Monday, 26 June 2017

The Female Perspective: Ocean Clinic Appoints Dr. Sonja Kästner

Ocean Clinic is delighted to announce the permanent appointment of Doctor Sonja Kästner.

Dr. Kästner joined Ocean Clinic 18 months ago as a resident doctor under Head Surgeon Dr. Kai Kaye. Having successfully completed her training, she will now spend two weeks per month practicing at Ocean Clinic in Marbella and two weeks per month practicing at a private clinic in Cologne, Germany.

We caught up with Dr. Kästner to find out what she hopes to offer patients in Marbella…

What are your areas of specialism within plastic surgery?

“Prior to joining Ocean Clinic I spent three and a half years as a plastic surgery resident at Clinic Merheim, a big clinic in Cologne that belongs to the university of Witten-Herdecke. It is the second biggest department for burns in Germany so I did a lot of burns surgery and reconstructive surgery as well as microsurgery and hand surgery.

“Here at Ocean Clinic, I have developed my expertise in body contouring surgery like liposuction, abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), brachioplasty (arm lift) and also in breast surgery. What I would like to do more of in the future is female genital surgery like labiaplasty.”

What interests you about labiaplasty in particular?

“At medical school I chose urology (conditions relating to the urinary tract) as my area of specialist study and I feel genital surgery is a natural extension. I think there are few female plastic surgeons practicing in this area and I feel like, as a woman, there might be some demand.

“I think interest in labiaplasty surgery is growing, although women, especially in germany, are not always comfortable talking about it. They are beginning to talk about breast surgery but they try not to talk about their private parts. However, if I just talk among my friends there are a lot of upcoming questions about it.”

Is labiaplasty about creating “designer vaginas”?

“No, it’s not just about looks. There are a lot of women who have suffered minor injuries during giving birth and have scarring. In some cases, they have experienced hormonal changes during the pregnancy and now have bigger labias than they had before. This is quite uncomfortable, especially if you like to go cycling.

“Labiaplasty is less about design and more about reconstruction. It might help give sensitivity back during sex because if you have a lot of skin covering the clitoris you may experience less feeling. This can be improved by having a labiaplasty.”

What have been the highlights of your time at Ocean Clinic so far?
“I’ve learned so much from working with Dr. Kaye, particularly the special needs of private patients. He’s really good with patients; in guessing what they really want because they may not be able to find the right words for it themselves.

“From a surgical point of view, I was absolutely fascinated by his knowledge in facelifts and facial surgery, as well as breast surgery, which we perform almost daily. The training he has given me has been extremely comprehensive.”

Ocean Clinic will organise an international plastic surgery meeting for 90 surgeons later this month. What role will you play?

“I was involved with the event last year and this year even more so. I’ve been involved with the planning; deciding the operations we’re going to do, who's going to do it and choosing the patients. During the conference I will be assisting to the operating doctors and again, as last year, moderating.

“Within my time here at Ocean Clinic, I have also been invited to speak at two annual meetings of the German national plastic surgery associations.”

What do you feel you bring to the Ocean Clinic team?

“As a woman, I believe I have a certain sensitivity that enables me to understand easier and quicker what a female patient wants, especially when it comes to genital or breast surgery. Dr. Kaye and I make a good team, to bring both the male and female perspectives.

“At 34, I’m also the same age as the average patient seeking treatment here, so I’m able to identify well with them.”

You look so young! Do you have to reassure patients about your experience?

“Yes, patients often think I look younger than I am and ask if I am experienced enough, but I am now in my eighth year of surgery. I went through really good personal training after the usual six and a half years at medical school; including practical experience in urology, internal medicine and two years of general surgery and intensive care medicine.

“I went on to become a resident doctor in a large medical centre in Cologne where I was trained in microsurgery, hand traumatology, burns and reconstructive surgery. From the third year in my residency, I was performing operations on my own, so I have much experience. Don’t be deceived by my appearance!”

To arrange an appointment with Dr. Kästner, contact Ocean Clinic on 951 775 518.

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Gender Confirmation Procedures Jump Nearly 20% in One Year

Transgender individuals are increasingly turning to cosmetic surgeons to become the people they want to be.

