Can modern medicine offer a ‘quick solution’ which won’t interfere with our short-term plans and allow for enjoying the changes in the future?
Doctor Wojciech Wacłowicz:
It’s a difficult problem, since – when planning changes in our appearance – we ought to look at ourselves in perspective. Quick decisions and sudden acts can complicate the therapy. Just like with a house renovation – we don’t do anything randomly, but at each stage we plan the next one.
When thinking of beauty improvement, we should take into account all the elements that influence it. Our appearance is a product of many elements: skin type, face shape, shape and placement of the nose, eyes and lips and all the changes that come with aging, like wrinkles. To improve one’s appearance one can use cosmetic treatments, non-invasive surgery or typical plastic surgery. (more…)
It can be said that he can make dreams of a beautiful face and perfect body come true. Both men and women visit him – and he informs, advises and warns. Through correction of imperfections he gives his patients strength and confidence. Doctor Wojciech Wacłowicz, plastic surgery and child surgery specialist, agreed to answer some of our questions.
‘Cosmetic surgery is only a small element of plastic and reconstruction surgery, which I’ve been doing for 8 years. It is also the most emotional, sometimes even controversial, discipline. On the one hand, cosmetic treatments give youth back – at least its external attributes, thus fulfilling one of the oldest dreams of humanity. On the other hand, it is said that one should age in dignity, without correcting God’s work.’
‘Nowadays cosmetic surgery is able to do a lot. Development of new operation techniques, introduction of modern equipment and new materials – all this allows for great results in appearance correction. Cosmetic surgery can be applied to almost all body parts: neck, face, breasts, limbs and intimate areas. The type of treatment is adjusted for each patient individually. Some people look younger after only small cosmetic corrections, like botox or filler injections, for others the same effect might require a complicated surgery.
Are patients nowadays more willing to undergo plastic surgery? What affects their decisions?
For the past few years we’ve been observing important changes in the society regarding appearance correction treatments. Not long ago undergoing cosmetic surgery was kept secret. Patients would go to distant cities to have the surgery. Nowadays a healthy, young body is fashionable and so is visiting plastic surgery clinics. Is it good? This tendency is characteristic of our times. Apparently the quality of our life is improving, to feel more comfortable we buy new cars and clothes, so why not improve your appearance when it starts to bother us?
In many cases plastic surgery can remove appearance deficiencies which are sometimes difficult to accept by patients who have had to live with them since childhood. Ears sticking out is such an example. Many times I’ve dealt with young, charming women for whom that problem was such a nightmare that when I wanted to see their ears before the surgery, they were extremely nervous. The same women after the operation would put their hair into a ponytail and happily announce that she’d dreamt of such a hairstyle all her life. Such reactions are often accompanied by changes in the style of one’s clothes into a happier, bolder one. New strength and life can be observed in behavior. And in such moments I feel that plastic surgery is something more to me than a job, a profession. I feel that I’m a doctor of souls.
What are the dangers of cosmetic surgery?
When we talk about plastic surgery we shouldn’t forget that it is a type of surgery. When planning an effect we must take the risk into our account – complications are possible. Luckily, they are very rare, but are discussed in detail before an operation, during consultations. There is a group of patients who, because of their health, should be very careful about deciding on any surgeries. An interview with the patient is an extremely important moment. Sometimes one meeting is not enough to fully understand the needs and expectations of a patient. It must be established if they are realistic and feasible, or if they are a result of emotional disorders. If it’s the latter case, then I cannot help – the surgery won’t bring the desired effect, which is the patient’s happiness and satisfaction.
When you see a stranger, do you think what could be ‘corrected’ about him/her?
I never suggest in any way what could be corrected. The patient makes decisions. If he or she doesn’t know or isn’t sure, then we cancel the operation. It is the only such situation in patient-doctor relations, when it is the patient who tells the doctor what to do and what results are expected. I always explain in detail the surgery and possible achievable effect and only after the patient’s acceptance do we decide on the treatment.
What are the most common treatments?
The most common are ear corrections, breast corrections (both enlargement and reduction), face and eye wrinkle reduction, and so called modeling treatments like fat removal. It also depends on what’s fashionable – recently the number of patients deciding on intimate parts correction is growing, as is the number of men visiting plastic surgery clinics.
Why Surgery Abroad?
People have been going abroad for surgery for years, and the overseas industry just continues to grow. Maybe it’s because it’s cheaper, maybe it’s because it sounds exotic, but it could also be the fact that it is a safe and viable option.
There are always horror stories – of course there are – although most appear to be extreme cases that have become tales used to win UK consumers into staying on these shores. With some proper research and knowledge on your side, you’ll be ready to take that trip abroad for surgery. With the media’s inclination for sensationalising everything, you’ll be happy to learn that surgery abroad is not the nightmare some make it out to be. On the whole, the service is very professional and the aftercare is excellent.
There a few things you can do to empower yourself before surgery abroad, but there’s probably one thing to ask yourself above all other considerations: ‘Is surgery abroad right for me?’ No matter what the credentials of the clinic are, and no matter how much you want to have the procedure done; if you can’t cope with being away from home, and the thought of leaving your family at home distresses you, undergoing surgery abroad might not be the right option for you. (more…)
Dr Christiaan Botha committed suicide last weekend, a month before he was to appear before the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) on more charges relating to performing outside the scope of his qualifications.
Botha, who studied medicine at the University of Pretoria, was not a qualified plastic surgeon. He started performing cosmetic surgery after 10 years of “self-study” and helping qualified surgeons. (more…)