Dr. Adan Abdullahi: Why Cosmetic Reconstructive needs to be taken seriously
Dr. Adan goes beyond cosmetic surgery. In addition to aesthetic procedures, he performs reconstructive surgery, as well as hand surgery and also Clitoral Restoration Surgery to Female Genital Mutilation Survivors in Kenya.
The concern and pressure in today’s society of people about their appearance to look young, thin, and fresh is gradually on the upsurge both in the developed and the developing world; women leading the cue at 97%, thus there is an increase in the number of cosmetic surgeries and Plastic Surgery done annually.
While both cosmetic surgery and plastic surgery deal with improving a patient’s body, the overarching philosophies guiding the training, research, and goals for patient outcomes are different.
The procedures, techniques, and principles of cosmetic surgery are entirely focused on enhancing a patient’s appearance. Improving aesthetic appeal, symmetry, and proportion are the key goals. An aesthetic surgery can be performed on all areas of the head, neck, and body.
Since cosmetic procedures treat areas that function properly, cosmetic surgery is designated as elective. Cosmetic elective procedures are performed by doctors from a variety of medical fields, including plastic surgeons.
Plastic surgery is defined as a surgical specialty dedicated to reconstruction of facial and body defects due to birth disorders, trauma, burns, and disease. It is intended to correct dysfunctional areas of the body and is, by definition, reconstructive in nature.
As cosmetic surgery and plastic surgery each have distinct practice goals built around a specific procedure set, it only follows that the training and certification process for a board certified cosmetic surgeon will look very different from that of a board certified plastic surgeon.
In spite of the tremendous advancements in the field of plastic surgery, it seems that limited knowledge among the general public exists regarding the spectrum of plastic surgery especially cosmetic surgery.
Meeting with a cosmetic surgeon Dr. Adan Abdullahi of Platinum Surgery Center here in Nairobi, he warns that, like any surgery, the patient has the ability to reduce the risk of complications by avoiding a bad outcome through choosing a competent legal certified surgeon with a proven successful record done of similar procedure the patient is about to undergo.
Dr. Abdullahi Adan, is a certified plastic, reconstructive and aesthetic Surgeon with 12 years of experience, five as a general surgeon and seven as a plastic surgeon. He is among the only five board certified surgeons in Kenya.
Through his career, he has worked in South Africa, India and Now in Kenya where he holds many bonnets including; Grand Round Coordinator, Department of Surgery at the University of Nairobi, Consultant, Plastic Aesthetic and Reconstructive Surgeon at the Karen Hospital, Chairman, National Council for Occupational Health and Safety, Lecturer, Department of Surgery, College of Health Sciences at the University of Nairobi, Consultant Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Kenyatta National Hospital, Present monthly Continuous Medical Education on wounds and burns at Kenyatta National Hospital, Karen Hospital and other forums for Doctors and nurses among many others.
“The most important factor in deciding whether to have cosmetic surgery is to have a clear understanding of what will happen before, during and after the procedure, and what results to expect. As well, the surgeon who will perform the procedure, his or her qualifications, certifications, the number of procedures successfully carried out, facility, equipment, how they handle emergency cases as well state of their qualified staff is very crucial to your judgement and decision making,” Dr. Adan said.
He cautions that, lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking, are extremely important before surgery, as non-smokers heal faster and have less scarring. “Like myself, i will not perform surgery on current smokers unless the client commit to abstain from smoking (including secondhand smoke) and nicotine products, including chewing tobacco and nicotine patches, gums or lozenges for 4-6 weeks before and after surgery. Because, the final outcome may not be as good. In addition, eating a healthy diet before and after the procedure can speed up healing and improve wound closure, which also minimizes scarring.”
Dr. Adan carries cosmetic surgical procedures such as but not limited: breast augmentation, breast reduction, breast lift, liposuction, nose reshaping, eyelid surgery, tummy tuck, Body-sculpting procedures such as buttock augmentations, which improve the contour, size, or shape of your butt, thigh lifts, which reduce excess skin and fat of your upper legs, Botox, fillers, chemical peels, laser hair removal, microdermabrasion, Rhinoplasty, Chin, or Cheek Enhancement, Facelift, fascial skin rejuvenation with nanofat, J-plasma to tighten skin, branchial plexus surgery, Neck Lift, Brow Lift, Gynecomastia Treatment, Laser Resurfacing, Filler Treatments ,Burn Repair Surgery, Congenital Defect Repair: Cleft Palate, Extremity Defect Repair, Lower Extremity Reconstruction, Hand Surgery, clitoral reconstructive surgery, Scar Revision Surgery and others.
During the session, I was able to ask some of the questions and below is Dr. Adan’s take away about plastic surgery that the public should know.
- How many cosmetic procedures have you done since you began your career?
Oooh, am not sure but quit a large number. I can say more than 3,500 successful surgeries.
- What prompted you to decide to customise into cosmetic surgeries?
Most patients seek cosmetic procedures to feel like the best version of themselves. And I saw a need to help them access the best professional quality outcome of their wish or expectation at ease and much cheaper locally rather than them being a cosmetic tourists where excellence and “cheaper cost” is not guaranteed in those foreign countries. I also receive international clients who comes to the country to get my services.