According to figures just released by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), there has been a nearly 20% increase in the number of “gender confirmation” procedures being carried out in the US.

There were 3,256 gender confirmation procedures last year; these included an array of elective facial, chest, and genital surgeries performed on transgender patients.
An uptick was seen in breast/chest operations and procedures to help make the face more masculine or feminine. Genital surgery made up only a small percentage of overall surgeries.
The number of transgender men (people who identify as male but were assigned female at birth) seeking surgery increased the most (27% increase vs. 10% for transgender women).
The ASPS review only looked at procedures carried out in the US, but Spain has also witnessed a significant increase in the number of gender confirmation surgeries carried out. Home to FACIALTEAM, a global leader in this field, patients travel from across the globe to receive treatment right here in Marbella.

We are Specialists in Facial Feminization

Ocean Clinic Marbella is proud to be a part of FACIALTEAM. Head surgeon Dr. Kai Kaye and Oral & Maxillofacial specialist Dr. Luis Capitán work together with other specialists to provide trans patients with a complete suite of facial feminization surgeries (FFS).
One of the treatments attracting attention is a revolutionary combined approach to forehead reconstruction and hairline feminization, which has recently been published in the ASPS’s medical journal Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.
The advanced techniques used by FACIALTEAM provide better aesthetic results than the traditional hairline lowering surgery (HLS). It is a very widely held misconception, even among FFS surgeons, that the female forehead is shorter than that of a male, but it is actually higher when measured proportionally against the rest of the facial features.
So instead of lowering the hairline, hair is transplanted to minimise the peaks and recessions that create the characteristic M-shape of the male hairline. As well as rounding out the overall shape, the procedure also seeks to optimise hair density.

Many patients are able to obtain much more impressive results from their forehead reconstruction surgery when it is enhanced with a hairline feminization procedure. The combined approach developed by FACIALTEAM allows both procedures to be performed in a single operation, with no visible scars.
Dr. Luis Capitán will discuss the pioneering technique in front of 90 surgeons from around Europe and Africa, when they attend the 2nd annual MIPSS. The plastic surgery summer camp is organised by Ocean Clinic Marbella to facilitate peer-to-peer knowledge sharing.
Also on the agenda are sessions on reconstructive surgery, breast augmentation, facelift surgery and body reshaping. A number of live surgeries will be performed at Ocean Clinic Marbella and live broadcast into the conference hall.

For more information about the gender confirmation procedures available at Ocean Clinic Marbella and FACIALTEAM, contact

Monday, 29 May 2017

Is Your Decolletage Aging You?

Facelifts and breast surgeries are among the most popular cosmetic procedures, but the bit in between the face and breasts - the decolletage - is often forgotten about.

Despite the lack of attention given to the chest, it can be a big giveaway about a person’s age - and make people appear older than they really are. That’s because this area gets a lot of sun exposure and is subsequently prone to wrinkling, sagging and discolouration.
The decolletage, which can include part of the shoulders, cleavage, and collarbone regions, provides a ‘frame’ for the face and the bust. It is an area that is on show a lot of the time yet it is one we frequently neglect to take proper care of. Many people forget to include this important area in their skin care regime, failing to moisturise or apply daily sun protection.
If you have damage to the decolletage area, don’t despair, there are cosmetic treatments that can help. Surgically, this is a difficult area to treat; because this part of the body is prone to scarring, it’s not suitable for ‘lifting’ in the same way the face and neck are.
However, there are a variety of alternative treatments that can help improve the appearance of the skin. Read on to find out more…

Injectable filler

To fill deep lines in the chest, injectable filler such as JUVEDERM, Restylane or Emervel can be used. This is the same filler that is used in the face, but may be diluted for use on the chest, since the skin here is very thin.

Filler is used to plump out the depressed areas and is usually effective and long-lasting (up to two years). This treatment generally requires 1-3 sessions, each taking less than 20 minutes.  

Platelet Rich Plasma

To improve the texture of the delicate skin of your decolletage, platelet rich plasma (PRP) offers a non-surgical option.
PRP involves injecting a patient’s own blood into the superficial layers of the skin. The blood is first spun in centrifuge to separate the platelets and make a plasma rich in growth factors.
The growth factors stimulate the production of collagen, facilitating the repair of damaged skin. PRP therapy will enhance skin texture, tone and luminosity. Skin renewal is continual for about three months after the procedure, with results lasting up to 18 months.


