Gallery procedure shown above:
Breast reconstruction – bilateral breast
Dr. Kim Taylor gives PSF a fascinating insight into life as a female plastic surgeon.
Q: Why did you become a plastic surgeon?
A: It’s a very complex and varied specialty. I particularly liked the ability to reconstruct defects rather than just create them. No two days are ever the same.
Q: What are your primary plastic surgery interests and why?
A: Breast surgery, particularly reconstruction (this is very challenging and rewarding), breast reduction (probably the happiest patients after this procedure) and augmentation and lifts (often returning women after childbirth to how they were prior). Also body contouring surgery (the final stage for patients who have won the battle with weight loss). I also perform a lot of skin cancer and hand surgery.
Q: What do you love most about your job as a plastic surgeon?
A: It’s also a sad part… but discharging someone after a long process of consultations, surgery and after care who is happy with their outcome and attained the goals that they first came to see me with.
Q: What is the hardest part about being a plastic surgeon?
A: Not every problem can be solved! Patient expectations occasionally think I can perform miracles when I can’t.
Q: How would your friends describe you?
A: Balanced (I hope), dedicated, honest, loyal, thoughtful, fun, caring, organized and busy!!!
Q: What does a typical working day look like for you?
A: Get up at 5.00am, swim or bike ride, consult in the rooms or operate from 8.00 am to 5.00pm. Sometimes I run in the evening. Dinner and early to bed to do it all again the next day.
Q: Do you feel that your female patients prefer having a female surgeon? And if so why?
A: Some definitely do especially where cultural background plays a part. Otherwise it’s just personal preference. My male colleagues certainly see plenty of women and are very popular too!!
Q: Do you feel that this offers a benefit to your female clients?
Most definitely. I think I approach people and problems from a different perspective. I can also understand a lot of what patients are going through.
Q: What advice do you have when deciding on a surgeon?
A: Make sure that they are a fully qualified PLASTIC surgeon with FRACS (Plas) qualifications. Don’t have a preconceived idea of what procedure suits you. Listen to the advice that you are given and also ensure the surgeon listens to you. Not everybody gets along and so ensure you are comfortable with the person you have seen. If not, go see someone else. Ask lots of questions.
Q: What are some of the reasons that compel people to have cosmetic surgery?
A: There are many reasons why someone wants to have cosmetic surgery. Some people want to look younger whilst others want to change a feature they don’t like which importantly makes them then feel better about themselves.
Many patients look to enhance or restore breast volume, shape and firmness or reduce their breast size (breast reduction patients are generally the happiest).
Patients often require surgical correction of the body following major weight loss or pregnancy where diet, exercise and good health alone cannot correct the body shape problems which have occurred.
Whatever the motivation, cosmetic surgery wont change your life or solve personal problems but it may give you confidence and add to your sense of well being.
Q: Have you ever had to turn patients away due to unrealistic expectations?
A: Absolutely. I don’t own a magic wand or an airbrush! I do spend time trying to counsel those people and send them to someone more fitting to help them, if necessary (not a surgeon).
Q: Do you feel there is a difference between the public’s perception of cosmetic surgery and the type of people who undertake procedures, versus what actually occurs in reality – i.e. big lips, big breast implants, men’s magazine models versus subtle implants, mothers wanting to restore their bodies after children etc
A: Absolutely. The media have a lot to answer for. The vast majority of my patients you would walk past in the street and never guess that they’d had any procedure/s and usually that’s what they are after. I frequently hear requests to “”be in proportion” and “return my body back to how it was pre kids/surgery/weight gain” “I want to look refreshed not windblown or like what I see in magazines”. What procedures are becoming more popular and what are decreasing? Body contouring surgery is increasing, particularly as weight reduction surgery increases. I’m not sure anything is reducing, hopefully the requirements for skin cancer treatment will reduce as sun protection increases (but this hasn’t occurred yet – maybe in 50 years!).
Q: How has cosmetic surgery for women changed or is changing?
A: Yes, it’s becoming more subtle, I believe. Most people want to avoid the “operated on” look.
Q: Do you think some women feel there is a stigma attached to having cosmetic surgery? and is this changing?
A: Yes I believe a lot of women (and men) feel that, although I think that attitudes are changing. It doesn’t help when magazines show celebrities that have 5+ surgeries at once. That is most definitely not the norm. Most patients I see are regular everyday people with jobs and kids and have realistic expectations of improving or enhancing an aspect of their appearance.