MUDr. Gabrielem Šlárkem
PLASTIC SURGERY IS A FORM OF ART FOR ME
In his spare time, he sculpts statues. Then he puts on his medical coat and helps people achieve their dream figures. I talked to plastic surgeon Gabriel Šlárk about the trend of body contouring and the latest developments in plastic surgery.
What did you fall in love with first, sculpting or plastic surgery?
Sculpting. Even as a twelve-year-old boy, I loved visual arts and had countless books about it. I wanted to go to art school, but that’s when my parents stepped in and told me to pursue medicine. So within medicine, I chose what was closest to my hobby – plastic surgery.
Do you draw inspiration from your hobby?
Definitely. I see it as a form of art. Even in sculpting, there are several techniques, just like in surgeries. When you work with materials like plasticine or clay, you are essentially adding volume, which is similar to adding breasts, hips, or buttocks. Then you have stone, from which you’re subtracting, which is quite akin to when someone has excess fat; you simply need to remove it. It’s a creative and diverse job. Many clients come to me with some idea of how they want to look, but a significant percentage of them don’t really know precisely. They come with a small spark of desire, wanting to change something, and they expect the best results.
CLINIC IS EXPANDING
A NEW BRANCH OF THE CLINIC IS OPENING IN KUWAIT. THE CLINIC’S FOUNDER, MUDR. ALI AMIRI, WILL BE THE MAIN DOCTOR, ASSISTING SCHEDULED PATIENTS THERE EVERY WEEK. “IT WILL BE AN INTERNATIONAL CLIENTELE, AND I’M REALLY EXCITED FOR IT. NOT ONLY ARE THEY MORE DEMANDING AND SENSITIVE
TO PAIN THAN US, BUT ALSO DUE TO DIFFERENT WEATHER AND SUN EXPOSURE, THEY HAVE DIFFERENT SKIN ISSUES. SO, WE WILL BE UTILIZING NEW EQUIPMENT AND PRODUCTS.”
And what do you enjoy the most? What type of surgery?
Currently, it’s definitely body contouring that fulfills me professionally in recent years. I don’t perform only this type of procedure, but it’s definitely what I enjoy the most. I like helping people achieve their desired figures. Just yesterday, I had a client who had an apple-shaped body and left with curves like Kim Kardashian. She hugged me, saying she absolutely didn’t expect such a result.
Does it hurt?
No, it doesn’t. Thanks to the innovations we have in plastic surgery. It’s not so much about new devices as it is about new methods. Many people want to hear that they’ve developed a machine that makes us look twenty years younger, but that’s nonsense; such a machine doesn’t exist. I see innovations mainly in areas such as improving safety during and after surgeries, reducing pain, and so on. The client isn’t interested in what happens during the surgery. They want the result to be perfect, and they don’t want it to hurt. These are the things they fear.
So, have they developed better painkillers to reduce pain?
That’s not the case at all. We’ve had painkillers on the market for decades, but it’s about new surgical procedures. There’s an indescribable difference between how surgeries were performed in the past and how they are done today. I don’t like to criticize other doctors, but most of them still use outdated surgical procedures. However, it’s entirely unnecessary, on the contrary. Everything has fundamentally progressed. Thanks to new surgical procedures, scientifically and statistically proven better results, less pain and risk, and shorter recovery times have been achieved.
Why do you think some doctors still use outdated procedures? Don’t they want to continuously educate themselves?
It’s hard to say why that is. However, from my own experience, I know that private workshops, seminars, or other forms of education cost a lot of money, time, and energy. A plastic surgeon isn’t just an artist and a doctor but also needs to be a bit of a businessman.
I understand that not everyone is…
And they should also be a kind of marketer, they need to be empathetic and excellent at communicating with clients. A good plastic surgeon must have a very wide range of skills. When I look at what the best plastic surgeons in the world have in common, it’s probably their dissatisfaction with the results. They are constantly looking for ways to improve, striving for perfection every day. It doesn’t matter at what global level you are; there is always room for improvement.
What trends do you perceive in plastic surgery for both women and men?
In both genders, we have evergreen procedures that are consistently popular. For women, these include classic breast enhancements, abdominoplasties after childbirth, and various nose surgeries. Currently, I believe that body contouring is in high demand and is becoming a prominent service, helping women achieve their desired figures. As for men, the evergreen procedure could be considered penis enhancements, and the trend is facial surgeries. Men have become more interested in taking care of their skin and have realized that they also age. I frequently encounter patients seeking facial plastic surgery. Additionally, body contouring is becoming popular among men, transforming obese individuals into those with a sculpted abdomen. However, it’s essential to mention that trends vary in Europe and the rest of the world, depending on what is being promoted and the demand.
When it comes to achieving a sculpted abdomen, isn’t it better to exercise?
Of course, it’s always better to exercise, no doubt about that. However, you must realize that certain body features, like breast tissue, cannot be exercised away. Each of us is born with a different genetic predisposition for our bodies. You can exercise throughout your life, but it doesn’t guarantee that you’ll achieve the exact figure you desire. Not everyone has the same genetic foundation. Consider comparing a tall and lean individual with someone who has a sturdy build and is genetically predisposed for throwing shot puts. I have several clients who come in for body contouring after multiple pregnancies because they finally have time for themselves and want to look good. Some women come during menopause when weight loss becomes more challenging. Others have family problems, and there are many reasons why people seek body contouring. After the operation, I see a significant change in their behavior. Many individuals start taking better care of themselves, engage in exercise, and make healthier dietary choices.
It’s a fresh start for them…
Exactly. They become more determined and start caring for their bodies. They simply want to maintain this state and finally feel comfortable in their bodies.
How about your own involvement in sports? What do you enjoy besides sculpting?
I’m very fond of mountain sports. I live in the High Tatras, so I engage in rock climbing and skialpinism. Many people might say it’s a completely different world from sculpting and plastic surgery, but in my view, it complements them beautifully. In terms of endurance, precision, and patience, it’s a perfect fit. These are qualities I need for sculpting and in the operating room.