Venus Legacy is a revolutionary new radiofrequency treatment system, which can be used all over the body, including the chest, to tighten lax skin and smooth out wrinkles.

Using radiofrequency to painlessly heat the tissue triggers both the tightening of existing collagen and production of new collagen, helping to rejuvenate the skin. For general skin tightening and smoothing, noticeable results can be achieved in just five 30-minute sessions.


Mesotherapy involves tiny superficial injections of hyaluronic acid filler - a water-loving molecule that occurs naturally in the body.

Once injected into the epidermis and mesoderm (middle layer of the skin), the hyaluronic acid molecules start to swell with water, absorbing up to 200 times their weight.

This procedure plumps and rehydrates the skin and encourages rejuvenation by promoting the production of collagen and elastin. Mesotherapy is an ideal treatment for the face, neck and decolletage.

Chemical Peel

A chemical peel can be used to resurface the decolletage skin, improving the appearance of lines and wrinkles, as well as skin pigmentation and blemishes.

A chemical solution is applied to the chest to strip away layers of old, damaged skin to make way for new cells. The process is similar to a snake shedding its skin to reveal a bright, new appearance.

Peel "depth" or the number of skin layers removed, is determined by both solution ingredients and concentration. A superficial peel can be performed on an outpatient basis, whereas a deep peel, which can be used to treat deeper wrinkles, will require an overnight stay at the clinic.

Fat transfer

Fat transfer, or fat grafting, involves using a patient’s own fat as a filler. Fat is harvested from elsewhere on the body, such as the tummy or flanks, and reinjected into the chest where deep wrinkles are present.

It works in the same way as synthetic filler but provides an all-natural alternative, which can be a permanent solution. Since fat contains living stem cells, they can find a new blood supply and live on long-term as vascularized tissue.

Additionally, stem cells have a rejuvenating effect on the skin, significantly improving skin quality, texture and tone.

Which treatment is right for me?

If you’re unsure which of these treatments is best for you, book a consultation at Ocean Clinic Marbella and we can advise based on your specific requirements. It may be that a combination of treatments will give you optimum results.

To maintain your results following treatment, ensure you apply a minimum of SPF 30 sun protection to your chest daily and, if you sleep on your side, try to get used to sleeping on your back. Squeezing the cleavage together as you sleep can exacerbate the development of wrinkling.

Contact Ocean Clinic Marbella for more information on (+34) 951 775 518.

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Can You Freeze Time with “Preventative” Botox?

Most people think of Botox as a way to treat set-in wrinkles, but the cosmetic injectable is increasingly being used by younger patients as a means to prevent lines appearing in the first place.

The question is, what age should you start having Botox? Do you wait until you need it or start when you’re young and line-free? And does it actually have the ability to slow the aging process?

Botox has been around for long enough that there are many long-term users we can observe but what we are not able to know is how they would have aged without the treatment.

However, an illuminating study carried out on identical twins over the course of 13-years gives us a much better idea of the difference Botox makes (see above photo).

One of the twin sisters had Botox injections in the forehead and glabellar region (the skin between the eyebrows and above the nose) two to three times every year. She also had Botox administered to her crow’s feet twice over the last two years. The other sister received Botox only twice over the 13 years.

The results were compelling because the twin who had regular Botox had no visible lines in the treatment areas, whereas the untreated twin did. It’s clear to see from the photographs which sister is which.
The sisters were aged 25 when they started the experiment (aged 38 at the end) and lived similar lifestyles, except the sister treated with Botox lived in sun-damaging Malibu and the untreated sister lived in the much-cooler climate of Germany.
The researchers concluded that long-term treatment with Botox can prevent the development of imprinted facial lines that are visible at rest.

Not just paralyzing the face

The botulinum toxin was first recognised for its ability to paralyze the facial muscles. This prevents frowning and, as such, immediately improving the appearance of wrinkles. But in addition to this superficial improvement it also stops further wear and tear on the skin. Constantly moving muscles result in the breakdown of collagen and that’s when lines get imprinted.
Another recent study shows Botox does even more than simply giving the skin a break - Canadian dermatologists found it increases skin elasticity for the three to four months.
The researchers tracked 43 women who were using Botox for the first time and found that when the effects of the drug were at their most powerful, it could increase elasticity by 30%. This means that when Botox is ‘active’ it is actually improving the quality of the skin, which further helps prevent the formation of wrinkles.

