Plastic surgery is becoming increasingly popular.
Dr. Marco Faria Correa speaks to The Peak about plastic surgery in Southest Asia and why he made the move to Singapore from Brazil.
How did you get into plastic surgery? Were you always interested in the field?
Nowadays plastic surgery is such a prestigious field that many doctors dream of being a plastic surgeon. In those days when I started in Brazil, it was ahead. In the 1960s and ‘70s celebrities would go for plastic surgery and we were the number one destination for plastic surgery. We even had the world’s number 1 surgeon there until recently when he passed away. So there is a culture for this there. I became a doctor because I had a relative who was also a doctor and he played a great role in our town and I was inspired. I was originally a General Practioner and worked in the countryside for about two years, doing everything. But I wanted to improve my work as a surgeon so I went into that field. I like to push myself. Microsurgery and reconstructive surgery was popular and we had a doctor who returned from France when I was a general surgeon. I was amazed by her work in plastic surgery. I went to microsurgery. I later went to Japan to perfect my work. I was the first to do endoscopic surgery in plastic surgery. I also designed tools for this. I became a globe trotter and I demonsrated my work in many countries. In the early 1990s I came to Indonesia, Singapore. Eventually I decided to move here as I wanted to be more accessible to my patients. So I have settled in Singapore but I visit Brazil often as my children live there.
What are some of the differences, if any, that you see in Singapore, in terms of your patients and the procedures they prefer?
The concept of beauty has became global. There are differences between my Asian and Caucasian clients. Nose work is a big deal. In Singapore, clients want bigger noses. Eyes are the other thing. That’s also popular in Asia. Asians ask to create a fold in the eye. Also removing of extra skin, lipsuction. Around the world clients come for breast implants and liposculpture. Every doctor has their own niche. My speciality is endoscopy and lately the use of robotics that I pioneered. I have a lot of clients for tummy tuck and facial rejeuvination.
Are there a lot of men getting treatments too these days?
Around 20 per cent of my clients are men. They usually come in for tummy tuck and lipsuction and breast reduction as well because gynecomastia is increasing these days. Men also come in for face lifts. Globaly around 20 to 25 per cent of plastic surgery patients are men because in some countries men are more vain. These days physiotherapists also recommend patients to me for the fucntioninal aspect of repariging the core muscles. In 2017 I presented in the International Orthopedic Congress in China, in the spine section, where I spoke about the benefits of repariting the core muscle. This year I will speak in Milan. The Asia Hernia Society gave me a membership recently. I have been invited to present on how I use robotics techniques, etc.
Robotics is a trend these days in surgery isn’t it? Can you tell us more about this?
The Robot is a tool, it is a specialised tool. Ultimately it’s a machine we drive. It has a range of motion and it never gets tired and it is a little more precise. In robotics we also have the capability of a 3D HD vision. There is no stress or tremors. It’s steady and there are many procedures we can do with it.
Do you have clients outside of Singapore in your clinic there?
Yes, most of my clients who are not from Singapore are from Indonesia. 50 percent of them. I am well-known here in Indonesia, since 1995-1996. I have a 25-year record and I am always safe. I care about my patients.
What are some trends in your field in 2018? What are some suggestions you may have for those looking to have plastic surgery?
There is the possibility of using more hi-tech machines in surgery and we may see more and more minimal invasive surgery. Safety is important. Patients need to be in good health. It’s important to find good, qualified doctors who use good facilities. Doctors should be chosen for their qualifications not the price. We have all the facilities, full life support etc. Never go for cheap procedures. Good accreditation is necessary as well. A good hospital checks on the qualifications of its doctors.