Dr Lionel Jedekin
“Plastic Surgery is the marriage of artistic talent with impeccable surgical skills.”
After having completed my ‘A’ levels in Zimbabwe, I began my undergraduate, MB.CHB. Degree in 1977 at the Godfrey Huggins School of Medicine, University of Rhodesia which then became the University of Zimbabwe after independence in 1980.
I completed my degree in 1982.
There had been an association with Edinburgh University Medical Faculty at that time, and our entire class of 1982 travelled to Edinburgh to sit the final exams in Edinburgh,
This being the LRCP&S (Edinburgh & Glasgow).
I attained my final FCS (plast SA) degree in1995, which is my specialty postgraduate degree in Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery.
The College of Medicine of South Africa administered this degree.
The gap between 1982 and 1995 was filled with excitement, travel, adventure and a great deal of studying.
1983: Residency in obstetrics and gynecology.
1984: Sailing Indian Ocean Islands
1985: General Practitioner in Durban
1989: Locum work and examinations in Canada and USA.
1990: Residency in Orthopaedics and general Surgery
1991: Residency in Plastic &Reconstructive Surgery
1995: Degree in Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery
1995: Begun Private practice in Plastic Surgery in Cape Town.
In 1990 I married my wife Jeni and now have 3 children ranging from 30 yrs. old to 20 yrs. old.
My interest in Plastic Surgery begun in my early medical school years and whilst doing my surgical internship in Natal I was exposed to a few interesting cases which ignited my interest.
Also having had the opportunity to attend plastic reconstructive clinics with the renown Dr. Wolf Losken influenced me.
The single most fascinating thing about Plastic Surgery is the fact that the surgeon has freedom of expression.
This may sound a little unconventional, so to speak, especially when considering that this specialty is so precise and every millimeter counts.
But this is exactly the point; Plastic Surgery is the marriage of artistic talent with impeccable surgical skills.
Moving skin and body parts around, whether it is of a reconstructive nature or aesthetically, is awe inspiring and challenging bearing in mind all the variables and permutations out there.
Essentially, having a liking of art and an aesthetic eye, in particular for good sculpture, edged me towards this most fascinating specialty.
Currently my super-specialty is rhinoplasty surgery.
I think that this is the epitome of fine surgical skills.
If a surgeon can “almost” perfect rhinoplasty, then he/she should be able to sail through most the other procedures with ease.
I say, “Almost perfect rhinoplasty” because I don’t think it is a perfectible operation.
This is just an opinion of mine after 20 years of experience and after having being taught by the world experts.
By the way, the world’s best rhinoplasty surgeons share the same opinion.
Another favourite of mine is facial and neck surgery, which is closely related to nose and eyes.
Every face, neck and pair of eyes is different and it is exactly this which is a challenge, because behind every, face, neck and eyes is a human being with emotions, feelings and thoughts.
So the challenge is to understand the patients’ expectations and ensure that they understand that you as the surgeon can achieve them as close as possible.
This is not easy as it is probably the most important interaction, which occurs between patient and surgeon. The realism of expectations. This takes time and care.
When I feel that I am not connecting on this level with the patient, I take a step back and having a checklist, I regroup my thoughts and begin again.
I have found that this plan always works and the connection is then established.
So, in conclusion to the above, I can clearly state that aesthetic surgery is like an intricate cake recipe.
Ingredients such as diligent organized thought processes, compassionate patient-surgeon interaction mixed in with artistic flare and care, will produce a very tasty cake, a very happy satisfied patient as well as a happy doctor.