We’d like to introduce you to a great Australian Surgeon we have discovered who was one of the first Plastic Surgeons in Australia to embrace fat transfer to the breasts. He has raving reviews and a wealth of experience – a man definitely worth considering for any plastic surgery procedure. We asked Dr Kalus to give us an insight into how he became one of Sydney’s premier Plastic Surgeons and why he is so enthusiastic about the revolutionary new fat transfer procedures. Here’s what he had to say.
I was born and raised in Melbourne as the elder son of post war European migrants. I attended Melbourne High School and it was there that I was inspired by my biology teacher to study medicine. After 6 years at the medical school at the University of Melbourne I found myself as a young intern at the Royal Melbourne Hospital. Being a practical person and always enjoying finding a solution to a problem, I was attracted to surgery. With so many interesting fields of surgery available, I selected plastic surgery because I was interested in reconstruction and fascinated by the correlation between structure and function, especially in the hand. So, after several years of training in Melbourne, I travelled to the UK where the NHS offered vast experience to young surgeons from Australia.
While working in Edinburgh, I performed what was probably my most interesting plastic surgery procedure. My patient was a young woman of about 16 years of age who had a condition called phocomelia. As a result of her mother taking thalidomide early during her pregnancy, my patient was born without any arms. Because of this she had learnt to feed herself using her feet! She had remarkable dexterity using her toes and showed me how she could pick up her bedside clock with one foot and wind it with the other! She also used a knife and fork with her toes and feet! It was just remarkable how she had adapted to her terrible deformity. Her problem was that, after puberty, her breasts began to grow. They had now grown to such a size that they prevented her from lifting her feet to her mouth – so she was no longer able to feed herself. I performed a breast reduction operation making her breasts a normal size and enabling her to feed herself again. People often think of a breast reduction as being a “cosmetic” procedure but plastic surgeons know that large breasts can have a great impact on a patient’s comfort and quality of life. But this case tops them all!
It is of course a great privilege being a plastic surgeon. I feel that I have a number of marvellous tools available (my operations) to improve patients’ lives. It is just so rewarding to be thanked each and every day by my patients as they tell me about the difference that surgery has made to their everyday life. It is wonderful to be able to restore a person’s self- esteem by the relatively quick process of surgery.
It has also been fascinating to see the development of plastic surgery over the years. Because of my desire always to improve, I have been fortunate to be at the forefront of a number of developments in the specialty. E.g. I was the first plastic surgery to introduce Day Surgery for major procedures such as facelifting, rhinoplasty, breast reduction and tummy tucks. I have also been one of the first surgeons in Australia to incorporate fat grafting into my procedures for breast augmentation. The ability to grow bigger breasts using your own fat seems like something from the future yet we are able to do it today. Working to improve the results of this type of surgery is my current main challenge.
I am often asked what advice I would give to a person who is considering plastic surgery. The best advice I can give is to obtain a referral from a trusted GP or a friend who is able to recommend a surgeon. It is probably a good idea to see 2 or even 3 surgeons. You will know when you meet a surgeon who understands you and who offers you a good solution to your concerns. Your consultation is important because it is here that your surgery is planned. Of course it should be with the surgeon not a nurse or “cosmetic consultant”!
If you are under 18 then the best advice I can give is to discuss your ideas with your parents. If you start the conversation by explaining how unhappy you have become because of the concerns you have, it would be unusual for a parent not to be supportive – and you will certainly need their support during the recovery period.
For many surgeons, their surgical practice has dominated their lives. I have been fortunate however to have a wife and 3 daughters who continue to provide me with the rewards and challenges of family life. I enjoy playing contemporary jazz piano and this is how I relax in the evenings. For additional excitement and stimulation I have a pilot’s licence with instrument rating and have flown many hundreds of hours around Australia as Pilot in Command. Boating, fishing, playing tennis, walking and travelling are also always on my agenda.