How to work out what you want
Before any procedure, it is important to have a thorough assessment with your surgeon. This will involve assessing your concerns, discussing your needs and a physical examination. Dr Blennerhassett will then supply you with a detailed explanation of the recommended treatment. In most cases, treatment will take place on another day, allowing you sufficient time to process and consider the advice.
How to book an appointment
Please phone 9381 6977 to discuss available appointment days and times. It is possible to go on a waiting list for an earlier appointment if the matter is urgent. SMS reminders are sent a week before your appointment and we ask that you confirm with a Yes or No.
Obtained from your GP, a referral is required if the procedure you are considering is a Medicare claimable procedure. It's not needed if it’s for cosmetic surgery not covered by Medicare. You will always be informed if a referral is required when you phone to make your appointment for an initial consultation on 9381 6977.
A referral from a GP usually lasts for 12 months and will start from the date you are first seen by Dr Blennerhassett. Referrals from specialists (eg. dermatologist) will only last 3 months from the date of the first consultation. This is a Medicare ruling.
Meet Our Staff
Knowledgeable, friendly and great at explaining the complexities of surgical care, she joined us in 2000 when Dr Blennerhassett set up his private practice.
Easy to talk to, loves answering questions and years of experience in hospital-based plastic surgery.
Responsible for appointment and hospital bookings; patient liaison; providing estimates to patients for surgical procedures; submitting accounts to health funds; liaison with hospitals and anaesthetists.
Caring and easy to talk to, she joined us in 2005 and has 25 years of experience as a registered nurse, including working in teaching hospitals and emergency departments.
Oversees our post-op wound care and dressings; advises patients post-operatively regarding their recovery and medication; visits patients in hospital after any of the major surgeries; is available for any concerns or queries regarding post-op management.
Book an Operation
If the treatment needed is straightforward, then, in some cases, a provisional operation date can be discussed when you make the appointment for your initial consultation. This is not confirmed until after the consultation with Dr Blennerhassett, during which your individual needs and wants will be assessed.
Time between consultation & operation
Body changing and cosmetic procedures need a “cooling off” period of at least 2 weeks between consultation and surgery. This ensures that the patient has time to fully consider their decision to have surgery. If the patient is under 18-years-old, then it is a 3 month “cooling off" period.
Where will the surgery be?
All surgery is undertaken in an accredited hospital or day hospital.
How long will it take?
Many procedures can be done as a Day Case. More involved procedures will require 1 -2 nights in hospital.
Day Case with general anaesthetic
You must not drive for 24 hours after a general anaesthetic, therefore you will need to be collected from the hospital after your procedure. The hospital will not allow you to leave unaccompanied.
*You will be given instructions regarding fasting, what to bring and what time to arrive, by our Practice Manager.
How to get an estimate of cost
All patients having an operation are given a written estimate, which outlines the expected cost, rebates and the out-of-pocket gap. Before this estimate can be provided, you first need to have an initial consultation with Dr Blennerhassett so that he can assess your needs and work out which Medicare Item numbers will apply to your surgery. You will then be given an accurate estimate based on those Medicare numbers. Please call our Practice Manager on 9381 6977 if you need to discuss the estimate.
What does private health care cover?
All patients having surgery with Dr Blennerhassett are recommended to directly contact their own private health fund to discuss with the fund the item numbers for their procedures and required hospital stay to ensure there are no restrictions or excesses on their policy. Patients are also urged to double check with their health fund that they have served their qualifying period, which is usually 12 months from the date of joining for pre-existing conditions.
What will Medicare cover?
Many people want to know if Medicare will cover plastic surgery.
Medicare has announced significant changes to plastic surgery item numbers on the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) that came in to effect on the 1st of November 2018. For full details click here.
Which procedures are impacted?
Some MBS item numbers have been abolished altogether, while others will have a tighter eligibility criteria.
