Interview with Dr Graham Sellars from the SAN Clinic in Wahroonga

Dr Graham Sellars Interview

PSH: I am here today with Dr Graham Sellars who works from the SAN Clinic in Wahroonga and Dr Sellars has performed thousands of plastic and reconstructive surgical procedures and has a strong focus on breast augmentation and facial cosmetic surgery. Dr Sellars performs all major surgery at the Sydney Adventist Hospital, which is in Wahroonga and the SAN Day Surgery which is in Hornsby. So, thank you so much for taking the time today.

Dr Sellars: My pleasure.

PSH: Lovely. So, you’ve got a busy practice in the SAN Clinic in Wahroonga. Can you give us a bit of a rundown of the surgical and non-surgical procedures that are offered at the clinic?

Dr Sellars: Yes, so we do a range of both reconstructive and cosmetic procedures. We do a fair amount of skin cancer reconstruction in cosmetically sensitive areas like the face. But from a cosmetic point of view we do lots of rhinoplasty, eyelids, facelifts, ears and obviously we do a lot of noses as well. And so, from a non-surgical point of view we offer injectable treatments such as hyaluronic acid fillers, tear trough lines for nasolabial folds, also improving cheek contour. I think the key when using these fillers and injections is to keep it fairly conservative. I think one of the main problems is that people tend to overdo things and that gives the procedures a bad name. I think there is a lot of people who have had too much done and I think our emphasis is to be more conservative and less is more!

PSH: “Less is More”… absolutely, that’s my favourite motto too… less is more.

Dr Sellars: So, as well as the injectables we have IPL, or Intense Pulsed Light, which is good for sun pigmentations, so those brown freckles we tend to get in our 40’s and beyond, as well as those red, sun-damage lines. We’ve also got a resurfacing laser for the fine lines and wrinkles around your mouth. And one new thing that we’re particularly excited about… we’ve got Coolsculpting in the rooms. So that’s a non-surgical procedure that reduces fat layer. So it’s like having liposuction without the expense or having an operation. So, it’s a fraction of the cost and the thing I like about it is it works.

PSH: And it’s virtually instant, although results do get better over time.

Dr Sellars: No, it’s actually not instant. So, it takes about 4 – 6 weeks before you start to see results. What it does, is it freezes the fat… the fat slowly just dissolves over a period of time. You get much more even results that you do with liposuction. So yeah, that’s very exciting, that’s something that’s much less downtime.

PSH: Yeah, one of the girls in our office had it done and over a period of 3 months it was just remarkable. She just had it done on her belly and it was remarkable.

Dr Sellars: Yeah, look it is great, and it does work. I mean, there are a lot of bogus treatments that you hear and read about. This is something that works.

PSH: Fantastic. Now, you’ve performed thousands of plastic, reconstructive and cosmetic procedures with a strong focus on facial cosmetic surgery. You’ve got a reputation for exemplary service but also for the after care of your patients. Can you tell us why that’s so, you know, why is that so important, that aftercare.

Dr Sellars: Look, it’s a very personal journey that people go on when they are having surgery so I think you know in our practice it’s more about spending time with the surgeon, so you get a lot of one on one time with me. We’re not the sort of practice that will farm you out to other auxiliary staff. So, you’ll get to know me, I’ll get to know you. That way, we know exactly what it is that the person wants. So, we’re on the same page.

PSH: Sure.

Dr Sellars: And I think just having that time – that availability – really makes a difference. As well as that, we do have some excellent auxiliary staff who do help just organise things, coordinate things and just help keep in touch with the organisational side of things.

PSH: Yeah, cause there’s nothing worse than having something go wrong and not being able to get in contact with your surgeon, or a staff member, and it happens all the time.

Dr Sellars: Yep. Yeah, that’s right. I think in larger practices you can become a bit of a machine, a cog in the wheel. We prefer a more personal approach.

PSH: Yep. Fantastic. Great. And just the last question because I’m really passionate about this myself being a Rotarian… You’re a member of Interplast which is a volunteer based organisation. Can you tell us a little bit about Interplast and your work with that.

Dr Sellars: Yeah, Interplast. I mean, it’s one of Australia’s best kept secrets. It’s really fantastic. So, Interplast is an organisation that’s coordinated by the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons and the College of Surgeons, in conjunction with Government organisations and obviously Rotary as well which provide approximately 30 or 40% of the funding. They help fund trips to developing nations across the Asia Pacific region looking at plastic and reconstructive procedures. There are approximately 50 trips per year. It’s a big organisation and very well organised. And they’ll send teams of usually two plastic surgeons, two anaesthetists and two nurses into various countries with differing roles. One can be just to educate and to teach them how we do plastic reconstructive procedures. Or it can be to help them cope with things they either don’t know how to do or don’t have time to do. And the sort of procedures we’re talking about are really life changing operations cleft lips, cleft palates, significant burn detractions, major problems with tumours and that sort of thing. Typically we might see, you know, 100 patients in the first day, and then we’ll usually operate on half of those over the following week. It’s about 1/50th of the cost of bringing them to Australia to operate on them. And of course, they are in their own home, their own supports… So, most recently I’ve been to Tonga with a colleague from Melbourne, and look it’s great. It’s very rewarding… we work hard, but it’s a great program.

PSH: Yep, I love that give back, because it’s not all about how someone looks, it’s actually also about helping people who actually need some help and can’t afford it.

Dr Sellars: Yeah, and look as Plastic Surgeons we are very well-trained in Australia and the training here is very well recognised internationally. The standard of training and Plastic Surgeons we produce in this country is excellent. But those skills go just that much further a country where they just don’t have those basics.

PSH: Fantastic, awesome! Thank you so much for taking the time today.

Dr Sellars: Pleasure.

PSH: So, if you’d like to find out more about Dr Graham Sellars you can just click on the link below this video or email us at [email protected].