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The new wave of plastic surgeons or when the world is theirs

The new wave of plastic surgeons or when the world is theirs

The new wave of plastic surgeons or when the world is theirs

■■ When did you discover your passion for medicine?

Dr. Andreea Popescu: In the last year of the first faculty (International Relations – Finance-Banking), when I realized that although I am about to practice, I understood that, spiritually speaking, this job will not bring me any such satisfaction. Instinct told me that I could pursue my father’s career as a doctor. And I could bring a lot of joy and… why not…. beauty to people. Both inside and outside.

Dr. Ioana Ghiurco: I believe that the passion for medicine has always existed. As a child, I used to imagine that the dolls I played with were patients; I examined them and administered various invented treatments. I always felt the need to get involved when I saw a man suffering or injured. Of course, as I grew up I flirted with various fields, but the desire to become a doctor was always there. In the middle of high school I decided that, indeed, there was no other profession more suitable for me.

■■ Who is the person who inspired your passion for plastic surgery the most?

Dr. Andreea Popescu: I don’t know if I can say that a certain person instilled in me a passion for this specialty. But I can say with certainty that since childhood I had a developed sense of aesthetics. I have been painting on canvas and glass since I was 6 years old. As plastic surgery is considered an art, and we, plastic surgeons – sculptors and modelers of living tissue – believe that I have not deviated too much from the passion I have since I know myself. All the more so since a plastic surgeon not only brings changes on a patient’s physique, but also contributes to raising the morale and last but not least of his psyche.

Dr. Ioana Ghiurco: A distinguished doctor, an exceptional Plastic Surgeon in Romania, and not only, whom I have admired since high school. I had the chance and the honor to collaborate with her during my residency, during which time I learned a lot about certain surgical techniques, about how to approach patients and, last but not least, about what it means to be a true professional. For me she was and still is a role model, a strong example of femininity, dedication, determination and passion.

■■ Do you consider that in Romania, plastic surgery is properly represented worldwide? What interventions do you think should be more intensively promoted in Romania?

Dr. Andreea Popescu: In Romania we often run into stereotypes, according to which plastic surgery is intended for rich people. But plastic surgery is a field with rapid progress, which involves, in addition to the aesthetic branch, representative worldwide at the moment, and reconstructive surgery / microsurgery, hand surgery, which makes plastic surgery one of the broadest branches of medicine. Plastic surgery does not only mean interventions on wrinkles, breasts that are too small or too large, or on aged eyelids, but also tissue reconstruction after removal of a tumor or microsurgical reconstruction of an anatomical part injured by a disease, trauma or accident. The breast reconstruction program, after oncological diseases, for example, is not very well known by patients of this branch of medicine. A promotion would be needed in this regard.

Dr. Ioana Ghiurco: In Romania there are many exceptional Plastic Surgeons, dedicated to their profession and to patients. We have many famous names that have crossed the borders of our country and that successfully represent Romania. Yes, it probably takes time to reach the level that Romanian Plastic Surgery deserves worldwide. I do not consider that certain types of interventions related to the field of Plastic-Aesthetic Surgery should be promoted, they should be individualized according to the needs of each patient, focusing primarily on a functional result. Beyond any intervention, no matter how complex, the most important aspect is for the patient to be healthy and satisfied. I consider it important to promote the idea of ​​respecting proportions, one’s own traits, harmony.

■■ Are there enough specialization modules in plastic surgery in Romania? What is the main source of professional information for plastic surgeons?

Dr. Andreea Popescu: As I said, plastic surgery is a field in continuous development and with a rapid progress, reason for which the professional training on this specialty must be continuous. Fortunately, technology helps us to have easy access to the latest information. As well as the organization of congresses, seminars and courses on different levels of plastic surgery. At national and international level, there are various forms of association (foundations, associations, private medical companies) that provide those interested with the latest technologies and information in the field.

Dr. Ioana Ghiurco: During the residency period, which currently has a duration of 6 years, there is a thick curriculum of preparation and which includes all aspects of Plastic Surgery, including one year of Cosmetic Surgery. Auxiliary, there are certain courses that can be taken, when there is a desire to deepen certain notions. On the side of non-invasive or minimally invasive interventions, such as injection techniques to improve human features, there are many courses that can be taken in Romania as well. On the surgical side, access to courses is more limited, often requiring travel abroad. We live in a time when access to information, including professional information is extremely wide, it is difficult to sort it. The list of information sources includes, along with courses, scientific events dedicated to the specialty, profile magazines, etc.

■■ Do you consider that the current legislation protects the doctor sufficiently? Is malpractice properly regulated? What would you change in this direction?

Dr. Andreea Popescu: Malpractice is a method of protection for both the doctor and the patient. By and large, the regulation is broad and contains elements of support for both categories. The current pandemic context, however, requires the granting of this legislative framework, with one adapted to current needs.

Dr. Ioana Ghiurco: The purpose of the legislation regarding malpractice is to be fair on both sides, doctor – patient. But the result of purely aesthetic interventions has a strong subjective side, which are often severely sanctioned in court. Indeed, the increase in the number of malpractice cases worldwide, but also in Romania, has led in recent years to increase the attention of doctors on the legislative side. The practice of defensive medicine should be avoided because it is not synonymous with the correct medicine and basic medical training includes few aspects in terms of legislation, and this should be improved.

■■ What is the innovative intervention of the moment in plastic surgery from your point of view?

Dr. Andreea Popescu: Surgery that can help a person regain confidence and self-esteem, following the resolution of a congenital anomaly or acquired as a result of trauma, injury or illness.

