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04-04-10 | Posted by

Meet the Holistic Surgeon

Dr. Shirley Madhère is a breath of fresh air: a female plastic surgeon – with a multi-ethnic background, at that – practicing in a male dominated medical specialty, with an intelligent, engaging personality and a flair for fashion. She ascribes to a holistic philosophy when treating her patients, taking into account the surgical and non-surgical practices that contribute to “healthful beauty.” Born in Haiti, Dr. Madhere has expressed interest to specific organizations in volunteering her time and medical expertise there, and looks forward to being called upon to do so.  “I believe that Haiti will need help for many years to come,” she says. “I will certainly make my contribution there in due time!” In the meantime, she has offered her financial support to help the country recover from recent disasters.


Female plastic surgeons are quite a rarity — tell us about your path to the specialty and what it means to you to be one of the few and proud.

To be a practicing plastic surgeon is truly a blessing and a privilege for me.  I love what I do, and I try to make that evident in my work.  From early childhood, I have had a healthy respect for and fascination with the human body.  This awe was first expressed through the moving arts.  I danced ballet for several years and believed it to be a beautiful manifestation of how the body performed.  Later, I enhanced my admiration of the human body by adopting philosophies that complemented how the body functions and form the basis for my current practice philosophy.

You’ve been noted for your holistic approach to plastic surgery. What does this mean to you? What are your signature procedures?

(Smile)  I am often faced with a single brow elevated with a quizzical look when I am asked about my practice philosophy of “holistic plastic surgery.”  I know the terms do not seem to be related.  From my perspective, however, it makes sense and beyond!  I believe that healing and by extension, wellness and beauty, emanate from within.  This philosophy underscores that “healthy beauty” is optimally achieved and maintained when the mind-body connection is supported.  I agree with the aphorism “anima sana in corpore sano” or “a sound mind in a sound body;” this is the foundation of beauty.  Thus, my methodology may marry plastic surgical operations with in-office procedures and complementary therapies.  For example, a person presenting for a possible face lift may be advised on and brought through a program specific to that individual (skin care regimen, dietary modifications, fillers and other injectables, Vitaglow protocol, nutraceuticals, microdermabrasion, microcurrent therapy, manual lymphatic drainage, acupuncture, and homeopathy, etc.) in an effort to maximize positive results.

How has your multi-ethnic background enhanced your medical practice?

I have been essentially influenced by my multi-ethnic background.  What I have derived from a number of cultural perspectives on healing and beauty has been incorporated into my practice.  I also take great pleasure in travelling to learn and observe global beauty.

Do you have a very specific clientele, and does this differ between your two offices (in Manhattan’s SoHo and Upper East Side)?

My practices in NYC are quite diverse.  Nevertheless, one of the common factors that I share with my patients is the appreciation of a global perspective on beauty and wellness.

What is the Jet Set Beauty Rx?

Jet Set Beauty Rx was born out of multiple requests from my patients to visit them whenever they travelled.  Along with the kind invitation, sometimes came a mild-mannered joke that I should bring along my “bag of goodies.”  I first obliged some clients in Easthampton, NY.  Then came Los Angeles, CA.  Now, in addition, Jet Set Beauty RX may dispatch an on-call glam squad (make-up artists, hair stylist, facialist, massage therapist, nail technician) to help you “primp privately.”

What is the importance of nutraceuticals, and how can people incorporate them into their everyday lives?

Nutraceuticals are an integral part of my protocols for “healthful beauty.”  Whether before or after surgery, or for general maintenance, oral supplementation as a part of a diet including whole foods supports the paradigm of “beauty from within.”

What are your personal desert island beauty products? Which products do you recommend to your patients as must-haves?

I am not brand-loyal but rather ingredient-specific.  Skin care regimens along with other recommendations are tailored to the individual.  Nevertheless, in general, toiletry case and travel bag must-haves include:

1. A mild AHA/BHA (alpha-and-beta-hydroxy acid) cleanser;

2. A vitamin C and E serum;

3. Facial moisturizer;

4. A retinoid cream;

5. Sunscreen with UVA and UVB protection;

6. A refined facial essential oil (I like lavender and ylang ylang);

7. Scented body lotion with gold or bronze shimmer; and

8. Nourishing scalp oil (with rosemary and tea tree oils).

Are you a mom?

Not yet, but I have put that idea out to the Universe!

What’s your favorite bag?

My favorite bag is one that I use as my classic “doctor’s bag” the Hermès Birkin Bag, 35 cm, in black leather with gold hardware.

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