PSH: We’re here today at ASAPS, the 38th Annual ASAPS Conference (Australian Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons). I’m talking with Dr Eva Siolo, she’s a plastic surgeon from Johannesburg in South Africa. Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us today.
Dr Siolo: Thank you for having me.
PSH: Our pleasure. You do have a particular interest in stem cell research, fat grafting and liposculpture. Do you think these are all linked together and maybe sort of evolved in the future possibly less implants in the way of silicone and saline and more towards the fat transfer. Can you see that happening in general?
Dr Siolo: Well, stem cells itself is a whole big new science, I think. We’re going more towards more regenerative medicine, and I’m sure, sooner or later, maybe not in my generation of doctors, but maybe next generation of doctors, will probably be operating more on stem cells itself rather than traditional ways of plastic surgery. The recent trend in plastic surgery stem cell research is that the extra cellular matter is starting to surface out as a scaffold which we can see that in stem cells and sort of form 3D structures. If 3D reconstruction or construct 3D construct, we will be able to replace implants that will be probably be a future of Breast Augmentation surgery. When is it going to happen? I’m not too sure. There is a lot of lab studies, animal studies but there are also a lot of restrictions from FDA’s in terms of isolating cells and manipulating cells. So, this is in the future. I am a visionary and I certainly hope that we probably replace foreign bodies like silicone, polyurethane with much more natural, and maybe even your own parts to form in some form of bio-generators, implants, you specifically asking me about implants so I’m specifically taking about implants, and I think it will be probably the future, maybe the next 20 years. I don’t know. We can check that. I won’t be probably here anymore in the profession, but we can check.
PSH: Well, that’s great. I think we’re getting a lot of people asking about it as well. So people are really interested in looking for alternative to foreign implants.
Dr Siolo: Yeah. Well, with the recent replacement of breast augmentation with just a simple fat transfer we are going definitely more towards that.
PSH: That’s exciting, that’s great. Thank you for that. Now, you’re the first female plastic surgeon to achieve a couple of masters in South Africa. So congratulations for that.
Do you see more women entering the plastic surgery field, and what do you think women can bring to the industry perhaps that might not be first nature to a man.
Dr Siolo: It’s a BIG topic. And I’m a big fan of this topic because I was actually the first female plastic surgeon qualified from the University at which I had my post graduate training. So it was a tough road in the beginning and it was difficult to get through to the boys club but you can, you can, you can do that. It was about 10 years ago when I qualified and since then I have already trained 5 girls in my department so it was a great achievement. When I started my training there was probably about 8 female plastic surgeons in South Africa, and now we’re probably going into the 20 something.
PSH: Wow, that increased significantly in such a short time.
Dr Siolo: Yeah, definitely. I will strongly encourage females to go to that particular discipline. If you want to be a surgeon, if you are a female this is probably the most applicable discipline for you.
PSH: Do you have many men come to see you?
Dr Siolo: They’re coming but they’re probably about 20% of my cosmetic practice but it’s escalating, it’s becoming more popular, and especially with my interest in liposculpting and liposuction combined with fat transfers. I get men more and more because they aim for an easy way of getting their 6 abs and nice pecs and nice arms, and this can be achieved within an operation which lasts about 5-6 hours.
PSH: Lovely, thank you for that. Now your interest in the face and the way it ages, would make you aware of not only the surgical procedures but also the non surgical procedures that are available today as well. So I’m just wondering I know you have an interest in Vaser Lipo, but is there anything in particular that you prefer to do as a treatment on people? Can you expand on that a little bit?
Dr Siolo: Well, it’s not a matter of preference, it’s a matter of selecting your patient and getting the right age and right treatment. Let’s put it that way, up to 40 years of age, 40+ years of age we can still maintain with a very non invasive treatments like thermage, like other radio frequency treatments. We can fill up a bit, we can maintain with botox not to get permanent wrinkles but when it comes to their fifth decade and we are starting to loss volume on their face it requires a little bit more aggressive approach, and then we are probably talking about fat transfer which I’m quite enthusiastic about, because in any fat transfer contains stem cells so there is a component of rejuvenation. So obviously, it is just a tailoring of the treatment to the patients’ needs. And I am I favour of radio frequency, as for invasive and non invasive procedures and it is just because it’s not such an energy high, energy treatment so it doesn’t damage your tissue to the extent that you cannot use fat. So if I do liposuction with your radio frequency enhanced like a vaser therapy and I can still use that fat to enhance the face, and to put it in the breast. So it’s sort of a double benefit for me and with the using of laser we operate on much higher energies and unfortunately they damage the fat cells and I can’t use it anymore, it’s just for purposes of liposuction, so that’s my rationale about using radio frequency in my treatments.
PSH: So basically it depends on what the person needs as to what treatment protocol you use and everyone is different.
Dr Siolo: Absolutely.
PSH: Right, lovely. Well thank you so much for taking time to talk to us.
Dr Siolo: Thank you very much, thank you for having me.
PSH: Thank you.