One of our favourite things is to find out a little more about our featured surgeons apart from their qualifications and experience relating to plastic surgery. Of course, both of these things are of utmost importance, but we are always thorough here at the Hub and once we do our research and identify we have a truly wonderful and skilled Australian physician on our hands, we often like to delve a little deeper into what makes them tick behind the scenes. Dr Mark McGovern, FRACS, Plastic and Cosmetic Surgeon, has proven to be one of our more interesting subjects!
Growing up in Cairns, North Queensland Dr McGovern spent most of his holidays on the Great Barrier Reef. Having ended up in such a focussed and highly committed job as a surgeon, we wonder if his early years surrounded by nature and beauty had any impact on his means of getting away from it all. “I am the proud custodian of Daintree Secrets – 300 million year old Grade III Heritage listed rainforest complete with waterfalls and crystal clear mountain stream and swimming hole. I share this beautiful part of our world with others by providing a lovely holiday home overlooking it all. Check it out at www.daintreesecrets.com.au!” We at the Hub will definitely be checking this out! Hmmm, could be the next staff bonding getaway?!?!?!…
So what other interests does he have that doesn’t include his patients?! “Wine, Scuba diving and snorkelling, snowboarding, weight training and fitness, politics!” A pretty diverse set of interests!
So, how did a Cairns boy who loves scuba diving and snorkelling end up as a Plastic Surgeon? “I was dux of Anglican Church Grammar School in Brisbane, before gaining my Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery from the University of Qld. I passed both the Part 1 and Part II Examinations of the Royal Australian College of Surgeons at the earliest opportunity allowed by the College – a rare feat! I then spent 16 months working and studying in the UK and the USA before establishing my plastic surgical practice on the Sunshine Coast in 1994. I was then the only resident plastic surgeon on the Sunshine Coast, and also the inaugural Director of Plastic Surgery at Nambour General Hospital. I now have a staff of 12, many who have been with me for over a decade, helping me to provide a holistic and preventative approach to cosmetic plastic and reconstructive surgery.
But what inspired him to be a surgeon? “Surgery is the only brand of medicine where everyone gets better! Plastic and reconstructive surgery is the only branch of surgery which is not mindlessly repetitive, and instead involves problem-solving skills and artistry.”
We also love hearing stories about interesting and unusual plastic surgery procedures. Does Dr McGovern have any? “There are so many! Perhaps rebuilding the dominant right thumb of a professional sculptor after he blew it off angle grinding his kiln, using an osteo-cutaneous (bone and skin) flap taken from his forearm and having him tell me months later that it was much better and stronger than the original…” Hmmm, yes, that certainly is an interesting, if not slightly cringe-worthy story. However, the fact that the rebuilding was better and stronger than the original surely confirms how amazing plastic surgery can be.
Dr McGovern has a world-class cosmetic plastic and reconstructive practice. He and his team perform many different cosmetic surgery procedures. We wondered if Dr McGovern had a favourite. “Breast augmentation is probably my favourite operation. Breasts are the primary symbol of femininity, and having ladies feel confident and happy about theirs is enormously empowering for them.”
One of the things we appreciate about Dr McGovern is his truthful approach to his craft. He does not give you any false expectations about achieving impossible results (even though we have spoken to dozens of extremely happy patients of the VIE Institute – remember Debra!!), and we love what advice he gives to anyone looking to undergo major cosmetic surgery. “Ensure your surgeon really is a plastic and reconstructive surgeon, and not a general practitioner. Have expectations of reliably achieving substantial improvement, rather than an infinitely perfect result. Perfection is not a human trait. We believe that perioperative vitamin supplementation and long term medical grade skin care programmes are vital to a great result.”
We also wanted to ask Dr McGovern about the all important support provided for patients after surgery. This is such an integral part of the process, and is all too often not considered by patients when researching their surgeons or clinics. Dr McGovern says, “All patients receive detailed postoperative instruction sheets, and are invited to call me with any concerns. My nurses phone all postoperative patients the day following surgery to check that all is well. Postoperative review by me occurs at 5-6 days post-surgery, and thereafter as needed. My registered nurses and dermal therapists are available for consultation, support and advice by phone or in person as often as required at no cost.”
It is this friendly and approachable attitude that has seen Dr Mark McGovern and his team at the VIE Institute become one of the most respected clinics on the Sunshine Coast. If you would like more information on what procedures and treatments they offer, and want to find out more about Dr McGovern and his qualifications and experience, click here, or phone them directly on 07 5479 2922 for more information.