Trish: Hey podcasters, we’re back. And welcome here today. I’m excited once again, as I always am. But I’m really excited to be speaking to Dr. Jack Zoumaras. Now Dr. Zoumaras is actually based in Darling Point in Sydney. And he’s the owner of Artiste Plastic Surgery. And he’s Australia, New York, and Paris trained. A really qualified and highly sought after plastic cosmetic and reconstructive surgeon. And I’m really excited to speak to Dr. Zoumaras today because Dr. Zoumaras’ passion is all about faces, and so we’re gonna have a good chat with him today about what he does. And he’ll give us a couple of tidbits of information. But also, what I find really exciting, is the fact that he has great packages available, which is what people are always asking for. So thank you so much for joining us today, Dr. Zoumaras.
Dr. Zoumaras: My pleasure. Thanks for the introduction.
Trish: Oh, pleasure. Pleasure. So look, we wanna of course get to know you a little bit better. Could you tell us a little bit more about yourself and your background and why you actually chose to become a plastic surgeon?
Dr. Zoumaras: Sure. Yeah, so basically, I’ll try to keep this short, but I always wanted to be a doctor since I was young, since I was like four years old. And I remember going to the doctor and always feeling better after he either prescribed me medication or gave me a plan. And then when he used to give me injections I used to get annoyed, and I promised the doctor that I would actually grow up to be a doctor and give him an injection back. So I’ve always wanted to be a doctor.
And during medical school I was leaning towards cardiology, cardiac surgery, because my dad, unfortunately, had a bypass when I was in medical school. And I was kind of leaning towards cardiac surgery. But then I was lucky enough to go on an exchange to Columbia University in New York, Ivy League school through Flinders University in Adelaide, cause I am from Adelaide originally. And I did that rotation in plastic surgery. And it really interested me because for the four weeks that I was there we’ll be doing some cosmetic surgery, then we’d be going to the lab and watching cells grow to do some research on wound healing. Then we’d do breast reconstruction, gunshot trauma, and I was like, “Wow, this is such a varied specialty.” And then from there, I was kind of like, leaning then towards plastic surgery.
And then from there, I was always interested in the face. Because I thought the face just had intricate anatomy, an anatomy that challenged me, an anatomy that was interesting from a cosmetic and reconstructive point of view. So even before I started plastic surgery training programme, I knew I wanted to specialise in the face.
Trish: Yeah, that’s good for us that you didn’t go to cardiology because it’s some … I mean there’s a lot of plastic surgeons that specialise in all different things but it’s really hard … It’s actually, as a consumer, if you’re actually looking for someone who just specialises in the face, it’s actually not an easy feat, really.
Dr. Zoumaras: Yeah. No it’s not. It’s not. And that’s part of the reason what challenged me, cause initially I wanted to do cardiology and I wanted to do something that challenged me. And the reason that I like faces well, is not just the cosmetic part, although that’s a big part of it, it’s also the reconstructive. Like doing plastic surgery you’re training craniofacial surgery and kids born with unfortunate syndromes or sequences when they’re born and they’ve got deformities of their face. And I actually specialise also in ear reconstruction in kids born with no ears. And that’s why I’ve been always focused on the face.
And I think it’s just … I think a lot of plastic surgeons are, I wouldn’t say scared, but are a bit more apprehensive about operating on the face. And I guess I’ve kind of like embraced it from early on and did all my training around the face. And then did two years in Paris and New York on the face. So for me it’s quite comfortable. I actually feel more comfortable doing a face lift than, let’s say, I would be doing a breast augmentation. Not that I can’t do a breast augmentation but I feel more comfortable and in my element doing a face lift. Whereas it would be the reverse for a plastic surgeon with a similar training background.
Trish: Of course. And the face is so … There’s no script for getting anything wrong really because it’s right there and everyone’s gonna see it, you know?
Dr. Zoumaras: Yeah. Exactly. And that’s part of the challenge as well. I like the fact that you can’t cover it up and you’re basically, everyone can see your result. So it’s that challenge, I guess, and that kind of drew me to that area. But also you’ve got to have the right experience and training to be able to then do it and offer the service.
