The guidelines for medical practitioners performing cosmetic medical and surgical procedures has been updated, taking effect from 1 October 2016. Compliance is mandatory. The changes mean that teens now have to wait three months before major cosmetic surgery, and seven days for minor cosmetic procedures.
Important note: These guidelines do not apply to other registered health practitioners or to unregistered providers of cosmetic procedures including nurses or beauty therapists.
What defines a cosmetic medical or surgical procedure?
An operation that changes or revises the appearance, colour, texture, structure or position of a normal body feature with the dominant purpose being a more desirable appearance according to the patient’s perception, or to boost the patient’s self-esteem. These procedures are split into two categories: major and minor, with differing guidelines for each.
Minor cosmetic medical procedures
These procedures do not involve cutting beneath the skin, but can involve piercing the skin. This classification applies to laser skin treatments, mole removal, laser hair removal, dermabrasion, vaginal rejuvenation involving lasers, chemical peels, injections, microsclerotherapy and hair-replacement therapy.
New age restriction guidelines for under-18s
These guidelines extend the time between seeking cosmetic procedures and the actual procedure.
- Major procedures: a three-month cooling-off period applies, and an appointment must be made with a general practitioner, psychologist or psychiatrist who is independent of the practitioner performing the surgery.
- Minor procedures: the cooling-off period is seven days, and the main practitioner may recommend that minor procedures require a similar psychological evaluation as deemed appropriate.
Anyone presenting with significant underlying psychological problems that may make them unsuitable for a procedure must be sent for independent evaluation.
Cooling-off periods for adults
- Major procedures: There is a cooling-off period of seven-days prior to a major procedure for adults.
- Minor procedures: no mandatory cooling-off period applies.
A cooling-off period can be applied by a practitioner at their discretion if they feel it is advisable for a patient. The same applies for a psychological evaluation.
At ENRICH, we comply with all Medical Board of Australia guidelines and best practice to get optimal results for our clients. Contact us to arrange a personal consultation.