Amir Nakhdjevani is the founder and lead consultant plastic surgeon at Bella Vou, a world renowned state-of-the-art clinic that provides the very latest in surgical, cosmetic and aesthetic treatments. Amir has been voted in the top 100 plastic surgeons in the world; he is the pioneer of the revolutionary Concept Facelift and he has appeared in documentaries by both Channel 4 and the BBC. We talk to Amir about the latest cosmetic advancements, aesthetic trends, what procedures produce the most natural results and when is enough enough? Amir lives in East Sussex with his wife Rosie and their three daughters.
STIL: How much has the landscape changed in the world of cosmetic surgery in recent years? There seems to have been a move toward less invasive treatments, is this something that people are gravitating toward or is it perhaps a generational thing?
AK: Cosmetic surgery has changed greatly over the last few years. With the power of social media and the acceptance of having surgical and non-surgical procedures it has paved the way for new technologies and techniques to keep up with current demands. By demands I mean, we all live much busier lives than we used to and we have busy work and social commitments and generally life is lived at a much faster pace. This means that although it's much more acceptable to have treatments to look your best the demand is on less invasive procedures with far less down time and results that look natural and not as though you have been operated on. So we focus on achieving results worthy of comments such as 'you look really well', rather than 'have you had something done'.
STIL: You were the pioneer of the Concept Facelift, revolutionising the age-old facelift procedure. What is different about this to the usual facelift?
AK: Facelifts for years have been a procedure for the rich and famous with quite often poor results where patients look like they've been through a wind tunnel and very unnatural in their appearance. Facelifts are now common place where people want to look naturally younger - people of all walks of life having are having the procedure. Unlike the traditional methods of General Anaesthetic, in-hospital stay for few days with bandages, drains and extensive bruising, the Concept Facelift provides the same surgery under Local Anaesthetic as a walk-in-walk-out out procedure. Bruising is minimal, with no bandages or drains. This means patients can have natural results with minimal down time and without the risks that are associated with a General Anaesthetic for something that is cosmetic.
STIL: What are the most popular surgical procedures and do you notice trends in the popularity of types of procedures?
AK: The most popular procedures are less invasive and give natural results. We specialise in these procedures at Bella Vou. Facial rejuvenation surgery, body contouring and genital surgery are amongst the most popular with a high satisfaction rate.
STIL: Some would say that the appetite for non invasive procedures is growing. If someone is concerned about having surgery and also concerned with what they put into their bodies what in terms of anti-ageing aesthetic offering is there?
AK: Some of course have strong views on what they put into their body but with advances in the cosmetic industry there are now many options with surgical and non-surgical, from creams to injectables to laser and surgical treatments so we can always find what best suits you. Here at Bella Vou we pride ourselves in being honest and transparent in what best suits you.
STIL: Can you describe the differences between fillers and botox and when you would recommend their use vs invasive surgery?
AK: Fillers are basically natural products that are designed to fill volume deficiencies and grooves within the skin or just beneath. They are volume replacements and are great products if used correctly. The body degrades these products over time and so they need to be replaced. There are many products products that can be used for different parts of the body and based on the size of the particles they last between 6 months to 2 years. They can also be dissolved if needed instantly. Botox however is not a volume replacement but works on the muscles under the skin by weakening it and reducing it's function and by doing so the skin overlying the muscle will not fall into folds and the lines will soften or disappear. Again these products are not permanent and will wear off over 6 months. Botox unlike Filler has to be made up and so based on need can be given in a concentrated form for maximal effect or a weaker form for softer appearance. Both these products are not a substitute for surgery as they have different applications but they can be used in conjunction with surgery. For example if you want to soften the lines on the forehead then botox can achieve that but surgery can't and so based on the area of concern injectables or surgery may be suitable to rejuvenate the area.
STIL: Would you say that there is an artistic element to being a successful cosmetic surgeon? Is your personal perception of beauty a factor in the final outcome or is it more about proportion and balance?
AK: Artistic element is always a factor in cosmetic surgery and certainly balance and proportions play a big part in the overall outcome taking into consideration genetics and ethnicity of a patient. It is important to understand the patients needs and concern to meet the realistic expectation of the patient and so there is a huge psychological component to every procedure we perform.
STIL:The beauty buzz-word of the moment seems to be Profhilo? Can you tell us what it is, what is the ‘hydrolift’ and what results are expected?