Trish: Mm-hmm. So tell us a little bit … Like, Artiste Plastic Surgery, what’s your philosophy behind your clinic? I mean I know that … Like my great belief is that you’re gonna have one of the biggest brands in Australia, there’s no doubt about it. But what’s the philosophy behind the clinic?
Dr. Zoumaras: Yeah. Well, I mean, the philosophy is just the art of enhancing beauty. So, whether we enhance beauty through non-surgical means, surgical, or just skin care, or advice, that’s like the philosophy for the clinic. But my actual vision for the practise is to be the destination to look and feel great. And we do that by offering an anti-aging strategy from anyone from their twenties through to their sixties and beyond. So my philosophy or vision from that is for someone to be able to think, okay, yep, Artiste is the place to go where I’m thinking about, okay what do I do now for my skin? Do I need surgery yet? Can I just do injectables? Or do I just need good skin care? And just to be able to incorporate that whole anti-aging.
Cause there’s a lot of noise out there. There’s a lot of people offering injections, a lot of people doing thread lifts. There’s a lot of people that aren’t plastic surgeons that do cosmetic surgery, which is fine if they’re qualified to do it. So I think there’s a lot of noise out there. So I want to be … My big vision of Artiste is to be a clarity, a beacon. So yeah, Artiste says we should do this, or this is the advice they’re giving us. So just to be like a centre of excellence from an anti-aging point of view.
Trish: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah, because I know you’ve got the medi-spa attached to the clinic as well. And my daughter’s actually had her favourite treatment that she’s ever had done there. Cause she’s not into, unlike her mother, she’s not into the hard core surgical stuff. She likes something really natural. And she had that done and she loved it. She wrote this was the best treatment she’s ever had. So you do have that offering there as well for people that … You know it’s not all about plastic surgery, is it?
Dr. Zoumaras: No, exactly. And that’s the whole point. It’s anti-aging. And I think if you want to be a face lift plastic surgeon you have to embrace the other anti-aging and even beauty side to the industry. Because while there’s a lot of patients that will have surgery and are quite open with it, there’s a lot of other patients or clients that aren’t ready for surgery, or maybe would never consider surgery. And I think it’s important, at least as an expert, because I can uniquely understand the anatomy of an ageing face. So I can therefore offer a specific treatment for that ageing face, whether that be just doing facial yoga, or skin care, or skin care technology, like laser LED light therapy like your daughter had, or ray or frequency needling. And then move on to injectables, and then maybe mini lifts, and then surgical face lift.
So I guess it’s me trying to embrace the whole anti-aging beauty concept of the face. And I’m actually writing a blog right now. If you go to a coffee shop, you’ll get coffee. If you go to a tyre shop, you’ll buy a tyre. So if you go to someone that just does facial injections, all you’ll get is injections. But if you come to Artiste, you’ll get an anti-aging assessment, diagnosis, and then a treatment pathway depending on your budget and what your desires are. So it’s really tailored to you and there’s a lot of different offerings that you can do. So you don’t have to have surgery, you can have …You know, you can just have a skin care treatment or some technology.
Trish: Yeah. Well that’s one of the things I actually loved about your offerings, is the fact that sometimes it’s quite hard to find out what the options are that you can have. Because a lot of people like to just sort of start off by just looking and speaking to other people and just seeing what the offering is. But your menu, if you like, is upfront. It’s honest. This is what you get. And these are the different levels. And that’s something that I love cause it’s really transparent. And that can be quite hard to find in this industry.
Dr. Zoumaras: Yeah.
Trish: Everything’s a little secret.
Dr. Zoumaras: No, no. That’s true. That’s true. And, you know, the menus are two-fold why I came up with them. It’s like, from a surgical side of things … Because I was so lucky to train with guys in New York and Paris. I worked with face lift surgeons that operated on Audrey Hepburn and I even met the plastic surgeon that’s the Kardashians’ plastic surgeon. And they all did slightly different face lifts for different reasons. So I thought to myself, you know, even though these guys are really good, they’re only offering one type of face lift. And I’m not sure why. But it’s just a comfort thing. They’re just doing what they’re doing. So that’s why I wanted to have a menu of face lifts that you could do for surgery based on budget. And definitely there are face lifts that I prefer to do. But at least there’s an option for every patient, whether they want more down time, or depending on what their budgetary constraints are.
