Auckland Plastic Surgical Centre (APSC)
Making you Look and Feel Truly Amazing
Business View Oceania interviews Dr. Tristan de Chalain, Founding Director of APSC, for our focus on Health and Hospitals.
Established in 2008, the Auckland Plastic Surgical Centre (APSC) offers a full suite of both surgical and non-surgical care, for the treatment of life-impacting conditions in New Zealand patients. What began as a joint venture between three surgeons who wanted to provide high quality preventative, cosmetic, and reconstructive surgery to adults and children soon evolved. The operation is now spread across four facilities; the main surgical centre at Remuera, and three supporting practices located in New Plymouth, Pukekohe, and Tauranga.
APSC provides specialist plastic surgeries for the face, eyes, ears, nose, chest, breast, skin, hand, and genital region, including body contouring, facial rejuvenation, liposuction, and reconstructive surgery. The operation also conducts non-surgical procedures, including advanced skin treatments (clinical peels and needling), cosmedicine nurse treatments (laser, botox, dermal fillers, platelet-rich plasma injections, vital hydration, and dermal needling), and medical skincare (Aspect Doctor, Cosmedix, SkinMedica, Société, and Environ) procedures. ASPC can provide both aesthetic and reconstructive surgeries- working to boost patient confidence and give them the aesthetics of their dreams, solve long-term issues, and help the body heal wounds or deformities that would otherwise reduce quality of life.
Dr. Tristan de Chalain, Founding Director of APSC, has practiced privately since 1997. He has received respected awards and commendations for his work as an aesthetic surgeon, having completed his initial education in South Africa and advanced postgraduate training at both Emory University (Atlanta) and the Hospital for Sick Children (Toronto). He is particularly passionate about facial restoration following skin cancer, injury, ageing, etc. Dr. de Chalain begins, “Our primary facility at the Remuera Specialist & Surgical Centre is part of a wonderful in-house network that provides a one-stop shop for patients. APSC operates on the third and fourth floors as a private hospital, but patients also have access to podiatry, skin and hearing specialists, pharmacy, physiotherapy, radiology, and more, all on-site. We have our own instrument sterilisation facilities on-site as well. I regularly attend our supporting sites in New Plymouth, Pukekohe, and Tauranga for consulting, and then bring most of our patients back to Auckland for their surgery and post-surgical care. Our Remuera hub also services the needs of visiting surgeons who want to access a boutique plastic surgery and theatre business, where we offer day stay and multi-night stay services.”
APSC is affiliated with a number of industry organisations, including the Australasian Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), New Zealand Association of Plastic Surgeons (NZAPS), New Zealand Private Surgical Hospitals Association (NZPSHA), New Zealand Foundation for Cosmetic Plastic Surgery (NZFCPS), Southern Cross Health Society, and International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS). Dr. Chalain also travels to the Philippines annually to conduct life changing reconstructive surgeries through Operation Restore Hope NZ. Operation Restore Hope NZ is a not-for-profit, non-governmental, non-sectarian charity that was formed in 1999 to provide free surgery for children and young adults with cleft lip and palate conditions who would be otherwise unable to afford or access care. Dr. de Chalain shares, “Many regard plastic surgery as unnecessary, or simply a surgical ‘makeover’. But what we do through this charity, quite literally, changes lives. Some of these kids are unable to speak, eat, or interact properly with those closest to them. They may experience bullying, become isolated, and miss out on critical early education as a result. So what we are doing here is much, much more than simply making people ‘look better’ Our trips also create a unique opportunity for the medical staff that live in the community to develop their skills and learn new ones. It’s incredibly rewarding and important work.”
Operation Restore Hope NZ was unable to run in 2021-22 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, but is set to resume as usual moving forward, with the next mission planned for Easter 2023. The pandemic also presented other challenges for APSC, Dr. de Chalain explains. “There were a number of instances during lockdown where we were unable to operate at all. We were lucky enough to have amazing landlords who met us halfway and gave us reduced rent for the site. Even when we were allowed to operate in theory, it was often very challenging logistically due to the need for social distancing. Instead of having three surgeons on site, we had to break it down so that one was in on Monday, another Tuesday, and so forth, whereas previously they would have all been in and the hub would be humming with activity. Another challenge has been our ability to meet demand- as you can imagine, a lot of plastic surgery is paid for privately. Since travel was shut down for such a long time, people have had more expendable income to spend on things like aesthetic surgery.”
Looking to the future, Dr. de Chalain says APSC will continue to invest in the latest technologies to fuel development of New Zealand’s plastic surgery industry. “Medicine is technology driven. If you don’t keep up with the latest trends you get left behind- but it’s about more than just the business aspect. There are a lot of passionate, skilled individuals in our industry looking to innovate. Industry conferences are a great resource to learn about these innovations and potentially apply them in our own environments. But it’s important to know what to spend your money on. APSC looks for technology that is both appropriate for our core business and promises to help us help our clients.” APSC is also looking to expand their endoscopic surgery range to potentially provide endoscopic sinus surgery.
Dr. de Chalain concludes, “Eventually, I’ll be retiring. It’s key that APSC finds the right individual or individuals to take over when I step down. As always, finding the right fit can be difficult. It’s important to continue encouraging the next generation of plastic surgeons, supporting their growth, and providing learning opportunities wherever we can. That way, there will always be a fresh group of talented doctors throughout the industry who can continue the work of organisations like APSC for years to come. Overall, we are proud of the great services that we have built into this business, grateful for the opportunity we have created to better the lives of our patients, and excited to see what the future brings for plastic surgery throughout New Zealand and the rest of the world.”
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AT A GLANCE
Auckland Plastic Surgical Centre (APSC)
What: Surgical centre offering a full suite of cosmetic and reconstructive surgery
Where: APSC is located in Auckland, New Zealand.