Across the globe, and here in the Middle East, the number of cosmetic procedures, whether it be non-invasive anti-wrinkle injections and fillers or going under the knife, has risen dramatically in recent years.
When it comes to cosmetic surgery, you need to ensure you find the right doctor with impeccable credentials and know you’re doing it for the right reasons.
Dr Charles Galanis, one of the world’s top cosmetic surgeons, is an expert in the field. As a plastic and reconstructive surgeon who is double board-certified in Plastic surgery by the American Board of Surgery and in plastic surgery by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, Dr Galanis is an expert in all areas of plastic surgery. In particular, Dr Galanis specialises in cosmetic surgery of the breast and body and reconstructive surgery for breast and skin cancer.
With a long client list of Hollywood television and film stars – but keeps tight-lipped about who the specific individuals are – Dr Galanis always ensures he puts his patients wants and needs at the forefront.
“I like to think of plastic surgery in its purest form as a way to bridge the gap between how patients feel on the inside with what they see in the mirror,” he tells Emirates Woman, when discussing the common misconceptions surrounding cosmetic surgery.
What he sees in his patients is a “tremendous transformation”, but not in appearance – in confidence.
“What plastic surgery can do is address some of those things that are keeping them from feeling the same confidence and self-love that does exist on the inside,” he explains. “It’s really a tremendous transformation in confidence. I think one of the ways that really becomes clear is when you examine how patients review their experience.”
Now residents in Dubai can reap the benefits of Dr Galanis, as he’s currently in Dubai this month at CosmeSurge Hospital.
Ahead of his trip to Dubai, Emirates Woman sat down with Dr Galanis to find out more about his career, which celebrities he has worked with (which he, unfortunately, stays tight-lipped about!), the role social media now plays in beauty standards and exactly how he ensures the best outcome for all of his clients.
Can you talk us through your career?
After completing medical school training, I completed a five-year general surgery residency at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. During that training, I also completed a two-year research fellowship at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. My career path then took me to Los Angeles where I finished my plastic surgery training as well as a fellowship in microsurgical reconstruction at UCLA Medical Center. My last stop to hone my craft was in Bogota, Colombia where I worked with one of the pioneers in advanced liposculpting, Dr Alfredo Hoyos. Over the past 8 years, my practice has steadily grown. The practice draws patients from across the USA as well as internationally. Our client list includes Hollywood stars of TV and film along with patients from all walks of life. My main office remains in Beverly Hills, CA.
What do you specialize in when it comes to cosmetic surgery?
The services I am most commonly sought for include procedures for the breast and body.
Can you talk us through the celebrities you have worked with?
I would if I was allowed! Celebrities are generally very private about their pursuits in cosmetic surgery.
Can you discuss your first time going international exclusively with CosmeSurge?
Caroline Stanbury and I became friends years ago after which time she made the introduction with the team at Cosmesurge. I came to Dubai for a visit nearly two years ago to tour the clinic and facilities and came away very impressed. Any time that I consider operating away from my home base it’s important that I go somewhere with an excellent support system and infrastructure in place so that I can deliver the best possible results. Cosmesurge was a perfect fit in that respect.
Have you noticed any beauty trends here in Dubai since you came here that differ from the rest of the world?
Dubai is a melting pot of people and cultures. Reflecting that I think there is certainly a wide spectrum in terms of standards of beauty and treatments that are requested. I would not single out a specific trend unique to Dubai for that reason.
When you have clients coming in to see you, do they outline anyone, in particular, they want to look like?
Social media influencers and “models” have certainly created new standards of beauty when it comes to cosmetic treatments. It is quite common for patients to show me Instagram pictures of their favourite influencer as their “goal look”.
What are common misconceptions about going under the knife or getting filler and anti-wrinkle injections?
One misconception is that plastic surgery patients are vain and insecure. That is certainly not my experience. My patients are interested in enhancing their quality of life. They are generally happy, intelligent, confident people who just are somewhat hindered by something they see in the mirror. They are not doing it to impress anyone else; they are doing it for themselves and their own happiness. Another common misconception is that plastic surgery or cosmetic treatment creates an unnatural aesthetic. In my opinion, plastic surgery done well leads very little trace. Most patients I see are looking for a “natural” aesthetic to their result and I think with modern techniques and technologies, that is absolutely possible.
When it comes to beauty standards/trends – what would you say the difference between the Middle East and the USA is?
We will see but in general, I think the Middle East leans to more conservative changes as compared with the USA.
What do you make of Instagram and its correlation to plastic surgery?
Well, there is good and bad. On the good side, Instagram has created a very powerful vehicle to educate the masses on plastic surgery and what is possible with modern techniques. It has become exceptionally easy was not just for patients to connect with a provider but also a forum where providers can interact with each other to the betterment of the field. On the bad side, social media has altered standards of beauty in ways that are not always realistic. Photos and even videos are edited to create contour and shape that just don’t exist in reality. This in turn can foster insecurity in men and women alike and go so far as to create patient expectations that are equally unrealistic.
However, there’s a side to plastic surgery many don’t see – how it can change people’s lives. Can you discuss with us how exactly it can do that?
Absolutely. I like to think of plastic surgery in its purest form as a way to bridge the gap between how patients feel on the inside with what they see in the mirror. In other words, a person may feel beautiful and strong on the inside but perhaps there is something they see in the mirror which makes them question that feeling. Maybe they don’t feel as confident wearing certain clothes that they used to. Maybe pregnancies have changed their bodies in ways that no gym or diet can reverse. What plastic surgery can do is address some of those things that are keeping them from feeling the same confidence and self-love that does exist on the inside. It’s really a tremendous transformation in confidence. I think one of the ways that really becomes clear is when you examine how patients review their experience. They don’t mention how they look. They most frequently mention how they feel.
Would you agree there is a fine line between making yourself happy by changing your appearance and relying on it too heavily? If so, why?
I think it comes down to motives and expectations. If your motive is to please someone else or please society, plastic surgery is not the answer. If the expectations are beyond what can be accomplished, plastic surgery is not the answer. If however the motives are for you and you only and if the expectations are realistic, plastic surgery can be a powerful way to enhance your quality of life.
How do you hope to help your clients?
I want to help them feel their most beautiful and confident selves. This comes from getting to know them, understanding their goals, educating them on options, choosing the appropriate plan together, and executing that plan with the highest standard of care.
What do you see for the future of beauty? Do you feel Instagram and social media plays a big role in beauty standards and in what way?
I think the future of cosmetic medicine will be in the continued advancement of non-surgical modalities. I think with time the hope will be less time in surgery and more time using office treatments or home therapies designed to help people feel and look their best. As far as social media, I don’t think that’s going anywhere. Beauty standards have and will continue to change. What was beautiful in the 1950s is different than the 1980s is different than the 2020s. Social media is simply a different vehicle to spread that change in a much faster and direct way than ever before. I think we all bear a responsibility – providers, parents, media etc – to make sure we are maintaining a healthy approach to standards of beauty and in turn, a responsible and measured approach to cosmetic enhancements.
For more information visit cosmesurge.com.