The man behind the Beauty – Dr. Mehmet Atila M.D.
When it comes to important questions about beauty and cosmetic surgery, the internationally renowned specialist and President of the German-Turkish Plastic Surgery Association Dr. Mehmet Atila M.D. from Düsseldorf consulted. A few years ago we reported on CBS8 and NBC, among others, about his tireless humanitarian work in Ghana and have followed him on his way through the media to this day. We met Dr. Mehmet Atila M.D. in his new premises in Düsseldorf, where he answered our questions. Thank you in advance for taking the time:
Being a doctor is a dream of many people, and yet very few people are able to accomplish it. Was being a doctor an ultimate goal for you? What lead you to plastic surgery?
“From a very young age and even before starting my medical career, I was fascinated by the surgical field. Being able to intervene, modify and heal not only with medications but with my own hands, was the reason I studied medicine with the clear idea of being a surgeon in the future. I began my medical degree specializing in cardiac surgeon. During my assignment abroad in South Africa, I came into contact with plastic and aesthetic surgery and I quickly
realized that this subject is more of my passion. Plastic surgery differs from other surgical disciplines. While in other surgical disciplines surgery is carried out according to standard, in plastic surgery every case requires an individual solution. Artistic skills are also important, so I think plastic surgery has met my expectations from the vantage point of my personality.
For someone so successful in a very concentrated field you are still incredible young. Have you found that to be an obstacle or a blessing in your career? Are patients generally more welcoming to see a youthful face?
“Age is not decisive, but the doctor’s experience. In more than 15 years, I have gained a lot of experience in my career. Nevertheless, many patients prefer to see a younger doctor because energy and technology associated with youth. We use the latest techniques and methods and are up to date with the latest medical devices. But I think, good listening, communication, and interpersonal skills are the key to a successful doctor-patient relationship at any age.”
You have a massive following on social media and are also very active. How has the digital world helped your practice? Was it an easy transition to get into?
“The transition wasn’t difficult because aesthetic surgery benefits from its pictoriality like no other medical discipline and social media offers the possibility of sharing interesting content in the form of images, video clips or graphics and thus making it accessible to a large audience. That’s why I use social media to enlighten. I show surgical interventions up close, but I also inform about results that have gone wrong and need to be corrected. It is important that patients are bounded by their limits. What is possible with plastic and aesthetic surgery and what is not and how important it is to choose the right surgeon.”
Do you feel having a public face is important for your career? Many doctors are now embracing an open image, while others are as famous as more stars. What is your opinion?
“The most important thing when selling services and products is to create trust. Patients only choose a specialist for the desired treatment if they have gained confidence in his or her abilities. This can only be achieved through communication and social media channels are the ideal platform for this. For me it is important to put our techniques, methods and work in the foreground and to enlighten on social media channels or in TV appearances. Even if I deliberately do not put myself in the foreground, a certain awareness comes automatically. Nevertheless, I feel it is important to be approachable as a doctor in order to promote the confidence of my patients, which is why I also give insights from my private life.”
What has changed in your life as you have become more famous? Can you still eat at your favorite restaurants? Has it brought better clients?
“The representation and notoriety have advantages and disadvantages. One advantage: attention from patients worldwide – which has brought prominent clients from all over the world and has further promoted the awareness of my brand and the clinic. The disadvantage is that you can’t do and leave everything unfree. You have a certain responsibility, especially for the young people to whom you serve as a role model. That’s why, of course, you have to pay close attention to how you behave in your private life. This restricts something, especially the family, who want to be protected from the public. Otherwise, I have no problems not being approached in the restaurant, as this has always been only a positive encounter. I am even happy that patients come to me and praise me for my work accordingly.
What innovations that are out now that would have made your first few years of your career easier? Has much changed in the field since you joined it?
"Yes, technical development has made progress and that has taken plastic surgery to a new level. The INN in Medical INN Clinic stands for innovation. We always try to offer the best and latest medical technology and equipment on the market, which has made the procedures less invasive and much gentler. The results are much better too. For example, implants have developed in breast surgery. They have become more natural and safer. The techniques of the operations have changed. These have become gentler, less anemic and less painful for the patient in the area of liposuction. While the skin was not considered in the past, we now have devices such as laser technology or Renuvion J-Plasma that we can use to tighten the skin even during liposuction and thus achieve even better results and perform body contouring. This leads to a smoother, tighter look after surgery compared to the loose skin that can be left behind after a typical liposuction. New trends like the Brazilian butt lift have emerged, and the methods of facial injections and facial surgery have become much more natural and gentle. The products have also evolved".
How has the coronavirus affected your practice? Were there new precautions and methods since?
"The current corona pandemic affects us too, but not as much as our colleagues in the USA. We were able to continue our operations. Due to the lockdown, we have even seen a higher flow of patients for operations. Because many patients wanted to use the time off from work to fulfill their wish for a change in their body. Of course, we have raised all precautionary measures to the highest standard and only operate on completely healthy patients with a negative corona test."
Where do you see your practice in 5 years?
"We want to be more active abroad and continue to address patients from all over the world and expand our know-how and reach. Europe generally is far more advanced than the United States when it comes to medical advancements, is this true even more now? It is difficult to assess the medical advances in both countries. In the field of medical technology, some European companies are world market leaders. But much of the impetus for innovation comes from the USA. We learn and adopt many innovations from each other, such as the J-Plasma from the USA, and that’s why the market for plastic surgery has seen a significant rise over the years.
What advice would you give a 19-year-old Mehmet?
“I would say: never stop growing in your field, keep educating yourself to stay up to date and surround yourself with respected colleagues in the workplace. But I also would like to do everything as before – to continue the path of studying medicine as a plastic surgeon, as well as continuing the humanitarian missions in Africa. Maybe I would recommend putting more focus on humanitarian work and less on being a celebrity doc. I would say, you can and should operate on celebrities, but you shouldn’t strive to have celebrity doc status. Every patient receives the same treatment, whether celebrity or not! That would be my advice.”