26 November 2020
Trusted Expertise Equals Safer Injectable Results
Trusted Expertise Equals Safer Injectable Results

Whatever your facial goals for summer – Botox to refresh, dermal fillers to restore, BELKYRA to diminish the chin – aiming for natural enhancement and restoration, and safety is key. If you’re a newbie to injectables, ensuring you seek the guidance of a reputable practitioner is more important than ever before. Why? Not only will they be well-versed in facial anatomy, they’ll have the experience to accurately administer trusted injectable products. And, they’ll guide you conservatively – possibly by beginning with one area to be treated i.e. crows feet or forehead lines. It can be all too tempting to reach out for ‘bargain box’ treatments – however these suppliers often deal with low cost solutions which can be damaging to skin and health.

The right hands . . .

So, to ensure you truly shine this Christmas and into the New Year, reach for quantified expertise – like our injectables nurse Michelle who is committed to achieving real results for clients and has a grounding knowledge to back it. Michelle is especially well-versed in the areas of Botox, dermal fillers, BELKYRA, chemical peels and nipple-areola tattooing which are all offered at Da Vinci.

Plan ahead . . .

Time speak, here’s a guide to locking in those specific treatments such as Botox and dermal fillers when you’re planning your Kiwi summer. . .

Botox: Lock in your treatment three-to-four weeks ahead of your break. Results will last up to three months, but the early benefits can be seen within two weeks of injections. Botox targets those dynamic facial lines – crows feet, forehead creases, frown lines – so you can expect to look younger and feel rejuvenated all summer long.

Dermal fillers: Aim for at least a week before your holidays kick off. Unlike Botox, results from dermal fillers can be seen immediately following treatment and will last from six to 12 months. However, it’s important you don’t pencil in your treatment for Christmas Eve as you could experience some mild bruising or swelling. As dermal fillers are created from collagen-renewing substances – Hyaluronic acid – they work at plumping wrinkles, smoothing scars and lifting facial tissue. So, you can expect more volume under cheeks and eyes and a naturally enhanced appearance.

We all deserve to put our best face forward no matter what the time of year. Speak to our team of experts about locking in your summertime procedures, to ensure a festive season like no other.

4 November 2020
Skim Your Surface This Christmas
Skim Your Surface This Christmas

Now’s the time to take closer inspection of your skin . . .

Warmer days have arrived which means timeout for our skin and a wave goodbye to winter woolies. But before you start stripping off the layers, tuck into a few skin home truths – namely the ‘what’s what’ in sun damage and the ‘who’s who’ in skin cancer.

Which is worse – UVA or UVB?

The integrity of our skin is affected by both UVB and UVA – not either or – which is why it is essential to apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen year-round, not just summertime. To back the facts, a recent study by researchers at Binghamton University New York, found that no UV range is more harmful than the other – in fact, the damage scales with the amount of UV energy that the skin absorbs. They found that UV weakens the bonds between cells in the top layer of skin by affecting proteins in corneodesmosomes that help the cells to adhere together. The result – sunburn that leads to peeling skin. The most important takeaway from study’s like this? That skin protection is important no matter what the season. The stratum corneum is the first barrier to the outside – we need to keep it protected.

Not so uncommon . . . 

Squamous Cell Carcinoma (SCC) and Basal Cell Carcinoma (BCC) are our most common skin cancers Downunder– and they are on the rise. According to the Cancer Society NZ, there are approximately 67,000 cases of new non-melanoma cases recorded each year. “Unlike melanoma, our deadliest cancer – which tends to grow aggressively – many SCC swing between a slow growing pattern, or rapid enlargement across a few weeks,” explains Adam Bialostocki, Da Vinci’s cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgeon, and skin cancer specialist. “BCC tend to be slow growing with little spread.” So, how do you tell the difference between SCC and BCC cancers? And who is more at risk from developing them?

SCC quick fire: Colourings and size – Typically reddish, crusty lesions which can feel tender to touch, may only be a few millimetres in diameter. Whereabouts – Typically found in sun exposed places – including the lips, which can be smoking related. Common in who? – Fair skinned people are dominant candidates, and men are twice as likely to develop SCC lesions. Those who have undergone organ transplants are 250% more at risk of development too.

 BCC quick fire: Colourings and size – Sometimes pearly in appearance, or pale and waxy in texture. But may also appear crusty/scabby. Whereabouts – Approximately 85% will showcase on the head and neck region. Common in who? – Fair skinned people and more commonly appears in later life.

Check in before time out . . . 

Just as screen should be worn year-round, it’s important we skin check year-round. “Before summer actually arrives is a good time to get a professional skin check,” advises Adam. “Because moles and lesions tend to show less of the normal signs of sun exposure during the cooler months. In summer, when the skin experiences new bouts of sun activity and exposure, it can be harder to identify skin lesions that need attention. And in between professional checks, self-screening is a must.”

9 October 2020
Back to the Future . . . Prevent to Preserve
Back to the Future . . . Prevent to Preserve

When it comes to skin health and beauty, time is off the essence – literally! Moisturising every day and not forgetting the sunblock year-round are all things we need to prioritise from youth. Why? Because when we start hitting our mid 20’s and early 30s our bone loss begins to creep in and those facial muscles start having less bone to relax onto – hence those fine lines and wrinkles working their way to the top. The need for swift skin action has delivered us a new term in recent years – prejuvenation. The key word here being ‘prevent’. In contrast, rejuvenation focuses on caring for aging skin, sun damage, fine lines and wrinkles, prejuvenation’s job is to target these same skincare concerns before they arise. In a nutshell, think preventive treatments for those sun spots, wrinkles and sagging bits before they well and truly sink in.

So, what are some of the most effective ‘prejuvenation’ treatments we can bring onboard?

Boost . . .

