Wednesday, 16 August 2017

New VR Tech That Lets You “Try On” Body Modifications Comes to Ocean Clinic

Deciding to have cosmetic surgery can be daunting. Wouldn’t it be great if you could “try on” that new nose or larger breasts before committing to surgery? Thanks to the latest developments in 4D virtual reality, you can.

Ocean Clinic Marbella is one of the first plastic surgery clinics on the Costa del Sol to offer this advanced service. It means that patients can finally have an answer to the question, “What will I look like after surgery?” - simply by popping on a VR headset and looking into a virtual mirror.

How does 4D virtual reality imaging work?

The 4D simulation technology can be used to visualise all sorts of face, breast and body procedures. To see what you would look like after a facelift, with fuller lips or a flatter tummy, all that is required is three normal photographs.

The consultant takes the photos from three different angles (left, centre and right) and then uploads them to the Crisalix software. Within minutes the system generates realistic 3D views, which show how the patient would look post-surgery from various perspectives.

But to really get an idea of what to expect, patients need to “try on” on the body modifications. To enable them to do this, the 3D images can be viewed wearing a virtual reality headset, creating a 4D environment you can interact with.

It appears to the viewer as if they are looking at themselves in a three-way mirror. They are also able to look down at their own virtual body. This means breast augmentation patients can actually “see” the new breasts on their chest. It’s so realistic, most patients reach out to touch them!

What procedures can be visualised in 3D/4D?

Nearly all cosmetic procedures can be simulated, including minimally invasive treatments such as Botox and fillers. Being able to visualise changes to the face is especially valuable for patients, since procedures such as rhinoplasties and chin implants can dramatically alter appearance.

When it comes to breast augmentation planning, the Crisalix system really comes into its own with the ability to simulate almost every implant available on the market (more than 5,000 models). It also lets patients try on a virtual wardrobe of clothes to see how their breasts would look in different outfits.

Here are just a few of the procedures that can be simulated:

  • Buttock implants
  • Tummy tuck
  • Pectoral implants
  • Breast implant revision
  • Eye lift
  • Brow lift
  • Neck lift
  • Thigh lift

How accurate are the results?

It will never be possible to give patients an exact picture of how they will appear after surgery, this is because of all the variables that can affect your outcome, such as the way your body heals. Despite this, it can give you a very good idea.  

Head surgeon at Ocean Clinic Dr. Kai Kaye says the new technology is a useful tool to add to existing consultation techniques: “For patients to achieve realistic expectations prior to surgery it is still necessary, first and foremost, to have good verbal communication with the surgeon. However, this is a wonderful tool for helping patients visualise how they will look after surgery.

“The Crisalix system has been developed in consultation with hundreds of surgeons and is now used at leading clinics around the world. Patients who have viewed 3D simulations prior to surgery have reported higher levels of satisfaction, so we are delighted to be able to offer this service here on the Costa del Sol.”

Interested in a virtual reality consultation? Contact Ocean Clinic Marbella on 951 775 518 or email  

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Patient Case Study: Breast Implants

What’s it like to undergo breast enlargement surgery? If you’re thinking about having this procedure but unsure about what to expect, read our patient’s first hand account…

Deciding to have breast implants

I became unhappy with my breasts after having my son. Before pregnancy, my bra size was a full 32D and I’d always considered my breasts one of my best assets. However, post-baby they shrank to a small C cup. I’d lost volume from the top of my breasts; they were no longer full and I had to start wearing padded bras to fill out my tops. I just didn’t quite feel like me anymore.

I deliberated long and hard about the surgery - my son was five by the time I finally decided to take the plunge. I was worried about my boobs looking fake or too top heavy. I also feared losing sensitivity and complications. What persuaded me was looking at the before and after photos from Ocean Clinic and seeing how amazingly natural implants could look. I also researched the risks and was reassured that - with an experienced surgeon - these would be minimal.

I discussed my aesthetic goals with Dr. Kaye, telling him that I simply wished to restore my breasts to the size and shape they were previously and that I hoped they would appear as natural as possible.

Initially, I had thought about having anatomical “teardrop” shaped implants or saline implants that are not completely full so that they act like a natural breast when you lie down, rather than staying static on the chest.

However, after examining me, Dr. Kaye advised that these would not be the best option, since it was upper pole fullness that I wanted to restore - both of these implant types would place more fullness in the lower pole. Instead, he suggested round, silicone implants. He measured my chest to ascertain the correct size for my torso and suggested 300 cc. I tried sizers on under my top to get an idea.

Marked up for surgery 

Another important decision was which implantation method I should have. There are three types -
inframammary incision (under the breast crease), periareolar incision (around the nipple) and transaxillary incision (in the armpit). I was interested in the transaxillary approach as I didn’t like the idea of scars on my breasts, since I have very pale skin. Dr. Kaye said this would be a good choice for me because I also have small nipples, so a periareolar incision wouldn’t be the best option.

