A. I’ve been asked this question many times by those who don’t understand the difference between a medical consultation with a doctor and a non-medical consultation with me, so I’m glad to give an in-depth answer here.
The most obvious difference is that when you consult with a surgeon, you will only be offered the procedures that he or she performs, which may or may not be the best, latest or most cost-effective option for you. Whereas I have unlimited access to all available procedures performed by various top medical professionals throughout the world, plus extensive knowledge of what really works and what doesn’t.
Continuing, a surgeon doesn’t make his or her living from consultations. For example, although he/she may only charge $250 (or in your currency) for a consultation, a top surgeon can clear many thousands from a single facelift taking 2-3 hours. (That same surgeon performing only 5 operations a week will still take home at least one million a year.) Whereas I only do consultations, which also encompass 1) Individual assessment 2) Independent treatment plan often involving different specialist doctors and 3) Follow-up.
Surgeons may do up to 15 consultations a day, generating bookings for operations worth tens of thousands when patients proceed with surgery. I never do more than one consultation a day and give each client my undivided attention. The rest of the day will be spent on following up previous clients, doing research, attending meetings and dealing with admin and other office duties.
Crucially, I take regular research sabbaticals in order to stay at the very forefront of the highly complex and ever-evolving field of aesthetics and anti-ageing. This means it’s not possible for me to consult every week of the year, therefore the number of new clients I can take on is necessarily limited. While I’m obviously not qualified to do surgery (and harbour no aspirations in that direction!) and have the utmost respect for the operating skills of our esteemed medical professionals, I’ve proven to be better informed on many, many occasions over the past 3 decades. This is due to the unpaid portion of my working year devoted to in-depth research and fact-finding.
In addition, during the past 33 years I’ve seen thousands of patient case histories up close that were performed by a myriad of different doctors from around the world – few surgeons, if any, can say that. Not that it’s a competition – just stating the facts. To each consultation I bring over 60,000 hours’ experience and specialist knowledge acquired over a period of more three decades. Remember that I’ve been working in this field much longer than most cosmetic surgeons currently in practice. (And longer than ALL aesthetic doctors & clinics, since that particular specialty didn’t even exist three decades ago!)
A surgeon’s practice is supported by income generated from surgery. My consultancy is supported solely by income from consulting. I have all the unavoidable business expenses including office overheads, staff wages, computer equipment, web hosting, banking fees, merchant commissions that take a percentage of every consultation payment, accounting & administration charges, travel expenses, 40% income tax and so on. It simply wouldn’t be viable to charge any less than I do. I’ve often been told by clients and as well as surgeons who understand the value of what I offer that I undercharge for my one-of-a-kind service.
My clients can save a lot more money than the cost of a consultation by avoiding expensive mistakes like wasting money on treatments that don’t work, unknowingly spending way more than the going rate or getting botched and having to pay again for revision surgery. When a client starts their consultation by telling me they are planning a procedure that I know to be ill advised, ineffective or the wrong procedure for them and I explain why it’s a bad idea, they immediately save several thousand within the first few minutes. This scenario takes place all the time.
Only those who consult with me after making the wrong choices know the true value of getting the right information. You also save time and stress by not having to attempt researching through a minefield of misleading information, hidden advertising and media fabrications, where the odds are stacked against you. And always remember that I work for you, not the doctors. It’s your choice whether you think it’s worth consulting with me, just as it’s your decision whether or not to follow my recommendations.
A. Having the independent treatment plan saves a lot of time and money, especially for those wishing to have a more than one procedure. My individually tailored treatment plans may include different specialist doctors for each procedure, whereas a medical practice would normally only recommend the specialists they employ and the options available in their clinic.
Increasingly, those who unwittingly act on the monumental amount of disinformation on the internet (fake reviews, manipulated images, etc.) end up requiring revision again and again as they try to reverse earlier procedures or have things done in completely the wrong order and generally zigzag all over the place in a futile attempt to attain their ideal result. I’m seeing more and more clients who have been through that expensive and fruitless process. It’s obviously far better to have a solid treatment plan and get it right the first time. And not only to save time and money, but to avoid needing revision, which is often more complex with a less predictable outcome – plus the fewer general anaesthetics you have the better.
