Get Real with CPCA

Get real with CPCA campaign – what is it?

The Cosmetic Physicians College of Australasia (CPCA) sees the trivialisation of cosmetic procedures as a growing trend – and its members are concerned.

The CPCA is seeing more and more patients who are exhibiting a distorted sense of self, with unrealistic expectations when it comes to cosmetic enhancement results – and research shows this has potentially harmful effects, both physically and psychologically.

So CPCA members are taking action.

The Get Real Campaign by the CPCA prioritises public education and the provision of accurate information about cosmetic medicine – especially the importance of seeking appropriate professional medical advice to make informed decisions in consultation with trained doctors who maintain highest ethical standards.

It is about engaging with a cosmetic physician who will help you focus on looking better, not different, and most importantly maintain realistic outcomes by always putting patient safety first.

Remember, all medical procedures have Real risks. So if things should ever get complicated, and they occasionally do, it makes sense to be with the Real experts.

Did you know research shows ‘selfies’ distort facial Images by 30%?

Get Real Campaign

Realistic expectations

Real Doctors

Real Medicine

Real Training

real /adjective/

  1. 1. actually existing as a thing or occurring in fact; not imagined or supposed
  2. 2. genuine, not imitation or artificial
  3. 3. used to emphasize the significance or seriousness of a situation

get real /informal/

used for telling someone that they should try to understand the true facts of a situation and not hope for what is impossible

Real questions:

How do I find the right medical practitioner?

Cosmetic Medicine is Real Medicine and both your care and treatment should be supervised, performed and coordinated by Real doctors who are trained and experienced. This is the best safeguard to protect yourself against unsafe practice.

Finding an experienced and trained doctor who puts patient safety first and is able to manage realistic expectations is of paramount importance. Find a Cosmetic Physician near you here.

How do I prepare for the procedure?

This depends on the type of procedure you have decided upon with your Cosmetic Physician. During your face-to-face consultation, your Cosmetic Physician should provide you with access to pre-treatment preparation instructions. While some low-impact, low-risk procedures may be performed on the day of consultation, it is important for you to have sufficient time and relevant information to fully understand before proceeding, for the majority of procedures.

Are there any risks?

All medical procedures carry a degree of risk. You are entitled to know what risks exist in any medical procedure and Cosmetic Medicine is no exception. Remember, only you can determine if risks are reasonable to you personally before consenting to treatment. Take care to listen carefully when risks are explained – and do not hesitate to seek deliberate and unhurried clarification about anything you don’t understand prior to your procedure.

What are the side effects?

Side effects are things that commonly occur, simply because of the nature of the procedure. For example, a small cosmetic injection, even when performed by highly experienced Cosmetic Physicians, can result in bruising. Usually this is very limited and a minor side effect. Side effects differ from ‘complications’. A complication is an unexpected event that is recorded in the medical books and journals as occurring in a small percentage of outcomes. Complications are far more common where procedures are performed by inexperienced persons with minimal understanding or training in cosmetic medical procedures.

Is there downtime? How long?

This depends on the procedure. Cosmetic injections don’t usually involve time off work or interruption to social activity. Cosmetic Physicians usually perform procedures in ways that minimise ‘down-time’. If this is your first time with a cosmetic medical procedure, try to schedule your treatment to coincide with potentially having to manage any common side effects of the treatment. Your Cosmetic Physician will provide you with an accurate estimate of what aftercare requirements and immediate appearance impacts may occur following your procedure.

How long will the procedure take?

Modern procedures don’t usually take a long time. Anti-wrinkle injections, apart from the first consultation, usually take 15-30 minutes at the clinic you are attending. Dermal fillers, energy-based devices and cosmeceutical procedures vary in time from 30 minutes to perhaps two hours in total.

What expectations should I have in terms of results?

Real expectations are the most essential aspect to consider when deciding to proceed with treatment. You should have the expectation that your Cosmetic Physician will offer procedures that focus upon ‘better, not different’.

How long will the results last?

Anti-wrinkle cosmetic medical injections usually last four (4) months. Dermal filler injections can last up to two (2) years, or as little as six (6) months depending on the quality and brand of the product used. Your Cosmetic Physician will provide you with the specifications of the product being used. Cosmetic injections can last from months to years, depending upon the product injected. Energy-based devices such as lasers, cryolipolysis (fat-freezing), IPL, BBL can produce results that continue to provide sustained benefit. That is, unlike most cosmetic injections that require repeating periodically, effects from many energy-based devices never return you to the position you would have been, had you not had the treatment. While ageing of course never stops, these energy-based procedures often put you in front of where you would have been as the years pass.

