A new esthetic surgeon at Clinique La Prairie, Dr Mishal Brugger.
Dr Mishal Brugger has been practicing cosmetic surgery for 20 years. After completing his medical studies in Lausanne and practicing general surgery at the Lausanne University Hospital for two years, he was admitted to the training centre of Professor Pitanguy* in Brazil in 1997, where he received three years of post-graduate training in plastic surgery in the professor’s department at the Carlos Chagas Institute. Following his return to Switzerland, Dr Brugger completed one year of complementary training in Zurich before establishing his practice in Lausanne.
He was accredited at Clinique La Prairie last October and joined our esthetic surgery department (see esthetic surgery department).
We took the opportunity during one of his visits to ask him a few questions about his approach.
Why did you choose esthetic surgery?
During my medical studies, I landed a six-month apprenticeship with a plastic surgeon at the Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town. Surgery was my professional objective, but plastic surgery became my passion.
My post-graduate training in Rio, and in particular my contact with Professor Ivo Pitanguy, clarified my aim, which was to go into cosmetic surgery.
Apart from the actual surgery, I need to fully understand the motivations of the patients who come to see me. This is an essential part of my approach: to find the best solution for the patient. I often practice putting myself in their place in order to understand their problems and wishes, which allows me to provide the best quality treatment possible.
In this field, one needs to be very precise and clearly explain the risks, but modesty is also important when handling a case in collaboration with another specialist in a complementary field. In the end, one needs to be able to say no when the request becomes unreasonable.
What are your specializations?
Breast surgery, facial aesthetic medicine and surgery, rhinoplasty and otoplasty, weight reduction with liposuction following weight-loss treatment, and collaboration with surgeons from other specializations to ensure aesthetically satisfactory results.
Because I spent time in Russia and went through a lengthy authorization process, I am now a Russian state-approved surgeon. This is a measure of quality and allows me to have a very good understanding of the expectations of our Russian clients.
In your opinion, where do esthetic surgery and aesthetic medicine interlink?
The two fields are complementary. In some cases, aesthetic medicine can deliver very satisfying results, such as an improvement in skin quality, but it cannot replace a surgical procedure if there are bigger problems. The costs are obviously different given the type of service and necessary infrastructure.
I believe in a global approach that combines both treatments.
Is there a new technique or trend in cosmetic surgery that you believe has a lot of potential?
Developments in stem cell treatments currently have a lot of potential. I am one of the Swiss doctors accredited at the Swiss Stem Cell Foundation, and this allows me to use stem cells for aesthetic treatments.
For example, we can treat the extracted fat from liposuction procedures, filter out the stem cells and inject them subcutaneously in order to revitalize the skin. The results are very promising! Currently we can treat the skin; soon we will be able to treat osteoarthritis, and in a few years we will probably be able to treat organs affected by diseases. There is a great potential in these stem cells, especially given that they can be stored for 10 to 30 years, which means that treatments can be done at a later time.
How do you think cosmetic surgery will evolve in the coming years?
Apart from the long-term improvements in expertise, there is also the development of new methods and techniques, just as in other medical fields.
Back then you would do surgery, take out the stitches and that was it. Nowadays, thanks to aesthetic medicine, better products and certain new devices, better pre and post-operative patient care delivers better results.
What role does Switzerland play in the evolution of cosmetic surgery?
Just as the Swiss healthcare system is known throughout the world for its excellent quality, Swiss cosmetic surgery is also considered to be among the best. In my practice, for example, our values are to provide high-quality service and full transparency. The doctor-patient dialogue is very important to us.
Switzerland must remain an example and guarantee a high standard of ethics.
This means that our services and infrastructure will still be highly valued by both our Swiss and foreign patients.
Discover Dr Brugger's profile on our website:
*Professor Pitanguy is an internationally renowned Brazilian surgeon and author of several books on cosmetic surgery. He operated on many celebrities, political and sports figures. The plastic surgery school he founded in 1963 provides training to surgeons from all over the world.