Behind every great business there’s a passionate person with the vision putting in the hours. Today we speak to The Doctor’s Studio, one of Melbourne’s most recognised cosmetic surgeons who also happens to be a skilled dermal injector.
The Doctor’s Studio: You’re an established cosmetic surgeon and the founder of The Doctor’s Studio in Melbourne. What was it that initially attracted you to the cosmetic industry?
Dr David Topchian. Seeing the improvement in people’s lives that something as simple as looking a little better resulted in. I’m a visual person so I like to think about how to please the mind through what the eye sees.
I spent years working to patch people up after accidents, or treating medical diseases and disorders, but I found that people who’s self-esteem was improved with cosmetic surgery were more grateful, paradoxically. So I continued and here I am 18 years later.
The Doctor’s Studio. When conceptualising The Doctor’s Studio and choosing to launch your own clinic what was your inspiration, what are your goals for The Doctor’s Studio?
Dr David Topchian. I trained and worked in clinics all over Australia and some overseas, and felt that the time was right to create a clinic that reflected what I thought was ‘best practice’. Or to put it less medically: an amazing treatment experience.
To me nature and art are important so I wanted that to be reflected in the clinic space; many people are worried about looking ‘worked on’ or obviously fake so I wanted to reassure people that we’re not into that. We want our clients to look refreshed, natural.
Apart from the tranquil space and natural treatment goals, I’ve worked hard to assemble a team of very experienced and expert therapists who are passionate about what they do. We all share a similar philosophy.
The Doctor’s Studio: Many of the injectable procedures at The Doctor’s Studio focus on making minor adjustments to rebalance features and plump skin, can you tell us more about the new advancements in fillers and why they’re so good?
Dr David Topchian. As we learn more about how to slow (or reverse!) the ageing process, new treatment technologies provide a more natural rejuvenation result than the older techniques.
So this includes off-the-shelf dermal fillers that stimulate collagen, feel completely natural, and last a long time, as well as using your own tissues (like blood concentrates or even your own fat cells) to rejuvenate the face in a very biocompatible and safe way.
More and more international conferences are being held around these emerging biotechnologies and patients are the beneficiaries. Doctors too are realising the benefits of these ‘autologous’ treatments.
The Doctor’s Studio: You recently went to Bangkok to attend a conference about Autologous treatments. Can you tell us more about what Autologous treatments are, why they’re so interesting to you and how you see them being utilised at The Doctor’s Studio in future?
Dr David Topchian. We’ve been doing fat transfer for about 13 years, and each year the technique is improved and refined, to make it more consistent and achieve better results.
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) treatments have been around for years in sports medicine. In the past 10 years they have also gained popularity in cosmetic facial treatments to rejuvenate skin and facial tissues. These treatments generally work better when combined with other modalities like laser or radio-frequency.
The Doctor’s Studio: You’re constantly educating yourself about new advancements in cosmetic procedures. What’s really getting you excited at the moment?
Dr David Topchian. I’m working on refining the fat transfer procedure that I’ve been doing for a long time, but getting more consistent results for patients. It’s very satisfying to put together an individually-tailored treatment plan for a client, then see them looking great at their 3-month review.
The Doctor’s Studio: Non-invasive cosmetic enhancement and surgery are often criticised as vanity spends, which they may be, but what results, other than the physical do you find with your patients after a procedure?
Dr David Topchian. There are a couple of things that come to mind:
People are mostly unhappy about a feature that bothers them, and other people mostly don’t focus on it. We are our own worst enemies in this regard. I reassure people that when they meet someone new, the other person usually focusses on their positive features – the opposite of what we do to ourselves!
So having a treatment that successfully improves a minor flaw has the effect of improving a person’s self-esteem as they’re not unhappy with that flaw anymore.
What other people close to the client see is an improvement in self-confidence and self-esteem. And this is what makes the person more attractive – the more outgoing attitude.
The Doctor’s Studio: As someone who works in an industry focused on ageing as gracefully as possible, what do you do to stay fit and look after yourself? Are there any treatments at The Doctor’s Studio that you are a fan of for yourself?
Dr David Topchian. I think the foundation for optimal ageing is, really, lifestyle. Whilst this is quite a simple idea, the day-to-day execution of this isn’t so easy. Anyone who’s tried waking up at 5.30am to exercise, or who’s taking the time to shop for and prepare healthy meals can agree with!
Sometimes I’ll have an injectable treatment if I’m noticing lines that irritate me, or if there’s volume loss in my face that I think should be corrected, but I like to have a regular HydraFacial and I’m going to start some rejuvenation laser treatments too. I don’t want too much down time so these are all perfect.
The Doctor’s Studio: Men are increasingly turning to non-invasive and cosmetic surgery, what are some of your most popular treatments for men?
Dr David Topchian. The moobs (man-boobs) are a popular treatment, as well as abdomen and love handles liposuction, including Hi-Def.
We’re also seeing more men who want to slow or reverse the facial ageing process, whether that’s for professional or personal reasons. They are mostly choosing injectable treatments, as well as lasers.
The Doctor’s Studio: Can you tell us more about future directions in your industry? What’s coming next?
Dr David Topchian. I’m convinced that the autologous treatments, that involve rejuvenating your own tissues – using your own tissues, will continue to increase in popularity as more people learn about them. Definitely, a move towards more natural results, because they are now easier to achieve and still get great results.
The Doctor’s Studio: You regularly speak at events, attend conferences and have young registrars observing your practice as you work. Why is it important to you to share knowledge with the younger generation?
Dr David Topchian. Nobody has all the answers; in sharing our knowledge we often learn a lot from the people were teaching. Everybody benefits. In sharing knowledge we increase the industry and professional knowledge, and hopefully standards. This is great for patients, and good for the profession too because if we can maintain a high standard then people will have more confidence in what we do.
And I want to have someone knowledgeable treat me when I need it!