AK: There are a lot of different products out at the moment to not only replace volume but also stimulate collagen to improve elasticity to achieve natural youthful results
STIL: Which procedures do you consider deliver the most successful and natural results?
AK: Surgical and non surgical procedures have their place. Natural results can be achieved with both and for some surgery is needed while for others injectables can achieve the results. Anatomy, genetics, age and lifestyle are factors we consider to see which procedures suits.
STIL: Can you tell us a bit about the relatively new procedure of ‘threading’? How long does it last and what are the benefits and the draw-backs?
AK: Threading has actually been around for sometime but has a very low satisfaction rate as it tries to achieve surgical results and longevity is low. It is rapidly being replaced by other new technologies that actually work such as facetite or bodytite. You can find out more about these products from our clinic "Bella Vou" in Tunbridge Wells.
STIL: What age would you recommend that people consider cosmetic procedures? Is there such a thing as preventative procedures — for example where ageing is concerned? Is ‘good' skin about genetics or external factors such as skincare or sun exposure for example?
AK: Cosmetic procedures are not age dependent as some procedures are suited for younger patients such as Breast enlargement, nose jobs, lip lift or labiaplasty while others are age dependent such as facelifts, eyelid surgery, breast uplift etc. Maintenance and looking after your skin and body by exercise, healthy eating and lifestyle can all play a part in making you look good and so feel good and if you have a procedure you are likely to have results that will last longer.
STIL: Do you find that once someone has had one procedure, they develop an appetite for more? When is enough enough and how do you tell your clients it's time to stop?!
AK: Unlike what is portrayed in the media people do not get addicted to plastic surgery. People of all walks of life have treatments and often is about an area that bothers them. We at Bella Vou are here to advise patients correctly and guide them as to wether a procedure is suitable or not. It's our honestly and quality we provide that has made us have the reputation that we have and the growth in number of patients that recommend us to others.
STIL: You work not only in your own clinic but also in the McIndoe centre, in London and in Scotland. How do you manage all this with a family? ( Or perhaps I should ask how your wife manages?! )
AK: I do my job as I love the positive impact that it has on patients quality of life. Life is a juggle and I miss not spending more time at home. I work hard for our patients but I take regular breaks to spend time with my wife and kids. Our clinic has grown massively over the last 5 years when we first opened and with increased numbers of staff and other doctors offering a variety of treatments I hope that I can ease up a little knowing that patients are cared for to the same high standard that I provide. Watch this space ;)
STIL: Do you also do reconstructive surgeries at Bella Vou?
AK: We do of course do reconstructive surgery but the demand is far less as patients often have these procedures done in the NHS.
STIL: Most rewarding parts of your job?
AK:The most rewarding part of my job is being part of a patients journey. Getting to know our patients and seeing the massive positive impact surgical and non-surgical treatments can have to improve their quality of life - from work, to social, to their relationships. It's a real privilege to be part of that.
Quick fire questions…
STIL: What does a Sunday look like in the Nakhdjevani household?
AK: Sundays are our family time; enjoying cooking, playing games, going for walks and also spending time with our many animals.
STIL: Lockdown - best and worst bits?
AK: Well I personally haven't had much of lockdown as I have been involved with online consultations to patients on Zoom or FaceTime throughout and making changes to the clinic to make it safe for patients to be seen now that we have re-opened. I have had time at home of course and this has been great being with my wife and kids.
STIL: A favourite holiday?
AK: I have many favourite holidays as holidays are generally an important part of our life. Having family time and getting to explore different parts of the world - getting to experience different foods and cultures. Lockdown has certainly made us realise how we have missed this and we are very much looking forward to going away when all has settled down. We have both active and relaxing holidays and the odd long weekend when I take just my wife away for some down time without the kids. It's all the lovely memories and photos that we have that makes it impossible to say which was my favourite as they are all so different as so special in their own way.
Thank you so much Amir for taking time out of your busy schedule to answer our questions. Amir is truly dedicated to achieving patient satisfation and whether his patients have surgical or non-surgical proceedures, the proceedures and results are safe, effective and always offer natural results.
Bella Vou is situated in the heart of the beautiful historic town of Royal Tunbridge Wells. Visit Bella Vou here:
You can currently catch Amir on BBC Three’s Plastic Surgery Undressed.