Newsletter February 2018
Life events shape our lives in many forms, and 2017 was challenging in many ways, making me think about the journey I have chosen, making me wonder whether there is not more to life than fighting every day to be the best I can be, fighting that my patients will get the best possible medical care, fighting with medical aids for my patients’ benefits, fighting with people who doubt my integrity and my true intentions. Is all this worthwhile? Surely there is more to life than this daily struggle?

And while watching a favorite program of mine on TV, Criminal Minds, my favorite character, David Rossi, offered one of his many philosophical insights “let them see who we are”, in answer to a similar dilemma to the one I was facing.

So, this has become our theme for 2018. We will tackle 2018 with the intention of showing you that we are authentic, that we have integrity, that we care and that we are kind. We will show you that we are professional, skilled and experienced. We will demonstrate our passion, our dedication and our determination. And we will do this while having fun and laughter along the way.

I am taking a huge leap placing my practice team amidst the middle of this, our theme for 2018, but I have no doubt that every single member of the team feels the same way I do, and will embrace our theme with the same approach, day after day.

We are looking forward to 2018, allowing you to see who we are.

In this newsletter: The anatomy of facial aging. Understanding those pesky lumps and bumps. Skin aging. Medical-grade skin care. Face and hand transplants.
Cosmetic surgery:
The anatomy of facial aging

If you have been receiving my newsletters for a while, you will know that plastic surgeons have a love affair with soft tissue.  
Facial aging is the result of changes to several types of soft tissue, including skin, fat, muscle and bone.  Understanding this, will help you understand how the face ages, and why different approaches are needed as you age. Each structure ages differently, and the aging of one structure impacts on the other, cumulatively changing how we age.
Reconstructive surgery: 
Understanding those pesky lumps and bumps

We all want to be healthy looking, trim and fit.  However, our bodies sometimes have other plans for us, and we are presented with lumps and bumps. Most of these might turn out to be benign (not cancerous), but without proper investigation, you cannot be sure. Having these attended to and sorted out while they are still small and manageable, is far better, rather than waiting until they are large and painful.
Non-surgical procedures:
For the plastic surgeon, the skin is his canvas

The skin is not only the largest organ of the human body but is extremely important for non-verbal communication (just imagine the emotions evoked by the tickle of a feather, the heat of a hot summer’s day, the biting cold of snow and sleet in winter, or the warm heartbeat of a loving hand). Furthermore, it is the only organ of the body which shows the signs of ageing visibly.
Skin Care:
What does medical grade skin care mean, and it is better?

Frustrated by all the products you see in the supermarket, or department store, salons and your aesthetic GP, dermatologist and plastic surgeon’s office, and still not sure what and how to choose? Understanding the difference between products, and what makes one product better than another, might help.
Plastic Surgery News:
Face, hand and penis transplants – what does the future hold?

This might not be that new anymore, and we can expect to see more of this being performed in the future.  
The first partial face transplant was performed in November 2005 in France, and the first full face transplant in Spain in 2010.
If you Google “face transplant”, you will find many stories of face transplants that have been done. 1Link  2Link
In 1998 the world’s first hand transplant was performed in France. Link
Double Hand
In 2015 a young 8-year old boy made it into the medical history books by becoming the world’s first double hand transplant patient. Link
And while the first heart transplant was performed in South Africa in 1967, we are also known for the world’s first penis transplant. Link
As with all transplant procedures, they can be fraught with complications, and have a long-term effect on the well-being of the recipients of the organs. But, most important of all, these procedures are dependent on willing organ donors. It is for this reason that the scientific world is looking at the 3D-printing of vital organs for the future. Until then, although you cannot sign up in a registry for donating your hands, face or penis, you can  donate blood and several other organs.
If you are not registered as an organ donor yet, please do so now. You can do it here. Find out where and when you can donate blood, here
Copyright © 2018 Dr Dehan Struwig, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon, All rights reserved.

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