Dr. Osman Bashir Tahir (OBT) is a practicing plastic, reconstructive and aesthetic surgeon . He is Pakistan’s only qualified Vaser hi-definition liposculpture surgeon and is working in the private sector with slogan 'Patient Care First'. His ability can be gauged by the fact that he was part of a team that performed the first successful hand replant in Pakistan in 2006.

His credentials include qualifications from King Edward Medical College, Queen Mary-University of London, The American Academy of Aesthetic Medicine & the World’s Oldest (550 year old) and most renowned Institute-The Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh. He was trained by the inventor of the procedure himself, Dr Alfredo Hoyos. Dr OBT has also obtained a fellowship in Aesthetic Plastic Surgery in Singapore conducted under the supervision of Dr Woffles Wu, regarded as one of the best aesthetic surgeons in the world. He considers Dr Fareed Ahmad Khan his mentor under whom he worked in Pakistan.

Dr Osman Bashir set up Halcyon MediCare just off MM Alam Road which is home to the most innovative and advanced medical aesthetic treatments in Pakistan and offers range of medical services like plastic and reconstructive surgery, hair transplantation , lasers, GP, wellness and medspa services. The Aesthetic Rejuvenation Clinic at Halcyon MediCare is the first ulthera non-invasive ‘lifting’ aesthetic device. Following are excerpt of the interview:

Q: Tell us something about yourself?

OBT: I am a practicing plastic, reconstructive and aesthetic surgeon who specialised in this field and has done five years residency plastic surgery training at Dept. of Plastic, Reconstructive and Burn Unit, King Edward Medical University, Mayo Hospital, Lahore. Now my focus is on aesthetic surgery and aesthetic medicine.

Q: What is the role of an aesthetic surgeon and how doe he treats people?

OBT: An aesthetic surgeon is one who corrects deformities or improves a patient’s appearance through surgery and helps people to regain their confidence, and become productive at work and socially active.

Q: The general concept about cosmetic surgery is that it is a luxury treatment and is only for the affluent class? What do you have to say about this?

OBT: If there is any such concept then it is not correct. In fact, Pakistan is far behind in this field and the number of practitioner in this field is not enough. Secondly, there is a class which is afraid of such treatment and considers it taboo. Whereas the case is totally different in other countries; for example in Brazil anyone who requires such surgery gets free of cost in government hospitals.

Q: Why is the cosmetic surgery becoming so popular among the youth in Pakistan?

OBT: These days, People are becoming aware of the benefits of aesthetic surgeries. If they think their nose is too big, their zits like braille and their thighs too chubby; they deal with their physical imperfections and opt to smooth out the physical awkwardness by undergoing cosmetic surgery . Secondly the stars of Hollywood and Bollywood celebrities also have deep impact on our youth.

Q: What types of surgeries do people generally approach you for?

OBT: Working at the Mayo Hospital, I mostly did reconstructive surgery. In Halcyon, mostly people come who have scars or those who want to improve their body complexion and for body contouring.

Q: What is the suitable age for cosmetic surgery ?

OBT: I do not treat patients below the age of 20. But, at times, I have to treat patients below 20 and such treatments are procedurally very long and involvement of parents is essential. Sometimes psychologists are also consulted.

Q: What is the difference between liposuction and liposculpture?

OBT: Liposculpture is an advanced version of liposuction. Now a days, both terms are often used as synonyms. Liposculpture is basically a more precise and thus a more efficient method to remove fat from different parts of the body.

Q: Who can undergo liposculpture surgery?

OBT: It is for the people whose body store fat at some specific place like abdomen. Their fat can be removed. For example, a mother whose belly skin is hanging after giving birth to many children can come into proper shape.

Q: Is liposuction safe? What is the success ratio?

OBT: Liposuction is safe and its success ratio is quite good but only if conducted by some proper qualified surgeon.

Q: What do you mean by some proper qualified surgeon?

OBT: Well, I mean that a surgeon who possesses a degree from a reputed institute or medical college. The number of such doctors is very little in Pakistan. Unfortunately, there are many MBBS doctors, who are treating patients only after learning a few surgical procedures. Those people, who are not qualified and call themselves plastic surgeons, have defamed the cosmetic surgery . In fact, there is no regulatory authority in Pakistan who can take care of these matters.

Q: What are the precautions that need to be taken after liposuction or liposculpture surgery?

OBT: Healthy life style, eating healthy, regulating diet timings and being precautious about health are essential.

Q: How much does liposculpture cost?

OBT: Its cost varies according to the treatment required; but it is not very much expensive.

Q: The cost of such treatment in Pakistan is less than the West. Do people come from the developed countries for the treatment?

OBT: Yes my 30 to 40 percent patients come from abroad.

Q: Have there been instances where you have refused to perform surgeries?

OBT: The number of cases that I have denied is more than the cases I have accepted. There are many people coming with certain sketch in their mind about how their body should be and want me to make it accordingly. Being a medical doctor I always give my patients an insight on how to be healthy because surgeries are not always the only option.

Q: You have been in this profession for the past several years. How has the situation changed?

OBT: We are now better aware and educated about health problems. We have started living longer! Advances in medicine have enabled us to ‘live well’. Problems such as hypertension, diabetes and elevated cholesterol levels, can be managed by following a proper, healthy diet and an active lifestyle.

Q: Tell us something about the machinery that you have in Halcyon Medicare which you use for liposuction or liposculpture?

OBS: I have Vaser 2.0 which is more advanced. With Vaser 2.0 healing is faster, skin retraction is greater. Vaser is also safer lipo, as ultrasound is friendly and does not harm vessels and nerves.

Q: Any offer from abroad?

OBS: I received many offers from the Middle East and Western countries but I opted to stay in Pakistan and serve my own people. They need me more than the people of developed countries.

Q: There is a lot of talk about medical tourism , especially in India. How do you think medical tourism can be promoted in Pakistan?

OBT: Medical tourism can be promoted only after political and economic stability in the country besides a good law and order situation.

Q: Can you give a comparative statement about the difference of such treatments between Pakistan and the developed countries?

OBT: As I mentioned earlier, Pakistan is far behind in this field. But I am not disappointed. If the government takes interest the situation can improve in five to ten years.

Q: Any of your future plans?

OBT: I intend to establish an NGO by the name of ‘Healing Faces’. The NGO will mainly work for the poor whose faces have disfigured and they cannot afford cosmetic surgery . Their treatment will be free of cost so that they can become members of the society as normal.

Q: Any message for the readers?

OBT: There is a misconception that people, who have poor lifestyle habits (eat too much, no exercise, etc), can get rid of the excess fat through liposuction. It is indeed important to remember that liposuction is not a weight loss procedure, but a body contouring procedure, so a healthy eating lifestyle is of paramount importance before and after lipo.