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“Cosmetic procedures help boost confidence and enhance beauty”, says Dr Asim Durrani,

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SN: Tell us something about yourself.
I do both Reconstruction and Cosmetic procedures and my main area of interest is body contouring and non surgical procedures.

SN: What does plastic surgery deal with?
In broader perspective, plastic surgery deals with reconstruction, cosmetic and burns. They include birth defects like cleft lip and palate, hypospadiasis (to correct defect in the opening of the penis present at birth), removal of moles and cysts, trauma like skin laceration to tendon repair, nerve repair, hand surgery, burns, skin contractors and reconstruction after cancer surgery.

SN: What does the word “plastic” signify?
Plastic surgery means moulding surgery. We mould different body tissues and then adjust them accordingly.

SN: What procedures are done in cosmetic surgery?
In cosmetic surgery we tighten the loose skin of face by facelift, of abdomen by liposuction, in case of excess loose skin we do abdominoplasty, for nose correction we do rhinoplasty, for excess eyelid skin we do blephroplasty and also do breast reconstruction, breast enlargement and reduction.

SN: What sort of plastic surgery cases are common in Pakistan?
In Pakistan there are well established plastic surgery departments where almost all types of reconstructive plastic surgery procedures are carried out like cleft lip and palate, hypospadias repair, tendon repair, skin grafting and all types flaps including micro vascular free anastomosis flaps.

SN: What about cosmetic surgery cases?
In cosmetic surgery people usually come for liposuction, tummy tuck, breast surgery, nose job, blepharoplasty and gynecomastia (disorder which causes male breast tissue to increase). Nowadays non surgical procedures like thread face lift, skin tightening, fillers and botox are in great demand.

SN: What are non surgical procedures? How are they done?
Non surgical procedures means there will not be any cuts or stitches. We do many procedures like lifting of loose face skin by threads. Tightening of the skin by lasers or by ultrasonic waves.

SN: What sort of deformities are children born with here, and can all of them be corrected?
Cleft lip and cleft palate are one of the most common birth defects in Pakistan. Plastic surgeons in Pakistan are very much capable of dealing with these defects and with good surgical results.

SN: How can plastic surgery help in lessening the misery of breast cancer patients?
We can reconstruct the breast either by patient own skin/muscle or with breast implants.

SN: What is a treatment option for baldness?
For baldness there are several procedures but the most effective procedures are FUE (Follicular unit extraction) and FUT (Follicular unit transplantation). Both of these procedures can be done separately or in combination with each other. In FUE there are no cuts and stitches, instead by means of special machine we take out the roots without a cut and insert them in the bald area. In FUT, a strip of skin with hair is excised from the back side of head, then roots extracted from the strip and placed over the bald area.

SN:Do you think people you want cosmetic surgery have little acceptance to the way nature has created them?
No it is not like that. Basically all humans have the right to take care of themselves. Cosmetic procedures help them boost their confidence and look more attractive. They can select the best option after consulting a credible expert.

SN: Why do people develop loose skin around the eye area?
With increasing age there are changes in our face. Skin becomes loose from different parts and area around eyes is one of them. Lower lid skin becomes baggy while upper lid skin becomes loose.
Blepharoplasty (surgical removal of excess skin from the lid) is the procedure of choice for this condition.

SN: When is a face lift required?
When wrinkles start to appear over the face, cheek and neck skin becomes loose, patient is a true candidate for face lift. Surgical face lift is the gold standard. But non surgical procedure like thread facelift, skin tightening procedures, dermal fillers and botox are gaining popularity now.

SN:How much younger can an individual look through these procedures?
Cosmetic procedures are done in a way that suits each individual.  This does not mean that a 50 year old patient will start to look like a 20 year old after surgery. These procedures are done in a way to make the patient look fresh without others knowing that a surgery has been performed.

SN:Every surgery has its risks. What are the possible risks of this type of surgery?
Every surgery has risk or complications. Patient should be counseled regarding all types of risks of the procedure. Chances of complications can only be reduced by taking extreme measures before, during and after the surgery. However, these measures can reduce the chances of complications but not completely eliminate them.

SN:What is the best treatment to remove accident scars on the face?
Scars can be dealt in many ways. It can be removed in one go or sometimes may need multiple sessions depending on the size and site. For accidental scars procedures like scar revision surgery is performed. For post acne scars of face procedures like dermabrasion has effective results and around 70 percent of scars can be removed by a single procedure.

SN: How should a common man select a plastic/ cosmetic surgeon?
Selecting a plastic surgeon is a really important step. Your surgeon should be qualified and must be a member of PAPS (Pakistan Association of Plastic Surgeons).
Corrigendum: In tete-a-tete with a doctor, published in November 2017, page 60, please read ‘above’ as ‘below’ 45 years in men and 55 years in women.