A. No regrets. If I’d trademarked it, it may not have gone into everyday use. Knowing that I contributed something to modern-day parlance is enough. Back in the 80s and 90s when I was doing a lot of media appearances (before the media changed) I referred to my transformation as “Extreme Makeover.” No one had ever used surgery in that way before, so of course there was no name for it, or even any reason for such a term to exist. Others eventually picked up on it and started repeating it.
It came about because I grew up in the 60s and remembered being fascinated by the hair and makeup makeovers in the women’s magazines my mother subscribed to. I thought my transformation was like those makeovers (and no doubt inspired by them), but extreme, so I put the two words together and coined the term Extreme Makeover in 1987. Now over 30 years later it’s widely used, including to describe things like home improvements and it’s even in some dictionaries!
A. I’m based in London England, but also consult in Geneva Switzerland. My enduring trademark style has always been timeless European elegance – never appearing obvious, overdone or outdated. Therefore I only recommend doctors who not only share this aesthetic, but to whom I would entrust (or have entrusted) my own life and looks. Most are in the UK and Europe, and my clients travel from all over the world for treatment. However I can and do recommend truly excellent doctors in most parts of the world, so if you wish to know if I have doctors in a specific location before booking your consultation, please enquire first using the contact form.
A. Depending on your individual needs, cost will be determined at the time of your consultation. Fees for these top doctors are at the mid-range to upper end of the scale. However the most expensive surgery is having to have inferior results revised because you end up paying twice.
I don’t recommend cut-price surgery or the cheap looking results they can produce. All of my own procedures are done in either London or Geneva.
Beware of any clinics using my pictures to promote themselves by pretending they did my surgery. I’ve visited dozens of of clinics all over the world and been photographed and filmed with many different surgeons but that doesn’t mean I am a patient of any of them. The internet being what it is, I am aware that my name and photographs have been used by unscrupulous clinics I’ve never even heard of on their web sites and social media.
A. Please ignore whatever age Wikipedia randomly decides to assign me, it’s not a reliable source. Wikipedia keyboard warriors constantly crawl pages and revise the facts. (Just click on any page’s “View History” tab to see the incessant editing and re-editing that goes on.) They even announced my death several years ago – complete with macabre details of how I allegedly died and description of my funeral. Being very much alive and more than a little shaken as condolences were flooding into my office, I identified myself to Wikipedia and corrected the page. Then comically, Wikipedia gave me a stern warning saying people are not allowed to correct pages about themselves! Staunchly defending false information from their approved source – a treacherous anonymous troll – they reinstated the details of my alleged death. However when the story of Wikipedia killing me off appeared in the UK national press along with a news interview with me, they were forced to allow the correction. This type of wilful misinformation is by no means unique, so I would never, ever trust anything on Wikipedia. The same goes for a good deal of the media, unfortunately.
My age: I’m in my early 60s, but keep the exact date private to prevent identity theft, as everyone should these days. But early 60s is only my chronological age. According to my telomere analysis and advanced diagnostics, the biological age of my body and brain is that of someone in their 30s. Furthermore, the cumulative effect of my aesthetic procedures gives me a perceived age of 30-40, which I’m often mistaken for. So sixty is the new thirty! Or at least it CAN be. We have the technology.
A. Nothing, it’s just not for me. I have no intention of growing old and sick in the conventional sense. Instead I will continue to roll back the years from the inside out, never looking or feeling my chronological age. I will always work to maintain the younger biological and perceived age I’ve created. Further armed with my complete DNA and telomere profiles, I can monitor known inherited genetic variants that may or may not manifest. Such advantages didn’t exist back in the time when the saying “growing old gracefully” was first coined.
A. I’ve had 14 surgical procedures since 1987, some performed at the same time, totalling 9 actual operations. I planned everything very carefully so only had 5 general anaesthetics, the rest were under sedation.
Whereas the sensationalist media often make up much higher, ridiculously inflated numbers, sometimes going into the hundreds! And the internet repeats untruths like an echo chamber, adding more and more ops as it goes along. However, all claims of more than 14 surgical procedures (or 9 operations) are, like so many things you read these days, completely untrue and cynically fabricated for attention or click bait. More about that here.