And from a non-surgical point of view, the menu was really brought about, maybe from client feedback. Like I’ve always asked my patients what we could do better or what they want. And a lot of my clients would come to us for injections, or maybe they’ve had surgery, they go elsewhere for injections, they’ve had skin therapy elsewhere, facials. And then they thought, it would be great to have a six month or 12 month plan.
And hence, I came up with all these skin packages, which ranged from three to six months. And you can do for up to 12 months, which basically are that. You just basically pay a price per month almost like a membership or subscription. And you get basically a menu and a road map of anti-aging strategies that are a mixed bag of light therapy, facial injections, expert skin care, as well as a consultation with myself, anti-aging strategy consultation, as well as a skin assessment from a dermal therapist. So it’s a whole … It’s just basically trying to take the anxiety of them working out what they need to do for their face out of it. And they’ve just got a clear path for the next six months.
Trish: Yeah, totally. And that makes so much sense these days. Because number one, we’re busy. Number two, if people are like me, they’ll be like, “What did you have done?” Well I’ve had a bit of filler done in my … “What sort was it? Well I don’t know. And, “When did you have it?” Oh about six months ago. So, if you walk in, if you’re like, with Artiste Plastic Surgery and Medi-Spa, your history is there. So you kind of know what you’ve had done, know what you’ve got coming up, and know what you can actually do to achieve your objectives as far as maintaining a certain level of youthfulness, I guess, for want of a better word.
Dr. Zoumaras: Yeah. Right exactly.
Trish: So, I wanted to ask you … Just going on the different procedures that you do, one of the things that was really interesting to me was I had no idea there was such a … And of course we’ll talk about this at another podcast cause I know you’ve got limited time, but I love the fact that it’s not just … I’m not coming to you for a blepharoplasty, there’s probably different options depending on how much I want. So I know that recently you did a pinch blepharoplasty with a friend of mine. And just because I’ve been asked a lot about blephs today, I thought, I might just ask you. Can you tell us what is a pinched bleph? Because her results were fantastic.
Dr. Zoumaras: Yeah. So basically a pinch … Like, there are three different blepharoplasties I do, and as you said, we’ll talk about it more in general, and I do that across all my face, to have a menu. But what a pinch blepharoplasty is, is basically exactly that. So often patients come in and they actually pinch their eye in the consultation. And they pinch a bit of skin on top of their eye or below their eye. And it’s more useful above the eye but you can do it below as well. And you can just remove that piece of skin.
A traditional blepharoplasty will reverse the ageing deformity that led to the loose skin, like the ligaments and the underlying fat. Whereas, a pinch blepharoplasty, is a surface treatment. You’re just removing the skin. And the beauty of it is it’s minimal down time. There’s not a lot of bruising. And it can be potentially done under local anaesthetic, or day surgery. If it’s just the pinch, it can be done under local anaesthetic. And it just refreshes your face rather than dramatically changing it.
It’s more aimed at … It can be done at any age group, but it’s more aimed at those in their late thirties, early forties, maybe when they’re not quite ready for a full blepharoplasty or don’t want one just yet. But you can … I’ve done it in someone that’s 55 and had a lot of skin and it worked really well, as well. So it’s basically just an entry point option, if you like, for surgery.
Trish: And for some people, that might actually be enough. They might not need anymore, but at least you’ve got the option. You don’t have to go down the hard core having the whole lot done. You might just think, oh well just a little … That might just be enough for me. And it is.
Dr. Zoumaras: Yeah, no exactly. Exactly.
Trish: Perfect. So can I just ask you, I’ve pretty much worked this out now, but what are the procedures that you really, really love to do?
