Dr. Adrian Frunză, primary doctor of Plastic, Aesthetic and Reconstructive Microsurgery
Clinical Department of Plastic Surgery, Reconstructive Microsurgery – Severe Burns Unit
Dr. Adrian Frunză by the nature of the department you work in, the cases you solve are certainly more about plastic surgery than cosmetic surgery. However, what kind of interventions bring you the greatest professional satisfaction? The ones where you manage to save, or the ones where you manage to recover?
Plastic surgery, as a whole, is a fascinating field. Reparative surgeries often aim to transform the human body for the better by recovering from defects. In such procedures there are benefits in both the functional and aesthetic spheres.
It is true that the psychological impact for the patient is greater in the case of interventions with an exclusively aesthetic purpose and the joy you share with the patient is always appropriate.
Personally, as a doctor who has been working in an emergency department for over 15 years, I have had equally great satisfaction in both fields. I felt fulfilled whenever I managed to bring an extra quality, of joy in my patient’s life, no matter what type of intervention I did.
You stated that beauty is an ideal and that people in general are a combination of different qualities and flaws. Have you managed to get the perfect woman so far following multiple cosmetic procedures?
The notion of perfection is relative, by reference to factors related to the personality of the individual and socio-cultural environment. As a surgeon, I think it is most important to approach the ideal of beauty as it is perceived by the person in front of you, the one who is looking for you for these procedures.
From my point of view, the idea of perfection itself is a great imperfection. Man is not made to be perfect all the more as he does not learn all his life to be content. I think the most important thing is to do things in life in such a way that we feel great when we look at ourselves and not to be perfect. I’m not looking for perfection in a woman, so I don’t think I can say I created her.
Dr. Adrian Frunză you support patient-centered medical thinking as a whole, not as a specialty of a momentary problem. The holistic approach to the patient and the conditions in the medical system is also a line of your communication. Do you think we are on the right track? Are micro-specializations and one-off solutions, at the moment, more often practiced?
Medicine focused on a holistic approach to the patient is a necessity and I think it is the right direction for each of us. It is also natural and gratifying that there are specialists focused on certain procedures, this leads to performance. It’s all about being able to create a team of such specialists to work together to provide the best possible medical experience. We are on the right track, no doubt, but still under the rule of the transition from an individualistic to a team-based medicine.
Exaggerations in aesthetics are a favorite topic for both consumers of aesthetic medicine information and those directly involved in the industry. Talk about physical normalcy, but also about the fact that every doctor is obliged to suggest to the patient what he could correct, even if the patient does not see those defects. Where is the line between the doctor’s vision and the patient’s wishes?
It is normal for each specialist to make an assessment of the patient, to identify potential areas that need improvement and to propose a specific procedure adapted to the physical characteristics of the person requesting help. Any transformation that exceeds the limits allowed by the quality and resources of the tissues is to be avoided, as it will not lead to satisfaction, but only to the appearance of frustrations. Therefore, often the role of the doctor is to temper the patient’s wishes, to explain what can be done and what not.
It is known that aesthetic medicine has grown in recent years. Do you consider that psychological evaluation of cosmetic medicine patients should be introduced as mandatory?
Psychological assessment should become standard in preoperative consultations and I am glad that it is gradually being introduced into the protocols applied by my colleagues. A physical transformation must also be supported by the change of vision on daily behavior, so a harmonization between body and thought.
You also stated that you do not do medicine for financial motivation, but for the special professional satisfactions it can bring you. Is this attitude also induced by the new generation of plastic surgeons?
In order to dedicate yourself to a medical career, you need to have a human construction based on empathy, on the desire to help people. Such a profession, if made seriously, with involvement, out of passion, brings in time fulfillment in all plans, including financial. You just have to be patient. This quality is missing from the new generation – patience. Even if the socio-economic pressure is great nowadays, the sense of proportion and respect for the patient must remain the letter of the law in this profession.
The saddest thing is that over time I had valuable colleagues, whom the financial factor led them to look for professional directions abroad, although they could have done many good things at home if they were encouraged.
Part of aesthetic medicine is also anti-aging medicine. Does the promotion of anti-aging in our country differ from Europe? Do you think that there is a need for education in this regard, that our elders are less adept at aesthetic anti-aging procedures than those in European countries?
Returning to the economic context of Romania, anti-aging medicine is addressed to a small segment of the population, being considered a luxury service. This situation will change in the context of an increase in living standards, which will lead to a better education and perhaps a better management of resources towards personal care.
Dr. Adrian Frunză what is the most memorable experience you had in the operating room?
I had a patient with a very large tumor located on the cheek, which requires special attention to be surgically removed (an intervention refused by many surgeons, from the point of view of many with no chance of success). In a team with a colleague, a good friend, a maxillofacial surgeon, we removed the tumor that occupied practically half of the face, then we reconstructed the defect by free transfer of vascularized tissue. Basically, it was a multi-purpose operation: we removed the cancer, covered the defect and created a good cosmetic result, which allowed the patient to resume social and professional activities. It was an operation with many hours in the room. There is no greater satisfaction than to follow him now on social networks, after so many years, in the position of involved, happy grandfather, to hear him on the phone with a message of thanks …
Or I was impressed by the case of a young patient with a large skin defect on the face caused by a horse bite. He arrived at the guard room disfigured. Everything went well, he has recovered and now he loves and is loved …
It is an energy that makes you vibrate. Such situations honor you and force you to succeed further.
What would you change in aesthetic medicine in Romania?
At this moment there is a huge commercial pressure given by social media, to promote a certain type of image that does not suit everyone. First of all, I would forbid the display, in any form, of the processed photographs of public figures without making these specifications. Ideal images create frustration. You will always want to do more and more to fit those patterns. I urge my patients to be moderate in accessing cosmetic procedures and I advise them to individualize the treatments according to their characteristics.
Thoughts for the readers of our magazine?
Beauty does not mean fitting into patterns. You are beautiful when you are harmonious and when the satisfaction and self-confidence is read on your face. This cosmetic surgery must do, give people more confidence. This is not an area to be approached superficially. We must always choose the aesthetic doctor who offers security through qualification, through the way he presents the information, but especially as he guides us on the path of transformation.