Think collagen boosting retinoids. Because collagen is the major protein backbone of our skin, providing it with structure and helping to plump and smooth out wrinkles, retinoids – namely Vita-A based skin care products, are the most effective of the topical agents available for stimulating collagen. They also give the skin a boost by altering the way it grows and diminishing photodamage. The earlier they are used, the better is the skin protected and the more damage is prevented.

Relax . . .

Botox helps to relax the muscles that form the horizontal and vertical lines of the forehead, crows’ feet and fine lines around the eyebrows. Botox is a neuromodulator, which not only helps to diminish fine lines, but open up the eyes and shape the eyebrows. Early use of Botox is effective for treating current wrinkles, helps to prevent the progression of deeper, fixed and lines the older we get.

Block it out . . .

Regardless of age using a broad-spectrum sunscreen is a must year-round for life! SPF helps prevent wrinkles, discoloration, dark spots, and skin cancer.

SPF is simply the measure of how much UVB light a sunscreen can keep out. i.e. SPF 15 blocks out about 93% of UVB rays, SPF 30 approx. 97% and so on. Most dermatologists recommend a 30 or higher.

What does broad-spectrum mean? Quite simply it means it’ll protect your skin against both UVA and UVB rays. The ones that age you are UVA, the UVB causes the sunburn. If you’re overexposed to both, you put yourself at greater skin cancer risk.

How often should you ACTUALLY reapply sunscreen? General rule of thumb many dermatologists recommend is every two hours – especially when you’re out all day in the sun i.e. the beach. Why every two hours? Because the SPF starts to lose its effect after two hours – so you run the risk of UVB exposure. Don’t be fooled into thinking that a higher SPF of 50 will protect you for longer. An SPF 50 applied at 10am may only be working at SPF 10 come midday.


8 September 2020
ZOOM-ing In On Neck
ZOOM-ing In On Neck

Why social media's taking on the chin . . .

The wrath of Covid hasn’t just hampered work, travel and everyday life – it’s also hit us hard on the chin. Not figurately – but literally. Across the globe over 74% of us upped the ante on our social networking as we locked down on staying connected during challenging times. But all that ZOOM time, Google meeting and hanging out, brought us closer to what’s going on in our lower facial regions – namely the jaw and chin. All that screen time has zoomed in on those problem areas – lack of definition, double chin, jowling. Unfortunately, screens are here to stay, so it’s a case of ridding the chin not the computer!

Fortunately, there are procedures – surgical and injectables – to diminish the chin and gently sculpt and contour the jaw and neck area. As with any cosmetic surgery or non-invasive facial procedure, it’s about taking an individual approach – discussing your options with a reputable and experienced cosmetic surgeon, like our very own cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgeon, Adam Bialostocki, before pressing go on any neck lift surgery or BELKYRA injections. Why? Because your treatment plan could include cosmetic surgery, or injectables – or both.

“If you have intensive lower facial jowling or a sagging neck, fillers or Botox may not provide the long-term treatment needed. A facelift – or rhytidectomy – corrects sagging facial skin to harmonise, restore the jawline and re-establishing fullness in the cheeks,” explains Adam. “Because the chin area is notoriously sensitive and difficult area to treat, a lift combined with non-invasive BELKYRA injections – these permanently dissolve fat – can effectively hone this area, restoring that definition.”

Cosmetic surgery and injectables have become a firm part of our cultural conversation – for good reason. Nowadays, we’re not aiming for pulled back and plastic, we’re hitting the right notes with rejuvenation as opposed to transformation. Keeping things natural is key to remedying chin and jawline woes – enhance and improve features, not make unrecognisable.

“To achieve those natural facial results, utilising techniques that incorporate the fat and sheaths of tissue underneath the skin is essential too,” explains Adam. “Rather than just ‘pulling back’ skin – or cutting it away, it’s about lifting and repositioning underlying muscles – tightening the connective tissue enveloping the muscles of the midface and neck.”

ZOOM meeting or no ZOOM meeting, the best reason to undergo cosmetic surgery is for you. So, stay true to yourself and seek trusted guidance, expertise and a safe pair of hands.

14 August 2020
Flattening the Curve . . . One tummy at a time
Flattening the Curve . . . One tummy at a time

It’s not just a Covid curve many of us are intent on achieving before summertime swings into action – many of our thoughts to the stomach region as the days start to get warmer and the layers come off. Fortunately, locking down on the tummy doesn’t have to be a complicated procedure – in fact abdominoplasty is one of the world’s most popular procedures – 5th most popular in the US alone – for good reason. The results bring greater body contouring, sculpting and confidence – and one the best times to undergo abdominoplasty is winter or spring. “The cooler temperatures across the winter months minimise and aid post-op swelling too – incisions heal in a controlled environment,” explains Adam Bialostocki, Da Vinci Clinic cosmetic and plastic reconstructive surgeon.

Abdominoplasty aims to flatten, reshape and sculpt – but don’t be fooled into thinking it’s a weight loss procedure. In fact, those wanting to undergo a tummy tuck procedure should be as close to their ideal weight as possible before undergoing surgery. And, areas of stretch marks may improve in areas where excess skin is removed – however, abdominoplasty may not rid them completely.

The overall aim of abdominoplasty is to remove excess fat and skin and restore weakened or separated muscles. When performing surgery, our surgeons release skin from the lower part of your abdomen – right up the belly – to allow for tightening of the muscles and restoration in your midsection. Then skin is re-draped, trimmed and finally your belly button is redefined. The result? A smoother, firmer and sculpted mid area. And, for those wondering what all that nipping, tucking and trimming feels like post-surgery? Well, it’s all down to the individual but some people claim it feels like 400 sit ups in one go!

