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Plastic surgery holidays

Andrew Ives - Tuesday, December 10, 2013

It sounds too good to be true: jump on a plane, have a quick nip and tuck, and spend the rest of your trip shopping and recuperating poolside, all for a fraction of the price you’d pay back home.

It’s the plastic surgery getaway, a trip that’s become so popular, entire travel agencies have sprung up dedicated to its cause. But for all the success stories and satisfied customers, this is one trend that I believe patients need to be wary of. Holiday plastic surgery can be like a gambling game; one where you never really know the odds. You might think you’ll save money, but a package like this could end up costing you far more than you expect.

So, before you renew your passport and book those tickets, take time to ask yourself a few questions:

  1. What qualifications does your surgeon have?
    Is the person who will be operating on you a qualified plastic surgeon? What does this mean in the country you’re visiting? In Australia, a qualified plastic surgeon is guaranteed to have undertaken eight to ten years of specialist training at the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. How stringent are training requirements in your destination country?
  2. Does your surgeon behave ethically?
    Patients who have paid a lot of money and travelled a long way do not like to hear that they cannot undergo the procedure they desire. But an ethical surgeon will not operate on a patient if it is not in the patient’s best interest, no matter how long it took to get through customs. Are you confident that your surgeon will act in your best interest?
  3. What is included in your fee?
    Does the price you are quoted cover more than just airfares, accommodation and the procedure? Or will you be hit with out-of-pocket costs for pre-operative consultations, theatre fees, hospital beds, anaesthesia, medication and follow up visits? In Australia, the price quoted by a responsible plastic surgeon will be discussed with you in full, with no nasty surprises waiting in the mailbox when you get home.
  4. What is the standard of healthcare in your destination country?
    In Australia, medical facilities and staff are governed by strict guidelines that ensure a high level of hygiene, safety and care. Do you know what standards are in place to regulate these matters in your destination country?
  5. What will happen if something goes wrong?
    No one wants to think about surgery complications but it should be one of the first things you think about. If you experience complications after an overseas procedure, what will happen? Will you have to travel again? Does the original fee you paid cover return flights and corrective measures? Most plastic surgeons in Australia treat patient complications with minimal out-of-pocket expense—sometimes none—and are easily accessible without a long plane trip.
  6. Does your private health fund cover overseas plastic surgery?
    And will it cover corrective action overseas if complications arise? Although coverage for the procedures themselves varies, most Australian health funds cover complications arising from surgery in Australia, even if they do not cover the original procedure.

The plastic surgery getaway sounds too good to be true because it very often is. Plastic surgery in Australia is expensive, and for good reason. There are extensive safety, training and accountability measures that protect patients against surgical risks. And while they might add to costs, they also mean the odds of safely achieving the results you want are firmly in your favour.  

If you would like to speak to someone about plastic surgery, please click here to arrange a consultation with Mr Andrew Ives.

As seen on TV: the danger of unproven plastic surgery procedures

Andrew Ives - Thursday, October 03, 2013


Every so often, a ‘revolutionary’ new plastic surgery procedure will do the rounds. Touted as the next big thing on current affairs shows and in beauty magazines, it comes complete with impressive footage of life-changing results. The next day, my phone begins to ring.

I am always happy to meet with patients and discuss these new procedures, but when a patient asks me to perform one of them, my answer is usually ‘no’. Am I just behind the times, not keeping up with cutting edge developments in the plastic surgery industry? Not at all. I am committed to giving my patients the best care possible, and that includes staying up to date with new industry developments.

My reason for refusing to perform so many of these new treatments is simple: my patients are not guinea pigs.

As a qualified plastic surgeon and a member of the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons, I have a duty of care to treat my patients ethically and honestly. That includes not using them like lab rats.

Proven results and possible side effects of new procedures can take a long time to determine. A new procedure that suddenly bursts into the limelight is unlikely to have been comprehensively tested. The television segments and magazine articles might show impressive before and after shots or tell stories about happy patients, but we rarely see how these patients are faring a year after the procedure, let alone five or ten years.