So, when is the right time to start Botox?

Although you might think the younger the better, most doctors don’t recommend treatment for teenagers. This is because everyone’s skin ages differently, with some people not seeing the  first appearance of lines until their late 20s. This could mean a young person enduring years of unnecessary treatment. What’s more, because the treatment limits the animated facial expressions we associate with youth it could have the opposite effect of making them appear older than they are.
Instead, it is better to wait to see how your skin is ageing and start Botox when the first fine lines become visible. How your skin ages will depend on the thickness and colour of your complexion, how much you move your face, the amount of sun exposure you experience and other lifestyle factors like smoking and diet.
And because you can’t predict where lines will form, it’s impossible to know where to inject the Botox. Once fine lines are showing on your face when it is at rest, your plastic surgeon or dermatologist will be able to effectively target those areas and prevent further deepening.

In conclusion, starting Botox between the age of 25-30 will be sufficient for most people seeking to significantly delay skin ageing. Although it may still seem very young to commit to a regular injectables treatment plan, it will reduce the frequency and dose required if you begin later.

However, older patients can still benefit from the preventative powers of Botox. Whatever your age, starting treatment now can help stop the clock.

For a Botox consultation at Ocean Clinic Marbella contact 951 775 518.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Marbella Plastic Surgeons "Give Back" by Operating on Africa’s Poorest

Ocean Clinic Marbella teamed with two local charitable organisations to carry out life-changing surgery on 25 children and adults in Kenya.

The clinic sent a team of six medical staff, led by Head Surgeon Dr. Kai Kaye, as part of its on-going mission to “give back”.

Dr. Kaye said: “It is necessary to give back and I have the skills and means to do so. At some point in life you have to put things in relation, and ask yourself if you can plant your own little grassroots to help, even on a small scale.

“I can change lives in Kenya and have much more impact than I can here in Spain, where nobody lacks basic medical services or care. I call it part of our social responsibility.”

The five-day Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Camp, follows a similar mission organised in Lamu, Kenya last year, and a trip to Peru in 2013.

This year, the team was able to assess 70 patients with medical conditions ranging from congenital malformations, tumours, burns and scars. They successfully treated a total of 45 patients, with 25 surgeries carried out.

Dr. Kaye was joined by fellow surgeon Dr. Richard Fakin from Switzerland. The team also included anesthetist Dr. Raimundo Escudero, nurses Louise Taylor and Marina Ristic and therapist Nicole Tascone, all from Ocean Clinic.

Says Dr. Kaye: “One of the highlights of this year’s camp was giving back extended leg mobility to a young girl called Maryam, who had a contracted knee after a burn. Now she will get physiotherapy and may have a chance of learning to walk again.”

The camp was made possible thanks to support from a number of partners and supporters. These included two local Spanish organisations working in Lamu; Anidan, which runs a shelter for orphans and abandoned children, and Foundation Pablo Horstman, which operates a hospital and two preschools.

Dr. Kaye offered his thanks to all those who donated to the mission, including Ms. Gisela Steinhoff and her husband for their generous donation of €1,000 Euros.

Ocean Clinic intends to run the camp again next Easter. People can support the 2018 campaign through financial donations, providing medical equipment and / or personal involvement. Please contact to get involved.

Monday, 17 April 2017

When Less is More: Having Your Breast Implants Removed

Are you considering removal of your breast implants? We take a look at the various reasons patients might desire an ‘explant’ and the different options available in each circumstance.

My breast implants are 10 years old

It’s actually a myth that breast implants must be removed after 10 years; they do not have expiration dates. The risk of rupture is higher as implants age (although new models are more robust), however their integrity can be checked without removal.

For saline implants, failure is quite obvious when it occurs, since the saline solution is quickly absorbed by the body and the 'deflated' side immediately looks smaller than the intact side. Silicone implant rupture is harder to detect as the gel material is not absorbed by the body, consequently the appearance and feel of the implant does not change. However, rupture can be detected with a mammogram or MRI scan.