Ensuring you gain the most out of your tummy tuck, comes down to skin shrinkage post-surgery, which is why wearing supportive garments and following surgeons’ instructions to the letter is of utmost importance. Some people require need fluid drains – others not. What remains important for all is watching for any changes in body behaviour that could hinder smooth healing. And, like any procedure, doing your homework and placing yourself in the right hands before committing to surgery, ensures best results for the long-term. Stay safe, do best by your bod.

11 June 2020
Things Are Looking Up . . . Rejuvenating to get even
Things Are Looking Up . . . Rejuvenating to get even

You’d be forgiven for feeling a little offside these past few months. Mentally, emotionally – and physically, the Covid storm left no element of life unturned. And, that ‘extra’ time – aside from the baking and eating – prompted many of us to tune in closer to the ‘true’ asymmetries of our faces – we got up close and personal. You may have spied one nostril larger than another, mouth slightly dipped to one side, one eye droopy, but did you know they’re more common than not! And there’s options for treating them all.

According to a US National Library of Medicine 2015 study, facial asymmetry is common in the overall population. And, when study researchers assessed patients’ radiographic examination, they found that prevalence rose above 50%. What does this tell us? That many of us have asymmetrical features but just don’t realise it! Facial asymmetries are not all bad – in fact they add to our uniqueness, can even be a defining feature. However, there are some key cosmetic procedures that are destined to turn those unwanted asymmetries around – should you want to. Here’s how . . .

Dermal Fillers: Hyaluronic fillers don’t just smooth, soften and enhance, they can also correct tissue imbalance and muscle weakness, and they also work to restore a more youthful pattern of facial movement and expressiveness. This was especially highlighted in a new study published by the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. According to the study, led by Ivona Percec of University of Pennsylvania, HA dermal filler treatment conveys a dermal tightening effect, alongside a volumizing of treated areas. The study analysed results in middle-aged women receiving HA dermal treatment, and after six weeks these showcased stretch levels more like those of younger women in areas prone to the effects of facial aging – i.e. nasolabial folds.

Botox: There’s more to Botox than meets the eye – literally! Botox injections can correct a sagging eyebrow, or prevent wrinkles which seem to be popping up on one side of the face.

Fat Grafting: An ideal permanent way to plump out facial contours. Our specialist cosmetic and plastic surgeons – Adam Bialostocki and Brandon Adams – are well-versed in fat grafting which uses your own fat to redefine and balance features.

Rhinoplasty: Or a ‘nose job’ as its commonly referred to, goes beyond just structure and form, it can visibly correct facial asymmetries on the outside and correct internal breathing and air flow problems on the inside. Think cosmetic or functional – or both! Open or closed surgery – who nose? When it comes to rhinoplasty not all surgery is an open book. i.e. a closed rhinoplasty involves the surgeon making all of the surgical incisions on the inside of the nose so that they are not visible post-surgery. In some cases, though, open surgery is required and this involves the surgeon making an incision along the bottom of the nose. Why opt for cosmetic rhinoplasty? If you have a pronounced bump, enlarged nostrils or you want to unpinch a nasal tip, cosmetic surgery can harmonise and bring greater balance to eyes, mouth and forehead – correcting distance metrics.

Let’s face it, we were born to have our differences. So, when it comes to those asymmetries, it shouldn’t be about changing our faces beyond recognition, rather defining and correcting where it counts. And, to strike a balance and achieve results that’ll make you truly shine, it all begins with putting yourself in an expert pair of hands – surgeons and specialists we can trust and rely upon.

1 June 2020
Welcome to Level 1!
Welcome to Level 1!

We are now back in the office and ready to help. We encourage everyone to reach out to us by phone or email to book or reschedule an appointment, enquire about our services and to seek advice.

Our specialists can also be contacted through the following emails:  
Adam Bialostocki:
Brandon Adams:

Stay safe and see you soon. 

Kia kaha ki te kaha – be strong, strive on. 



6 May 2020
Locking Down on Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery Expertise
Locking Down on Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery Expertise

Limbo may be the word of the month, but when it comes to health and wellbeing, no one wants to be left hanging. With all facial and body procedures – cosmetic, reconstructive and plastic surgery – ensuring we place ourselves in the right hands, has never been so important.

Adversity can bring greater clarity, and many of us have heard of the devastating effects of unregulated overseas plastic surgeries – especially in the past 10 years – here is just one example. Many Kiwis have been left facing scary times after suffering long-term physical, emotional and financial hardship because the surgeons they turned to lacked the necessary training, qualifications and experiences.

Sadly, too many of us have put our trust in the wrong places – but we weren’t to know, explains Da Vinci Clinic’s cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery, Adam Bialostocki. “Unfortunately, anyone can claim to be a ‘cosmetic surgeon’ – which is why so many patients aren’t receiving the expertise and care they deserve,” explains Adam. “The term ‘Plastic Surgeon’ is protected i.e. you need the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) qualification in plastic surgery, but since the term 'Cosmetic Surgeon' is not owned by RACS, there is no control over it.”

This lack-of industry policing has caused great confusion for those looking for a qualified cosmetic surgeon to carry out procedures. “A general practitioner can hang a sign up that says 'Cosmetic Surgeon' but not actually have done any real training,” explains Adam. “A basic medical degree (MBChB) contains “Bachelor of Medicine" and "Bachelor of surgery”, so despite not being a specialist surgeon, a GP can argue he/she has a surgery qualification. This is very confusing for people.”

Fortunately, here in New Zealand we can rely upon the expertise of surgeons like Adam Bialostocki and Da Vinci Clinic’s Brandon Adams, because they have undertaken appropriate cosmetic training. “The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons is the only institute to include cosmetic surgery training in its plastic surgery qualification – and many RAC plastic surgeons will do additional post-fellowship training too,” affirms Adam.

