Meet Dr Bryan Mendelson
I clearly remember the moment that led to my becoming a plastic surgeon. I was about twelve years old, flying along on my bike and feeling very happy with the world, when I hit a bump on the road. I flew over the handle-bars and landed face-down on the road, skidding along until my forehead, nose and lips were tattooed with bluestone.
When I heard that I needed plastic surgery, I was pretty excited. I thought it meant I was getting plastic skin. What twelve year old boy wouldn’t want a bionic face? I proudly told everyone, until eventually someone told me that the world plastic comes from ‘to mould’, hence plastic surgery. I wasn’t getting plastic skin at all. My interest cooled. But it was an intriguing and early introduction into the importance of the face. Would anyone have bothered if I’d tattooed my leg? I don’t think so.
I learned what being a good doctor means from watching my father. A general practitioner in a poor suburb of Melbourne, he listened kindly to every one of his patients during long working days. Everyone was an equal, and a homeless or addicted person would get the very best dad could give, just the same as the local factory owner. What I noticed was that people always felt better after seeing him. It was his kindness and humour and the way he made everyone feel safe and cared for. He knew that a respectful and caring bedside manner could work wonders and in his day, sometimes that was all the treatment there was. He was greatly loved.
So I think I was always going to be a doctor! I took advice from a surgeon friend of dad’s: ‘Train with the best. Always look for excellence.’ Another doctor urged me to study at the Mayo Clinic in America, as he had done and, with his considerable help, that’s what I did. It was seen as a bold step at the time, as Australian doctors traditionally looked to Britain, but the culture of the Mayo Clinic and its dedication to patient care and medical excellence was the best training I could ever have received.
In my practice every day, I bring together dad’s wonderful interest in people with the care and commitment to surgical excellence of the Mayo Clinic. As I specialise in aesthetic facial surgery, both of these aspects are, in fact, a natural requirement for what I do. That’s because aesthetic facial surgery involves the patient’s psychology and emotion; it’s about how we feel inside as much as how we look outside. As the human face is key to our sense of identity, talking to patients and getting to know each other is critical. This makes it quite different to other surgical specialties and it’s part of what makes plastic surgery so interesting to me.
I spend a lot of time with every patient, listening to their story, really getting to know them. Why have they chosen to have surgery? What really are they hoping to achieve? What can I do for them? Several of these stories are in described in my recently published book ‘In Your Face: The hidden history of plastic surgery and why looks matter’. After the surgery, every patient receives an extensive after-care programme designed to look after their emotional and physical wellbeing through to their return to daily life. By the end of that time, we know each other very well. When people write of their appreciation, and how the surgery gave them confidence and insight, then I feel enormous satisfaction.
Over the years I have become known for my research into facial anatomy and facial ageing. In 2015 my research was included in the classic anatomy textbook Gray’s Anatomy (first published in 1858). I began researching the face because I wanted to achieve better results for my patients – better than I had been trained to expect, even though that was the best at the time. But we were applying a ‘one size fits all’ approach of simply pulling the skin and I knew we could improve upon that.
I have spent thousands of hours in research and anatomy laboratories around the world, and prepared hundreds of scientific publications and presentations. My work has become well known because it led to better techniques, based on what actually happens inside the face as we age. In the past we didn’t know that. For the patient, this means an individualised surgical approach with natural results that last decades into the future and slow the rate of future ageing. It is ‘undetectable’ surgery, which in my experience, is what people want. This is the reason I am invited to perform live surgery around the world, to demonstrate the technique.
What do I do in my spare time? There’s not much! Ideally, I’d spend even more time researching the human face – like any exploration it’s the thrill of investigating, of asking different questions and looking with new eyes. And the ultimate thrill is seeing something for the first time. The human face may have been around a long time, but there is so much more to learn about it. I feel we’re only at the very beginning.
We are extremely lucky here in Australia to have some of the world’s best plastic surgeons at our doorstep. One of these, Dr Bryan Mendelson, Specialist Plastic Surgeon based in Toorak, VIC is regularly invited to attend local and international conferences to share his knowledge, techniques and wisdom with other plastic surgeons and at the end of last year he attended the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons’ (ISAPS) 24th Biennial Congress held in Miami in the US.
Australia’s premier facelift surgeon, author of “In Your Face” and surgeon to the surgeons, Dr Mendelson is the only Australian Plastic Surgeon ever requested to host a Facelift Masterclass at the ISAPS congress, and he also hosted a Cadaver Dissection Facelift Demonstration. Known as the greatest aesthetic education gathering on earth, the ISAPS yearly congress is attended by a who’s who of the international plastic surgeon world and Dr Mendelson was privileged to be among those to present and teach the attendees including many famous celebrity surgeons.
Dr Mendelson’s cutting edge techniques and understanding of the human anatomy are unrivalled and his face and neck lift results are amazing. I’ve caught up with Dr Mendelson a few times over the years and he told me that the best results are the most natural ones. He says, “The difference between a high-quality facelift and an ordinary facelift – there are several components. One is, and the most important overall thing is that it doesn’t look as though the person’s had a facelift. They just look fresh… well for their age. That’s not so easy to obtain because there is a tendency to overdo pulling, for example. The public think they can always pick a facelift. The reality is nearly all the patients that I do a facelift on will say, “You know what? No one has picked that I’ve had the facelift.” I’ll say, “Well, do they give you a compliment?” “Oh, they will say I’m looking well.” That’s really the best compliment you can have.”
The author of over 50 scientific papers and over 100 presentations delivered to industry professionals in cities all over the world, Dr Mendelson’s original research into facial ageing was recognised by the premier anatomy book, Gray’s Anatomy. Dr Mendelson says understanding facial anatomy is essential for any surgeon to get a quality facelift result. “Facial ageing occurs because of the loosening of muscles and tissues beneath the skin in the deeper layers.Tightening the skin will only be a temporary solution and is often noticeable and appears “forced”. The change has to be performed at a deeper level.”