Dr. Zoumaras: Yeah. My favourite procedure is a face lift, face and neck lift. And I offer four different types of face and neck lifts. And the most exciting one that I love is the High SMAS face lift. There’s only a few surgeons in Australia that I know that do it. I don’t know anyone specific in Sydney that does it. The High SMAS from an anatomical point of view was controversial for a good 20 years cause they thought that you could injure the facial nerve. But if you know the anatomy well, it doesn’t. And the beauty of a High SMAS is that it actually lifts your lower eye and your face at the same time. And the results are quite dramatic. So it’s a long operation, but it’s my favourite. I learned to do that from a guy called Tim Martin in San Francisco, who I probably believe is probably the best face lift surgeon in the world right now, very cutting edge. And that’s probably my favourite procedure.
After that, probably would be a rhinoplasty, and then eyelid surgery. So it’s all about the face.
Trish: Okay so when you studied with Dr. Tim Martin, was that somewhat … Cause I know that you talk for the training in the US like in New York City and in France as well, is that right?
Dr. Zoumaras: Yeah. After New York I went to Paris, yeah, which was great. But while I was in New York I also visited a guy in Miami, James Stuzin who is also a guru, if you like, in face lift surgery. And Tim Martin and Garth Fisher, who’s the celebrity plastic surgeon in Beverly Hills. He did the … He was the original doctor 90210. But Tim Martin, I’ve had fortunate enough to work with him for about a month, and then I revisited him as well last year with his face lift technique.
And he’s a great guy. He teaches a lot and really talks you through the steps of the face lift. And I guess he inspired me to just do a High SMAS face lift. He said, “Jack, if you’re not gonna do a High SMAS on your first ever face lift, you’ll probably never do one.” And I think … I speak to a lot of my colleagues and they never really do a SMAS lift because they just get used to doing another type of face lift.
And there’s a lot of great plastic surgeons in Australia that do face lifts. And they rarely do a SMAS plication or Smasectomy because it’s faster and they’re just not comfortable raising the SMAS.
Trish: Mm-hmm (affirmative). So how long does a face lift take, roughly?
Dr. Zoumaras: Yeah, for a High SMAS face lift alone, it takes about three hours. But with a neck lift it’s like four and a half, five hours. So it’s a longer operation definitely. And if you’re adding fat grafting and [inaudible 00:14:25] surgery, it’s like a six hour operation.
Trish: Yeah. Wow. Well that’s the next thing I was going to ask you about is like … You have some of a bit reputation for being a bit of a fat guru … Not a fat guru, a fat transfer guru. And you’re one of the first in Australia to use a new technology for fat grafting. Can you tell us a little bit about that?
Dr. Zoumaras: Yeah. So I use fat grafting on every face I do, because part of the ageing process is fat either moves or gets smaller. And I’ve been using fat grafting for the last four, five years in all the faces that I do. And I’ve just been trialling a few different things. I there was this new technology that came out, I think it was from Korea. And I used about a month ago in the face. And what it does is traditionally when you harvest fat from liposuction, depending on how big you want the fat … you harvested … in proportion to the cannulus [inaudible 00:15:11].
So if you wanted fat that was one millimetre, you’d use a one millimetre cannula. If you wanted fat that was four milometers, you’d use a four millimetre cannula. So you have to harvest it differently, ideally, for the face. But what the beauty of this device is, is you can harvest it at five millimetres, so it’s quite big. And then you can actually process it in a closed system. So you’re not touching the fat at all. With what’s called an atomizer. And it cuts the fat down to 2400 microns, 1200 microns, and 600 microns, which is basically nano fat level.
So you can tailor the size of the fat to your face. And you can tailor it to under your eye where you’d want it to be more finer. Versus the cheekbone where you’d want it to be a bit thicker. So I trialled that because I’m always trying to get the best possible fat graph result in a face lift. Cause that’s the only variable. Some patients have fat that survives really well, and other patients have it that don’t survive that well at all. So I’m always trying to be on the cutting edge with something that could potentially make the facelift even better.
Trish: Yeah. Right. Well that sounds great. I know for a fact that you take great pride in the individual approach that you give to each and every patient. Like what suits me may not suit her. So everyone is of course different. But how manage patient expectations and make sure … but at the same time … make sure you give your clients exactly what they’re looking for?
