Interview with Plastic Surgeon Dr Noemi Gonzalez
Dr Noemi Gonzalez is Internationally Board Certified in Plastic, Aesthetic and Reconstructive Surgery by the Colegio Oficial de Médicos de Barcelona (Spain) and Ärztekammer Berlin and NRW (Germany). She completed her training in Plastic Surgery with surgical stages in Brasil and United Kingdom. Dr. Gonzalez also holds a Master Degree (MSc) in Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics. She is a passionate ambassador for a Healthy Life Style and finding harmony between the body and the mind. She is currently based at Turó Park Medical Center (TPMC) in Barcelona.
What are the main treatments you offer at TPMC?
At TPMC we offer almost all known and popular medical aesthetic treatments. We are a Medical Center and I am a plastic and aesthetic surgeon, that means in our clinic, I can offer medical products and treatments that can be only used by professional doctors, such as botulinum toxin (better known as “botox”) facial fillers with hyaluronic acid, polycaprolactone, lifting with surgical threads, vitamins and nucleotides and other substances injected with mesotherapy technique, medical peelings and non surgical blepharoplasty for example and removal of small dermatological lesions. All other surgical procedures are done in surgical theatres.
What are the most popular treatments for both women and men at the moment?
Without a doubt, the most used treatments are anti-ageing and wrinkle treatment with botox and fillers with hyaluronic acid.
What is the ratio of men to women approx that come to see you?
Regularly we see 1 man to every 9 women.
How progressive are the treatments you offer?
We are really up to date with technique and science and offer also for example PRP (platelet-rich plasma) for anti-ageing, which is one of the more innovative treatments.
Many people are still confused about the difference between botox and fillers, can you clarify this?
We use botox to treat “dynamic wrinkles” (wrinkles that appear when we gesticulate and move our muscles) and hyaluronic fillers for “static wrinkles” (that appear with age, loss of fat and water in our tissue and loss of volume in the face).
How often would you advise having these treatments?
Botox is an excellent treatment for the upper third of the face but it only lasts about 4 – 6 months. Hyaluronic acid fillers last for about a year. If you take care of yourself with a healthy way of life (good nutrition, good sleep, regular exercise) you probably only need now and again some treatment. And not always the same one! Some vitamins in mesotherapy, food supplements, medical peelings etc. are a regular practice in our modern way of life.
I always recommend to have an “up date” at least once a year if you want to look healthy, happy and fit.
Many people worry about having an unnatural look, how can you ensure that this is not the case?
As I say, not exceeding the amount and the frequency of a treatment. If the products are good quality, they will last about a year. You don’t need too much of anything to look natural and healthy. I do take my time to make a good diagnosis and to decide which is the treatment that could make the best results with less product in a patient.
Many people now say that the neck and jowls are more important than the face when it comes to ‘lifting’, would you agree and how do you treat the neck at TPMC?
It is very different if we talk about a surgical lifting or an aesthetic “lifting effect”. You probably mean that it is not the same “skin laxity” as “loss of volume” and you’re right! We can treat loss of volume with fillers but laxity, though we can improve it with injected vitamins, amino acids and minerals and surgical threads but in the end it is a surgical problem.
Many people might be interested in cosmetic treatments but cannot afford it, do you offer affordable payment options?
Our treatments are not as expensive as you may think, but yes, you have to save a little bit for this. Like everything in life… travel, dentist, books, clothes, restaurants. We are talking about treatments that cost between 175 and 900 euro. You pay not only for first quality products but also for the best qualified doctor and an excellent medical center with specialised client attention where everybody speaks your own language.
I recommend not to concentrate just on the price but much more in the qualification of your doctor and the quality of the products that they use.
In general, where would you say Barcelona is in the world of aesthetic and cosmetic treatments globally?
South America, Italy and Spain are known for a developed sense of aesthetic. Men and women are very aware of their appearance and so they use all ways and methods ranging from clothes, cosmetic, medical treatments and plastic surgery. Therefore, any professional working here has to be up to date in advances and scientific progress.
How important do you think it is to speak a patient’s language when advising them about options and treatments?
One of the most important aspects in a medical consultation is obviously to understand what you are doing, who is treating you, which products are you using and what risks are you taking. Even if they are all mostly non invasive treatments, you are undergoing a medical process and you should know always about it. It is your body and your health!
Psychologically, how much of a difference can cosmetic treatment make to a patient?
I always say: it is not how old you are but how old (and tired or sad) you look like! It could make a difference in self confidence or in your mood or humour every morning when you look at the mirror. It can also take some unconscious-negative aspects from your expression (like tiredness) but an aesthetic treatment should never be seen as a solution for your problems.
What do you think will be the trends of the future?
I am confident that minimal invasive processes like treatments with dermaplax, mesotherapy with vitamins and minerals, and PRP (platelet rich plasma) are going to be trends because we are preventing ageing with a healthy way of life (nutrition, excersise, food supplements, and meditation).
We, plastic and aesthetic surgeons, are much more than “aesthetic doctors”! There are other indications for surgery like lipedema, breast deformity, breast cancer, accidents, burns or skin related changes and many others that may be understood as aesthetic conditions, but for us are serious diseases.