If I’d actually undergone the crazy number of operations claimed by some sources, I’d look like a patchwork quilt! Instead, my aim has always been to appear completely natural with no traces of surgery. And health is the number one priority at all times, so I keep the number of general anaesthetics to an absolute minimum. The key is to maximise results with the fewest interventions possible. This saves time, money and – most importantly – the risk exposure that every procedure carries regardless of how minor.
I’ve also had numerous in-office and non-surgical treatments such as facial peels and tooth whitening, which confused the issue and some decided to count them as “operations.” This equates to claiming that someone who has Botox injections plus twice a year for 5 years has had 10 “operations.” That’s how my Guinness Record for “Most Cosmetic Procedures” (NOT “Most Operations”) came about over twenty years ago. Every single non-surgical beauty treatment was counted as part of the total. There had never been an extreme makeover before so they had no idea how to present it.
Nor did I spend anywhere near the preposterous amounts of money claimed by some. It isn’t necessary to have dozens of operations or spend vast fortunes to achieve fantastic improvements. And, as Warren Buffet said, “Investing in yourself pays dividends in ways that no property or stocks & shares can.” I witness that on a daily basis.
A. No, that’s not possible considering I started over 30 years ago. I’ve been to many, many doctors over the years, regularly replacing them when they retired, situations changed or better new doctors qualified and moved up through the ranks. I’m always amazed when some long-retired surgeon tells me they were contacted by a patient who’d heard, often mistakenly, that I went to him or recommended him way back in the 80s, 90s, 00s, etc.
Additionally, I choose different doctors for different procedures, depending on their area of expertise.
The key is to go to the best doctor for each procedure at any given time. While past practitioners were absolutely the right choices at the time, the situation is constantly evolving. Plus the number of doctors specialising in aesthetics isn’t so limited as was in the past. It’s now an incredibly crowded market, which has created a vast amount of choice, and correspondingly a vast amount of confusion for prospective patients.
My unswerving loyalty has always been to my plan, never to any particular doctor. Doctors are human; their abilities may improve or deteriorate over time. Patients often make the mistake of randomly choosing one surgeon, doctor or dentist then going to him/her forever. This type of loyalty is human nature, but it can work against you. I’ve always cherry-picked the best of the best at the time for each procedure, changing practitioners accordingly. And keeping current with who excels at what is more than a full-time job. This has probably been the most important key to my success for over three decades.
Please note: My recommendations are up-to-the-minute and clients are referred to my current A-Team. All referrals must be re-confirmed if clients wish to proceed with treatment more than 6 months after our consultation. (There is no extra charge within 12 months after your consultation.) Just like your phone apps and computer operating systems, my specialised information is subject to critical updates!
A. The natural look is proven to be most attractive to observers. Genuinely age-defying, authentically attractive results are the Holy Grail of results and require exceptional skills to produce. Whereas obvious-looking plastic surgery is far less challenging for the doctor.
The “operated-on” look is outdated, being reminiscent of an era before sophisticated techniques were available. For example, my mature clients don’t end up merely looking like an old person who’s had a facelift – instead they appear convincingly much younger than their years. Looking “plastic” goes against the very premise of authentic anti-ageing; youth by definition calls for a fresh and natural appearance.
In addition, unnatural surgical results age badly, appearing increasingly odd over time. We’ve all seen well-known celebrity cases of this.
Most concerning however, is that fake looking surgery can be a sign of risky practice where more advanced medical competence is lacking generally.
Many of my clients are in the public eye, top executives or otherwise in positions of responsibility & respect who keep their procedures a closely guarded secret. Having credibility and being taken seriously is an important part of their personal and public identity. They also wish to look naturally young and attractive so their worst nightmare would be ending up with a wind-tunnel face, sausage lips, cat eyes, denture-like veneers, gigantic silicone breasts, over-inflated buttocks, tattooed-on caveman eyebrows or any other unrealistic result that instantly lowers the bearer’s visual credibility and perceived I.Q. From an anthropological viewpoint, intelligence, attraction and natural selection are intrinsically linked with success.
Faking it authentically: Truly excellent results always replicate natural beauty.
