Dr Brad Calobrace recently presented at the 19th Advanced Aesthetic Plastic Surgery Workshop held in Melbourne on “Breast Surgery” topics. Based in Louisville, Dr Calobrace is a surprisingly modest man, especially considering he is considered one of the authorities amongst his peers in cosmetic and non-surgical cosmetic procedures in the US, as well as being voted by patients as their choice when it comes to doctors they trust. Dr Calobrace has created an impressive all-inclusive plastic surgery day spa centre, a trend that seems to be growing in popularity around the world.
We managed to have a chat with this highly experienced plastic surgeon to get an insight into what makes him tick.
How do you think Australia stands with regards to innovations in breast augmentation compared with the US? Are there any major differences in the industry here compared with the US?
Australia and the US are very much in line when it comes to innovations in breast augmentation. I found my audience of Australian plastic surgeons to have similar experiences and that we approach breast surgery in a very similar manner. Australia surely has had many more options in breast implants available for many years, thus I must say have more experience with shaped, more cohesive implants. The implants are nearly the same today with the exception of a few more options for shaped implants and the availability of polyurethane covered implants, although this implant is not used in commonplace even in Australia. All three major implant companies (Mentor, Allergan, and Silimed Sientra in US) are common to Australia and US.
You are considered an authority on breast reconstruction in the US. What is it that sets you apart from your peers and what unique approaches or specialist techniques do you have that you think are important in giving you that edge?
I am not sure there is exactly an “edge”, but I do think nothing replaces significant experience (nearly 20 years for myself) and the desire and ability to be an author and educator of breast surgery. I do believe that in stepping in front of your peers half way around the world and delivering 18 lectures on breast surgery, requires a significant dedication and work to achieve excellence, and then be able to articulate in a meaningful way. It requires publishing on breast surgery, evaluating peer publications and presentations and combining this with personal experience to deliver a world class presentation that is meaningful and educational. I also truly believe that when I am at meetings lecturing, I am also learning. Few get the opportunities I do to hear from the worlds experts first hand year after year. It is an awesome privilege that I do not take lightly. In my personal practice, I believe my patients respect my leadership role in breast surgery and trust me to give them the absolute best breast care each and every time. I often do preceptorships in my office and surgeons from around the country come to watch surgery and learn more about breast surgery. I am always amazed at how accommodating my patients are to be part of that teaching experience. Thus, I guess the “edge” is never living on laurels… always pushing ahead to provide each and every patient a world class experience.
Your centres in the US provide an all-inclusive plastic surgery/cosmetic procedure experience. There is obviously a trend in today’s society for not just one-off surgery but regular maintenance, especially with non-surgical procedures. Do you think these “non-surgical” procedures are assisting to make cosmetic plastic surgery more socially acceptable?
There was a time when Plastic Surgery meant facelifts, tummy tucks and boob jobs… often considered to be only for the well-to-do or “vain” client. Today, PS has definitely come out of the closet because it encompasses so much more. Non-surgical options are a great entrance point for clients… becoming more comfortable with self-improvement which often requires no surgery. It allows the patient to create a relationship with a plastic surgeon and their designated providers that opens the door to surgical procedures down the line. It has significantly reduced the notion that PS is only for the rich or vain… it can be for anyone. There is a feeling these days in many social circles that everyone has had something cosmetic done… maybe just a facial or teeth whitening or a little Anti-Wrinkle Injections… This is quite a change from when I started practice nearly 20 years ago.
Can you tell us something unique about yourself that people wouldn’t know?
I think maybe what I most want people to know about me is that I came from very middle-class, humble beginnings growing up in Northern Indiana. I had no family members that were physicians, and actually me and my sister are the only two of my entire family that ever graduated from college. So my success is sometimes surprising even to me… and I think it comes mostly just from a strong work ethic and desire to see just exactly what I was capable of achieving. But, because of those roots, I am committed to giving back to my family, friends and community. My life-guiding motto is.. “To those whom much is given, much is expected”. Success can be defined in many ways… I have achieved more than I ever expected, now it is really what I do with that success that will define me… and that I never forget.