Frequently asked questions
While it’s only natural to have questions about surgery, at Dr David Colbert we’re committed to helping ensure your entire experience is as stress-free as possible.
Below are some of the most frequently asked questions patients ask when seeing Dr David Colbert.
+ What happens at my consultation?
- Your initial consultation with Dr Colbert will take between 45 and 60 minutes. Dr Colbert believes in establishing a strong relationship with you before contemplating any surgery.
- The consultation begins with Dr Colbert discussing your goals and expectations from surgery. This will also cover any relevant previous medical history, including any medications you take or any allergies you have.
- Next Dr Colbert will perform a physical examination of the relevant area to help determine the best course of action. Digital photographs may be taken for your medical record.
- Finally you and Dr Colbert will discuss your treatment options, and decide what is the best best for you. Any other questions you might have will be covered.
- Our aim is to make the entire process as relaxed and comfortable for you as possible. Deciding to have surgery is an important decision and you will never to placed under any pressure to make a decision.
+ What do I bring to my consult?
- You should bring along your referral (if you have one), your Medicare card, your private health insurance card, and any medical documents or information that you may have.
- It’s also encouraged that you bring a list of questions that you may have about your procedure, as it is often easy to forget them during the consultation.
- Many people also find it helpful to bring a friend or partner with you – there is usually lots of information discussed during the consultation and two sets of ears are better at recalling it later.
+ How much does a consult cost?
- The cost of a consultation depends on the complexity of the issue.
- A standard consultation with Dr Colbert regarding a skin lesion or non-cosmetic operation costs $175.00.
- A cosmetic or reconstructive consultation with Dr Colbert is a longer appointment and costs $215.00. Most cosmetic procedures require a second preoperative appointment which costs $120.
- If your consult is regarding a procedure that attracts a Medicare rebate and you have a referral from your General Practitioner or Medical Specialist, then you will receive a $73.85 rebate on your consult fee.
+ How much does plastic surgery cost?
- Costs associated with plastic surgery can be confusing, but to try to make things clearer we’ve listed the fees that make up the final cost.
- 1) Surgical fee: The surgical fee includes the fee for the operation, all post-operative visits in hospital, and follow-up visits in Dr Colbert’s rooms. If your procedure is itemised by the government then Medicare may partly pay for these costs. The exact surgical fee will be somewhere between the Medicare schedule fee and the Australian Medical Association recommended fee. If you have private health insurance then your health fund will usually cover a large part of the difference, however there is usually an out of pocket expense (this is also known as ‘the gap’). If your procedure is completely cosmetic in nature then Medicare will not cover it. Most private health funds don’t cover completely cosmetic procedures, but you are advised to contact your fund to get accurate information. Dr Colbert will discuss these costs with you during your consultation, and a quote will be emailed out to you.
- 2) Anaesthetic fee: Medicare covers most of the anaesthetic fee, except in the case of some cosmetic operations. If you have private health insurance then this is usually mostly paid for by your health fund.
- 3) Hospital fee: This includes the operation room fee, bed costs, surgical or medication fees, and any other hospital extras. Medicare does not cover this fee. If you have private health insurance then this may be covered by your insurance fund, but you should check with your fund if there is any out of pocket expenses. If you have no private insurance then you will have to pay this fee on discharge from the hospital.
- 4) Note that there are some additional fees for some procedures. This might include the cost of pathology, the cost of implants, or the cost of post-operative garments.
- Please feel free to raise any questions that you may have. Dr Colbert and our practice staff are always more than happy to discuss any questions that you might have.
+ Will insurance cover my surgery?
- While private health insurance is not essential, it is strongly recommended.
- The fees in this practice are usually somewhere between the Medicare schedule fee and the Australian Medical Association recommended fee. For some procedures Dr Colbert is a ‘known gap’ provider.
- Health insurance will cover a large part of costs associated with the hospital fee for most cosmetic operations, such as breast reduction surgery, breast lift surgery, abdominoplasty surgery, and eyelid reduction surgery.
- All procedures carry a risk of complications, and if a complication occurs that requires you to return to the operating theatre or admission to the hospital then this will be covered by your private health insurance.
+ What are Dr Colbert's credentials?
- Dr David Colbert is a fully trained Specialist Plastic Surgeon that practices in Perth, and specialises in cosmetic surgery of the breast, body, and face.
- Dr David Colbert has completed over 15 years of advanced surgical training, including both national and international fellowships to allow further sub-speciality training.
- Dr Colbert is a Fellow of the Royal Australian College of Surgeons in Plastic Surgery, which is the highest level of qualification that a Plastic Surgeon in Australia can hold.
- Dr Colbert is also a member of the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons. This society is is responsible for promoting ethical and safe plastic surgery by maintaining high standards for the education and certification of plastic surgeons.
+ Are Cosmetic Surgeons the same as Plastic Surgeons?
- Selecting a well trained plastic surgeon is the most important step in your decision to have plastic surgery. Not all surgeons are equal though, with most cosmetic surgeons in Australia having no formal plastic surgery training.
- Any medical doctor, even if they have zero cosmetic training, can call themselves a cosmetic doctor or cosmetic surgeon.
- Nearly all cosmetic doctors or surgeons are not plastic surgeons, and are actually General Practitioners, dermatologists, or general surgeons who may have completed no formal plastic surgery training.
- Plastic surgeons have undergone at least 8 to 10 years of specialised plastic surgery after medical school. This includes five years of training by the Royal Australian College of Surgeons, which is the only government regulated surgical training program in Australia.
- A plastic surgeon will have the letters FRACS (PLAS) after their name, indicating that they are a Fellow of the Royal Australian College of Surgeons as a plastic surgeon.
- It is important to check training and qualifications of your Surgeon, and Dr Colbert strongly recommends that you have plastic surgery performed by a plastic surgeon.
+ How do I claim a rebate?
- Most procedures require pre-payment to be made before your operation.
- Once your operation has been completed, you can take your receipt to Medicare if it has a Medicare item number.
- Once Medicare has assessed your claim, you can then take your documentation to your health fund.
+ Can I get a quote over the phone?
- For a personalised quote then you should book in for a consult, as every patient is different and requires a completely personalised approach. Often patients who come in looking for a particular procedure can actually get the same results with an alternative procedure that costs less, meaning that the investment in a consultation is a wise decision.
- Dr Colbert’s fees are very competitive, but cost shouldn’t be the only choice in selecting your surgeon. You should select a surgeon with appropriate qualifications, and with whom you feel completely comfortable with. Dr David Colbert MBBS FRACS (Plastic Surgery) is a Specialist Plastic Surgeon who has completed the rigorous training requirements of an accredited Plastic Surgeon and has also completed multiple national and international fellowships.
+ Want to find out more?
- If you have any more questions then don't hesitate to contact our friendly office staff.