Photo Credit: beautyinthebag.com
Born and raised in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Dr. Marcos Sforza received his training in plastic surgery by world-renowned plastic surgeon Ivo Pitanguy. After finishing his training, he was invited to remain at Professor Pitanguy’s school as a teaching instructor. Moving to England shortly after, he began his career as a cosmetic plastic surgeon, consulting in London, Birmingham and Manchester and has now completed over 5,000 procedures.
Dr. Sforza is an accomplished and respected aesthetic surgeon who has published over thirty renowned papers, book chapters and articles on burn care, trauma, reconstruction, stem cell medicine and aesthetic surgery. He considers his desire for surgical excellence to be a lifelong pursuit.
Dr. Sforza is currently the Scientific Director at MyAesthetics Ltd. and previously Medical Director at Dolan Park Hospital. He also serves on the Medical Advisory Board of Establishment Labs that markets Motiva breast implants hailing from Costa Rica that is gaining tremendous interest around the world, although not yet available in the USA.
BITB spoke with Dr. Sforza about his career as an aesthetic plastic surgeon and the new techniques we can expect to see in the field.
1. How and when did you become interested in the field of cosmetic surgery?
I have always been interested in science and surgery appealed to me as it involves working on a wide range of conditions in different parts of the body. I believe waking up in the morning, looking in the mirror and feeling good about yourself is one of our most important tools to face the world with confidence and happiness, which is why I find the cosmetic side so appealing.
My career was inspired by the most famous plastic surgeon in the world called Ivo Pitanguy. When I was 13 years old, I read his book called “A Right to Beauty” and decided to follow in his footsteps. I was honoured to be his student and work with him for 5 years.
Continuous advanced education and training is my lifelong pursuit. There are always new techniques being developed to make patients’ cosmetic surgery easier and safer. I love exploring new ways to give patients the very best possible solution for their procedure.
2. What cosmetic procedures are your patients asking for most right now?
I would say the demand for subtle, understated anti-ageing procedures is the new ideal across all age demographics and more ‘conspicuous’ treatments are becoming less popular.
Women in their twenties and thirties are asking for breast augmentations, but with smaller implants. Nose jobs are prominent in this age category, which I think may be partly inspired by the rising ‘selfie culture.’
An AAFPRS report revealed Instagram selfies are one of the biggest incentives for plastic surgery, particularly among millennials. Otoplasty is often requested by younger patients, one of the most common reasons being because they feel their ears stick out too much.
Patients in their 30s request procedures focused on the abdomen and hip areas, so there’s been a rise in fat transfer and liposuction. They’re more likely to seek lip augmentation, as a more permanent solution to fillers.
For patients in their 40s and 50s, I do a lot of upper eyelid skin and blepharoplasties to remove excess hanging skin.
When women, in particular, get older, they only have one-tenth of the estrogen they previously had. Because oestrogen stimulates collagen, this dramatic loss during menopause can manifest as very dry, cracked skin and deep-set wrinkles become more pronounced.
As a result, this age group tends to seek a modern face-lift, which subtly tightens skin at the side of the face and on the jawline, without looking taut.
Patients in their 60s not only opt for face lifts, but neck lifts too. With swan-neck-style procedures, I remove the skin under the neck, pull it into a sharper angle and often combine it with liposuction to remove fat beneath the chin.
3. What are a few new techniques and methods you are most excited about and why?
One of the latest exciting developments is the use of 3D VR for cosmetic surgery. This enables patients to see how they would look after different procedures, without them having to set foot inside an operating theatre.
The technology started as 3D glasses but has now advanced to simply standing in front of a video screen, so patients are able to twist and turn and look at themselves as if it’s a mirror from multiple angles.
It works by laser scanning body parts in 3D with an iPad, then providing simulation tools to manipulate the 3D model of the client. This gives patients a glimpse of what they could expect from a surgical procedure.
In 2011, French regulators caused worldwide panic when they announced women with PIP implants should have them removed immediately. Many rushed to surgeons to determine whether their implants were manufactured by PIP, but a lot had misplaced their product or warranty cards, so there wasn’t an easy way to tell.
Fast-forward seven years and surgeons are endorsing revolutionary technology that will prevent such situations re-occurring. This means encouraging women to purchase implants containing Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chips, which store information such as date of manufacture, size and serial number.
We will see more exciting developments in 3D printing across cosmetic surgery. Scientists have already created breast implants for cancer reconstruction surgery. Unlike most used for reconstruction, these are different because they’re an absorbable shell-like structure that can contain injected fatty tissues, without causing harm to the patient.