Above: The rose on the left is obviously fake. But you can’t tell if the one on the right is real or not. This illustrates the difference between inferior cosmetic surgery results and the absolute best. (FYI they are both fake!)
A. Because most botched or otherwise dissatisfied patients who come to me for help found their doctors using the internet.
You can learn an immense amount by researching other subjects online and using the internet for comparison shopping, but you cannot “do your research” in this field simply by surfing the net. When it comes to the lucrative field of cosmetic surgery, the internet is an ever-expanding pool of advertising, hearsay and self-promotion. Search results are biased according to your location, browsing history, sponsored content and the SEO of any given site. (To see this in action, try doing identical searches from another computer, search engine or location and compare the vastly different results.) The sheer amount of grossly incorrect information mixed in with the facts only serves to confuse and mislead, fuelling an alarming increase in botched patients courtesy of “Dr Google.”
Once something is online it’s in the public domain forever, regardless of whether it’s true or not. It can then be quoted repeatedly or copied & pasted again and again. So you unknowingly come across plenty of obsolete outdated information that may be completely false.
Some of the best doctors are not all over social media. Nor do they wish to be celebrities or media stars. The internet enables access to an infinite amount of information – and misinformation – but not everything worth knowing can be found online, especially in aesthetics. Otherwise the fastest growing branch of cosmetic surgery would not be the tidal wave of do-overs and ever increasing demand for revision of unsatisfactory results.
A. See previous question. Although forums can be entertaining, it’s well known that they’re a marketplace for doctors, rife with fake reviews, outdated (over 6 months old) postings, photoshopped pictures, paid-for ratings and conflicting opinions. Even with my vast network and global reach, I don’t know of any patients who actually post on these sites, do you? Certainly none of my private clients want their personal photos or details online, knowing that their IP address can always be identified. It doesn’t seem to be something in which your typical cosmetic surgery patient participates.
A. No, no one else in the world. If you happen to see my intellectual property copied from this site and used elsewhere, please let me know using the Contact Form. It happens a lot. Pages from my previous web site were copied word for word by various unscrupulous individuals attempting to set themselves up in copycat businesses, all whom inevitably failed. This job requires an incredible amount of time, ongoing financial investment, dedication and concern for the welfare of others above and beyond the mere ability to copy and paste.
A. Demand for do-over procedures grows exponentially every year. For some time now, most of my clients have had some kind of previous unsatisfactory treatment before consulting with me. They range from mediocre results all the way to being being badly botched. Bear in mind that it can be challenging to produce a natural-looking result when revising inferior work.
Most common regrets are:
Another big regret is getting only fair or average results – when the procedure has been performed correctly but the result is ultimately not as beautiful as it could have been. By definition this is actually how the majority of results turn out on the surgical spectrum. A lot of disappointed patients who turn to me in desperation end up paying twice (or many times more) and having their surgery all over again to finally get the more rarified truly excellent results they wanted the first time. The top end of the spectrum of results that I specialise in are the exception and never just happen by chance.
A. Acting on the wrong information.
A. Not when properly performed. Although there may be moments of discomfort and inconvenience, if it were truly painful and difficult to manage, then so many millions of people around the world wouldn’t have it – and that includes me. Nobody likes pain!
A. That’s hard to say. Over the years I’ve met many highly intelligent, extremely capable people who made terrible errors in judgement with their health and looks after trusting the wrong sources. I think the combination of being an insider with access to genuine factual data, observing thousands of case histories firsthand (including my own) and an extensive network of the world’s top medical professionals to cross-check with have been more important. In addition, my lifelong habits of using common sense, exercising extreme caution, fact-checking meticulously and making choices based on verified information have all been essential. Not forgetting my art background, which means I’m able to view the human form in an analytical way that most others don’t see – an ability that top doctors also possess. The combination of all of the above, along with knowing the full selection of available procedures and works and what doesn’t, is as much a guarantee of success as it’s possible to have.
