Changes to Cosmetic Surgery Advertising

Changes to Cosmetic Surgery Advertising

Guidelines for registered medical practitioners who perform cosmetic surgery and procedures.


As of 1 July 2023 changes to the guidelines will apply to medical practitioners registered under the National Law who perform cosmetic surgery and non-surgical cosmetic procedures. These guidelines are for stronger regulation of the cosmetic surgery industry to protect the general public.

The key areas of change to the guidelines are in the patient consultation process and tougher advertising rules. The changes to the guidelines apply to people seeking cosmetic surgery and non-surgical cosmetic procedures.

Prèface Cosmetic is committed to adhering to the AHPRA (Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency) Medical Board’s rules and regulations. We will be making changes to our website, social channels and advertising to ensure we comply.

The new stronger regulations are designed to protect patients and improve standards of care for cosmetic procedures.

Key changes to patient consultation process:

  • A GP referral will be mandatory for ALL patients having a consultation for cosmetic procedures
  • A minimum of two consultations are required for cosmetic surgery
  • A cooling-off period of at least seven days after signing a consent form before booking surgery and paying deposit etc.
  • There will be a more informed and detailed consent document and process
  • Doctors will have higher standards in training & experience – CPD requirements
  • Accredited facilities will be required for surgery


Key changes to advertising cosmetic surgery:

  • Inclusion of the medical practitioner’s registration number and registration type
  • Testimonials regarding the surgery or skills of the medical practitioner are not allowed (this includes comments on social media platforms)
  • Information about the risks and recovery associated with cosmetic surgery should be easily available
  • Cosmetic surgery must not be trivialised
  • The use non-clinical terminology or negative body language is also banned
  • Limitations of the use of photographs and emojis


The complete guidelines can be found here



Cosmetic surgery and procedures are operations and other procedures that revise or change the appearance, colour, texture, structure or position of normal bodily features with the dominant purpose of achieving what the patient perceives to be a more desirable appearance.

Cosmetic surgery involves cutting beneath the skin. Examples include breast augmentation, abdominoplasty, rhinoplasty, blepharoplasty, surgical face lifts, cosmetic genital surgery, and liposuction and fat transfer.

Non-surgical cosmetic procedures do not involve cutting beneath the skin but may involve piercing the skin. Examples include cosmetic injectables such as Botulinum toxin and dermal fillers (also known as soft tissue fillers), fat dissolving injections, thread lifts, sclerotherapy and microsclerotherapy, CO2 laser skin resurfacing, cryolipolysis (fat freezing), laser hair removal, dermabrasion, chemical peels and hair transplants. Mole removal for the purposes of appearance is classified as non-surgical even though it may involve cutting beneath the skin.

Surgery or a procedure may be medically justified if it involves the restoration, correction or improvement in the shape and appearance of body structures that are defective or damaged at birth or by injury, disease, growth or development for either functional or psychological reasons. Surgery and procedures that have a medical justification and which may also lead to improvement in appearance are excluded from the definition.

Reconstructive surgery differs from cosmetic surgery as, while it incorporates aesthetic techniques, it restores form and function as well as normality of appearance. These guidelines apply to plastic surgery when it is performed only for cosmetic or aesthetic reasons. They do not apply to reconstructive surgery.


Further resources about the changes to the guidelines are available to view here