Dr. Sasikumar Muthu, Plastic & Cosmetic Surgeonat Pearl Plastic Surgery Clinic talks to S10 Health on how plastic surgery has evolved as a process and why more healthseekers are comfortable opting for surgical procedures to enhance their looks.
The health seekers approach to plastic surgery and cosmetology today has changed immensely as opposed to perhaps 5 or 10 years ago.
Across the world and in India, the number of consultations have increased greatly largely because of easy access to information on different kinds of procedures for skin, body and hair; medicinaland surgical. People are not shy anymore; they have high expectations and are clear about the type of outcome they want. They approach us with plenty of information they have already gathered from online resources and want answers.The conversionof patients post consultation is easily at 40%.
Is this with both women and men?
Earlier, we saw more women coming for procedures like Tummy Tuck, Liposuction and Breast Augmentation but today, an equal number of men are coming to Pearl Plastic Surgery Clinic for various procedures including hair transplants, male breast correction and simpler ones like mole/wart removal.
Would you say online resources are a boon to the profession today?
Online resources work both positively and negatively for us. Positively, it helps to the extent of spreading diverse information on most procedures to larger sections of people while the negative effects include the fact that they focus more on the extremities of procedures. Often the information provided is not complete too and patients come to us with extreme queries on procedures. Ideally the information online should be standardised while explaining the pros and cons; presently that’s what is lacking.
Could you briefly take us through the process from consultation to surgery?
At the first consult with the patient we give the procedure information, advantages and disadvantages and a realistic set of what to expect. As this is an elective procedure, we give the health seeker a Cooling Off Time for 2 weeks, after consultation, where they can process the information received; get a second opinion perhaps, make a decision etc. When they return after this period, before a planned surgery; a Consent Form ascertaining the facts of procedure, is signed by the patient and we perform the procedure within a week’s time.
All patients approach transformative surgeries with huge expectations. How do you go about explaining the reality to them?
We give them the honest, factual truth right from the beginning. We make sure to explain the practicalities of each procedure that they want. For example, liposuction is NOT weight loss; it is a fat removal surgical procedure to help you get a better shape by contouring the body. It cannot change a person’s bone frame – this is the reality. In the case of breast augmentation, each person has a limit and we make sure they understand that it is not medically correct to tamper with that. And no two patients are alike hence results vary from person to person.
Professional clinics like Pearl Plastic Surgery Clinic are also successfully performing relatively simpler treatments like facials; something that is commonly done at parlours/spas. Your comments?
We call them skin rejuvenation procedures and all our treatments are US FDA approved. These procedures are concentrated and much deeper than those available at parlours and spas- which are mostly topical in nature, removing the superficial stress on skin. The skin treatments at Pearl help remove the build-up of dead skin caused over a period of time. Procedures like dermabrasion, chemical peels etc. must only be done at a clinic, with adequate precautions and follow-ups. Combination treatments like this can only be confidently administered by qualified doctors.
Hair transplants are all the rage in India today, with several known personalities advertising for the same. What has caused this spurt?
Hair loss/fall, receding hairlines and balding are common problems we are seeing today. Earlier we could say this is hereditary but today factors like stress, lifestyle and the like are contributing to this. The loss of hair or the lack of it takes a toll on a person’s self-confidence and image and this is why we are consulting more patients for the same.
Not all patients require hair transplants. At Pearl, our first step is medical management and only then do we advise permanent procedures like hair transplants, which will last for a good 10-15 years.With advanced technique of hair transplant practiced at Pearl we are able to provide the best results to the seekers.