Dr. Rashmi Shetty is an industry pioneer, celebrity doctor, author and leading expert in non-surgical aesthetic medicine who has graduated from the prestigious Mysore University and holds a Diploma in Cosmetology (Chester, UK), FRSH (UK). Her training in plastic surgery under some of the finest plastic surgeons in the country has been the foundation of her achievements. Her eye for facial aesthetics, excellent injector skills, and most importantly, her drive to innovate has kept her at the forefront of non-surgical facial aesthetics. She is the only Indian doctor on the international advisory board of the Anti-Ageing World Congress. Dr Shetty is the proud author of a comprehensive book on anti-ageing, Age erase. In an interview with our Editor in Chief Vaidehi Sachin, Dr Rashmi Shetty spoke about the difference between non-surgical weight reduction and surgical way of losing weight and liposuction
As a cosmologist what are those biggest myth about beauty that you want to clarify? I mean by performing surgeries anyone can become anybody?
One popular myth prevalent today is that products containing natural ingredients are better for skin. To set the record straight, no product can boast of being 100 per cent natural because even if you derive herbs from plants you will need chemical preservatives while manufacturing the product. The key is to use ingredients that are certified by health authorities and suit your skin. Another misperception is that every cosmetic procedure has something to do with Botox; well there are scores of different technology based aesthetic procedures and Botox is one of them and serves a particular need.
As for cosmetic procedures, they are not about becoming someone else. They are about becoming the best version of yourself. There is no one size fits all when it comes to facial aesthetics. The lips that look remarkably beautiful on one face will not look good on another one. This is what aesthetic medicine is all about, it is the art of making a person look the best version of themselves.
Recently many deaths have occurred due to liposuction, however safe it may be?
Liposuction removes fat from the body using suction. It is an invasive procedure involving cuts and stitches and naturally surgical procedures always entail some amount of risk. Moreover, even after undergoing liposuction one has to maintain diet and physical exercise routine to prevent fat accumulation again. If you really need a liposuction make sure you visit a really experienced and well-trained cosmetic surgeon. Though, it is always advisable to lose weight through exercise and diet control. One can also look for safer, non invasive procedures like ‘Cool sculpting.’
What is the biggest difference between non-surgical weight reduction and surgical way of losing weight?
As stated above surgical methods involve cutting into the body and suctioning out fat while non-surgical procedures do not require a person to go under the knife. Naturally, the latter is safer as surgery always entails some risk.
What are the biggest challenges that you face as a doctor?
When I started, aesthetic medicine was a completely new field in India, and the major challenge I faced was to first educate people about the science and concept of aesthetic medicine, tell them what it is all about. Today, people are highly informed, they come asking for the exact treatments they want. They come and ask for Botox, fillers, even know the variants of different lasers. Earlier, it wasn’t the case, I had to literally explain to them the procedures, many were scared of equipment, injections in the initial days, there was a lot of inhibition. This was one of the most significant challenges, to educate people about the possibilities in aesthetic medicine.
Today, while awareness and acceptance has grown, one of the major challenges is the fact that a lot of people do not appreciate the art behind aesthetics and some indulge in price comparisons. It is essential to highlight that aesthetic medicine is not a commodity, it is a service that requires absolute levels of perfection and control. Also crucial is the importance of educating people to explain the difference between a good job and a bad job, and the fact that more natural the results, the better is the job done.
Is it affordable for the common man?
Well, yes. People from all walks of life come to me for advice and help in improving their appearance.
Who should undergo such treatments?
There is no category of people who need aesthetic procedures. All of us at some point of time will develop and aesthetic concern for which we may need professional help. It might be acne breakouts in the 20s, dull skin and pigmentation in the 30s, and wrinkles and sagging skin in the 40s. People who work in the entertainment industry and have cameras focused on them 24/7 need aesthetic procedures to keep their skin looking good and spotless all the time. The needs may vary from person to person but anybody can undergo aesthetic procedures.
And what are the do’s and don’ts of surgical beautification?
For both surgical and non-surgical beauty enhancement the most important thing is to seek help from a well trained and experienced doctor. As mentioned above, some people consider this service as a commodity and indulge in price comparisons, looking for ‘less expensive’ services. This can turn out to be really costly in terms of physical well-being and results.
What are the risks involved in such procedures?
A surgical procedure involves cutting and bleeding and the risks of surgical procedures going wrong are much higher than non-surgical procedures. Non -surgical aesthetic procedures are more useful because they will not cause any harm to your health and are temporary. So if you do not like the outcome of say a particular lip enhancement, you can be relieved that it is not permanent; it can either be reversed by extracting out the filler or it will last for a few months time after which you will automatically revert back to your original appearance. This is not the case with surgical procedures.
How much desired change can be guaranteed by doctors?
Aesthetic procedures can completely alter your appearance. But the best procedures are those that look natural and do not look plastic. Most people want to look better but they do not want to disclose that they have undergone a procedure – surgical or non-surgical. So, the best procedures are those which achieve a change that is noticed by everybody but are so natural and subtle that no one is able to tell.
Do people suffer from any identity crises issues after facial surgery?
People in whom surgical procedures go wrong may face issues. This is why non-surgical temporary procedures are always more desirable.
Do people undergo surgeries as they crave for looking more beautiful or is it due to circumstances?
It’s a mix of both. For a particular woman it may just be a desire to look more beautiful, but for another, it may be a professional need. A person working in the entertainment or customer service industry has to look good.
Have you ever faced awkward situations from patients?
Sometimes we do. It is awkward when a person walks in and says she wants lips like a particular actress. We have to educate them that aesthetic procedures are not about becoming somebody else, they are as I stated above becoming the best version of yourself.
What is your message to our readers?
I would like to inform everybody that there is a difference between wanting to look beautiful and being obsessed with the idea of looking beautiful, and the latter is not a good thing. Also, there is no particular age when you have to start caring for your skin. To be able to look good and young for a long period of time, you should practice life-long skin and body care routines. Everything from what you eat, drink to how much and when you sleep makes a difference to your skin and appearance. I have written all this in detail in my book Age Erase. People who are interested can read it.