A friend attended a glamorous opening recently and even though she is gorgeous former model, she said she felt a bit left out. “I think I was the only one without big lips and botox,” she wailed. Critics of cosmetic surgery believe that as it becomes the ultimate luxury “must-have” it could herald the extinction of natural beauty. You only need to walk around some of Mallorca’s in-spots to see that among both visitors and locals there’s a big market for cosmetic surgery. But does the fact that everyone else seems to be having a facelift make it right for you?
Dr José García Ceballos believes not. Having qualified as a plastic surgeon and gained extensive experience in both London and Brussels, he believes that Mallorca has got what it takes to make it as a European centre of excellence in cosmetic surgery, but he does not believe in surgery for surgery’s sake. “If you are happy with your looks, then be glad. I am here to help people who are not happy, for whatever reason. But first I need to establish whether the patient has realistic expectations and if they are doing it for the right reasons.
Fifty percent of my work is in pre-surgery counselling. A patient might be happier and more confident if they look better, but surgery can’t solve personal problems. I won’t operate unless I have seen a patient at least twice to discuss the procedure and their thoughts and concerns.
“I have refused to operate when I don’t believe surgery is needed or when I don’t think it will make an improvement, and I am just as proud to turn away people who don’t need surgery as I am to do a great cosmetic job on someone who does need it.
“Mostly I’d say I tone down the patients’ initial ideas because the current trend in cosmetic surgery is to start gradually and correct only what is needed and not to over-correct. Ideally, you don’t want to look like you have had surgery at all. Consultations take place in Dr Garcia’s tasteful home-office in Palma’s new Son Dameto d’alt suburb with the relaxing sounds of mellow jazz in the background.
Having almost single-handedly managed the busy Free University of Brussels (UZ VUB) for three years before he arrived on the island two years ago, Dr Garcia has personally found the more relaxed Mallorcan lifestyle a tonic. He now believes overseas patients can also benefit from having their surgery done here and for this reason he has started to offer a complete surgery package. “It’s an easy two-hour flight to Mallorca and the island offers excellent infrastructure and hospital care.” Because of its cosmopolitan atmosphere and great weather it is also a lovely place for your post-op rest period.
“In terms of cost, Mallorca is not the cheapest place in Europe to have surgery, but is certainly cheaper than the UK and if people want to be treated in a very safe and professional environment, then it’s an excellent option, ” he says.
So, what is popular in cosmetic surgery at the moment? “Apart from fillers and botox which are increasingly popular, but which do not require surgery, breast augmentations remain very popular and the new endoscopic technique allows for a lot more control of the positioning of the prosthesis, and therefore better results.
“Rhinoplasty (nose surgery) is one of the most challenging types of surgery and needs a lot of preparation. If you are unhappy with your nose I think it is worth having it changed as the nose is the focus of the face. Personally, it is my favourite procedure as the results can really make a big difference.
“Eyelid surgery is relatively easy and straightforward and can definitely help open up the eye area, especially if the lid is starting to droop.
“Liposuction is gaining in popularity but patients should remember that this is not a weight loss technique. Ideally you should be as close to your ideal weight as possible when you have liposuction and use it to treat an area of excessive fat deposits that no amount of dieting or exercise will shift.”
Dr Garcia’s tips for successful cosmetic surgery:
– Be physically and medically fit for surgery
– Ask your surgeon about the most likely realistic outcome that you can obtain.
– Have a good, open relation with your plastic surgeon and at the same time be sure of his or her credentials, education, training, and number of times that the treatment has been performed in the practice. (The Spanish registry of plastic surgeons is www.secpre.org)
– Ask to see before-and-after photos of patients with similar conditions
– Have all your doubts answered before embarking into any procedure
– Don’t think that the more surgery you have the better the results.
Dr. José I. García Ceballos MD FCCPb
Tel: +34 971 254 686