This list covers some popular procedures involved, and is not comprehensive:
- Otoplasty: must be performed before the age of 18 or costs will increase
- Blepharoplasty: an optometrist or ophthalmologist will need to confirm that your excess eyelid skin obstructs your vision. If you don’t meet the criteria, costs may increase
- Breast reductions and lifts (mastopexy): if you don’t satisfy the criteria, costs will increase.
- Removal and replacement of breast implants: if you don’t satisfy the criteria, costs will increase (depending on inpatient stay and whether your original implants were covered by a replacement warranty)
- Lipectomy procedures (abdominoplasty, thigh reduction, arm reduction etc): even if you meet the criteria for these procedures individually, Medicare and private health funds won’t pay any rebates or cover hospital fees if certain lipectomy procedures are performed together as a combined procedure. For example, abdominoplasty and arm lift will be 100% out of pocket, even if you meet the MBS item number criteria, if performed together. But if you meet the criteria and have an abdominoplasty and arm lift performed as two separate operations, they will still be eligible for rebates/cover.
When Do I Pay?
Most of these are sent directly to Medicare and your health fund. They will process the account and pay Dr Blennerhassett electronically. You will then be required to pay the gap/balance. If you are uninsured/self-funded, we will ask that you pay the account in full when you present for your post-op appointment. From there you will be able to claim any Medicare rebates that apply.
These are set by the anaesthetist who will be giving you your general anaesthetic. They charge by length of time the procedure takes and the part of the body involved. You can contact them once a date has been made and we know which anaesthetist you will have. There is no anaesthetist involved if you are having a local anaesthetic (you are awake for the procedure and the anaesthetic drug is applied to the part of the body to numb it and block nerves to prevent pain)
In the case of a few larger cost procedures and cosmetic procedures, pre-payment will be required prior to your surgery. After your surgery, you will be able to claim any rebates yourself from Medicare and your health fund. You will be informed well before your surgery if pre-payment is needed.
Rural, Remote, FIFO, Interstate Care
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Dr Lewis Blennerhassett is a leading Specialist Plastic Surgeon and has more than 25 years experience in providing plastic surgery and hand surgery to those living in all regions of WA and interstate.
At Subiaco Plastic Surgery, we are well aware of the cost and disruption to work and family life of travelling significant distances to Perth for medical appointments and we do our best to ease the burden and make things run as smoothly as possible.
Our friendly, efficient and supportive staff have worked with many rural, remote, FIFO and interstate patients to ensure they have access, where possible, to telehealth appointments and surgery bookings that fit in with rosters, seasonal work, scheduled visits to Perth and available accommodation and family back up.
Please contact Paula or Tara on (08) 9381 6977 to discuss your needs and arrange an appointment with Dr Lewis Blennerhassett to discuss your individualised treatment plan.
In general, costs associated with your procedure may include:
- Surgeon’s fee
- Hospital or surgical facility costs
- Anaesthesia fees
- Prescriptions for medication
- Post-surgery garments
- Medical tests
Warnings about Cosmetic Tourism
Cosmetic Tourism raises some safety and financial concerns for Australian patients, warns the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons.
These factors should be considered before committing to overseas medical treatment:
- Is the overseas surgeon appropriately qualified, experienced and accredited with the relevant regulatory bodies?
- Does the hospital/day clinic meet appropriate international standards for infection control, sterilisation of equipment and drug integrity?
- Does the patient understand the options, procedure, risks and recovery information? In particular, do they understand the risks of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) when travelling on long-haul flights following surgery? Have they taken this into account when planning their post-operative length of stay?
- Are all of the patient’s costs covered in any package offered?
- What happens if something goes wrong as a result of the surgery overseas? Does the patient have sufficient medical travel insurance in addition to the standard travel insurance, which may exclude travel for medical procedures?
- Is the patient aware of the potential complications of pursuing legal action in a foreign jurisdiction?
- Once they have returned to Australia, what is the patient’s plan for follow-up care if required?