Plastic Surgeon Dr.Amanda Fanous talks building a practice, excellence in the field of plastics, all whilst balancing a home.
Meet Dr Amanda, @DrAmandaFanous renown Plastic Surgeon with a speciality in rhinoplasty and facial reconstructive surgery. A mother and wife, she has launched herself into business right out of Medical school, following her fathers footsteps and continuing his legacy as a Surgeon. Getting mentored in France by one of the best surgeons in the country Dr Olivier Gerbault has refined her eye for surgery which made her one of the top surgeons in Canada for rhinoplasty. Having finished her studies at the prestigious University of McGill in Montreal has allowed her to be surrounded by the best in her field all while balancing the business aspect she learned arduously through her fathers practice. Her story is one of resilience, passion for her craft and truly having it all.
Tell us about the journey that led you to becoming a plastic surgeon?
My father was a plastic surgeon, and I was exposed to it from a very young age about what he did as a surgeon. Today we share the same space and we each have our own individual practice. When I got into medical school, I thought I wanted to work in paediatrics or even internal medicine but as time went on, I realized that my love for the operating room was bigger than me. At the same time, I also love creating things and the thing that sets plastic surgery apart from the rest of the fields in medicine, is that when you operate, it requires a sort of craftsmanship and art. It is extremely gratifying for me to see the final results of my operations.
I did my medical schooling and residency at McGill University and I completed my sub- specialty in facial plastic surgery in Paris, France. I had the privilege to be trained by the inventor of ultrasonic rhinoplasty Dr. Olivier Gerbeau. It’s safe to say that they provided us with some of the best schooling on earth.
What do you specialize in?
I specialize in facial plastic surgery only, such as rhinoplasty and facelifts.
When did you start your own clinic?
I started my own clinic in 2018, when I got back form France. At that same time, I gave birth to my beautiful daughter and just after Covid-19 started and I had to stop operating for a few months. Interestingly, I was operating until about one week before birth.
Tell us about the process of embodying becoming a plastic surgeon to then owning your own clinic and becoming a mother all at the same time?
To be honest, I have no business background whatsoever, but I love my craft, performing it and I hope that comes through with my patients, social media and in my website. I have to say that I got very lucky because my business grew exponentially organically.
We’re not many female rhinoplasty surgeons in the world that specializes in the human face. We’re a handful at international conferences and I am one of two in all of Canada, the other being in Calgary. I think one of the reasons is because woman in plastic surgery tend to focus more on reconstructive surgery or breast augmentation.
Rhinoplasty is considered the hardest surgery in plastic surgery and is a very macho man’s world. I love the fact that slowly woman are breaking these barriers and getting more involved in the field, but facial surgery is still dominated by man.
You said that your father does all types of plastic surgery, is that what influenced your decision to enter this field?
Absolutely! I think that it’s impossible for him to not have. I witnessed his lifestyle and talk about his work to me and gave me insight into what that world would look life if I decided to pursue it. He also took his time to teach me and I can say that he taught me the most. He taught me how to see things differently, and the art of surgery. He has been my main mentor in my life.
Did you have any women mentors along your journey?
My teacher Dr. Francoise, who was a world renown ear surgeon was a mentor of mine. I also had Dr. Darina Crastinova, who is a specialist in eye lid surgery also helped me along the way. What’s amazing about these woman is that they’re a little older and became plastic surgeons back in the day when it was really rare to have female plastic surgeons, so to have such amazing and beautiful women surgeons who are total go-getters as role models was such a blessing and amazing experience.
What was one of the greatest lessons you learned whilst developing your own practice?
I thought it would take me ten years before ever owning my own practice. I have been told by my clients, that my love for my craft really translates into the finishing result and they love the fact that I am very honest. It is this honesty whether or not the client agrees, that really propelled me to where I am today alongside my love for the field. I always refuse to take a job such as upturned barbie noses that look unnatural. There isn’t a “one shoe fits all” formula because some girls fit different styles and I would never tell you something looks good on you if it doesn’t suit your face.
How does it work? Are there certain measurements or guidelines to follow per facial structure?
There are a few measurements but it’s really the eye of the surgeon that makes the real difference, and that’s what makes it a really hard surgery. It’s all 3D and super minute work, where every single millimetre counts and a single millimetre mistake can have devastating effects on the look. That is what makes this particular field fun but so challenging at the same time. As they say, the devil is in the details.
Do you also offer a service for correcting bad surgeries?
I actually started doing a lot of revisions now. In the past year, my practice has gone from 0 to 30% revision based.
What are the reason people come and get these revisions? Is it a matter of complications after surgery or more aesthetics?
Half of the patients that come to see me have trouble breathing properly and the other half don’t like how the end result looked. Sometimes we have a nose that collapsed or the surgeon removed too much and the reasons go on and on. At the end of the day it’s all about what the client wants and if they come see me it is usually a clear indication that they are not happy with their current situation.
What is your vision in the near future for your clinic?
At the moment, my wait-list is three months for a consult and at least seven months for the actual surgery. I am truly happy about that. My Tik Tok has also exploded recently, and I think that may be the reason why. I have two videos that went viral with over 3 million views.
As far as expansion goes, our operating room is running every single day between my father and I. That being said, an expansion into different fields of medicine and the hiring of other surgeons or doctors in general would be an amazing possibility for the future.
With all that people are exposed to on social media and how the media portrays beauty, what trends are you seeing and what are the looks that you advise your clients to go for?
I think each face has a few possibilities. We have to find the right balance between what would suit the patients face and what they want. I encourage patients to bring a mood board of pictures of different noses that they like and then with all that I mentioned previously we come to a vision we both agree on. I also have a simulator, where I show the patient what the nose would look like. As I’ve previously said, there are times where unfortunately, what the patient wants, just doesn’t work, will not suit them and I have to refuse the job because it goes against my values to give an unnatural look to a patient.
From a personal standpoint, can you tell us what your routine looks like with your busy life and how do you stay balanced juggling it all?
I’m definitely a morning person because my daughter is up at 5:30am. I always plan my surgery days the night before, and so I wake up, have my coffee, spend quality time with my daughter and then I’m off to work after dropping my daughter at daycare. I have surgeries, three to four days a week, and the rest of the time doing consultations or injections. We have a nurse injector, but when it comes to the nose, because it is such a high risk area, I prefer doing them myself.
I also work half a day a week at the hospital to do trauma and reconstruction cases for cancers with severe nasal deformities. I had to learn to disconnect after work. I enjoy weekends with my daughter and doing activities with her. Work/life balance is super important. Whenever I get a chance, I also like dancing and drop into ballet classes.
What is the one thing you would want your daughter to retain from your professional endeavours?
I would want her to know that the sky is the limit. I would also want her to know that everything a man can do, so can a woman, that she should go after her dreams no matter what, and those dreams do not have to be at the price of not having a family.
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