I had the opportunity to chat with Dr Rebecca Whyten, Specialist Plastic Surgeon from Cosmetic Surgery for Women in Hawthorn VIC at the recent 40th ASAPS conference. She’s sought after for breast surgery, abdominoplasty and all things mummy makeover. Check out my video interview with her by clicking on the image.
PSH: Is there a variation of people you treat in regards to gender, or is it primarily women?
Dr Rebecca Whyten: The majority of the people that see me are women that have had children, and they get to that sort of stage where they’ve worked really hard to get back to their sort of post-baby bodies, and they just can’t shift any more fat, or they’ve got all this extra loose skin, and so they come to me really quite self-conscious about how they feel. They’ll get comments at the gym, you know, “Don’t do that because you’re pregnant,” when they’re not, or they’ll be exercising …
I had a lovely lady that was a crossfit trainer and she just said when she lies forward all her skin falls forward. A lot of these women have done everything they can to make themselves as fit as possible, but there’s just that little bit extra that they’re having trouble with. The majority of the work I do is breast and tummy work, and a do a small amount of labia work, as well. That’s for a specific area where there’s mostly a functional issue with their labia.
With the breast, it varies from a simple breast augmentation to a breast lift, to a breast lift and a breast augmentation, or using the combination of lift, augmentation, or fat to give the best possible result, so, yes. When it comes to tummies, with abdominoplasties it’s really important that women know that it’s not really an aesthetic operation, it’s a functional operation. With abdominal surgery what we basically do is it’s not just removing that skin and fat but it’s repairing those internal muscles which have stretched over time, whether it’s been from weight gain, or from children, that haven’t come back together, and giving you an internal strength and support, like an internal corset.
That actually helps with posture. It helps with back issues. It helps with stress incontinence, and women find that it not only makes them feel better because they can fit the clothes they used to fit, but also they can actually look after the children, or do the activities that they used to be able to do before they had children, yeah.
Is there an advantage of having a female plastic surgeon? What are your thoughts on this?
Well, I think we do approach things a little bit differently. It’s a very warm environment, and specific women request women surgery for religious reasons, as well. What I try to do is accommodate that not only in the rooms, but in theatre, so I have all female staff, specifically for those cases, so a female anaesthetist, female assistant, female nurse, female technician, to basically make that environment as comfortable as possible, so for one for religious reasons. For two, it is a different approach. I find it’s a sort of a warm environment where no question is a silly question.
I do as many consultations as required before that patient goes to surgery, to make sure that they’re really ready for the procedure, and they’re happy to proceed, which is different from some consultations where it’s sort of a one consultation, and then you book for surgery. It’s really how I’d like to be treated, and so in the end I base my consultations, and my procedures, and my postoperative care on the experience I would like.