Seeking the guidance and expertise of New Zealand cosmetic and plastic surgeons – staying close to home – is what many of us are holding fast to more than ever before. Keeping core training and qualifications at the top of our search list, should remain a top priority now and into the future. Be safe, stay well.

9 April 2020
Strengthening connections, making the most of matters
Strengthening connections, making the most of matters

The Covid crisis is upon us – regardless of age and place, many of us are taking extra stock of safety and wellness right now. And, reflection and celebration are intrinsically tied this month, especially highlighted with WHO – World Health Organisation – marking its annual celebratory day on April 7th. With a strong frontline of medical officials at the helm New Zealand, and a strong network of communities tucked under our belt – we have plenty to be thankful for living Down Under.

Future forward . . .

Going forward – Covid and beyond – many of us will also wanting to be making changes for the greater benefit of long-term health and wellness - for ourselves, for our families. Which is why rethinking our stance and tuning into who we prepared to invest our time and money with on the health front, is so important. There are key factors we should all address in our decision making – no matter what the procedure – cosmetic, reconstructive, skin cancer or plastic surgery.

And, staying in the hands of someone close is often the safest and most assured move, here’s why:

- By choosing local providers – across the health and wellness spectrum – ensures we are covered within the regulatory bounds of sanitary, health and safety requirements. Peace-of-mind also comes from knowing you can return to your doctor, nurse or surgeon time and time again without travelling the span of a country – or having to fly to another. And, if the unexpected should occur, or disaster strike, you are within the safety net of your own healthcare system. Not someone elses.

- Choosing a register specialist practitioner or surgeon – recognised and reputed here in New Zealand – is essential not just for peace-of-mind but for best long-term outcomes and success. High-standards of care, commitment and expertise should never be an option – they should be a given.

Virtual connections are helping us through these challenging times, but when it comes to our health, it’s the physical connections – the trusted and true – that matter most. Stay connected.

18 March 2020
Body goals? Tune in before you fill up, flatten out or lift up
Body goals? Tune in before you fill up, flatten out or lift up

A new decade is underway, spurring many of us into body goal action. However, taking an individual approach to any procedure – breast implants, reconstruction, abdominoplasty – beyond social page inspiration, is essential for best practise and greater peace-of-mind. Why? Because placing yourself in the hands of a qualified surgeon, with the right experience and advice means you’ll stay truly connected to your body’s journey from beginning to end – and those results will hit all the right notes. Whether you’re seeking greater breast volume, lift or reconstruction, or looking to contour the tummy, let’s get the conversations started . . .

Breast factors

More lift? Increased volume? Both? Various factors influence breast decisions – i.e. post-childbirth may cause breasts to droop, go down a size or increase size! Which is why breast augmentation is dependent on many factors. “If it’s a volume issue – think weight loss or pregnancy – an implant can restore fullness and shape, and when combined lift, it can correct lax tissue,” explains Adam Bialostocki, Bay Plastic Surgery’s cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgeon. “If nipples have spiralled downward or become larger – opting for a mastopexy to raise breast tissue and reposition the nipple is a good option. For women with lopsided or small breasts, an implant, a lift – or both – can restore.” Where there are breasts, there are options, so understanding and visualising what you’ll look like post-surgery matters most. “Which is why we engage 3D Vectra imaging technology to provide our clients with a real-life depiction of their breasts post-surgery,” explains Adam, “and it also aids when guiding procedure discussion.”

Reconstruction on your terms

Breast reconstruction goes beyond filling a void for those women who have journeyed through breast cancer – it’s no one-size-fits-all approach. “It’s driven by personal preference, wellness, and short and long-term expectations,” says Adam. “And, it’s a procedure that can be delayed, with surgery carried out months, even years, following breast cancer recovery.” The two main breast reconstructive procedures available to Kiwi women are breast flap reconstruction and breast implant reconstruction.

Breast Flap Reconstruction – This technique uses flaps of a woman’s own tissue – sometimes with the addition of an implant too – to reconstruct breasts. Skin, fat and sometimes muscle, is taken from the back, bottom, inner thighs or lower abdomen. The flaps are then reshaped to form a new breast.

Breast Implant Reconstruction – This procedure involves inserting an implant under the skin and muscle to restore the shape and volume of the breast.

Abdomino play

It may be one of the world’s most popular procedures but not everyone’s an expert on the ins and outs of a tummy tuck. For starters, abdominoplasty isn’t a weight loss procedure, its aim is to reshape, sculpt and contour. So, what is involved? Skin is released from the lower part of your abdomen – right up the belly – to allow for tightening of the muscles and flatter restoration. Skin is then re-draped, trimmed and belly button redefined. And as for scarring? “Scars and surgery go hand in hand,” explains Adam. “However, incisions are strategically positioned so scars remain discreet and, over time, they’ll will fade too. “The best tummy results are largely dependent on skin shrinkage post-surgery, which is why wearing supportive garments and following care instructions to the letter is key.”

Final words? Before committing to any procedure ensure you do your homework and only enlist those with the experience and expertise to ensure your procedure is a success.

26 February 2020
Take a Weight Off
Take a Weight Off

Contour for body and peace-of-mind . . . 

It’s a New Year and a new decade – and, for many, the beginning of a weight loss journey. Upping the ante on our bodies when January resolutions rock around is nothing new – near 50% make it our aim. However, not all of us picture ourselves beyond shedding a few kilos – we don’t consider the contouring side of fine tuning our bodies to their ideal forms. Because, with weight loss – and not just major weight loss – come other factors to deal with. We’re talking excess skin or pockets of fat that won’t budge in the places you want it to budge – regardless of how much weight you’ve lost.

