People will be always interested in plastic surgery: Interview with Dr. Skála
Small breasts, loose eyelids or excess fat in trouble areas - these are the most common reasons why women are increasingly looking for plastic surgery services. However, it is not just the Czechs, who are filling the waiting rooms and surgery spots in plastic surgery clinics in our country. The services of Czech experts are also widely sought after by clients from abroad. Especially from countries to the west of our borders, our clients are attracted not only by quality services but also by low prices.
Dr. Martin Skála, Plastic Surgeon of OB Care Clinic in Prague.
What are the current trends in plastic surgery?
That's a hard question. Plastic surgery is relatively stable, but in terms of individual performance, it is a question of fashion. At one time the most favourite procedure was liposuction. Then it was the transfer of your own fat to the chest, buttocks or face, but because the results were not dazzling, interest has disappeared. I have personally never done it.
I had a doubt about that method.
What is trendy now in Europe and abroad?
In Latin America, implants in the buttocks are still a big hit, but Europe is more conservative, so there is no such demand there.
What procedures do you perform at the OB Care clinic?
We provide a full range of procedures- from corrective facial operations, breast procedures to the whole body, such as liposuction, abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), body modelling, buttock modelling. Basically, there is probably not many procedures that we would not do.
Are there any new procedures you perform?
In the area of mini invasive performances, we perform face lifting using absorbable lifting silhouette threads. This is probably the only new thing, otherwise we use classical interventions.
Are there more women or men coming to you?
Women are more likely to go. Our clients are Czechs and people from abroad, for example from England, Germany, Switzerland and so on.
What is it that attracts us?
First and foremost, the reputation of our doctors and their high-quality results. But it will surely be the price, because we are still cheaper for foreign clients, especially from our countries of origin. Recently I was talking to an English woman and she said that the abdominal surgery in England would be around nine to ten thousand pounds. In Switzerland, it’s around ten thousand Swiss francs, and when you think that the same procedure is going to take around one thousand eight hundred pounds, that's a big difference. Foreign clients, of course, have to add the costs of travel and accommodation, which is not the case for domestic clients, but it’s still worth it.
How do they find out about you?
Most often through the internet. Either they find us by themselves or through an agency. I often encounter a client being consulted, for example, in London and then when he knows what he needs, he starts looking for where it would be cheaper. Eventually he will come to us or perhaps go to Poland, which is also a popular destination for the Brits. The Austrians are often going to Hungary; in short, the entire Eastern Bloc is sought after because it offers comparable services at a high level but at lower prices.
The level of individual clinics is probably different. So what should clients be careful about when they choose to undergo a plastic surgery?
They should definitely find out who the surgeon is, not only in terms of what the site says about them, but in particular what clients they have. Today, there are a number of discussion forums where you can contact clients and discussed their experiences. It has happened to me several times that I had a client who has seen my work in the photos that another woman showed him. They should, of course, find out as much information as possible. And then, they should also look at how big the clinic is and what range of services it offers. The larger a clinic is the more professionals there are -such as the plastic surgeon, the anaesthesiologist, the internist, and so on. Its important because even if it is "just" plastic surgery, it's still medicine, it's still a surgery and there is still a risk that something may happen. And a workplace that has an established background has a much better chance of coping with the problem.
"Those who are interested in plastic surgery should first find out who the surgeon is and how large the clinic is, where they want to get the procedure."
In addition to the OB Care plastic surgery clinic, there is also an OB Clinic for the treatment of obesity.
Are some of the OB Clinic patients also patients of OB Care?
Yes, it's such a special mix. Many of their patients, after they lose weight, will come to us because their skin overhangs - their arms, thighs, stomachs and the like –and we remove it. Sometimes, it happens that a client who wants liposuction comes to us but weighs 120 kilograms. That's why we'll send them to OB Clinic first to resolve their weight, because liposuction is not a procedure that would treat obesity, and they may come back to us in two years after they have lost some weight
Does the insurance company pay for such treatment?
No. In general from plastic surgery they cover only breast reduction in indicated cases, abdominal plastic surgery if the patient has a diastase or abscess of the abdominal muscles, and stitching ears in children up to 10 years of age. However, the OB Care Clinic has no contract with any insurance company, so all our interventions are covered by our clients. The OB Clinic is a centre for treatment of obesity and metabolic disorders, where indicated treatment is covered by public health insurance.
Have you ever had an unusual demand?
Yes, occasionally someone will appear. But I always try to discuss with the client what the requirements are and tell them whether it is, or is not, feasible. When it comes to a person who knows what he wants and it is feasible, it is an ideal state. Then there are clients who come to the front to discuss what the options are, and then they can think about it at home. This is a huge financial investment, so it must be considered well. And then there are some patients who think that plastic surgery will change something that can‘t be changed. They are people who have problems at home- a man tells his partner that she doesn’t have breasts like she did when she was twenty and she wants to have surgery. However, this will not solve anything, because the problem is somewhere else. Or a man comes to have plastic surgery on his nose because he thinks he has a big one, and he thinks that after that he will be more attractive to women. But he no longer sees that he is a quiet, impassive type, and that the problem is not in his nose, but in his psyche. I will either refuse such requests, or I will tell the client to have some time to reconsider their ideas, then we will meet again and discuss it again. These people usually do not return.
You must therefore have a good estimate of people. Do you have a psychologist at your disposal?
Our discipline is a lot about psychology, but we have not needed a psychologist yet. In some workplaces they use different scoring questionnaires compiled by psychologists to detect mentally ill people, but it turns out they are not always successful. Such a distressing diagnosis is for us dysmorphophobia - a morbid fear of our own ugliness. Patients who suffer from this disease require repeated surgery but are never satisfied. This is unfortunate, because such a patient is extremely strenuous, insistent, but still unhappy. Then, of course, the surgeon is also disappointed. Fortunately, there are not many, but occasionally a few find them.
How do you think plastic surgery will develop into the future?
I think the demand for it will still be great because of the constant bombardment by our media and the way society is concerned with appearances. Nowadays people are richer, there are more options and care are more affordable. I see it myself, as before, entrepreneurs or wives of entrepreneurs came to us-the richer layer. Now it is middle or lower middle class. In addition, a number of clinics have been created to provide these services, so the services are really easy to access. As far as clients are concerned, I do not think that the clinics are desperate, even though the proficiency in our population is already high, and many foreign clients are still in the process. However, the problem could be that there will be not enough surgeons. Already now it’s not only plastic surgery surgeons working in many clinics, but doctors from other fields, which we think is wrong. Unfortunately, the Czech Medical Chamber or the Ministry of Health doesn’t have the right to ban them. It's just their own responsibility.