A Melbourne-based plastic surgeon is making a comeback after a decade out of the profession after a plastic surgery mishap left her with no teeth and two-year-old twins.
The case highlighted the growing number of plastic surgeons who are losing their jobs in a rapidly changing industry and prompted the Australian Medical Association to call for more rigorous screening and testing of surgeons, a move that prompted the surgeon to seek compensation.
But the Australian plastic surgeon’s plight has gone largely unnoticed.
“It’s quite shocking that you can’t even get a job at the moment, because of the amount of work that goes on,” Dr Sarah Brown, a plastic surgeon and director of the Queensland Centre for Surgery, told ABC Radio Melbourne.
“We don’t even know the name of the surgeon who’s going to be looking after our children, and they’re still not going to get any money, or any recognition.”
In November 2017, Dr Brown, who had been treating the baby twins at her Melbourne clinic, went to her dental clinic for a second opinion after she discovered that she was pregnant.
“She’s been out of work for three years and she’s just completely gone, and the baby is now four years old,” she said.
The baby’s mother had previously had a baby with the same condition, which was known as trichotillomania.
Trichotilleromia is an incurable form of cosmetic plastic surgery in which the patient does not receive a second chance.
“You’ve got the whole cosmetic surgery community now saying we need to have a serious look at the procedures that are being performed, because it is so hard to find a job,” Dr Brown said.
“And what we need is for a new generation of surgeons who know how to do this and they understand it and they are able to get the jobs that they need to make it happen.”
Dr Brown and her team are now in the process of filing a complaint with the Victorian Department of Human Services (DHS) and the Department of Health.
The complaint was lodged with the office of the Health Minister, who has ordered an inquiry into the case.
“I have a really difficult time accepting that we can’t get any work,” she told the ABC.
“If I’m a surgeon, I’m going to take the money, and I’m not going be happy about it.”
But she said that it wasn’t just her case.
Dr Brown has also seen many cases of cosmetic surgeons being paid less than their counterparts in the private sector, and has called for more scrutiny of the industry.
“A lot of people just don’t have any respect for this profession,” she added.
It’s just a shame.” “
There are some surgeons who work for less than the average worker, and there’s a lack of respect for what they’re doing.”
It’s just a shame.
The health department should immediately investigate the complaint and ensure that the matter is thoroughly investigated and appropriately dealt with,” Dr Smith said.