1. 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 surgery.
2. What is the most popular procedure you perform, and why do you think this is?
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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. Hobbies when you are not working?
Active things: kitesurfing, stand up paddleboarding, hiking, trail jogging and most important to me, family time.
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.