Surgery can be nerve wracking because you never really know what to expect until you go through it. We care for body contouring patients on a daily basis at Southern Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. It is our years of experience that will give you confidence and comfort. We will be sure to answer any questions that you have. Every patient is given a surgical planner describing their surgery and recovery in detail, so that you can be fully informed and prepared. There are some questions that patients often ask before they have seen us.

Do I need a GP referral?

You do not need a referral to see us. However, a referral from your local doctor will provide your surgeon with your important past medical history and also allows you to claim part of the consultation fee from Medicare.

What is a consultation?

A consultation is a meeting between yourself and a medical practitioner to listen to your concerns, perform an examination and to learn about the options for your treatment. Upon arriving at Southern Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, our secretaries will provide you with a patient information questionnaire.

You will then see your surgeon. Your surgeon will listen to your concerns regarding your problem and ask what your goals are. The consultation will be performed with sensitivity to your opinions and thoughtfulness to your concerns. Any additional health problems that might affect your treatment will be identified. You will be examined, and your diagnosis or treatment plan will be fully explained.

If a procedure is considered appropriate you will be provided with written information. A second consultation will be arranged, or our practice manager will guide you through the booking process for theatre. You will be given written information regarding your procedure, and a written cost estimate.

Where will my surgery be performed?

Minor surgery is performed in our procedure room at Southern Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. Minor surgery is performed under local anaesthetic (a small injection that numbs the area to be operated) and includes skin lesions, some hand surgery and biopsies.

All other operations are performed in a day surgery or major hospital. A day surgery is a small hospital where an anaesthetist controls your pain relief and sedation as the surgeon is assisted by nurses in your procedure. You will go home after a recovery period at the hospital. Procedures performed in a day surgery include some hand operations, more extensive skin cancer procedures and cosmetic procedures not requiring an overnight stay in hospital. A major hospital is any hospital facility that allows for inpatient (overnight) care eg all public hospitals, St George Private, Kareena Private Hospital. It is also possible to go home the same day as your surgery from a major hospital.

When will I have my surgery?

In some situations, it is possible to have your surgery performed at the time of the consultation, and every effort will be made to fit patients into appointment times when this may be possible. Minor procedures can be performed at the purpose built procedure room at Southern Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.

All other procedures are booked onto the earliest available theatre list that our surgeons have available. In general, private insured patients are able to have their surgery within two weeks of the consultation. Patients who elect to go to the public hospital will be added to the waiting list there, and operated upon as soon as time is available there.

Who should I speak to if I have questions after surgery or the consultation?

An information pamphlet about after surgery care will be given to you before you leave hospital. Please contact us if you have any concerns after your procedure. Within business hours our secretaries will endeavour to direct your call to our surgeons or clinical nurse consultants as soon as possible. After hours, contact the hospital where you had the procedure. In an emergency, please go straight to your nearest emergency department.

How are the doctor’s fees determined?

The fees that this practice charges are generally based on those recommended by the Australian Medical Association. Every effort is made to fully inform patients of the fees they will incur with each treatment, and estimates of these fees will be provided to you at each step.

Consultation fee The fee for an initial consultation is $200 (Medicare rebate $70.00), and for further visits $100 (Medicare rebates $35.15).

Procedure fees in private hospital The fees charged by this practice for surgical procedures are based on those recommended by the Australian Medical Association (AMA), and reflect the costs incurred in running a medical practice. The majority of health funds do not reimburse the full amount of this fee. The difference between your health fund reimbursement and the AMA rate is your out-of-pocket expense. You can ask for a written estimate of fees when a procedure is booked. Procedure fees generally include the first six weeks of follow up.

Procedures performed in our office The fees for these procedures are the same as those charged in hospital, with the addition of a $90 facility fee. If a specimen needs to be sent to a pathologist you will receive an account from Histopath, and there may be an out-of-pocket expense.

Public hospital admission Dr Kotronakis has teaching hospital appointments at St George and Royal Prince Alfred Hospitals. Patients can elect to be admitted as private or a public patient at these hospitals. Private patients will have their operations performed by Dr Kotronakis, and their follow up in the private rooms. Public patients will have the same operation, but they will performed by registrars or other doctors under Dr Kotronakis’s supervision, with follow up at the public hospital dressings clinic. There is no fee for Medicare eligible public patients.

Pensioners Aged pensioners are charged at reduced rates. The initial consultation fee is $100, and there is no fee for follow up visits. There is a 25% discount for procedures performed in the rooms or private hospitals.

Work injuries The fees charged when employees injured during the course of their work are those gazetted by the government. They are the levels covered by Workcover insurance. If the claim is deemed a non work injury by the insurance company the patient is liable for the fee.

What does private health insurance cover?

Private health insurance is used on admission to hospital either as a day case or for longer stays. Each procedure is assigned a code in the Medicare Benefit Schedule. The hospital you are going to will check your eligibility for the procedure according to your level of cover. In the vast majority of non cosmetic cases the entire theatre fee and hospital stay are covered by your health fund.