I know what it takes to have self-esteemed satisfactions and confidence. I just bring back confidence and happiness to my clients.
- Will a patient need a physical examination prior to surgery?
Yes. It is very important in decision making considering Patients differ in their anatomy and their ability to heal. Furthermore, because cosmetic surgery can bring lasting and dramatic changes to the outside appearance, it is important to understand how these changes may affect you on the inside. Before making an appointment for the procedure, as a cosmetic surgeon, I always want to know why my client wants to change how he/she looks and motive behind it, as well expectations.
Then, you will meet with a nurse, who reviews general questions about health, current medications including; aspirin, vitamin E, over-the-counter medications and supplements, lifestyle issues, such as smoking history.
The nurse will also review what you can expect following surgery, including pain, medications, diet, activity, work restrictions, and details such as the need to arrange for a ride home following the procedure.
Finally, you will be asked to sign a consent form so that photographs may be taken before and after surgery. Photographs serve as a reference for the surgeon during the procedure and become a part of your medical record.
- Are there risks unique to health history; lets say diabetes, lung diseases, among others?
As with most surgeries, plastic surgery complications are more common in certain people. For example, smokers, older adults, and people who are obese are more prone to complications.
You can reduce your risk of unwanted side effects by fully vetting your doctor and their credentials. You should also investigate the facility where your surgery will take place.
Educating yourself about the procedure and possible risks, and discussing your concerns with your doctor, will also help you manage your expectations and reduce the risk of complications. By listening and following instructions from the surgeon and health care team, you can minimize the risks and complications of surgery.
- What does the procedure do and does not do?
The goal of cosmetic surgery is to improve a person’s appearance and, thus, self-esteem and self-confidence. Cosmetic surgery can be performed on any part of the face and body. In short, anything you want to be done, is possible with a qualified and certified surgeon who has a successful track record of doing same.
- Are there other procedures should be consider other than surgery?
Cosmetic surgery procedures requires a general anesthesia or IV (intravenous) sedation which we perform in our hospital under the care of an anesthesiologist/nurse anesthetist team. Others procedures, such as injections of facial fillers, can be performed in an outpatient setting.
- What are the risks and complications associated with cosmetic surgery?
All surgeries, including cosmetic procedures, carry risk. Those with a history of cardiovascular disease, lung disease, diabetes or obesity have a higher risk of developing complications such as pneumonia, stroke, heart attack or blood clots in the legs or lungs. Smoking also increases risks and interferes with healing.
A meeting with the surgeon will include a discussion of these risks and others related to the patient’s health history. And therefore, on the whole, plastic surgery complications are rare. Complications occur in fewer than 1 percent of outpatient surgeries.
Always we ensure the procedures are successful despite numerous risks. Sometimes infections could occur, though they are manageable, we advise our patients to clear the dispensed doze of antibiotics to avoid infections.
- How long is the recovery period?
Recovery times vary by person and procedure, but a minimum of 6 to 12 weeks is typical for many cosmetic surgeries. Proper wound care and frequent hand washing can minimize or prevent an infection hence speed up the healing process.
- Can a client expect much discomfort? And what are the pain management options?
To experience pain after a surgical procedure is normal but with time it gets better. We will give you some pain medications and antibiotics. So it is not something to get worried about.
Discomfort in our clients is very rare. So far we have not received such complains. During the first meeting, we usually explain how cosmetic surgery can change the body and what you can expect as a result. This is an opportunity for you to explain what you hope to achieve with surgery. Understanding the options and possible outcomes will help you make the best decision.
We inform our clients about specific procedures, what to expect, the benefits, risks and possible complications, as well as other alternatives. We may also recommend additional procedures to enhance the overall result.
The concept of asymmetry will be explained. The human body is asymmetric, meaning one side of the body looks naturally different from the other. I help patients understand this so they can fully appreciate their true appearance and how this may change with cosmetic surgery.
We also explain the concept of balance: how changing one part of the body may affect overall appearance and how additional surgical procedures may bring greater balance.
- After the procedure, is there any scars and if yes, what will they look like?
Yes, but just temporary scars, as you heal, they will disappear with time.
- If the procedure requires stitches, when will they be removed?
Sutures should be removed within 1-2 weeks of their placement, depending on the anatomic location. Prompt removal reduces the risk of suture marks, infection, and tissue reaction. The average wound usually achieves approximately 8% of its expected tensile strength 1-2 weeks after surgery.
- What kind of activity restrictions will a person have following surgery?
It depends with the surgery. Some procedures like facial fillers have no restriction, after the procedure you can just normally continue with your daily work. However, for breast augmentation we mighty tell you to avoid doing some physical activities till you get healed.
- How long it will take before someone goes back to his regular routine?
Some procedures for outpatient can allow you to immediately get back to your routine, while some might take some days or weeks.
- How long does it take before a client sees the final results of the procedure?
Some are immediate while others takes one process to the other depending with the person as well the procedure complexion.
- How long will the results last?
Once successful done, it is permanent.
- How much does the procedure cost?
Our services ranges from $1,000- $ 10, 000 or more, depending with what the client wants: how simple or hard the process is, and what it will take to achieve it. Medication used, usually dictates the price because some are readily available locally while others are imported. Female Genital Mutilation reconstruction being the cheapest.