Frequently Asked Questions

Reconstructive and cosmetic surgery procedures at Norwest Plastic & Cosmetic Surgery

1. How much is the initial consultation?

Please click here for more information regarding your fees. The first consultation will take approximately 60 minutes, and it is often a good idea to bring a friend or spouse along with you. The cost of these consultations is factored into your surgical cost.

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2. Do I need a referral?

Some procedures can receive rebates from Medicare, and if you have a referral from your local GP, you may be eligible to receive part of your consultation fee back.

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3. What do I need to do before my first consultation?

You will be required to complete a Patient Information form, including details of your medical history, before your first visit with Dr Gavin Sandercoe. This will allow Dr Sandercoe to assess and personalise your procedure with the safest and most effective outcome. These information forms are held with the utmost confidentiality.

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4. What happens during my first consultation?

During your first consultation, Dr Gavin Sandercoe will personally discuss your options with you and answer any questions or concerns you have regarding the relevant procedures. You will also receive information sheets to take away with you and read over. It is a good idea to read about the procedure you are interested in before you first meet with Dr Sandercoe. Clinical photographs will be taken to monitor your progress.

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5. Am I able to get a minor procedure on the same day as my first consultation?

Consultations for dermal fillers, anti-wrinkle injections and removal of skin lesions usually do not take long. These minor procedures can generally be performed on the same day if we have been informed at the time of booking and can allow time.

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6. How many consultations do I need prior to surgery?

Reconstructive surgery generally only requires one consultation, however two consultations are recommended prior to cosmetic surgery. This is to ensure you have all the relevant information and any additional questions you have are answered. Your second cosmetic consultation is free of charge. A second consultation for larger reconstructive procedures is also free of charge if taken within one month of your initial consultation.

In addition, you may need to be reviewed by the anaesthetist if there are concerns about your general health or suitability for anaesthetic.

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7. Will my health insurance cover some costs?

Most reconstructive procedures, and some cosmetic procedures under special circumstances, are recognised under Medicare. These include breast reduction, breast or nipple lift, rhinoplasty and abdominoplasty (tummy tuck). For these procedures you may also be able to claim a rebate and hospital fee from your health insurance depending on your level of cover.

Our surgeons and anaesthetist fees are usually fixed according to the procedure and time, and hospital facility fees vary according to your choice of hospital. We can organise a personalised quote for you detailing your surgical, anaesthetic and hospital fee after your initial consultation.

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8. Will I need to go to hospital for my procedure?

Minor procedures like anti wrinkle injections, skin resurfacing and removal of lesions can be performed at the practice, however larger procedures will need to be performed at either a Private Hospital or Day Surgery. Depending on the procedure, a short hospital stay may be required.

We usually recommend a general anaesthetic for larger procedures, and only operate in accredited hospitals. This ensures that your safety is paramount.

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9. What should I expect after my procedure?

How much recovery time will be needed, what pain is expected, scarring and any restrictions will be discussed in your initial consultation. Explanations of what to expect after your procedure and post-operative care are included in your information sheets.

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10. When can I shower or get my dressings wet?

The available evidence is that a surgically sutured wound is able to be gently wet after 48 to 72 hours. It is important to only pat the dressings dry and allow them to air dry if they get wet.

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11. When should I have my first post-operative visit?

We recommend you see Dr Sandercoe one week after your surgery. Any sutures that need to be removed will be reviewed then. If your sutures are in an area that requires support for longer than a week (such as your back), another appointment will be made to remove the sutures and check your healing again.

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12. How much do the post operative visits cost?

Post-operative visits within four to six weeks of your procedure are generally included in your operation costs. In some circumstances you will need to pay for post-operative visits. Please check with our staff if this is a concern to you.

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13. What restrictions will I have on physical activity?

This is covered in depth in individual information sheets. The information here is of a general nature.

  • You will be able to drive once you are comfortable and can see clearly after your procedure. You should avoid driving whilst taking painkillers. We strongly suggest that you arrange for someone to drive you home from your procedure, even if it is day surgery
  • Light physical activity can be resumed within a week
  • Gym activities are usually allowable within two to four weeks if the wound and tissues are supported
  • Heavy lifting is generally discouraged for four to six weeks if you have had a larger procedure

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14. When can I return to work?

After your procedure you will be provided with a medical certificate that takes into account the operation that you have had as well as your type of work. Generally speaking if you are able to return to light physical activities, most patients can return to work.

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15. Will I have scars?

Every time you damage the lower layers of skin you will have a scar. Your genetics and general healing ability will play a primary role in determining how well you scar. We use a range of techniques during your operation and in your post-operative care to assist your body to heal as well as possible. Plastic Surgeons that display the ASPS logo are fully trained to minimise the visibility of your scar.

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16. How long does it take for my scars to settle?

Scars can take six to twelve months to reach their potential best. During that time you can expect phases of scar maturation where blood vessels grow into the scar tissue, making it pink, before it begins to fade. During this time it is very important to minimise sun exposure to the scar, as this could stimulate the pigment cells in your skin to produce a scar that is dark rather than pale.

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17. How do I make a consultation to see Dr Gavin Sandercoe?

Download the Patient Information Form. Please complete this form and return via email to, or fax to (02) 8824 3877. If you have not received a phone call within 24 hours, please call 1300 112 358 to make your appointment.

Dr Sandercoe is available for consultations on Tuesday and Friday at his Bella Vista Practice. Other days and times may be available on request.

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