Toronto Surgeon Dr. Philip Solomon, an expert in facial aesthetic surgery, shares his insights into why — and how — he chooses to help people change their physical appearance in order to feel more like themselves.
1. Tell us, what the impetus was for you to become a facial plastic surgeon?
Anyone who chooses to go into surgery as a profession is results oriented and desires to be able to make change. Being an Otolaryngologist Head and Neck Surgeon Practicing in Facial Plastic Surgery, allows me to express myself artistically and I am also able to change people physically but more importantly emotionally. I was initially drawn to architecture as a profession as it has some similar elements. But like everything else in life, you get influenced by mentors that you are fortunate enough to come across, and at the University of Toronto medical school I met some real pioneers in Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery and facial reconstructive and plastic surgery. They helped shape my path.
2. How has the industry transformed since you opened your doors?
Plastic surgery in general has evolved over the past 20 years. The field has become very specialized where there’s a trend for surgeons to focus on a handful of procedures that they do frequently. I have focused on a narrow field exclusively of facial plastic cosmetic procedures which I believe has enhanced my patients’ care. Furthermore, the industry has transformed with the evolution of technology and pharmaceuticals which have influenced how we approach and treat our patients.
3. How has your practice changed since you started?
Initially, I focused on reconstructive head and neck surgery as well as cosmetic and reconstructive facial plastic surgery. Over the past 2 decades I have chosen to narrow my practice to facial aesthetic surgery including rhinoplasty surgery, facelifts, blepharoplasty, facial implants and transgender/facial feminization surgery. My clinic has also grown to include a number of anti-aging laser and skin technologies.
4. This issue of Living Luxe is themed “Transformation.” How would you connect that to your niche and/or clients?
I have a very focused practice on facial plastic surgery. My staff and I want to help people make changes so they can feel their best. We are constantly adding to our portfolio acquiring the most cutting-edge technology so that we can provide world class treatments. We want to be one of the premiere destinations in Canada in facial plastics and facial rejuvenation. Many of our clients come to us because they want to make physical changes that can have a positive impact on their self-esteem.
5. When it comes to cosmetic surgery, it’s all about transformation for the patients. How do you deal with their expectations about the results?
We try our best to communicate with, and educate our patients in a way to meet their goals and provide realistic outcomes. There is no one fix for all. Did I explain my 1 + 1 +1= 10? If you have surgery, that’s a “one,” a non-surgical treatment like Botox is a “one” and then laser resurfacing would be one, and if you add them all up you get a 10. Quite often, the most exceptional results are achieved with multiple applications. Working together with my patients is my ultimate goal to achieve the best results.
6. While trends don’t necessarily dictate decision-making, being an expert in your field, what are some current surprises that you have noticed people are embracing now?
I think there is a trend in plastic surgery in general towards achieving more natural results. Take for example rhinoplasty (nose jobs). This procedure has now shifted to clients wanting to preserve their look rather than completely change it with a more sculpted, up-turned nose. With facelift surgery, I think people are more open to embarking on this procedure. Years ago, it used to be taboo or something just the rich and famous do. Here in Canada, the cost of facelift surgery is very reasonable compared to the U.S. We have excellent surgeons, more advanced techniques and improved technology. I have personally have adopted the Deep Plane technique which offers longer lasting and more natural results for my patients. With the advent of the internet, more information is available to research and learn, making people more open minded to embrace the experience.
7. And what insight do you have for the future of plastic surgery?
I think society in general has embraced plastic surgery as mainstream. People realize that we are living longer and want to look and feel our best no matter what our age.