If a procedure is safe and effective, all is well. The surgeon can add a treatment to his or her repertoire and the patient can go on to enjoy an improved quality of life. But if a procedure is unsound, the results can be disastrous. At best, the only thing to suffer will be the patient’s wallet. At worst, the patient could be dealing with a lifetime of disfigurement or pain. Until a treatment has been tested and proven over a reasonable period of time, we just don’t know. In some ways, it is like operating with a blindfold. For this reason, I prefer to wait and only offer a procedure once I know it has been clinically confirmed as both safe and effective.

But although I may decline to perform a treatment seen on television, I still encourage my patients to contact me when they are curious about a new procedure. Often, I can recommend an alternative procedure to achieve the same results—one that is both tried and tested.

To arrange a consultation with Mr Andrew Ives, please click here

Skincare for men

Andrew Ives - Sunday, September 01, 2013

Skincare for men

"I'm sick and tired of him using my products!"

It's a lament I've heard so many times that I've lost count—women who want their husbands, boyfriends and fiancés to keep their hands away from the cleansers, toners and moisturisers that line the bathroom shelves. It's no big surprise that men are hitting the skincare products; there's no other body part that will betray your age faster than the skin. And with many men working out in the elements, skincare is not just about vanity; it's about safety too.

A few months ago, I wrote about the growing trend of men who take care of their bodies. From hair products to plastic surgery, body maintenance is no longer only a woman's domain. In response, a new wave of products and services has hit the market, aiming to take advantage of men's newfound aesthetic pride. In some cases, companies are hitting the mark—think hair products, a category now filled with muds, clays and pastes—while in others, the product selection leaves a bit to be desired.

One of these 'others' is skincare. Sure, there are plenty of male skincare products around but none of them really seem to be made with men in mind. Most are line extensions of existing female-orientated brands. Despite being aimed at men, the packaging, colours and product names still smack of feminine. Even the ads often look as though a male model has been thrust onto the set of a women's skincare commercial to save on costs or creative energy.

So I wanted to make a skincare range that was all about men, from the way it was packaged and named, to the way it was advertised. The result: Dirt for Men (D4M). It's fast, efficient, pared-back skincare designed for men who don't want to spend hours on a finicky regime. The products are simple to use and take the skincare fast track wherever possible, like the combined D4M Shave & Facewash or D4M Armour moisturiser with SPF 15. Packaged in easy-to-grab containers, D4M products are equally at home displayed on the shelf or tucked way in the bathroom cupboard.

It's about time that men's skincare products emerged from the shadow of the women's ranges and took up the bathroom real estate they deserve. With D4M there's no complicated routines, no tiny hard-to-hold bottles, and no lying to your wife/girlfriend/fiancée about what happened to her cleanser. With D4M, there's just fast, effective skincare.

For more information about the D4M range, please click here. D4M products are available for purchase from The Avenue Specialist Centre, 03 5933 2019.

Surgery Complications

Andrew Ives - Thursday, August 01, 2013

Why complications are the most important part of plastic surgery

As a patient, it's the last thing you want to think about when planning your plastic surgery: what if something goes wrong? Although rare, complications are a risk with any type of surgery, and plastic surgery is no exception.

But while it might be the last thing you want to think about, it should really be one of the first. Discussing the sorts of problems that may occur during surgery and how you will be taken care of is a very effective way of judging the quality and ethics of your surgeon. A responsible plastic surgeon doesn't just talk about the end result; he or she is comfortable discussing the prospect of complications and what will happen when things don't go according to plan.

When it comes to post-surgical complications, here's what separates a responsible plastic surgeon from the rest:

A responsible plastic surgeon makes you aware of complications before surgery

In my opinion, this is the most important part of the whole procedure. You should come away from your pre-surgery appointments feeling well-informed about any complications that might arise, how your surgeon will treat them, and how treatment costs will be handled.

A responsible plastic surgeon has an open door policy

You should feel comfortable to call your plastic surgeon at any time about your post-surgical concerns. No matter how trivial your concern seems, a responsible plastic surgeon will be happy to speak with you and see you again to ensure any complications are properly treated.

A responsible plastic surgeon limits out-of-pocket costs as much as possible

This is part of responsible end-to-end care. Whether treatment involves antibiotics, dressings or further surgery, a responsible plastic surgeon will do their best to keep your out-of-pocket costs to a minimum.

A responsible plastic surgeon knows that looking after patients is good business

It sounds obvious, but some surgeons move patients through as quickly as possible, often leaving them high and dry when something goes wrong. But it's not only in your best interest for your surgeon to give you A-grade care during complications, it's also in their own. A patient who is confident with the care they have received—even if complications occur—can become a surgeon's best referral base.