Dr. Zoumaras: Yeah. I spend a lot of time with the consultation. Like with a face consultation, sometimes it goes over an hour because there’s a lot of questions that the patient has. There’s a presentation that I want to show about … I want to educate the patient about what’s caused the ageing process. Like why they get jowls. Why they get marionette lines. Why they’ve got an eyelid shadow. Why they get platisma bands in the neck. Like I want to empower them with the knowledge of why that has happened. And why a facelift will correct it. And then having said that I’ve got four facelift options. And I’ll offer the facelifts that will work in that patient specifically.
A lot of patients ask me about my express mini lift. And I’ve done the express mini lift, which is basically half a short scar face lift in lot of younger patients but it doesn’t work very well in the older patients. So I am very honest with them and say, “Sure I can do this procedure for you, but you’re not going to love me because in a years time it’s not going to last, or you’re not going to get the result that you want. So I’m very honest with … even though I’ve have four menu options, I’ll only offer what’s suited to that patient.
Trish: Yeah. Right. So they might come in and say, “Oh, look I saw you do this. This is what I’m really interested in.” You might say, “Well look, that’s probably not going to give you the result that you want. We’re better off to do this.”
Dr. Zoumaras: Yeah. Exactly right. And I’d rather not take someone’s money if it’s not going to give them the result that they want. I’d rather them just wait to save up more money or maybe just get injectable as an intro. Because the last thing that I want to do is operate on someone and them not getting an actual result.
Trish: Yeah. True. This is probably the same sort of question, but how do you go about deciding which is best for the patient. Because that’s just pretty much you just sort of finding out what they want … or looking at their face … or like
Dr. Zoumaras: Yeah so like, it’s basically like finding out what they want. So often there’s patients that talk more about their jowling rather than … Like for example if I’m doing a short scar facelift, that will do really well for anyone’s jowl in any age group. But if the patient’s more talking about their eyelid area as well, and their neck, then a full facelift is way better. So I kind of get that impression depending on what they’re talking about. And I’m very honest. So if they want just a short scar facelift, they just got to make sure they understand that it’s only going to help the jowl and that’s it. So essentially it’s just conversation. Just making sure I’m on the same plane … I’m trying to understand the patient, from the patient’s point of view, to make sure that I’m addressing what they want.
And I do show a lot of photos. I’ve got a lot of photos I can show patients from different facelifts. And they can get an honest view of what those results are. And also I show them photos of what it looked like the day one, day two, day seven. So they’ve got an idea of swelling. So I basically council them based on what I think what they want and also just demonstrate photos. And I’ve got a lot of patients that opt for just a facelift without a neck and they’re happy, but it’s not such a dramatic result on the neck. Whereas a patients that’s had a face and neck, you can see the difference with the result on the neck lift.
Trish: Yeah. Totally. Look, I know as well that you … like of course people travel to see you … but I know as well that you travel to places like Aubrey and that’s in country New South Wales. And [inaudible 00:19:24] and also good old Red Lake, which is where I’m from as well. Doing that, how do you actually manage your time?
Dr. Zoumaras: Oh it’s crazy, Trish. It’s crazy. Sometimes I’m just flying and then operating all the time. So basically what I do is Adelaide, because you’re from Adelaide, I’m from Adelaide, and I’ve got a lot of friends and colleagues there and that’s why I started going there at the beginning of last year. And I actually operated there for the first time just last week. But usually Adelaide is just three or four times a year. So it’s not very often. And I usually do it over a long weekend to stay in Adelaide and catch up with family and then be there for the patient as well to make sure they’re okay.
The Griffith thing I’ve been doing for almost a year now. And Griffith I’ve been basically just doing once every four to five weeks. And I’m there for two and a half days. So I go there operate. And then I’m there consulting. And then there half, or an extra day. And then I’ve got GOPs that I work with that look after the patient. And Aubrey, I’ve only been there once or twice when, and I’m just working out whether it’s going to be physically possible for me to go there more often. Which it should be. And that will be a similar thing. It will probably be every six or eight weeks on a two day basis. So I just basically incorporate it into my calendar. And that’s how it fits. So it’s something that’s there that’s every six weeks or every four weeks. So it’s just part of a normal work flow.
