How long have you been in practice?
I have been in practice since 1998. My practice is almost
purely cosmetic although I also have an interest in cleft lip and palate
What is the most popular procedure you perform, and why do you think
Botox is the most popular non surgical procedure that I do.
It is highly effective and does something which is not attainable with surgery,
i.e. treats wrinkles which are due to muscle activity.
The most popular surgical procedure I do is facial rejuvenation.
Facial rejuvenation is actually a combination of procedures which may include
any of the following: facial fat grafting, liposuction of the neck/face,
facelift, eyelid surgery, brow surgery. Facial fat grafting (FFG) is perhaps
the most popular and least well understood of the lot. Facial fat grafting is
effective in the young face to make it more attractive and in the older face to
make it more youthful and attractive. Aging causes hollowing and deflation of
the face and fat grafting not only fixes this, but helps restore a youthful
skin. Contrary to what people think, it does not create a fat face. It is a
gentle good procedure, but does require a degree of skill, artistry and
experience to get it right.
Has the profile of your patient changed over time?
Yes. While I still do a lot of liposuction and breast
surgery I now do a lot of facial rejuvenation.
Have you seen a change in the general industry over the last few years?
Yes, I keep very accurate records of the cases I do. The
number of patients seeking plastic surgery (and I mean cosmetic surgery, not
reconstructive), peaked in 2009. There was then a small fall-off, year by year
until 2012, but this year the numbers are increasing again. I attribute this to
the credit crunch and recession.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Seeing the positive effects of change. It is remarkable how
an improvement of one’s physical attributes can improve one’s self esteem, self
confidence and happiness. Patients frequently say: “I wish I had done it
sooner,” and that together with the number of “thank you’s” and “you’ve changed
my life”, makes my job a very rewarding one. I love the blend of science and
artistry and the creativity my job allows.
I also do a lot of cleft lip and palate surgery, some in
private practice, some at Red Cross Children’s Hospital and some with Operation
Smile. Doing cosmetic surgery and having a successful practice allows me to do
the cleft patients too. Repairing a child’s cleft lip or palate carries
indescribable degrees of satisfaction.
Hobbies when you are not working?
Active things: kitesurfing, stand up paddleboarding, hiking,
trail jogging and most important to me, family time.
What has your experience
to date been with First Health Finance?
I had my doubts in the beginning and did not see the need
for FHF, but slowly patients of mine found FHF and had good things to say about
FHF. So I started to tell my patients about the company and to carry their
brochures in my clinic. I now have had a lot of patients finance their
procedures through FHF and never heard a bad word about them. I believe that
FHF empowers patients who otherwise could not have had cosmetic surgery to have
what they need and to feel good about themselves. I am also impressed with what
FHF have done with Operation Smile South Africa – we should all be doing
something socially responsible and FHF are a good example of a company who
gives back and does this effectively.