So, what to do? Sculpting your body is achievable and doesn’t have to be invasive. Procedures like CoolSculpting – freezing stubborn fat from the outside in – allows you to permanently remove those fat pockets once and for all. Areas like the upper thighs, stomach, hips, upper arms contain fat cells that have a higher density of alpha receptors – cells that stick around – which is why they wont just shrink away when you start exercising more or cut down on the cake. Procedures like liposuction and CoolSculpting target those specific fat cells beneath the skins surface. With CoolSculpting, there are applicators for specific areas too: arms, thighs, stomach, love handles.

“CoolSculpting delivers precisely controlled and safer cooling,” explains Da Vinci’s cosmetic and plastic reconstructive surgeon Adam Bialostocki. “The cells are crystallised and die, and are naturally eliminated from your body over time.”

Whatever your body goals, before undergoing any contouring, arm yourself with the right expertise and reputable qualifications to guide, inform – not just to carry out the procedure. An experienced surgeon or nurse will discuss key areas before you commit to a procedure i.e. is your weight loss stable, are you healthy enough to undergo contouring procedures, and are you nearly at your ideal body weight. We all deserve to look good and feel great – but not at the expense of putting ourselves at risk and in the hands of someone unqualified. Journey with those that truly support, care and inform.

30 January 2020
Greatest Hits . . . Sing to Your Own Tune in 2020
Greatest Hits . . .  Sing to Your Own Tune in 2020

Kick the New Year resolutions to the curb, this year make 2020 to do for you – minus the ‘time pressure’ factor. And, when it comes to facial enhancing, we’re for proactive rejuvenating – and results that speak you – not tweakment trends. And, one of the most effective ways to enhance the ‘real me’ efficiently, effectively – and in a timely manner – is with minimally invasive cosmetic procedures.

And, if you’re unconvinced as to why these procedures are steadily rising in popularity, there is more than one reason. Aside from greater affordability, low-risk association and accessibility to reputable doctors, surgeons and nurses – like ourselves – many women and men simply want to restore balance and harmony without surgically ‘changing’ their faces. And, they can choose gradually to strengthen hear, smooth here or lift here – not all in one hit.

So, which procedures should you turn to, in order to capture and enhance? If wrinkles are becoming an issue – forehead, crow’s feet, frown lines – then targeting them with Botox is a solution. Minimally invasive, completed in your lunch hour and lasting anywhere from six to nine months. Wrinkles sorted!

Age affects us all, and so too does natural loss of fat in our faces – particularly around eyes and cheeks. The solution? Soft tissue fillers to reduce fine lines and plump up the volume and fullness. And if injecting the ‘unknown’ into your face has you weary, don’t discount fillers before you know them. The gel-like dermal fillers we engage are the safe – why? Because they are created from created from hyaluronan – which is naturally present in our skin. And, because these modern fillers follow our skin’s natural make-up, they have staying power!

Best suited facial areas for dermal fillers? Target areas, include, jowls, marionette lines, cheeks, lips and forehead. If your chin’s been getting you down – you’re not alone. Did you know that regardless of weight and gender, many of us are simply destined to sport a double-chin – genetics have a part to play in that too!

Naturally sculpting your jawline – no scalpel insight – is achievable. BELKYRA is a solution and is also naturally in tune with our selves. It’s a synthetic version of deoxycholic acid – which imitates naturally occurring deoxycholic acid in our bodies – when it’s injected into the chin area it melts away fat for good! Permanent solution without the pain.

When it comes to feeling and looking good, make 2020 your year to refresh and rejuvenate. Book a free consultation with our team of experts.

5 December 2019
The A Team: Why Retinoic Acid Continues to Wage War Against Acne
The A Team: Why Retinoic Acid Continues to Wage War Against Acne

We’ve all heard of the retinoids, the family of drugs hailed to cure-skin problems. And, whilst they may not be the magical ingredient for all skin problems, they carry the power to deliver proven results for certain skin conditions.

So, first things first, what exactly is retinoic acid and why might a dermatologist prescribe topical use of it to treat acne or similar skin conditions – like psoriasis?

Retinoic acid is a metabolite of vitamin A, which plays a roll in cell growth and differentiation. Retinoids for acne treatment was approved in 1971, today skin specialists still agree it has a firm place in treating acne. Recent evidence-based guidelines for acne, including those from the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) and the European Dermatology Forum (EDF), back this evidence. With the academy stating “retinoids are the core of topical therapy for acne because they are comedolytic, resolve the precursor microcomedone lesion, and are anti-inflammatory, and allow for maintenance of clearance.”

So, which retinoids have demonstrated real results? Well according to research results reported by James Leydon, in his recent analyse, ‘Why Topical Retinoids Are Mainstay of Therapy for Acne’, "Retinoids such as: adapalene 0.1% and 0.3%; tazarotene 0.1%; tretinoin 0.01%, 0.025%, 0.038%, 0.04%, 0.05%, 0.08%, and 0.1% in the USA; isotretinoin 0.05% and 0.1%, have a central role in acne therapy because they have been shown both to reduce visible lesions and also inhibit the development of microcomedones and new lesions."

So, how do retinoids combat acne. Well topical retinoids are used to treat several types of acne, and may help improve the symptoms of acne by:

• Upping the ante on cell growth to allow lesions and scars to heal

• They work to decrease inflammation

• Some can decrease oil production

• Can unclog pores and prevent dead cells from additional clogging

• Improve the performance of additional medical creams/gels

• They can help reduce the development of acne scars

• They can also have a skin smoothing and even skin tone effect

• They may also protect against environment effects.

Living with acne can be both traumatic, frustrating – and sometimes depressing – for many people, but with expert care, advice and the right treatment plan, overcoming the acne hurdle is doable. Every person’s skin is different – even though we may bear similar problems – so it is essential to seek individual solutions. Speak to our expert team of dermatologists, Nicola Abbott and Amy Stanway.

