Mr Oliver reviews the last 12 months of Plastic Surgery and the association between Guernsey’s Centre for Modern Medicine and Mount Stuart Hospital Torquay.
The beginning of 2012 was a busy time and saw the start of the PIP scandal. This, by chance, co-incided with the launch of the cosmetic surgery service with the Centre for Modern, Medicine, a subsidiary of the Medical Specialist Group in Guernsey, and Mount Stuart Hospital in Torquay, part of Ramsay Health Care. There were a number of patients affected from Guernsey who came for consultation and treatment and were relieved that the opportunity to see a Consultant Plastic Surgeon was available on the island.
The evidence had started to point to a high risk of failure of these PIP implants and there was also the uncertainty about the quality of the silicone gel contents. As a member of the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (BAAPS) I was in full agreement with the recommendations of our association and I therefore advised women affected by these implants to have them removed. This did not have to be immediately and over the following few months I undertook procedures to remove and replace these patients’ implants. Some women chose removal without replacement but most chose to have their implants replaced.
Fortunately 80% of the implants that I removed were un-damaged but some had failed and leaked requiring removal of all the silicone from the breast capsule. Again fortunately only a few patients were affected by the silicone causing problems in the lymph glands. All these implants were replaced with high quality implants from two leading manufacturers, Allergan and Mentor that I use regularly and am very familiar with.
I have also undertaken a number of procedures following weight loss – some patients had lost weight through diet and exercise alone and others after weight loss surgery. Commonly affected areas are the chest, breasts and the abdomen in both males and females. These can often be quite extensive procedures that can take several hours. Breast reduction and enlargement surgery as well as abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) have also been procedures commonly requested.
As part of our service we have made the resources available for our patients to see a consultant anaesthetist on the island before travelling for surgery. This means everyone has an in-depth pre-operative assessment to determine that they are medically fit for surgery and so procedures can be performed on the day they arrive at the hospital, which is just a short drive from Exeter airport.
Because I hold regular clinics on the island I can see patients both before and after surgery locally to minimise the travel times involved in their cosmetic or reconstructive surgery, and give them the peace of mind that I will follow up their procedure with post-operative consultations. In addition I work closely with the excellent nursing team in Guernsey so there is a point of contact for anybody with concerns after their operation when they are back on the island.
We are drawing on our experience as time goes by to refine our patient pathways and to strive to offer a high quality service working with local health care professions at the CMM and Mount Stuart Hospital. We have had a very successful year and our intention is to build on this success and excellent reputation, and in the coming year we hope to do even better.
The most effective way of determining this is by the feedback from our patients, and at the end of the day that is the most important outcome measure for us. We are delighted to have received some glowing testimonials from patients in Guernsey.