Fortunately, complications are not commonplace. But if the unexpected did occur, wouldn't you rather know you were in the care of a responsible surgeon?

If you are considering plastic surgery and would like an honest, pressure-free discussion with Mr Andrew Ives, please book a consultation or call Mr Ives' Melbourne or Windsor rooms to arrange a suitable time.

Do real men have plastic surgery?

Andrew Ives - Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Once upon a time, the answer to that question would have been a resounding, "NO!"

A couple of decades ago, plastic surgery was considered a woman's domain. Sure, it was okay if you had to have it done for reconstructive purposes, preferably from some kind of manly activity like being bottom of the heap in a rugby scrum, but just to improve the way you looked? That was clearly the act of an effeminate or gay man.

Thankfully, attitudes have changed. We've all heard the term 'metrosexual', coined in 1994 by journalist Mark Simpson to describe the growing tribe of men—of all sexual persuasions—who were confident that good grooming and masculinity could happily coexist. Male personal care was thrust into the spotlight and hair styling, moisturising, waxing and manicures went mainstream. It was only a matter of time before plastic surgery followed suit.

The stigma surrounding male plastic surgery continues to fade for a number of reasons:

Celebrity influence

Although the jury is often out on who has and who hasn't undergone the knife, with male celebrities like David Beckham and Brad Pitt happy to discuss grooming tactics, men are becoming more confident that a little self-care is not a one-way pass to Emasculation Town.

Professional success

Many men are beginning to feel that a youthful appearance is important to achieving professional success. Women know only too well the usually unspoken expectations of looking young, attractive and well groomed at work. But as retirement ages increase, men are also starting to feel that an image of youth and vitality is necessary for professional advancement.


With an arsenal of male-specific grooming products, salons and services now available, men are receiving a clear signal that taking care of oneself and wanting to look good is widely acceptable.

Procedures for men

So what types of plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures are men most likely to have? Well, many of the same ones that women have, actually. Popular procedures for men include nose jobs (rhinoplasty), facelifts, eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) and liposculpture. Less invasive procedures such as dermal fillers and anti wrinkle injections are also popular to help enhance and maintain a youthful appearance.

But it isn't just for facial freshen ups. Men who suffer from gynaecomastia ('man boobs') can find relief with breast reduction surgery designed specifically for males. Men may also choose pectoral, calf or buttock implants to enhance their physique.

Whether it's correcting a long-standing aesthetic concern, recapturing a youthful appearance or simply enhancing their existing physique, real men know that taking care of their looks doesn't endanger their masculinity. And yes, real men do have plastic surgery.

Click here to find out more about male plastic surgery options.

Going natural: the changing face of breast enlargement

Andrew Ives - Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Breast enlargement. Of all plastic surgery procedures, it seems to be the most often discussed—who has had it, who wants it, who doesn't, and why.

For years, breast enlargement has suffered from the Jordan effect: the perception that breast implant surgery results in disproportionately large, strangely-shaped breasts that appear patently false. But the results of breast enlargement can be noticeable without being obvious. Increasingly, patients are looking for breasts that appear natural and complement their overall appearance, rather than breasts that become a focal point.

Of course, there are still women who desire a very obvious change but in recent years, I have noticed more and more women seeking a natural looking result. One of the fastest growing categories of breast enlargement patients I see is made up of women seeking to restore their breasts after having children. Suffering a loss of volume following pregnancy and breastfeeding, these women have become dissatisfied with the size and appearance of their breasts. They aren't necessarily looking for large breasts; they simply want to go back to what they once had. Anecdotally, I have heard that this type of breast enlargement has become a hot topic during school drop-off and pick-up, with the procedure becoming more acceptable and no longer solely the domain of celebrities and the housewives of Beverly Hills.