The incisions made in a transaxillary breast augmentation are made in the natural creases of the armpits, so are as good as hidden. I had heard that the implants could be harder to place via the armpit as the surgeon does not have direct access to the breast like they do with an inframammary incision and therefore the risk of malposition is higher. However, I learned that by inserting the implants endoscopically, the surgeon gets a clear picture of the entire pocket on a TV monitor making it easy to place the implants correctly.

Meanwhile, using round implants eradicates the risk of breasts becoming misshapen should implant rotation occurs (if a round implant rotates the shape of the breast stays the same, unlike with a teardrop shaped implant).

I told Dr. Kaye that I would like placement under the muscle (submuscular), as opposed to subglandular so that there was no chance the implant could be seen beneath the skin (also there’s a lower risk of capsular contracture with this placement). He agreed this would be suitable for me.

With all the details decided I just had to wait a month for my surgery!

The day of surgery

During the wait for my surgery I started to have second thoughts about how big I wanted to go. I am a keen horse rider and started to worry that implants might be uncomfortable when riding. I also didn’t want my boobs to be the first thing people noticed about me, so I decided to discuss the possibility of having smaller implants.

The doctor carrying out my surgery was Dr. Benito Ruiz and he came to meet with me in the morning. I shared my worries with him and he took various measurements before agreeing I could have 270 cc. This would fill out the empty bit of my breasts at the top, while not making them overly large - I would go up by roughly one cup size. I was happy and reassured by this and stopped worrying about waking up to find a huge pair of knockers on my chest!

The surgery was over in a flash. All I remember is lying down on the bed in the operating theatre, feeling a small scrape on my hand and then nothing. The next thing I knew, I was waking up in the recovery room. I was taken by wheelchair to my room and helped into bed. I had bandages wrapped around my chest and two drains (plastic tubes with a container on the end) coming out of each armpit to drain away any blood from around the implants.

I learned that Dr. Ruiz used a “Keller funnel” to insert the implants. This advanced technique means the implants do not get touched, which decreases the chance of skin bacteria being drawn into the breast implant pocket. This is something which can lead to a capsular contracture.

In terms of pain, the meds coming through the IV line were doing a good job but I did have great difficulty in trying to sit up. You don’t realise how much you use your chest muscles until they’re out of action. Getting out of bed to go to the loo, bringing the drip and drains with me, was quite a challenge. The worst thing about the recovery immediately after surgery was the nausea I felt. I felt very sick and wasn’t able to enjoy the lovely meal that was ordered for me. I let the nurse know and she explained it was probably the anti inflammatories that were making me feel ill. She gave me some anti-sickness medicine which really helped.

I slept overnight at the clinic and in the morning Dr. Kaye’s resident Dr. Paprottka came to check me so I could be discharged. He had to remove the drains which was pretty painful but over very quickly. He helped squeeze me into a special surgical support bra, which he told me I should wear constantly for a month. I was then able to go home.

The recovery

My pain levels were easily manageable at home with the painkillers I had been instructed to get (I had a course of antibiotics to take too), I just found myself a bit tired. It didn’t help that the weather was extremely hot and the big surgical bra was making me extra warm. At least I was free to take a shower. Although I had dressings under my armpits, I could get these wet and then dry them with the hairdryer.

I had a peek at my new boobs when I took the bra off to shower. They felt full and sore, similar to after I’d given birth and my milk came in, but I couldn’t believe how good they looked already! Although they were still swollen and sitting a little high (it takes a while for the muscle to stretch and for them to drop), there was next to no bruising and the placement looked great. I showed my husband and he was suitably impressed!

One month post-surgery

The first night, I realised I’d have to get used to sleeping on my back for a while (something I hadn’t thought about), but I was able to get comfortable enough by propping myself up on cushions. I also had to ask my husband for help taking my top off and reaching up for things in the kitchen cupboards. I’d been told I couldn’t drive for a week, so he had to do that too. Plus he had to take responsibility for walking the dogs because they pull on the lead. Luckily my son understood that I couldn’t pick him up.

I had my surgery on a Friday and because I have a desk job working from home, I was able to return to work on Monday. Downtime was pretty minimal - I even had a night out on the tiles for my friend’s birthday just one week later. I’d been a bit worried that it was too much too soon, but I was fine.

I did end up swapping the surgical bra for a maternity bra after a few days because it was simply too hot and uncomfortable. Dr. Kaye approved the bra when I attended the clinic for a dressing change but gave me a elastic strap to wear over the top to keep the implants pushed downwards.

My stitches were removed after 10 days and I could already see the scars were healing really well. I returned to the clinic once a week to have ultrasound therapy and lymphatic drainage, which helped to speed up healing and reduce swelling. After four weeks, swelling was almost gone, the implants had dropped a little and my breasts were starting to feel softer. My scars were already fading to white and I was able to swap to normal non-underwired bras and sleeveless tops (I could get back on my horse again too).