9 November 2019
Breakout This Summer, Not Your Skin
Breakout This Summer, Not Your Skin

The sunshine maybe drawing us all outdoors – wet winter well and truly behind us – but unfortunately that’s not all that’s drawing out. For many of us warmer weather can intensify skin problems – or even bring about totally new skin issues we’ve never had before – not ideal! So, to ensure you put your best foot forward this summer, we’re arming you with a little summertime skin ‘must know abouts’ so you’ can keep yur skin in check.

Melasma – Quite different to melanoma

The names may have similarities but melasma and melanoma are quite different. Unlike the skin cancer, melasma refers to those brown and grey-brown-like patches that can form on both face and body – think forehead, cheeks, nose – and the sun can often make them stand out further. Whilst the condition is more common in women – as it can be triggered by hormonal imbalances – no one is exempt. It appears when certain skin cells become hyperactive and produce too much pigment in certain areas. Unlike freckles melasma patches tend to be distinctly larger.

So, how to treat and avoid worsening melasma problem patches? First things first, avoiding direct sunlight is a must – so being diligent with your sun protection year-round is a must. And, before you go rubbing on creams, it's important to confirm with a dermatologist what is actually causing the melasma. Why? Because unless you get to the bottom of the cause, it could go on existing quite happily for years. Depending on diagnosis, a dermatologist may precise oral treatment or topical to help lighten it – this might include topical retinols and retinoid treatments to help speed up the cell turnover.

Acne popped in for a visit? Break free before you break out

If the heat is bringing out the bad guys a few simple solutions may help ease the Xmas strain on the skin. Aim for . . .

• An oil-free sunscreen. Choose mineral-based sunscreens, such as zinc oxide and titanium oxide, over those that contain oil.

• Face washing minus the over washing – Cleansing your face after sweating can remove the layer of grease that clogs pores, but over washing can trigger acne – causing trauma to the skin – so avoid scrubbing too hard or too often.

• Gentle treatments – Depending on your skin type, many dermatologists will recommend changing to a light-based foaming cleanser with or without salicylic acid or alpha hydroxy acids. To minimise bacterial growth, benzoyl peroxide cleansers can also be helpful. However, before you go testing and trying, it’s important to get expert advice and guidance as some skin types are not compatible with these chemicals, leading to further irritation.

• Up the moisture – It may seem crazy to later on moisturiser when your skin is feeling overly oily, but it’s important to remember that maintaining a healthy skin barrier with good moisturizers are even more vital in the summer months – skipping the moisture can worsen problems. A top solution? Opting for a lightweight moisturiser complete with ceramides, hyaluronic acid, and niacinamide.

And before you well and truly get into the swing of summer – sweat or no sweat – check your skin in with an expert pair of hands. That way your moles, skin lesions and any potential skin issues are mapped over and examined before the celebrating gets underway – not to mention greater peace of mind heading into the holidays.

12 October 2019
This Month Matters, Stay Abreast
This Month Matters, Stay Abreast

October is breast cancer awareness month – and Wednesday 16th is Breast Reconstruction Awareness Day. Why delegate a day specifically to reconstruction? To put an end to the unknown – all women deserve to know their options following post-mastectomy breast cancer surgery. According to a study published by the Breast Cancer Organisation, more than half of breast cancer patients don’t get enough information around reconstruction. Worldwide, only a third of women who undergo a mastectomy undergo breast reconstruction, and in New Zealand that number stands at just 10%.

However, increasing awareness about reconstruction opportunities for breast patients’ needs to extend beyond implant speak, because it there is no one-size-fits-all. It’s an experience that is driven by personal preference, wellness, and short and long-term goals and expectations – including self-confidence. Specialist reconstructive surgeons, like our very own Adam Bialostocki and Brandon Adams, are continually working with patients to achieve long-lasting, natural reconstructive results post-surgery - taking a very individual approach. For example, this can involve using tissue from a women’s own body, such as the abdomen to form a breast, alongside implant use.

So, what are the two many breast reconstructive procedures available to Kiwi women – and how do you know which is best for you?

Breast Flap Reconstruction: This commonly used technique involves uses flaps of your own tissue – sometimes with the addition of an implant too – to reconstruct your breast/breasts. This includes taking skin, fat and sometimes muscle, from your back, bottom, inner thighs or lower abdomen. The flaps are then reshaped to form a new breast. When is flap reconstruction most commonly used? Typically, it is used in delayed reconstruction – especially if radio therapy has or is being administered. Why not implants? Because radiotherapy may cause the skin around the implants to shrink which can ultimately cause scar tissue and may interfere with healing and potential implant leaks. Flap reconstruction is well suited to women with moderate-to-large sized breasts as these have a natural droop. For those wanting a good match for their other breast long-term, tissue reconstruction can provide a better partner as this will naturally conform to gravity, weight changes and aging – as opposed to an implant which may end up sitting higher in the chest wall.

Breast Implant Reconstruction: The procedure involves inserting an implant under the skin and muscle to restore the shape and volume of your breast. It can be less extensive and involved than flap surgery – no additional tissue requirements needed – and it is often recommended for women with smaller breasts. Breast implant reconstruction lends itself to a more natural breast shape, which is firmer – however it may move less naturally than a flap reconstruction and sit higher – as age, gravity and weight loss affect the other natural breast. Implant considerations to stay abreast of . . .

- As implants have no fixed life span (average lifespan 10years), these will need to be replaced.

- For those opting for delayed breast implant reconstruction, a permanent or temporary tissue expander will be placed behind the chest muscle. Why? This will ensure the implant sits in the right place and will disguise its outline. After several weeks after the expander has been inserted, your surgeon will inject the implant with a saline solution to inflate it.