A. Absolutely, it’s a question I alway ask and have extensive data on the subject. Here are some of the top reasons.
A. Whether in the UK or Switzerland, most days I speak to top doctors about various matters. Sometimes I observe procedures in the operating theatre. I may see a new client or two and spend time following up ongoing clients. When a client has booked me to accompany them throughout their treatment, I block out a week or so and am solely dedicated to their care. Some weeks I travel to medical conferences, where I’m often a guest speaker. I never stop learning and read all the latest medical books and published papers related to aesthetics, and regularly visit eminent doctors around the world to stay at the forefront of my chosen combined specialties. Then there’s the day-to-day paperwork, accounts and admin. So I’m pretty busy!
As cloning is not yet available, I’m still only one person so the number of new clients I can take on is necessarily limited! Please bear this in mind if you’re considering booking a consultation with me.
A. No. I have so much passion for what I do and there are always new things to learn, which helps keep me young. Since I use my own research on a daily basis for my own health, anti-aging and beauty program too, if I retired not only would my clients lose out, so would I. It would be impossible to get genuine information and know how to get the very best results without being an insider. No one else on the planet connects the dots across these specialities – or puts them into practice every single day both personally and professionally.
The cumulative up-to-the-minute knowledge I continue to gain from resources such as medical conferences, lectures, conversations with top doctors and clients (I learn something from every single client) grows in leaps and bounds every year. I intend to continue to benefit from it and offer the same to my clients for the rest of my life – which I plan to be long, healthy and of course age-defying!
A. Fashion doesn’t interest me. It changes constantly, like the shifting sands. (However “style” is timeless.) I view clothes obsession as yet another way to keep people busy and financially disempowered. Whereas beauty is power, and health is wealth. With the right face and body you will look good in anything. And with good health you will do so for longer. (The opposite also applies!)
Most of the time I engage the Steve Jobs “6 identical-shirts-and-jeans” style, adding a colourful jacket, scarf or accessories bought on one of my travels. Not being a fashion slave frees up loads of time and money for other pursuits. The casual look is also more youthful.
A. I love to travel, so have been blessed that my career has taken me all the way around the world and back several times. Material possessions mean little to me. We all come into life with nothing and leave it with nothing. Time and freedom are the real luxuries in life and I don’t take either one for granted.
A. Everything is here on my web site, so there is no need. Besides, I’m focused on real life, which is much more fulfilling. Work requires a lot of my time and concentration, and I keep my private life off social media. I’ve never been one to follow the crowd and have nothing to prove. Social media mainly exists for monetised advertising and exploitation of your personal data. Since I don’t do paid endorsements, spending precious time trying to attract a multitude of anonymous “likes” and followers makes no sense in my case. (I used to write a blog, but stopped after seeing it copied by others who shamelessly took credit for my research, putting their own name to my words. But that’s the internet!)
I fail to understand why anyone would post their date of birth online – very helpful for identity thieves. Same goes for constantly updating your exact whereabouts on social media – a godsend for opportunistic burglars, as many have learned to their cost.
It seems to be much the same with most medical professionals, academics and others at the very top of their game. They aren’t always on social media either.
I used to have an Instagram page and a Facebook account that I posted on from time to time, but I had to close them when the media started stealing my photos to use in fake news stories. More about that here.
Instead of in front of a screen, my downtime is spent in the great outdoors enjoying nature – far healthier than the current trend of always being preoccupied with a phone or seated in front of a computer screen for hours. Sitting is the new smoking!
COVID-19 ANNOUNCEMENT: CLINICS ARE FULLY OPEN AND OPERATIONAL FOR ALL SURGICAL & NONSURGICAL PROCEDURES
Private consultations with me are available to suit your schedule and location via video using FaceTime, WhatsApp, Google Meet or Skype. Alternatively by telephone or email with pre-emailed photos. Longer consultations upon application. Additionally by special arrangement, I may be retained for extended ongoing support.
Each one hour in-depth consultation includes assessment of your particular needs to create an individual treatment plan for up to two surgical operations plus any nonsurgical treatments of interest, and follow-up afterwards. Further consultations must be booked for subsequent procedures. More information here.
As this is a very quickly-evolving field, all recommendations are valid for 6 months only and may be re-confirmed with me via email. After 12 months, if more procedures are desired a new consultation is required. All consultations are with me personally. You are assured of absolute confidentiality at all times.