But how can you ensure that your breast enlargement surgery will give you a natural looking result? Well, like any plastic surgery, there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to breast enlargement. Achieving a natural look depends on a combination of factors:

  • Body shape – Obtaining natural looking results depends first and foremost on assessing the patient's body. A good surgeon will take into account a patient's breast and body shape when considering implant sizes. Some patients may like the results they see on a friend and request the same sized implants, hoping for a similar look. But if that friend has a very different body shape, the same sized implants can look unnatural and may even cause complications.
  • Shape – In my opinion, teardrop shaped implants more closely mimic the natural shape of a woman's breast, creating a gentle slope from the upper chest and becoming fuller in the lower part of the breast. Round implants create a fuller appearance overall, with an emphasis on the upper breast, which may be more appropriate for some patients.
  • Composition – Implants composed of silicone gel feel and look more natural than implants composed of saline, which are firmer to the touch and can produce visible rippling beneath the skin.
  • Profile – This refers to the way the breasts project from the body. Some types of implants offer a lower profile while others have more projection. The type that will give you the most natural appearance depends on the volume of breast tissue that you have to start with.
  • Placement – Implants can be placed on top of or behind the pectoralis major muscle, the main muscle on the front of your chest. Placing the implant behind the muscle can help to create a smoother appearance but may not be suitable in every situation.
  • Incision – Incisions are typically made in one of three different places: armpit, areola or under the breast. The incision location can impact how well the implant is placed as well as scar visibility and must be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Most importantly, it is vital to be open to discussion with your surgeon about different options for achieving your desired results: it could be the difference between becoming a Pamela Anderson clone or having the breasts you want.

Click here to find out more about breast enlargement.

Cosmetic Cowboys

Andrew Ives - Thursday, May 31, 2012

Welcome to the world of cosmetic surgery: on offer is an array of seemingly quick and easy fixes designed to eradicate all your insecurities. Interest free loans tailor made for surgeries of all shapes and sizes. Holidays that have you sightseeing on Monday, a nip tuck on Tuesday, shopping on Wednesday and by Thursday you’ll be on your way home sporting your extreme make-over. Dr Andrew Ives, Cosmetic, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon warns however, that if you’re looking for a quick fix to looking beautiful, you may be getting more than you bargained for.

Drive thru Surgery

These days, we want what we want, and we want it now. Open 24 hours; drive-through; buy-now-pay-later; approval in two minutes; instant access at the click of a mouse – we’ve become a society with no patience. Wanting instant gratification though has its drawbacks when talking about cosmetic surgery and anti-ageing procedures. You’re about to find out why.

Quick fix Surgery

The media is always selling us quick fixes to looking beautiful. Surgical holidays, botox parties and surgical brokers all target people to get the insecure, unattractive and unsatisfied to part with their money. What you seem to seldom be told is that these quick fixes carry serious risks and can result in some devastating outcomes. Good luck to those who want to take the chance and all I can say to them is, ”I wish you luck, because that’s what you’ll need”.

Surgical Holidays: the media tells us they’re in vogue. We’re always hear testimonies from people who have been there and done that. They give us their testimonies on how elated they are with their new breasts and how cheap they were by comparison to having them done in Australia. But what we don’t hear is the testimonies from those who have come back with bad scars, extruding implants, serious infections and wounds falling apart.

The facts are:

  • You pay for these surgical holidays up front. Before you even meet the surgeon and before you get any examination. If you aren’t a suitable candidate for the procedure, don’t count on getting your money back and being sent safely home. Chances are you will be operated on regardless of indications to the contrary. So much for the doctor putting your best interests ahead of his financial ones.
  • The surgeons performing these procedures don’t have to adhere to the same qualification requirements as we do here in Australia. You’ll have no idea of the standard of care you will be give.
  • Whilst you may not experience complications right after your surgery, you may when you get back to Australia. Given you can’t see your surgeon, who will you see then?

“I am constantly amazed that people go ahead with these “surgical holidays” or book a procedure without first meeting the surgeon who will be performing the surgery. If you’re buying a house or car, I don’t think many people would sign up before they’ve seen the house or test driven the car first; and those are material things. This is their body that we’re dealing with.”

The same problem occurs with surgeons who fly in from other cities to perform surgeries then fly out the same day. Dr Andrew Ives has had many patients go to him seeking to have problems corrected as a result of these quick fixes. He’s seen horrific disfigurements and people suffering severe complications. He does what he can to address these problems but as a surgeon, there is sometimes not a great deal that can be done. What you will realize is that these quick, cheap and easy options that look so attractive, fast become very expensive and traumatic disasters.

