine whether you need to be seen sooner.

What preparation do I need to do for my first consultation?

It is always good for you to browse our website before your first consultation. This will allow you to familiarise yourself with our staff and facilities, as well as any patient information that may be pertinent to you. A patient registration form is also available on our website. This can be printed, filled out and brought with you to the appointment. If you are unable to do this, we will be able to give you one to fill out when you arrive at your appointment.

Write down questions that you may want to ask Dr Vrtik during your consultation. If you tend to lose concentration, have problems with your memory or get easily confused, it is best to bring someone along with you.

If you are seeing Dr Vrtik in regards to a medical procedure, you will also need to remember to bring your referral letter. If you have any medications, please write a list of them down or bring them with you. Don’t forget to bring any pathology results (of skin cancer biopsies), scans or blood tests that you have had recently which may be relevant to your problem. If you are seeing Dr Vrtik for a cosmetic procedure, you will not need a referral.

You will also need to bring your medicare card, private health insurance, pensioners or veteran’s affair details.

If you are seeing Dr Vrtik about a skin lesion, please do not apply any cream or makeup to the area prior to your appointment. If it is an ulcer or weeping sore, a dry dressing is often best.

Would my consultation be covered by my insurance?

Cosmetic consultations are not covered by either Medicare or your private health insurance. Medical consultations (with a valid referral) are partially covered by Medicare, but not your private health insurance. The full consultation fee is to be paid at the end of your appointment on the day, and a receipt will be issued to you. This receipt can be taken/sent to medicare for a rebate. See more details of our fee structure.

Will Dr Vrtik remove my skin cancer at the time of consultation?

No. Your first appointment is a consultation only. Dr Vrtik will need to assess your skin cancer during this consultation and determine whether your cancer can be removed in the office, or need admission to hospital, as well as possible length of time required to perform your procedure. At the end of your consultation, Dr Vrtik will be able to provide you with a date and time for your procedure as appropriate.


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