How to Choose a Plastic Surgeon

The most important decision you will make in your plastic surgery experience is choosing a plastic surgeon. You must be extremely critical when selecting who to trust with your surgery – after all, not all surgeons have the qualifications needed for such complex procedures. In Australia, anyone with a medical degree can legally perform a procedure like liposuction or breast augmentation … but just because a doctor advertises breast augmentation doesn’t mean he or she is qualified to perform it safely or perform it well.

According to Dr. Adrian Sjarif, there are a few qualities to look for when selecting a plastic surgeon in Wollongong, Sydney and the surrounding areas.


According to the law in Australia, only a surgeon that has received a fellowship in plastic and reconstructive surgery from the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (FRACS) can call him or herself a specialist plastic surgeon. This is the only government-recognized surgical training program for plastic and reconstructive surgeons in Australia. Your surgeon should also be a member in good standing of organizations like the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), which requires members to have training as a specialist plastic surgeon by RACS.

Beware of physicians that market themselves as cosmetic surgeons, which may sound similar but is not on par with specialist plastic surgeons. If you find yourself questioning a surgeon’s background or the extra initials after his or her name,  you can check their credentials here.


There is simply no substitute for clinical experience. You probably would not feel comfortable undergoing surgery with a Sydney or Wollongong plastic surgeon that has only performed your requested procedure a handful of times. Ideally, you want to get an idea of how long your surgeon has been performing your desired procedure, how many procedures s/he has performed, how often s/he currently performs the procedure and how often complications occur.

A Keen Aesthetic Eye

Aesthetics are extremely important with plastic and reconstructive surgery. You are looking for someone that has an artist’s sense of beauty, proportion and balance. How can you judge whether a particular surgeon has a keen eye for aesthetics? Request to see before and after photos of the surgeon’s previous patients, and ask yourself if the quality of their work appeals to you.

Clear Communication

You do not have to become best friends with your plastic surgeon, but you should feel as though the two of you are on the same page and communicate well. The surgeon’s explanations and recommendations should make sense, and you should not feel rushed or pressured into making any decisions. You should feel as though your surgeon listens to you and understands your goals of treatment.

A Gut Feeling

Finally, it’s important to trust your gut when searching for a plastic surgeon. If a red flag or warning sign arises during your consultation, or something just feels off, you should continue your search. Don’t stop looking until you find someone that meets all of the aforementioned criteria and with whom you have a great rapport.

Meet Sydney/Wollongong Plastic Surgeon Adrian Sjarif

If you would like to schedule a consultation with Dr. Sjarif to discuss your personal plastic surgery goals, please call or email one of his offices in Wollongong or Sydney.