I’ve always said that when the time comes I’ll have a facelift. My only concern has ever been that I don’t want to look different, just a little younger, as though I’ve turned the clock back a few years… got rid of a few wrinkles, and those jowls, and the neck sags. I also want a discreet surgeon; one who I can see who does such a fabulous job that when my friends and family see me they don’t automatically know I’ve had a face or neck lift.
If you’d like to know more about Dr Mendelson check out his listing, or his website here. If you’d like to arrange a consultation we can help with that… just click here. To read more about Dr Mendelson check out the blogs below:
Dr Bryan Mendelson’s BOOK – “In Your Face” about plastic surgery and why looks matter
Dr Bryan Mendelson, Plastic Surgeon, is considered one of the world’s foremost experts on the face and facelift procedures. He has an expert understanding of facial anatomy and this gives him an in depth knowledge on the more successful facelift techniques. In 2013 he wrote a book on plastic surgery and why looks matter called “In Your Face”. I’ve been meaning to read the book for a while now, but it was only recently that I found the time to pick it up. And once I did, I could barely put it down. This is my book review of In Your Face by Dr Bryan Mendelson.
A book even for those not interested in having plastic surgery
I was a little worried the book would be too scientific, but from the very beginning I soon realised that Dr Mendelson has a way of explaining things so that even I, with my (very) limited medical knowledge, felt like I understood. He has written the book in such a way that I see now why it has been popular across all demographics – from plastic surgeons to patients, from nurses to family support members for those wanting plastic surgery. Even those with little or no interest in getting plastic surgery can find the sections on how the face mirrors our inner emotions, and the ancient history of reconstructive surgery including the part that World War 1 and it’s soldier’s played in the development of facial surgery, truly interesting.
Author and Plastic Surgeon, Dr Bryan Mendelson
Whether we acknowledge or agree with it or not, our face and it’s appearance can affect our entire identity, lifestyle and success in life. It not only changes the way others see us, but the way we feel and think about ourselves. Mendelson talks about how those considered more beautiful are also considered smarter, more trustworthy; are often given the best jobs before anyone else. Being considered more attractive, or seeing yourself as more or less attractive than someone else can have deep rooted psychological effects. And, even more interesting, is that different cultures see what’s “beautiful” as a different thing, depending on where you’re from or what society you live in.
Mendelson covers all aspects of the face, from the anatomy and the different layers of the face, and how it’s all put together, explaining how and why different facelift approaches work better than others. He dissects the face talking about the different parts of it, from the nose to the eyes, to the deeper layers and all that’s in between including the muscles and everything else. I was left with little wonder as to why he’s considered one of the best facelift surgeons in the world – anyone with that sort of knowledge about the tiny nuances and particulars of how a face put together has got to have a superior understanding of how to manipulate and alter its appearance through the facelift and other cosmetic or reconstructive procedures. Mendelson, like other plastic surgeons, has suggested that an aesthetic plastic surgeon can be seen as both a surgeon and an artist – visioning the desired outcome of a facial procedure and how to implement the techniques to make that vision a reality can definitely be seen as an art form.
Perhaps my favourite part of the book was being able to take a trip through time to hear about the very first types of plastic surgery before it was even a thing. Rhinoplasty has been around in its earliest forms for centuries, indeed apparently even in ancient India as early as 600BC! (I remember this during my studies on Ayurveda – they say the Indians pioneered rhinoplasty).
The other highlights in this book for me were the patient stories and experiences. The real life stories and truths – I just love these. The journeys that different people have and how it reflects and affects their face. Mendelson has weaved these through the book at just the right time to highlight his current topic for discussion.
For any of you looking for your next good read, I suggest you check out In Your Face. It’s something completely different. I found it insightful into human nature and it gave me a whole new appreciation of the human face and our motivations behind why we care about it so much.
Dissecting the Facelift – BOOK
Dr Bryan Mendelson is widely regarded as one of Australia’s pre-eminent facial plastic surgeons and was recently the only aesthetic Plastic Surgeon from Australia chosen to contribute to the hugely anticipated surgical book, Dissecting the Facelift.
UK publisher BB Publications have released this first of its kind book bringing together the different facelift techniques and approaches gathered from the most respected and highly skilled surgeons around the world. Featuring 260 pages of images, essays and drawings, Dr Mendelson’s contribution focusses on his methodology and approach to the Limited Dissection Composite Facelift, for which he is renowned.
Dr Mendelson’s unique narrative has the ability to take the reader on a journey, and in Dissecting the Facelift, he takes us into the operating theatre and highlights the importance of precise anaesthesia to minimise bleeding and post-operative bruising. Dr Mendelson’s expert understanding of facial anatomy, especially facial spaces and the deeper layers of the face, gives him a highly sought after knowledge of successful facelift techniques.
Previous Publications and Presentations
Not being new to publishing his findings and work, Dr Mendelson has written over 50 scientific papers and delivered over 100 presentations to industry professionals in cities all over the world. His original research into facial ageing was recognised by the premier anatomy book, Gray’s Anatomy. He also authored a book, In Your Face, about why looks are important and which is on bookshelves of surgeons all around Australia and indeed the world.
First to Introduce the Latest Non-Surgical Treatments
Released this month, Dissecting the Facelift is already a book considered essential to any plastic surgeon who wants to be at the forefront of the industry. You can find Dr Mendelson based at The Centre for Facial Plastic Surgery in Melbourne where he is often the first to introduce the latest non-surgical skin therapies and products from around the world to complement or as stand-alone treatments.