Another common misconception about facial plastic surgery is that it lasts forever, gives unrealistic results, and the recovery process is swift.
A scar can be minimised but cannot be eliminated. The skin is constantly aging, so if you choose to have a facelift now, it may last just 10-15 years. It is not a one-and-done procedure. It is essential you have realistic expectations, explains Rajbhandari.
It is recommended to meet with medical professionals a few times to discuss options and possibilities rather than rushing for any cosmetic treatment. It is essential that patients and clients make an informed decision before moving forward because they are essentially altering their appearance.
Rajbhandari has performed an astonishing number of ‘revision’ surgeries after their procedures were botched. She also suggests meeting with different surgeons to see who you feel most comfortable with.
“People value marketing on social media over qualifications of the doctor, so it is important to check their credentials before trusting your face with one,” she says. Rajbhandari herself does not perform immediate surgery, preferring to first discuss what the procedure entails, the risks, and how to take care of things afterward.
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She adds: “We are dealing with people’s appearance that affects their self-esteem and mental health. We make sure they understand what they are doing before they go under the knife.”
Given the importance society places on women’s beauty and the cosmetic products that primarily target them, one may think only women come for plastic surgery. A significant portion of Rajbhandari’s patients is male.
Despite her experience and qualifications, Rajbhandari still faces the challenges of being a young female doctor in Nepal. A lot of people still prefer to go to a male doctor for surgery. “I have had consultations with patients and clients who meet with me to talk but choose to go to a male doctor for the actual surgery,” she reveals.
Rajbhandari has also been judged on her own appearance. She has been called vain for putting on makeup but also called out for not making an effort despite being a facial plastic surgeon. She does not let the opinion of others affect her work, however.
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“But having a supportive work environment, coworkers, and a good team makes a difference in both your professional and personal life,” adds the surgeon who divides her time between Grande Hospital and Healthy Choice Clinic in Kathmandu.
The Omicron surge is already subsiding in Nepal and the region, but Rajbhandari’s work schedule was not much different even during the peak of the pandemic. She typically works 7-8 hours a day, but there have also been days where she worked from 6AM to 9PM and performed surgeries even on Saturdays. A supportive family is her backbone.
Having said that, doctors themselves need to be healthy. She prioritises her physical and mental being. Her diet is healthy, and she eats on time. She walks regularly and religiously follows her skincare routine before bed.
Sarina Rajbhandari’s best recommendation as a doctor: “Invest time in yourself.”
Childless by choice, Anjana Rajbhandary