We love learning about the various careers people go into. Calgary has such a wide range of entrepreneurs and we aim to meet them through our Homegrown Business column. For our latest feature, we chatted with Dr. Kristina Zakhary of the Zakhary Clinic, which specializes in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery procedures.
What is your business called and what does it do?
My business is called the Zakhary Clinic and I perform facial plastic and reconstructive surgery procedures. I am an Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgeon with a Fellowship training in Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and a special focus on Facial Plastic and Reconstructive surgery. What this means is that I specialize in procedures related only to the head and neck such as rhinoplasties (nose jobs), blepharoplasties (eyelid tucks), facelifts, ear pinning and ear lobe repairs, mole removals, fillers and other injectables, and more!
What made you start this business?
I have always been passionate about helping individuals who feel that their faces do not reflect how they feel on the inside, and as a result they suffer from the consequences of social discomfort. My goal is to help people bring their outer representation into harmony with their inner selves, to reflect their dreams, visions and moral aspirations.
What problem does this solve?
Beauty is harmony. My work helps to improve and increase my patients’ self-confidence and sense of social ease. This in turn helps to improve their quality of life.
Who are your clientele/demographics?
My demographics include women and men who are usually 18 years or older. My patients also include those with facial cancers who need removal and reconstruction, and those with facial and nasal traumas who require corrective surgery to improve breathing and aesthetics.
Where in Calgary can we find your profession?
I have a private office in the Mission area of Calgary, where I consult with patients and perform office-based procedures such as mole removal, earlobe repair, scar revision, and injections for filler and anti-wrinkle medications. I perform cosmetic surgeries in the Holy Cross Hospital, which is a fully accredited non-hospital surgical facility, and I also perform facial plastic reconstructive surgeries at the Peter Lougheed Hospital.
What is the best question a prospective customer could ask a member of your profession when comparing services?
Facial cosmetic procedures and surgeries are more popular now than ever, due to the reduction in stigma associated with these procedures and their increased prevalence on social media.
The best piece of advice I can give anyone considering a facial cosmetic procedure of any kind is to not choose a doctor based solely on price. Your face is the first thing people see and it plays a big role in the impression others form about you. It is very important to ensure that your doctor or surgeon has the appropriate training, skills and expertise to deliver the best possible results for you, irrespective of cost.
It is always wise to ask about your doctor’s credentials, training and experience, and I also recommend that patients ask to see before and after photos of the surgeon’s previous work. Surgeon’s today can provide patients with an enhanced digital image of what their face will look like post-procedure but a digitized projection created on a computer is just that: an image created on a computer. It is not a real representation of the surgeon’s past work.
Finally, it is important to be well-informed about the risks and limitations of any procedure. Any cosmetic procedure, including non-invasive treatments like injections or laser treatments, is still a medical procedure, and you must be well aware of the associated risks. Don’t be afraid to ask your doctor how they plan to address risks and manage complications so you can move ahead with your procedure feeling fully comfortable with your physician.
What is the best part about what you do? What is the worst part?
The best part of what I do is knowing that I have improved someone’s sense of self, and positively impacted their life. It is a truly rewarding experience to be part of such a transformational experience for my patients.
The most challenging part of what I do is managing an unsettling trend in facial plastic surgery, which is the rise of patients seeking cosmetic surgery to resemble how they see themselves on social media and through smart phone filters. This is an alarming trend because filtered selfies often represent an unattainable look and blur the lines of reality and fantasy. It can trigger Body Dysmorphic disorder, which is described as an excessive preoccupation with a perceived or imagined flaw in appearance and is classified on the obsessive-compulsive spectrum. It is important to identify when a patient has actual dysmorphic thoughts or if they simply have unrealistic expectations of what can or should be done for them. Once this has been determined, perceptions can be further explored and transformed through a conversation with their doctor.
PAY IT FORWARD: What is another Calgary business that you love?
I love Compassionate Beauty. It is a business that provides women with support, products and services to help with their body image, self-confidence and comfort while they go through cancer treatment, and then onward towards surviving cancer.
For more information, visit Dr. Zakhary’s website.