Understanding faces and how to achieve consistently good results with them takes time, patience and skill. It also takes a deep respect for and understanding of facial anatomy and the person you are looking to treat.
I have had an incredibly varied career path to get to the point I am today – and I am still learning every single day. I wanted to introduce myself and give readers an insight into my clinic, my approach to treatments and my mantra. So, where did it all start? Well, I have always had a passion for arts and love to be creative. Still, while art came easily to me, my drive was the challenge of a scientific path which eventually took me to medical school at Leeds University. Of course, this involved blood, sweat, and lots of tears, but also exposure to the responsibilities we would have as qualified individuals. There is something quite unique about being in any aspect of healthcare –a privilege to obtain an insight into people’s behaviour and personalities. Our patients open up to us freely, and trust is the core of a successful relationship that will be the basis for you building a successful career.
Undergraduate life introduced multiple specialities, and it was not long before I began focusing on surgery, with plastics and reconstructive surgery as my main interest. I did whatever I could to spend time getting more exposure in theatre, assisting my mentors, and taking the opportunity to see and do as much as possible. Once I qualified and completed house officer jobs, I embarked on a surgical training rotation. I was fortunate to have worked under and with some phenomenal surgeons during my early career, many of whom I am still in contact with.
Rotating through roles that gave me exposure to management of burns, hand surgery, breast (reconstructive and cosmetic) and craniofacial, among other surgical specialities, provided a vast knowledge platform that I have found invaluable in shaping my approach to my work today.
I worked to obtain my Membership of the Royal College of Surgeons, before redirecting to a career as a General Practitioner. My need to continue interventional procedures continued, and I performed minor surgery for six years alongside this role. However, it was not until I moved into my career in aesthetics that I knew I had arrived.
Aesthetics has combined my love of surgery with the familiarity of the doctorpatient relationship I loved in general practice, with the feeling of utter fulfilment of my desire to treat people. It gives immense satisfaction when you can undertake a procedure that might not only improve your patient’s confidence in themselves but release (sometimes years) of emotional distress or hurt. I am able to sensitively treat patients with congenital craniofacial malformations that have been through years of painful operations to provide an additional layer of support where they have reached a surgical ceiling. I am able to help a patient who is fearful of a surgical solution to achieve their goals.
I have been lucky enough to undertake work internationally and have developed and redeveloped my skills over time. Attendance at numerous conferences and courses is essential in professional development.
Shadowing my peers to keep abreast of new products, tips, and tricks has been invaluable in my growth and understanding of treatments of the face. Part of my work enabled me to write and deliver training courses approved through Hamilton Fraser Insurance and has led to the training of numerous delegates from around the world in the techniques of lip augmentation, liquid rhinoplasty and facial rejuvenation.
My approach to treating a patient has always been to first observe and listen. The importance of studying and analysing the face of your patient while they relax in your presence provides invaluable information for you as their treating clinician. You can identify involuntary quirks and slight movement of their faces, and in doing so, they also feel more comfortable with you. This information will help you shape your treatments. The added trust that develops from the relationship you build makes for an easier pre- and post-treatment journey for both patient and practitioner.
A full facial assessment is essential in every procedure. Education for your patient about how their face is ageing and what can be done to alleviate their concerns is key, but most importantly, what the limitations are with what you have to offer. Do not be afraid to refer elsewhere to a colleague for an enhanced treatment you may not provide.
Your willingness to do this will place you in high regard with them. They will trust your judgement and will be likely to return for other treatments down the line. Continual learning and working towards ongoing improvements in your techniques over time, adapting your skills, is a necessary part of this industry.
Learning from colleagues, peers, and mentors should be a career-long obsession. Factors to consider with any treatment request are, what is the underlying cause for the problem in front of you? For example – with a request for a lip filler treatment – what are the goals for the individual?:
• Simple augmentation?
• Profile balancing?
• Correction of craniofacial anomalies?
To decide what is important in achieving a completely natural-looking result and ensuring the final result is harmonious with your patient’s features, firstly consider the underlying facial structure – what is the bony alignment? Do they have a recessive or projected jawline? What is the dentition like? Do they have an overbite or long maxilla? Is there a change to the bone structure contributing to an apparent asymmetry within the overlying soft tissues? Have they had any other procedures or previous injections that could impact the results you are trying to achieve? If there is anything of concern, consider working with that patient and discuss the options thoroughly with them. Only once you have considered these can you plan the best options for treatment with your patient. You should also discuss your choice of filler with them and the rationale behind that, keeping their aesthetic goals in mind. I use the BELOTERO ® range of hyaluronic acid dermal fillers from Merz Aesthetics as I find they offer consistent and natural-looking results. I always take a scientific approach to my treatments and choose the appropriate products backed by science.
Following these simple principles, you can always work towards achieving great aesthetic results.
Adverse events should be reported. Reporting forms and information for United Kingdom can be found at yellowcard.mhra.gov.uk. Reporting forms and information for Republic of Ireland can be found at hpra.ie/homepage/about-us/report-anissue/mdiur. Adverse events should also be reported to Merz Pharma UK Ltd by email to UKdrugsafety@merz.com or on +44 (0) 333 200 4143.https://merz-aesthetics.co.uk/https://www.instagram.com/merzaesthetics.uki/https://www.facebook.com/merzaesthetics.uki
This advertorial is sponsored by Merz Aesthetics UK & Ireland M-BEL-UKI-1237 Date of Preparation August 2021
For more information visit merz–aesthetics.co.uk, @merzaesthetics.uki (Instagram) or Merz Aesthetics UK & Ireland (Facebook)