Professionals opt for surgery to stay on top

AGING in any industry isn’t generally considered an added bonus.

To keep looking their best, many people are turning to plastic surgery.

Leederville plastic surgeon Dr Tony Baker says that prosthetic surgery is just a part of the spectrum of people trying to look their best.

“Why do you have your hair done? Why do you go and buy a frock or a suit? People say, ‘I feel much better when I’ve had my hair done. I feel good, I look better and I radiate my personality better’,” Dr Baker said.

“So you extrapolate that idea or that notion and there is really nothing different about looking your best in terms of your physical appearance.

“And if you can improve your face or your tummy or your breasts or your thighs then I can’t see that there’s any difference in principle to having your hair done every week.

“It might cost a lot more, there might be a lot more risks associated with it and it might be more inconvenient but the reason you’re doing it is really no different.”

West Perth-based plastic surgeon Dr Stephen Chan says the reason most people have surgery, regardless of background or profession, is the same – they feel better about their physical appearance.

“Basically people come for self confidence,” Dr Chan said.

However, Dr Chan said some of his clients from a corporate background opted for facial surgery (such as a face lift) because of pressure in the workplace.

“(Clients may say) ‘I need to stay in the workforce, I know I’m in competition with younger guys’,” Dr Chan said.

“They might feel discriminated against because they are starting to look their age.

“The CEO of a company might come in and say, ‘I want to keep on working, I don’t want to be passed over’.

“The reason that they opt for the surgery is that they don’t want to be perceived as old for the job. When people age they start to look tired.

“And although there should not be age discrimination, there is age discrimination, in all of us.

“It is a very important factor for some people to look good in their job.

“Whether it be secretarial, sales field or a managerial position, I’d say physical appearance is important.”

If a person is having surgery because they want to stay fresh in their industry, the type of surgery they choose will depend largely on the industry they are in.

For example, a female CEO may consider facial surgery, while a female model might consider breast augmentation.

In the same way, a male company director might consider eyelid surgery, a male dancer might consider liposuction.

Dr Baker said that up to 50 per cent of his clients were from corporate, professional or business backgrounds.

“Around 85 per cent are women and 15 per cent men,” he said.

So what are the most common procedures for corporate males?

“In my experience, and every-bodies experience is different, prominent ears, rhinoplasty (nose) and liposuction,” Dr Baker said.

He said liposuction procedures were mainly for the “love handle” area, around the abdomen and the loin.

And for women?

“The most common … would be face lift, rhinoplasty, breast surgery enlargements and reductions,” he said.

But none of these procedures come without risk.

“When people ask me, ‘What are the risks involved in anaesthetic?’ what I say to them is, ‘You could die’,” Dr Baker said.

“That knocks their socks off, but then if you put that into perspective, the risk is lower than driving your car.

“The honest answer is yes, you could die, but that likelihood is extremely low.”

He points out that there are also risks specific to particular procedures.

For example, the risks associated with rhinoplasty – bruising and swelling around the eyes.

Dr Baker said there can also be post-operative bleeding from the nose and nasal obstruction to the airways.

Both doctors are quick to explain that prospective patients must have realistic expectations about the surgery.

They agreed that if they could not see the problem the patient was describing, they would not consider conducting the surgery.

“The problem we have often is that promotions in the magazines or TV promote surgery results to be so marvellous, that they simply take all your wrinkles away,” Dr Chan said.

“Often that’s impossible and people come in with really high expectations.

“It is very important to counsel the patient as to what is achievable and what’s not.

“And if it were not achievable then you wouldn’t want to be doing the surgery.

“Some advertisements display things that are beyond reasonable expectations.”

He said that there were some things that simply could not be achieved.

Both surgeons say they turn down requests regularly.

“There are limitations to what we can do,” Dr Chan said.

Pre-surgery considerations

WHAT should you do if you are considering plastic surgery?

Be realistic. Surgeons use scalpels not magic wands.

Know exactly what you want and why.

Make sure your surgeon is a qualified surgeon, not just a doctor who has decided to set up shop as a plastic surgeon. Look for the letters RACS after their names (Royal Australian College of Surgeons).

Shop around and get a surgeon who is the most qualified, not just the cheapest – remember it’s permanent.

Ask as many questions as you like. If you have been turned away by several surgeons, perhaps you should stop shopping around and re-consider if you need the procedure.

Numerous options to consider

Examples of surgery available:

* Facelift

* Nose surgery

* Browlift

* Bat ear correction

* Eyelid surgery

* Laser rejuvenation

* Liposuction

(thigh, arm, tummy, abdominal)

* Breast reduction, reconstruction or augmentation.

The range of procedures available is huge, but there are procedures that many surgeons will refuse.

Add your comment

BNIQ sponsored byECU School of Business and Law


6th-Australian Institute of Management WA20,000
7th-Murdoch University16,584
8th-South Regional TAFE10,549
9th-Central Regional TAFE9,064
10th-The University of Notre Dame Australia6,708
46 tertiary education & training providers ranked by total number of students in WA

Number of Employees

BNiQ Disclaimer