It’s now been five weeks and my new boobs no longer feel alien, they just feel like part of me. I know it could be up to a year until they have totally bedded in and softened up, but I’m already thrilled with them. I now fill out all my old tops, dresses and bikinis again and feel more confident. Despite all my fears and reservations, having the surgery was definitely the right choice for me.

Considering a breast enlargement? Book a free consultation at Ocean Clinic Marbella to discuss your options. Contact us today.

Friday, 14 July 2017

Second Marbella Meeting for Plastic and Aesthetic Surgeons Doubles Attendance

Marbella’s assets proved a big draw for plastic and aesthetic surgeons, attracting 110 specialists from around the world to attend the second edition of the Marbella International Plastic Surgery Summer School (MIPSS).

The number is more than double the amount of delegates that attended last year. The medical meeting, organised by Ocean Clinic Marbella, mixes high-level knowledge sharing with a vibrant social programme.

It took place from June 22-24 at the H10 Andalucia Plaza Hotel, with live surgeries broadcasted into the auditorium from Ocean Clinic’s in-house operating theatre, located on Av Ramon y Cajal.

Ocean Clinic's Medical Director, Dr. Kai Kaye says: “We have been blown away by the success of the summer school, which, after one year, has doubled in size and attracted participants from over 20 countries. Some travelled from as far away as America.

“The meeting has also been endorsed by five separate professional associations, including the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, which is testament to the high scientific level of the education.”

MIPSS’ education track included 35 lectures and three live surgeries from an international panel of speakers representing more than 10 countries. Topics included new concepts in facial rejuvenation, body contouring, breast augmentation, reconstructive and transgender surgery.

Because the meeting was sold out, it was necessary to move from previous venue Hotel Fuerte to a new larger venue. H10 Andalucia Plaza Hotel played host to the conference sessions as well as a poolside drinks reception and gala dinner. Other social activities included partying at Pangea Club in Puerto Banus to celebrate San Juan.

Says Dr. Kaye: “Everyone had a wonderful time; experiencing the fireworks and bonfires of San Juan was a particular highlight.

“We already have lots of interest in next year’s MIPSS, although we are limiting places to 125 to maintain the intimate atmosphere, that we believe best facilitates collaboration between peers.”

MIPSS 2018 will take place from June 21 to 23. For further information about next year’s programme and to register visit  

Tuesday, 4 July 2017

Advancements in Liposculpture Demonstrated at Ocean Clinic Marbella

Three live surgeries were carried out in front of more than 110 doctors at the second edition of the Marbella International Plastic Surgery Summer School (MIPSS) in June.

The medical meeting, organised by Ocean Clinic Marbella, aims to share learnings among peers from around the globe. Live demonstrations given this year included a midface lift with blepharoplasty (eye bag surgery), transaxillary breast augmentation (implants inserted via armpit incision) and liposculpture with intraoperative dermal tightening.

The surgeries took place in Ocean Clinic’s state-of-the-art operating theatre in Marbella and were broadcasted live into the auditorium at H10 Andalucia Plaza Hotel.

Ocean Clinic’s Dr. Sonja Kästner worked with Dr. Christian Grüber of Germany on the liposculpture procedure, which utilised the BodyTite system. BodyTite is powered by RFAL (Radio-Frequency Assisted Lipolysis)

The idea behind RFAL is that it is superior at reaching deep fat while remaining minimally invasive. At the same time, it provides contraction of the dermis and tissue, ensuring patients aren’t left with loose skin.

How BodyTite works

Radio frequency energy is transmitted through an electrode in the cannula. The waves are guided upwards, delivering uniform heat through the fat (up to 2 inches deep) and turning it into liquid. The fat is immediately suctioned from the body via the cannula, which means that treatment time is reduced.

Meanwhile, the waves stimulate the production of collagen beneath the skin, causing it to significantly contract. This makes the treatment area appear both slimmer and more toned.

The results offered by BodyTite can negate the need for more invasive surgery like tummy tucks or arm lifts, where large incisions must be made. With these treatments, patients are left with long scars where excess skin has been removed.

A patient undergoing liposculpture with RFAL, on the other hand, will need only tiny incisions for insertion of the cannula, resulting in invisible or barely noticeable scars. Because it is significantly less invasive, patients will also experience less pain and quicker healing.  

The results

During the live demonstration, Dr Kästner and Dr. Grüber were able to remove a large amount of fat from the patient’s abdomen and achieve pleasing shaping of the core.

Dr Kästner said: “The results offered by RFAL are compareable to those previously only achievable through surgical means, but without the associated downtime.  

“Compromised skin following extensive fat extraction is always a concern, but BodyTite appears to offer a good solution. Previous studies have shown contraction of up to 47% after one year. It’s an exciting new tool in body contouring.”

Interested in liposculpture? Contact Ocean Clinic Marbella for an appointment with Dr. Kästner.

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.