Interview with Dr Mark Hanikeri on the importance of patient care and surgery after-care.
PSH: I’m here today with Dr Mark Hanikeri who practices from the Western Australian Plastic Surgery Centre located in Subiaco in Perth. Thank you so much for talking with us today.
Dr Hanikeri: You’re welcome PSH.
PSH: Just a couple of questions, can you give us a run down of the procedures and treatments you offer at your clinic?
Dr Hanikeri: Well because I’m trained in Australia I basically offer all of the plastic surgery procedures available, cosmetic as well as reconstructive procedures. Probably about half of the work I do are cosmetic procedures and they include things like breast surgery, breast lift, breast augmentation, breast reduction, mummy makeovers including tummy tucks, liposuction, facelifts, rhinoplasty, ear surgery – so the full range of cosmetic procedures.
We’ve also got a medispa attached to our group – the Assure MediSpa & Cosmetic Centre, and through that we offer all the non-surgical cosmetic procedures including fillers, wrinkle relaxers, facial light treatments, peels, and those sorts of things.
PSH: Can you tell us what after surgery care you provide for patients and why after surgery care is so important?
Dr Hanikeri: Yes, I think after surgical care is in some ways just as important as the surgery and the lead up to surgery. I think when patients – particularly in cosmetic surgery – when patients have had procedures done, it’s important for them to know that the procedure doesn’t stop with the operation and in addition to the initial post-operative healing, my nurses and myself continue to monitor the wounds and the healing of the patients for the first few weeks. We then offer things like light treatments, LED treatments for scar management, topical silicone, lymphatic massage for people who had facial rejuvenation surgery, and then ongoing surveillance, and skin care products, sunscreens, all those things through the Assure Cosmetic Centre.
PSH: Oh great. So you just don’t come in and have your surgery, there’s a whole after care protocol that you guys follow as well which helps with the scarring, issues, etc.
Dr Hanikeri: In terms of my follow up I usually see patients frequently after their operation. Usually second day or one day, the day after the operation, within a week, 2 weeks, 6 weeks, 3 months, 6 months, 12 months. That’s the sort of protocol I offer, but also my nurses and the dermal therapists in the clinic see them when it’s required for their scar management.
PSH: Well, that’s great. That’s really really fantastic.
What’s the point of difference about you and your clinic that patients are drawn to?
Dr Hanikeri: I think in some regards they like the knowledge of going to a clinic where everyone in the clinic surgically are properly trained plastic and reconstructive surgeons. We all offer reconstructive or we do reconstructive surgery as well, and are trained in all those techniques, which I think gives patients a sense of security, of knowing that their surgery is with a properly trained surgeon. We offer between our group, the full range of procedures. Me, specifically I guess people like or are aware of the fact that I’ve been practice for some time now. I’ve been a plastic surgeon for 11 years and prior to that as you probably know there’s about 9 years of training to become a plastic surgeon from the time you leave medical school to the time you’ve finished. And so I think people appreciate that our clinic and particularly my practice is with a plastic and reconstructive surgeon. I think they like the fact that I’ve had training overseas as well as in Australia. And also, I think my staff are a big part of my practice. I’ve got excellent, very friendly, very knowledgeable staff and they are very good at answering patients’ queries and in encouraging and supporting patients along their surgical journey.
PSH: And putting them at ease before, that’s great, because I know you need that point of contact.
I know that you are really passionate about your voluntary work. Can you tell us what’s the joy in that? Why you do it?
Dr Hanikeri: That’s a good question. I think as plastic surgeons we are in some ways, a lot of our training is wasted in that we learn about a lot of procedures that we don’t get to do, and some of those procedures include surgery for cleft lift and palate. I’ve have training both in Australia and overseas in operating on cleft lift and palate, and unfortunately or fortunately depending on your perspective, there’s not really a lot of room for that in Australia. There’s not enough patients to warrant the number of people who trained for that surgery, so the skills are there but there’s not the opportunity to use them. A lot of the procedures that we do overseas – they’re very quick procedures that would take about 45 minutes and those procedures for cleft lip and palate particularly, can change patients’ lives. And some of the kids particularly in the Philippines where I predominantly go, they’re often not allowed to go to school so they don’t get good quality education. They’re often ostracized, they’ve come from very very poor backgrounds and they’re not able to have access or financial support for the surgery they need. And therefore, the fact that my charity goes there – well the charity where I am involved in which is Operation Rainbow goes there and offers these kids the opportunity to change their lives at no cost to them in a 45 minute procedure, is very rewarding for me to be able to use the skills that I don’t get to use in Australia and to make such a difference is very personally and professionally rewarding.
PSH: Yeah, I love that – to give back. It’s such as a lovely thing to do.
Dr Hanikeri: It’s mutually beneficial because we really enjoy doing it making that sort of difference to their lives.
PSH: Yeah, that’s fantastic. And just one last thing, do you think there’s anything that patients overlook when they’re planning for plastic surgery?
Dr Hanikeri: It varies but I think a lot of patients do a lot of research in what they want but not enough research in who is going to do it, and I think a lot of patients are driven, particularly in the world we live in with internet and electronic media, social media in particular, driven by marketing and by cost of surgery rather than looking at the credentials of the surgeon that they’re going to have to do their surgery. Sometimes patients are unaware of the difference between a cosmetic physician and a cosmetic surgeon, a plastic surgeon. Even my own wife didn’t know the difference between a cosmetic surgeon and a plastic surgeon until I explained it, so unfortunately there is that degree of marketing and promotion in the industry that confuses people.
PSH: Absolutely, I totally agree with you. Hopefully that’s changing as the consumer is becoming more aware and realising what’s right and what’s not right.
Well thank you so much for taking time to talk to us today. So if you’re interested in having a consult with Dr Hanikeri just click on the link below this video or you can just drop us an email at [email protected].
Dr Hanikeri: Thanks.
PSH: Thank you.