Trish: Yeah. And when are you going to come to Byron?
Dr. Zoumaras: I don’t know. Maybe I should come to Byron. You know, I’ve never been to Byron. I’ve actually never been.
Trish: Yeah. No. It’s beautiful. It’s beautiful. And I reckon someone who specialises in faces would go off in Byron Bay. Especially because you’ve got … like I’ve noticed … because I’ve seen a lot of your before and afters when I came into your clinic. So I’ve know you’ve got those natural looking … there’s no pulls, no tightness. It’s really natural, which is what I’m going to have when I have my facelift.
Dr. Zoumaras: Yeah. Yeah.
Trish: And you know, the are around here resonates with that because we want to look good, but we don’t want to anyone to know that we’ve had anything done.
Dr. Zoumaras: Yeah. No. Exactly right. Exactly right.
Trish: Perfect. Now I’m going to ask you just one more question. Just going back to the non-surgical, all the treatments and procedures you offer, what are the most popular? Like what are your patients loving at the moment? Or your favourite ones? Which are the favourites? And how do your skincare packages fit in? Because I know you’ve got some great skincare as well. And I wanted to touch on that today.
Dr. Zoumaras: Yeah. Yeah. So we use, I use Dr. Babor skincare range more for anti-aging. And they’re a German company that’s been around since 1955. So they’ve been around forever. So I use their lifting creams and their repair creams for collagen boosting. So I’ve got them in most of my skincare plans. So with the skincare plans, they’re three or six month. There’s a plan that’s just light therapy based. There’s a plan that’s radio-frequency needling, which is great for pores, great for collagenesis, great for general rejuvenation and fine lines. And then I’ve got the signature one, which is a mixture of both light therapy and radio-frequency needling, and injections by myself. And that’s essentially the packages. And I’ve also got a celebrity package, if you want to have a whole holistic, personal training, diet, styling, hairstyling, and things like that. So I would say the most popular right now is probably the signature package because it’s a mixture of everything.
But in terms of my favourite package, I don’t personally have a favourite because obviously I’m involved in all of them. But it just really depends on what the client wants. Like often, the Glow package, which is the LED light package, the younger patient tends to go for, especially before an event. And the other packages, it’s the patients that want a little bit more for their skin, but not quite ready for surgery. They get the other packages.
Trish: Okay. Awesome. And I know for a fact, because it’s actually quite easy to get to your clinic. Car parking doesn’t seem to … I’ve never found it difficult to find car parking round there. And I like that you’re not so far out of town. But you’re not really in town. It’s easy to get to.
Dr. Zoumaras: Yeah. I know. It’s pretty easy to get to. It’s like only three or four kilometres from town. And as you said, off street parking is free. And there’s even a shopping centre up the road if you really can’t find any car parking, which has got two hours free car parking.
Trish: Yup. Yup. No, that’s awesome. Well thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us today.
Dr. Zoumaras: No problem. Pleasure. Thanks for having me.
Trish: No worries. And I look forward to speaking to you, we’ll put a little series together so that we can cover a few things. I can’t wait to get into the face and neck lift discussion. But today has been a great introduction. So I really appreciate your time, Dr. Zoumaras. Thank you so much for that.
Dr. Zoumaras: Pleasure, Trish. Thanks a lot.
Trish: No worries. So ladies and guys out there if you’re looking for next generation facial plastic surgeon … not a facial plastic surgeon … but a plastic surgeon who specialises in face treatments definitely don’t go past Dr. Jack Zoumaris from Artiste Plastic Surgery. You can look him up on his website, which is Artisteplasticsurgery.com.au or you can find him through the plastic surgery hub website. Just search him in the main menu bar. Or if worst come to worst, just drop us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. So thank you so much.
Dr. Zoumaras: Great. Thank you.
Dr. Zoumaras: Bye.