Additional considerations . . . What many of us don’t realise, is that breast reconstructive procedures don’t have to be carried out immediately following a mastectomy – reconstruction can happen months, even years, following breast cancer treatment. No matter the time of surgery, post-breast surgery support and ongoing guidance is as essential to surgeons as it is to patients. With any breast matters it is essential we arm ourselves with the best advice, guidance and support – always – let’s connect to reconstruct.

10 September 2019
Spot the Difference and Seek out Change . . .
Spot the Difference and Seek out Change . . .

Change may be in the air but it’s the changes on our skin we should be tuning into – no matter the season. With the promise of warmer days less than three months away, many of us are turning our thoughts to beaches and barbeques – and also our summer-ready skin. So, now’s the time to brush up on skin speak before you begin peeling off the layers. Here we share the latest on melanoma news, vitamin A and cancer prevention break throughs and what to search for when scanning your skin . . .

Vege out . . .

In the name of science, one new study has found a link between vitamin A intake and reduced skin cancer risk – namely squamous cell carcinoma. What is squamous cell carcinoma? It’s our second most common form of skin cancer – melanoma our deadliest, and it can appear as a raised, crusty, non-healing sore, and is often found on hands, forearms, ears, face or neck of people. It's most common in those aged over 40 and can be life-threatening if left untreated. Typically, the roll of vitamin A in the body’s health involves support of growth and development, including reproductive, skin and eye health.

And now, scientist’s belief it may also reduce the risk of developing skin cancer – namely squamous cell carcinoma. Researchers from the Warren Alpert Medical School, the Brown School of Public Health, Harvard Medical School and Inje University conducted a mass study, which spanned over 26 years, analysing data from over 74,000 women and 48,000 men, and documenting over 3,978 of skin cancer cases. They concluded their findings to-date support that notion that having adequate intake of vitamin A could help prevent the development of skin cancer. They also added that most of the vitamin A in the studies cases came from food sources, especially vegetables such as sweet potatoes, carrots, kale, butternut squash, pumpkin, broccoli, apricots, and papaya, to name but a few.

Bring in the big guns . . . 

Melanoma is our deadliest cancer Down Under – our incidence rate is the highest in the world with over 4,000 cases each year, and resulting in over 80% of all skin cancer deaths. Not only does this dangerous cancer grow rapidly, it also has the highest resistance to conventional chemotherapy. But not all melanoma cancers are created equal, in fact approximately 25% of all melanoma are advanced by oncogenic mutations in the NRAS gene.

Therapeutic treatment targeting is the ideal way to treat this type of melanoma, unfortunately no therapies have been effective – till now. An international team of researchers at Boston University have discovered a promising inhibitor to specifically prevent NRAS mutant melanoma from growing. What did they uncover exactly? They identified a specific genetic enzyme – coded STK19 – which is a critical regulator of NRAS genetic function. After studying its mechanisms, they designed a STK19 inhibitor to prevent NRAS activation and development of mutant melanoma. What this means for those who suffer with NRAS melanoma mutations? Improved care and treatment are within reach. And with summer on the horizon, no matter what your family history of skin cancer or skin types, it pays to be vigilant and undergo a skin check. Prevention and greater awareness are the best steps towards combating this often-fatal cancer.

New mole - or new look -  on the scene . . .

Gentics, sun exposure, fair skin and a weakened immune system can all play a part in triggering a new mole to erupt to the surface. Couple those factors with the fact that moles come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, and it can be hard to distinguish what’s ‘ok’ and what we should look a little more closely at. So, it’s important to monitor and watch for symptoms such as: • Changes in colour, shape, or size. • any pain or bleeding on and around a mole. • lightening of a mole – or a white halo around its edge.


17 August 2019
Spring an Itch - Don't See Red
Spring an Itch - Don't See Red

We’ve endured the cold and come spring many of us now facing the effects of seasonal allergies, with springtime pollen levels peaking – there’s no spring break for our skin. If you’re feeling the itch or maybe your eczema is faring worse than normal, it’s time to arm yourself with some sound knowledge – from a reputable source – before taking to garden or park. And even if dermatitis hasn’t been on your radar till now, you are not alone. This eczema condition is common worldwide – the US alone over 30million people suffer from some form of eczema skin condition. Pinning down the cause of your suffering – is it allergies or something else? And, promptly treating it, can be stressful in itself – that stress won’t be helping the your skin either. However, it’s not all doom and gloom when it comes to diagnosis – especially with the right hands guiding you. Here we touch in on two very common types of dermatitis that share a name but travel two different pathways.

Allergic Dermatitis – The key word is ‘allergic’. This condition is caused by an allergic reaction, for example, nickel – think wedding rings, or pollen proteins, or acrylate allergy – think cosmetics. Any age or sex can have an allergic flair up. Your skin may flair within 48 – 72hrs or you may suddenly develop an allergy after years of having none. Fortunately, it is treatable – in most cases by identifying the allergy and avoiding it – but for some people it does require lifelong management.

Atopic Dermatitis – Inflammatory, constant and chronic are the key words here. It often begins in childhood and can remain unwanted lifelong companion. Although there is no single cause, research suggests genetics may play a large role in determining atopic sufferers. What can make atopic dermatitis worse? Bacterial, viral and fungal infections can all worsen dermatitis. Treating children comes with its challenges, but good management of eczema can be life changing for families.

Fortunately, no one needs to feel in the dark when it comes to treating skin and restoring balance. Just as dermatitis has many faces, nowadays treatment options take many avenues – making it possible for dermatitis sufferers to find their fit – and take their fight – against this skin condition. What remains important? Seeking the best advice, guidance and care to find the solution.

