Plastic Surgery in Manchester – My life

Introduction

I have been living and working in Manchester for the past 10 years and I am proud to call it my home. Whilst here I have become a Consultant in Plastic Surgery (since 2013) and I work for the NHS at The Christie Hospital in Didsbury, South Manchester.

I also run a private practice for patients who would like cosmetic surgery and I specialise in breast surgery (breast reductions, breast augmentations and breast uplifts) and facelifts (mini facelifts, mid facelifts and full facelifts).

Breast Cancer Surgery

I lead the breast reconstruction service and also treat a wide range of patients for skin cancer including advanced melanoma. I see two main groups of breast patients, those who have had a mastectomy in the past (Survivors) and who are now seeking a reconstruction and another group of ladies who are risk reducing patients (called Previvors). The risk reducing patients have been identified as having a high life time risk of cancer and have opted to have preventative mastectomies and reconstructions afterwards. I often see women who have been through extensive treatment for breast cancer and are now trying to rebuild their lives and self esteem and I feel humbled that I can help them to try regain a quality of life and most importantly control of their life after such a turbulent time.

Photo by Iain Mallory

What I love about here 

I love the vibrancy and energy of Manchester and the surround area of Cheshire. I feel we are very privileged to live in an area which has so much to offer in terms of connections to travel, a media hub, fashion, sports and business. Over our time here I have watched how the region has sprung to life again and the cranes are once again dominating the skyline indicating that regeneration is happening in the City Centre.

Photo by Keith Drury

Training in Liverpool 

I have always been based in the North West. I grew up in Liverpool and was lucky enough to attend Liverpool Medical School which is renowned throughout the world. After my studies, I then trained in various hospitals around the region and worked for long periods at Arrowe Park Hospital in Upton on the Wirral and then Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool. Plastic surgery is a very competitive field and so it was necessary to do a period of research to give me an edge over my peers and I was awarded a grant from the Royal College of Surgeons to pursue research in hand surgery and this was supported by Royal Preston Hospital. I was then successful at gaining a position in Plastic Surgery training and in fact was offered both Liverpool and Manchester. I decided to come to Manchester because at that time the Surgeons working here were some of the best in the country, it was a larger catchment area and I knew that this is where I would get the best training.

Training in Manchester 

Manchester has been the premier plastic surgery unit for some years and had many leading figures in hand surgery and breast surgery and these were my two main interests at the time. During my Plastic Surgery training much time was spent looking after patients with hand injuries and this is a very delicate and intricate realm of surgery. I have sewn on many fingers and repaired hundreds of tendons but as time went on it was breast surgery that caught my imagination. I was very fortunate to work with a leading Breast Surgeon in Manchester called Anne Brain (she definitely lived up to her name) as she was in her final year of practice and so I was able to see her take on many complex cases and she was a brilliant and confident trainer.

Manchester was also very well set up for training in its closely related discipline of Cosmetic Surgery and Aesthetics. It was one of the first regions in the Country to set up a dedicated rotation in Cosmetic Surgery and I was able to take advantage of this and trained with the Top Cosmetic Surgeons in the region. I was able to see many different techniques for Facelifts and Breast Reductions and how revisions in breast surgery were performed. 

Training in New Zealand

This ethic of constantly learning and improving has stayed with me throughout my life and I also had the opportunity to apply for further training abroad so that I could gain experience and learn surgical skills from an international perspective.
Having applied to the world famous Hutt Hospital in Eastbourne, New Zealand, I had an interview via Skype and after 3 weeks when I had almost forgotten about it,I had a call at 10pm to say that I had got the position!  I was shocked and thrilled to find out we were moving to New Zealand for the year’s post!
Eastbourne is at the Southern tip of New Zealand’s north island near to Wellington which is the capital.  New Zealand is well known for it’s purity of air, it’s breathtaking views and it’s vast expanses of natural beauty.  It is also the opposite side of the planet from the UK. It enjoys sunshine in our winter time and has it’s winter in our Summer. The Summers there are glorious from November to February with very strong rays so we ensured that we wore sun block whilst we were there.

Because of the purity of the air the sun’s rays are extremely strong and in the days before our knowledge of the harm of UVA and UVB rays people regularly went out wearing only baby oil for the sun.  They literally fried themselves.
As a result of this and many years later, the hospital was dedicated to dissecting and reconstructing cancerous growths on a whole range of areas of the body and the face which enabled me to train in reconstructing many areas of the face such as the head and the nose using micro surgery and being mentored by some of the masters in their field.
After a year of thorough training we returned to our home in Manchester.

The Future of Plastic Surgery and Research in Manchester

Manchester remains a very important region for Plastic Surgery and has an ever increasing number of Consultants and areas of research and expertise. The University of Manchester has active research programmes which means that this remains a great place to work so that I am constantly at the forefront of new developments. 

I am proud to be able to help treat so many people and remain aware of how important surgery can be in improving the quality of life for many patients. At this stage in my career,  I am now looking to develop every aspect of my cosmetic practice to ensure that I always provide the very best treatments and the safest and most up to date practices. Innovations happen all the time in medicine and so an open mind and an attitude of always learning from the best is essential so that I am the best I can be.

 

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