Plastic surgery has become a part of life, says a top surgeon, and the UAE is surging ahead in the field.

Dr Ali Al Numairy, consultant plastic surgeon and head of the Plastic Surgery Department, Rashid Hospital, tells Gulf News that Dubai has the best facilities, and this has triggered an increase in surgeries.

Why has plastic surgery become popular here in recent times?
The UAE is in the advanced stage in the field of plastic surgery, immediately applying revolutionary techniques being discovered worldwide.

UAE plastic surgeons are far ahead of many others in this field. The UAE plays a good role in spreading a treatment for burn reconstruction worldwide. It has progressed systematically, in a scientific manner. Today plastic surgery is a part of life.

Why has Dubai become so popular as a centre for plastic surgery?

Dubai has most of the best facilities, the latest machines and safest techniques in plastic surgery.

The number of people undergoing cosmetic surgery has increased over the last five years. A far greater number of UAE nationals and expatriates are opting for surgery locally because of convenience and the cost. Patients can also go home in two days.

Which hospitals do these surgeries?

In the government sector, Rashid Hospital has a full-fledged Plastic Surgery Department. In the private sector, most plastic surgeons practise in clinics and they go to a neighbouring hospital that has the facilities for the surgeries.

Gulf Plastic Surgery Hospital is a specialised hospital for plastic surgery with an operating theatre and in-patient facilities.

What are the surgeries in demand?
Aesthetic laser treatments and surgery; body sculpting (liposuction); breast augmentation, reduction and lift; chin and cheek implants; soft tissue filler; face lift; fat transfer; micro-hair transplantation; rhinoplasty and tummy tuck.

Are there any major side-effects?

All surgeries carry the possible risk of complications. The risk is, however, low. Complications tend to be rare and most are minor and are resolved without the need for further surgery.

Bleeding, infection, delayed healing, bruising and swelling, stitch abscesses, scarring, anaesthesia-related complications are the most common complications related with plastic surgical procedures. Most "complications" of cosmetic surgery are not true complications, but rather unrealised expectations. Cosmetic surgery is real surgery and therefore, it involves some degree of risk. Fortunately, complications are seldom and are usually correctable.

Is malpractice, especially by visiting surgeons, common?
Malpractice by definition is a mistake leading to damage and there is a relationship between the mistake and the damage. Not all bad results are malpractice and not all doctor-made damages are malpractice. Some visiting surgeons are very good and are linked to reputable hospitals.

I appreciate the Department of Health and Medical Services' strict measures to implement separate licences for laser treatments carried out by plastic surgeons and dermatologists in the private sector. We believe that such steps will control malpractices in these fields and will enhance the quality of health care in Dubai.

Your message to the people...

Don't believe the advertisements; plastic surgery is a medical field with maximum demand. Don't go for surgery except to a plastic surgeon who is trained, qualified, certified and licensed.