What if I am not happy with the result?

You are entitled to voice your concerns over any matter concerning your experiences with your health practitioner. The clinic you attend should explain what to do if you have a complaint. The clinic should have a defined policy on the management of complaints. While complaints are uncommon, courteous and respectful attention to your concerns should occur and a formal response provided in a timely fashion.

Can I have the procedure reversed?

This question is confined to cosmetic injectables. In the case of most dermal fillers, ‘yes’ – but not without risk. It does not pay to be blasé when considering reversal as some people are allergic to the product that dissolves the injection. Anti-wrinkle injections cannot be reversed as such. Occasionally an adjustment of an anti-wrinkle injection may counteract an unwanted side-effect. In skilled hands, it is unusual for anti-wrinkle injections to be troublesome.

I am considering injectables? How do I know if the brand being used is safe?

Cosmetic Physicians must only use products that have been assessed by the Therapeutic Goods Administration. Products that are imported and have not been assessed are illegal – and serious penalties apply to registered health practitioners who administer them to patients in Australia.

What is the difference between anti-wrinkle injections and dermal fillers?

Anti-wrinkle injections control the muscles which trigger lines and wrinkles. It is not wise to over treat muscles with anti-wrinkle injections. There is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to anti-wrinkle injections. There are different brands – and everyone’s face, facial expressions and anatomy are different. This is just one reason why a face-to-face consultation with your Cosmetic Physician is so important. Dermal fillers fill areas where there is volume loss and/or loss of support at key areas that suspend the facial features such as the temples, the sides of the face, jawline and occasionally tear troughs. Dermal fillers are commonly used to produce natural appearance improvements to the lips. Again, to ‘look better, not different’ should be your expectation. Over-filled areas not only distort your natural appearance, but over-filling can also contribute to serious complications such as stopping blood flow and cause open wounds.
Special note: Dermal fillers have been known to cause permanent vision loss and should ONLY be performed by competent health practitioners who are able to recognise early warning symptoms and qualified to administer appropriate first aid and provide professional management of any complication that might arise during or after treatment.

What if my doctor advises against a procedure I really want?

Like any face-to-face consultation, in Real medicine, your doctor will listen to what concerns you have and then ask questions about your concerns: such as how long you have observed the problem, and whether or not there might be underlying causes such as previous cosmetic procedures, surgery, trauma and/or illnesses you may have or had in the past. Cosmetic Physicians commonly uncover health issues that are associated with your cosmetic concerns. During this consultation, your Cosmetic Physician will consider all these issues. In some cases, just like requesting antibiotics when visiting your GP when you have a viral infection, some procedures just don’t suit some patients. Remember, your Cosmetic Physician puts your welfare first, and this may include advising you that a particular procedure may be inappropriate for you as an individual.

How important is it to have a face-to-face consultation with the treating doctor?

Technology based consultations, as opposed to physically visiting your health practitioner, while lawful in Australia, are not regarded in most instances as ‘Best Practice’ in Cosmetic Medicine. As a patient, you are an individual, with unique features, unique expressions, individual body shape and varying expectations. Cosmetic medicine is Real medicine, performed and coordinated by Real doctors, with Real training and Real experience. It makes Real sense to find out, in person, who you can trust with your features and your safety. Consulting a Cosmetic Physician face-to-face means the patient can assess their own confidence in the practitioner, and the practitioner can be confident that the consultation has met the highest standards in medical care. After all, for most patients, the relationship, just like with your Family Doctor, will most likely be long term – and long term relationships are not usually conducted successfully other than in the presence of one another.

Should my Cosmetic Medical procedure be performed by a Doctor, Nurse or other Dermal Clinician?

In all areas of medicine (and surgery) nurses and doctors work alongside each other. Both health professionals work within a defined ‘scope of practice’. This scope of practice is related to the significant differences in each other’s basic training. Your Cosmetic Physician will commonly work with a Registered Nurse colleague. Providing your initial consultation has been performed by your Cosmetic Physician, it is not unusual for procedures to be delegated to a Registered Nurse who has sufficient training and experience – where this satisfies the scope of practice for the intended procedure. The Cosmetic Physicians College of Australasia sets out guidelines to the College’s members on delegation and supervision of non-doctors. Some non-invasive procedures may also be delegated to a Dermal Clinician who is also sufficiently trained to perform certain procedures, which once again are defined by a precise scope of practice. The responsibility for your overall well-being falls upon the prescribing medical practitioner.

Download a copy of the FAQs as a PDF