Dr Nicholas Moncrieff from Hunter Plastic Surgery is a well-known and highly respected plastic surgery with an extremely loyal following of patients. He even has a hashtag #MoncrieffMagic! There is a reason why Dr Moncrieff is such a popular option for patients – it’s all about the amazing results and his down-to-earth, friendly and caring nature. We should of course mention his awesome wife Amber and Dr Moncrieff’s staff at Hunter Plastic Surgery who are all contributors to Hunter Plastic Surgery’s success. We asked Dr Moncrieff some more personal questions to get to know him a little better.
What are your hobbies outside of being one of Australia’s favourite plastic surgeons?
I’m a patient (pardon the pun) man – so I love fishing. It is a combination of skill, patience and luck! While it is my is my absolute passion (outside surgery and my family of course), I unfortunately don’t get out as often as I would like to because it takes a lot of time and I’m very busy operating or seeing patients.
I also really enjoy skiing, even though I am not that good! Travelling to new places with family and friends is another favourite thing to do of mine. This year has included a trip to Japan with not one, but two dress up opportunities… clearly instigated by my wife, Amber, although I have to say being a Minion on a go-cart in the busiest traffic in Toyko was fun! Thankfully for the patients booked in the following week I returned with my hands intact.
What is something unique about you?
I am only one of a handful of Plastic Surgeons in Australia with a sole breast and body focus. I enjoying being able to focus just on breast augmentations, reductions, lifts and tummy tucks because they deliver the biggest ‘bang for the buck’ in terms of how they change the lives of women I operate on.
So I don’t do rhinoplasty, facelifts, eyelids, skin cancers etc.
I believe focus on a few things leads to greater mastery of them.
Where did you grow up?
Where did you study?
At the University of New South Wales.
What is unique about your practice?
At Hunter Plastic Surgery we have very much a family practice as Amber works in the practice as the director and she really leads our clinic with the belief that women have the right to do whatever they want with their bodies if it makes them feel good and it is safe. A feminist running a plastic surgery clinic I guess!
We also have very long standing female team members including Jessica, our practice manager who started with us nearly 9 years ago as an 18 year old receptionist after surgery with me and now is a strong and confident woman leading in her own right.
I think having a small team of women helps us deliver a service that is empathetic to the journey so many of our patients are on – from mass weight loss, to the desire for more body confidence to restoring their bodies after babies.
When did you first start practicing as a plastic surgeon?
At the end of 2008, after I had finished aesthetic surgery fellowship in Sydney. It was a 17 year journey from medical school, general surgical training and specialist plastic surgical training and then a fellowship. That’s a long time before “starting your first job”!
We will celebrate 10 years of Hunter Plastic Surgery in March next year – a week before we celebrate 10 years of marriage!
Please tell us your most interesting experience with a plastic surgery procedure or patient.
Every patient’s story is unique, as is their clinical problem and ultimately their final surgical solution (if surgery is indeed the right answer – it isn’t always!). The variety of the specialty, even with a focus like breast and body surgery, is what makes it so interesting to me.
The highlight for me is when someone comes through the surgical process and they are in love with their new body. And of course, when they choose to bake a thank you cake, or even apply for a role with my team after their surgery because they love our little HPS family, is fantastic too!
What has been your biggest career milestone to date?
Early last year, I transitioned from being a general plastic surgeon, to only offering breast and body surgery. It was a big change and many of my colleagues believed it wasn’t possible to support such a focused practice in a regional city like Newcastle. But it not only worked, but I’ve never been busier.
Patients now travel from all over Australia to experience #MoncrieffMagic for themselves!
You perform many different cosmetic surgery procedures, which is your favourite and why?
Can I say I love them all? It is true as I only do the surgery I enjoy most – breast and body procedures!
But if you force me to say just one, I’d say breast augmentations. I love being able to ‘shape’ women’s breast using newer techniques and shaped implants which makes the transformation for some women all that more dramatic and satisfying.
There is a real element of sculpting in breast augmentation – well, when it is done carefully and by someone who cares about the aesthetic as much as many of my plastic surgery colleagues and I do. It is a long way from the “just make them bigger” approach we sadly still see in patients coming to us for revision.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Making patients feel great about themselves by giving them the body and confidence they deserve, especially after pregnancy and weight loss. I love ‘follow up day’ in our clinic when we get to see some of the amazing surgical transformations that have taken place as well as reflect on the patient’s journey. Amber says it is like reveal day on the Block – all the hard work comes together for a “wow” moment when the after phots are taken!
How do you wind down/relax after a big day?
Sitting down with my family and hearing their stories from their day at work /school, sometimes with a glass of red wine in hand! My oldest son loves watching fishing and cooking shows so while Amber focusses on our social media in ‘peak time’ around 7pm, he and I will go downstairs for some ‘boy time’.
What advice would you give someone looking to undergo major cosmetic surgery?
Please do your research given that there are so many practitioners out there in the market place all with differing levels of skill and expertise. So the Plastic Surgery Hub Forum is a great place to start. Make sure you choose someone that has the appropriate surgical training and specialises in a particular area.
All surgery comes with risk, but when you chose a specialist plastic surgeon, you are helping to minimise some of the serious issues we have seen in the media in recent times.
Being able to view proper clinical before and afters is a must before you invest your time and money into a consultation. Stock images are rubbish and sadly widely used. And I love that patient selfies show a happy patient, but they can hide a lot of issues! A bra can hide a million problems with nipple placement, shape, double bubbles, cleavage etc. So proper unedited before and afters using the same lighting, background and patient angles are a must.
Do you provide support for patients after surgery?
Yes, as I live and work in Newcastle, I’m able to see patients usually every day post operatively in hospital. I even take my boys on the weekends and while I normally get them to wait outside, some patients want to meet them so they pop in. Next generation of Dr Moncrieffs perhaps?
I also see patients in our clinic several times once they are discharged from hospital to monitor their progress.
We see all patients at 4-6 months post-surgery once all the swelling has subsided to take some great photos!