Dr. Ioana Ghiurco: Plastic Surgery, perhaps more than any other surgical specialty, is based on innovations to restore function and shape, in virtually any region of the human body. The trend is towards minimally invasive, and here comes the development of technology and continuous research. In my opinion, the emergence of the concept of regenerative medicine and surgery has changed the way some cases are approached. We now know that adipose tissue can be removed to improve the contour of the human body, later used as filler, where there are deficiencies in volume, but also for the purpose of tissue regeneration, such as aged skin or scar tissue, due to the abundance it’s in stem cells.

■■ What is the profile of the patient who most often steps on your doorstep?

Dr. Andreea Popescu: Working in an emergency hospital, the main pathology is trauma, namely hand surgery. The classic patient is the working man, for whom the hands represent the source of income and maintenance of the family. There are cases in which, through the intervention of the plastic surgeon, a limb (upper or lower) of the patient is saved, cases in which serious post-traumatic sequelae are thus prevented. In fact, the cases we encounter daily in an emergency hospital are varied, from skin tumors, to ingrown toenails, to replanting or revascularization of the fingers. The psychological impact that reconstructive surgery has on these patients is, from my point of view, the same that cosmetic surgery has on the patient who presents for an elective operation, helping to improve confidence, self-esteem and overall quality. of the patient’s life.

Dr. Ioana Ghiurco: On the side of Plastic Surgery are the most common patients with chronic pathologies, whether we are talking about diseases of the hands, skin or soft tissue tumors, scar corrections or defects. On the Aesthetics side, regardless of age or problem, patients want to “look better”, while maintaining a natural look.

■■ Do you think that the introduction of psychological testing of patients before cosmetic surgery should be mandatory?

Dr. Andreea Popescu: Most of us have a slightly distorted image of our own body and a preconceived idea of perfection, but for patients who have a real pathology, namely – body dysmorphic disorder – plastic surgery is not a solution. The number of surgeries on plastic and cosmetic surgery has increased quite a bit lately. This does not mean that patients are not advised by doctors. And the initial requests of patients can be adapted to the anatomical needs of each patient, in part, depending on the advice of a specialist. Consent is a mandatory component of surgery. But this is only valid if the patient has discernment. Who can decide whether a person has discernment or not? The answer is – the psychiatrist or the court.

Dr. Ioana Ghiurco: The discussion that the doctor has with the patient before performing an intervention is of major importance. There are patients who resort to cosmetic surgery for reasons that are obvious. But there is also a condition called Body Dysmorphic Disorder, common in patients who seek cosmetic surgery and refers to the obsession with a physical defect, existing or imaginary. These are an example of patients who may benefit from a psychological evaluation, but do not consider that it should be performed routinely.

■■ What country can be called the general center of world evolution of plastic and aesthetic medicine?

Dr. Andreea Popescu: The evolution, in any field, is directly proportional to the demand. According to ISAPS, the USA and Brazil lead the top countries with the most plastic surgeons and the most cosmetic surgeries. In fact, Brazil is even called the world capital of plastic surgery, being famous for talented and innovative surgeons. Doctors from all over the world also go for training in France, where some of the best surgical techniques originate.

Dr. Ioana Ghiurco: Regarding the research in Plastic and Aesthetic Surgery, the basis of evolution and innovation, the US is in first place. But we must not ignore other countries that have developed a lot in this direction such as Brazil, Italy, Germany, etc.

■■ How do you comment on the rise of the plastic and cosmetic surgery market in Turkey and how do you think we can keep patients in the country?

Dr. Andreea Popescu: Medical tourism is a phenomenon with a spectacular expansion worldwide, patients being willing to travel anywhere in the world in order to obtain the surgery they want. According to ISAPS, Turkey is one of the countries with the most plastic surgeons in the world, along with the United States, Brazil, China, Japan, South Korea, India, Russia and Germany. In any country, including Romania, there are also very good doctors and less experienced, or less talented doctors, which is why informing about the qualities of a certain doctor is the most important stage. Patients who consider this option must take into account a very important aspect, namely the occurrence of postoperative complications, which are amplified by long journeys. Romania has been and still is recognized for the quality of education promoted. Especially in medicine. Promoting the doctors who are in the country, but also the recognition, by the state, of the quality of their work, would add value to the activity and implicitly to the evaluation of their activity.

Dr. Ioana Ghiurco: In recent decades, patients in Romania have been constantly looking for ways to be treated outside the country. Probably this is due to the erosion of trust in the Romanian health system and we should fight with this in the first place. Turkey has many valuable Plastic Surgeons, but so does our country. The patient who needs or opts for a Plastic or Aesthetic Surgery intervention must feel that he trusts the doctor who treats him and can always ask for a second opinion.

■■  Thoughts for the readers of our magazine.

Dr. Andreea Popescu: To become a plastic surgeon, you need a lot of patience, passion and dedication.

Patience – because you have to wait 12 years to put your specialist initials on a recipe.

Passion – because without passion, you will never be able to understand and learn all the subjects you will need to be a good doctor.

Giving – because without giving your time and soul to hard work and a traumatized and demoralized patient, you will never be able to have satisfaction! Soul, speaking!

Dr. Ioana Ghiurco: The way each individual perceives himself influences him on a psychological and social level. We are always looking for beauty, but we must not forget that health must be at the forefront. Improving features, body contours or correcting defects must follow the principles of harmony, balance. Beautiful aging is possible; it starts from a healthy lifestyle, the cosmetic surgeon playing a secondary role in this process.

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