It’s your body, your face

When it comes to a nip tuck or an anti-ageing procedure, people will do as they please. There is no regulation about what is on offer when it comes to quick fixes. But do you want to take the risk with your body or your face. Wouldn’t you rather know that you’re getting the very best surgery and the very best of care before, during and after the procedure?

A Great Surgeon is an Honest Surgeon

If a surgeon tells you there is no risk of complications to a procedure, he or she isn’t be being truthful. All surgery carries a risk. Dr Andrew Ives takes pride in his work as a Surgeon. He’s honest and will tell you about the risks at the outset. He’ll discuss with you what you are trying to achieve from your procedure. With his holistic approach to his patients, he will follow up with you and track your recovery and should you experience complications, however minor, you know you’ll be looked after. He puts his key to success down to treating patients as he would like to be treated as a patient himself.

Qualifications matter

It is important that your procedure is going to be performed by a fully qualified and licensed surgeon. In Australia, anyone with a medical degree can perform plastic and cosmetic surgery provided the patient has signed a consent form or given permission. He or she doesn’t need to have the training, skill or experience. Today, there are many doctors out there performing cosmetic surgery today with no formal surgical training. This leaves patients wide open to potential disasters.

Dr Ives strongly advises patients to check that their surgeon is a member of the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons. This ensures the surgeon is a specialist in his or her field with extensive training and study.

Dr Ives has seen how Plastic Surgery, Cosmetic Surgery, and Anti-Aging Treatments can all have a positive affect on people’s lives. It is what he loves about his job. He has seen how it can boost his patient’s confidence, their lifestyle improves and their professional life benefits. Not to mention their sex life… the positive changes that come about as a result of these procedures are endless.

But you as a patient need to do your part to ensure your outcome is successful… and the most important step is choosing the right surgeon.



Check the qualifications of the surgeon performing your procedure, and ask to see photographs of previous patients. Ask your surgeon if they can recommend patients who have undergone the same surgery that you can talk to. This is a great way to get first-hand accounts from someone who has actually experienced it.


Usually you will have two consultations with your surgeon prior to surgery. Use these consultations wisely. Discuss everything you need to discuss and listen. Take notes if you need to. It is sometimes wise to take a trusted friend or family member along to these consultations.


Information is power, but only if it’s the right information. There is a lot of rubbish on the internet so make sure you are doing your research from a credible source. The Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons has a great website at www.asps.com.au that can give you the location of an Australian trained and qualified surgeon.

The Subtle Side of Plastic Surgery

Andrew Ives - Thursday, May 31, 2012

Plastic surgery has undergone an extreme makeover in its own right. Years ago people wanted to turn back the clock twenty years. Unfortunately the results were far from acceptable. An old saying is true for cosmetic surgery… “Too much of a good thing is bad for you”. We’ve all seen the pictures in magazines, on the telly, and the internet of celebrities and socialites who have ‘overdosed’ on plastic surgery, thinking to ourselves “my god what were they thinking” and even “my god what was their surgeon thinking, or even drinking’ before they started work on them. Well, it may come as some comfort to know that plastic surgeons also look at these same pictures and think these same thoughts. Today plastic surgery and cosmetic treatments are considered to produce a refreshed look, rather than a wind tunnel appearance.

Fortunately in Australia we are blessed with a sense of style and good taste, and this is reflected in the surgical appearance of postoperative patients. Patients want friends and work colleagues to say they look refreshed and enquire if they’ve been away, as they look healthy and vibrant. They don’t want people to know they’ve had surgery whereas in the United States the opposite is true, where having had surgery is seen as a status symbol.

Botox is used to reduce wrinkles and fine lines: to freshen the face and not freeze it. Dermal fillers, both permanent and temporary, can be used effectively to enhance lips both their outline and body without the need to make them look like the rubber lips of a Mike Jagger cartoon, or a couple of marauding hot dog sausages. Most women requesting breast augmentation surgery want a more natural look, rather than a couple of breasts that walk in the room five minutes before they do. Liposuction is now called liposculpture for a reason. It’s more about fine-tuning the body’s shape rather than a procedure to suck enough blubber out of you to make you the equivalent of ninety nine percent fat free.

So in Australia, you can trust that when you walk out of a plastic surgeons office, you will look like you have returned from an island holiday as opposed to having just walked out of the Freak Factory.

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