Regardless of how long you have had your implants, if they are intact and are not causing you any problems, it is not necessary to have them removed or renewed. If you are worried, a surgeon can conduct a physical examination of your breasts and refer you for a scan.

I have capsular contracture around my implant/s

Over time, some patients may start to experience problems with their implants hardening or becoming misshapen. This is due to excess scar tissue which forms around the implant, squeezing and compressing it. As well as affecting the look and feel of the breast it can also cause discomfort and pain. Capsular contracture can occur in just one or both breasts.

In order to correct capsular contracture, the ‘capsule’ which has formed over the implant must be removed. However, removal does not eliminate the possibility of future scar tissue forming. After removal, the old implant can be reinserted or you may choose to have both implants replaced with new ones.

Implantation under the muscle reduces the risk of contracture to between 4-8% over your lifetime. If your implants are currently placed subglandular, having new implants placed submuscular could represent an alternative to complete removal.

If you do opt for removal, you may require a breast uplift (mastopexy) to deal with stretched skin. Another option is using fat, taken from elsewhere on your body, to replace the lost volume. Using a patient’s own fat ensures it will not be rejected by the body and can be the ideal solution for those experiencing issues with capsular contracture, however good candidates for this treatment must have sufficient donor fat available.

My breasts are too big now

If you have gained weight since having your implants, your breasts may now be larger than originally desired, possibly causing you physical discomfort. On the other hand, you may have have lost weight causing your implants to look overlarge on your now smaller frame.

It’s important to understand that simply removing your implants might not give you the smaller breasts you want. You may be left with flat, sagging breasts and should therefore discuss options such as a breast lift or augmentation with smaller implants with your surgeon in order to achieve the look you desire.

Another possibility worth considering is fat transplant. This technique can be used to give you smaller but still full breasts. This can be carried out in conjunction with an uplift, if necessary.

I want my implants out for health/personal reasons

Many people elect to have their breast implants removed at some point in their lives. Removal is relatively straightforward and can be carried out via the existing scar. Nice aesthetic outcomes are possible after implant removal, with the stretched skin and tissue gradually rebounding over six to 12 months (although the body’s capacity for restoration differs from person to person).

The end result will depend on how much breast tissue you had to start with, the size of your implants, your skin quality and your age. Your surgeon can advise if a preemptive breast lift is recommended, or alternatively you can wait to see your results and return at a later date for secondary surgery.

Using your own fat to replace the volume in your breasts after implant removal is another option. Using like for like is a natural way to enhance your breasts and comes without the worry of having anything man made in your body.

If you are considering breast implant removal and would like further advice, contact Ocean Clinic Marbella for a free consultation.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Ocean Clinic Celebrates Accolade for Excellence

Ocean Clinic has been named the Most Outstanding Plastic Surgery Clinic in Marbella.

The clinic received the accolade in the 2016 AI Global Excellence Awards. The awards, organised by AI Magazine, aim to recognise and reward the firms and individuals whose commitment to sustained outstanding performance has seen them leading the way, not only in their own sector or industry, but across the entire global corporate spectrum.

Honouring these top performers is done through a rigorous and in-depth selection process from AI’s in-house award specialists.

“The team left no stone unturned to ensure that every one of our chosen firms was selected based on proven performance over the past 12 months, guaranteeing that all award recipients were chosen purely on merit and can take pride in the knowledge that they truly deserve their place among this year’s esteemed winners,” said AI.

The judges especially look to reward innovation and “boundary pushing” and, as such, were impressed by Ocean Clinic’s signature treatments like the PAVE-Lift facelift, developed by Head Surgeon Dr. Kaye.

Dr. Kaye said: “It’s always gratifying to receive recognition for the work of our dedicated team here at Ocean Clinic. We pride ourselves on our use of cutting edge techniques and technology, which have helped the clinic to gain a reputation among the cosmetic surgery community globally.

“We are particularly passionate about sharing knowledge with our peers and in June will organise the second edition of the Marbella International Plastic Surgery Summer School. The event features presentations from surgeons and specialists from around the world, as well as live surgery.”

MIPSS 2017 will take place from June 22-24. Visit the website for further information.