10 July 2019
Removing the bumps . . . Reducing the risk
Removing the bumps . . . Reducing the risk

Breast augmentation has long been a popular procedure worldwide for centuries, however, it’s receiving microscopic attention – and not all for good reasons. Textured implants – the fourth generation of implants – came onto the marketplace in the late 1980s, and whilst the use of both smooth and textured implants have dominated the breast platforms for over three decades – it’s textured implants that have breast specialists raising eyebrows and researching around the clock.

What is it about textured implants that’s causing concern? “Breast Implant Associated ALCL is closely related to strongly textured implants, and can be avoided by using smooth devices,” says Adam Bialostocki, Da Vinci Clinic plastic and cosmetic surgeon. Textured implants provide the perfect hiding spot for bacteria. Coupled with this, implants with a higher surface area may also grow bacteria quicker. “BIA ALCL remained a hot topic at last month’s Plastic Surgery Congress in Melbourne, and whilst breast experts are still pinpointing the underlying cause going forwards, our advice is to stop using strongly-textured devices at the moment unless absolutely required.”

What exactly is BIA ALCL? It is a rare type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma – a cancer of the immune system cells – that develops near breast implants. “One of the most common symptoms of BIA ALCL is swelling – an accumulation of fluid. This can happen within a year of breast implant insertion, or within 40 years,” explains Adam. “What we do know, is more uncommonly BIA ALCL will present as a lump in the breast or under the armpit.”

According to researchers at Macquarie University's MQ Health, the mean time for developing BIA-ALCL was found to be 7.35 years. With their extensive study of Australian and New Zealand women revealing that between 2007 and 2016, of the 55 patients diagnosed with BIA-ALCL, all were exposed to textured implants. Findings also found the risk of developing BIA-ALCL is as high 1 in 3800 implants.

The good news for Kiwi women with textured implants? The New Zealand Association of Plastic Surgeons continues to provide its members with the latest information about BIA-ALCL, including how to manage patients with suspected or proven BIA-ALCL. “What we learnt at this year’s congress was that we are equipped with the best information and that here at Da Vinci Clinic we are already using best practice techniques – preventing bacteria attaching onto implants through proven surgical strategies and preventing bacterial contamination at the time the implant is placed in surgery,” says Adam. If you or someone you know is seeking guidance on breast implants, don’t wait for things to worsen, speak to a trusted professional.

22 June 2019
Face Value . . . We bring skin speak to the surface
Face Value . . . We bring skin speak to the surface

Forget ‘you are what you eat’ it’s the treatments you seek that are destined to make a real difference when it comes to healthy skin. Ditching sugar, curbing the carbs and tossing the processed packages may be great steps towards overall health and wellbeing – but, culling them wont necessarily improve skin health. Why? Because it’s about turning to proven scientific research not reaching out for anecdotal, when it comes to truly treating skin conditions, say dermatologists.

Afterall, every person’s skin is different and requires an individual approach – which is why seeking solutions via dietary elimination or off the supermarket shelf doesn’t always fair well. “A dermatologist will look at a face and immediately recognise if the skin is inflammatory or the non-inflammatory type – something many of us can’t tell,” says Da Vinci Clinic dermatologist, Dr Nicola Abbott. “The supermarket shelf doesn’t always fair well – dishing up solutions that are often ineffective long-term.”

But surely what we eat has some impact on our skin, right? Yes, there are some food allergies, that may affect your skin, but generally their role is limited when it comes to skin disease – they are not the cause of every condition. For example, a person suffering from psoriasis may do some online ‘research’ and opt to cut gluten from your diet, but unless he/she had a real hypersensitivity or a true diagnosed gluten allergy, eliminating gluten from their diet to improve your psoriasis may have little effect. Why? Because gluten is not overly inflammatory. Another example of where dietary factors may have little or no impact on skin health is supplement use. Why? Because many over-the-counter supplements we buy online or instore are not regulated – and claims on bottles may not be verified by science.

And let’s not forget, anyone can post anything they want on the internet, so be wary of the information you chance upon on the web – recommendations should essentially be taken with a grain of salt. Making an improved difference to skin health begins with seeking guidance and help from a registered skin professional – who will recommend the best treatment plan and/or dietary changes and options, for you long-term.

“A dermatologist might recommend topical retinoids – which are derived from Vitamin A, these unclog and regenerate skin cells faster,” says Amy. “Also Niacinamide – a topical B Vitamin – which has hit headlines of late as it decreases inflammation and improves skin texture.”

The long and short of skin speak? Don’t journey with the masses when it comes to your skin health – and avoid making changes to your diet and health on a whim – source guidance and expertise for the greatest skin benefits.

26 May 2019
Winter Workout . . . Aim for Abs and Greater Lift
Winter Workout  . . . Aim for Abs and Greater Lift

Counting on a little more tummy confidence for summer 2019 – or maybe greater lift and enhancement on the breast front? Then winter is your season to send fat packing or bust out – or up – a little more. Undergoing abdominoplasty or breast procedures can be undertaken anytime of the year but the cooler seasons bring greater advantages in terms of recovering, temperatures and hidden features. Here’s why now could be the best time for you to push play on those body ambitions.

Healing power . . . Without the thick of summertime heat, healing remains controlled and cooler temperatures aid post-op swelling. And the chiller weather means we’re more likely to expose our skin, benefiting scar healing – less sun exposure, means scars fade not darken.

Cover up advantage . . . Because we layer our clothing in winter – singlets, merinos, scarves and jackets – there’s no better time to add a compression bandages or two to the mix – it’s less likely to be spotted. Because both abdominoplasty and breast surgery recovery is inclusive of stitches, bruising and swelling, compression bandages are needed for support. These not only help to support and aid comfort but work to reduce the risk of more serious complications like seroma (excess serous fluid filling a pocket under the skin).

Out of sight. . . Winter hallmarks the best of times to make the most of the indoors. For those of us wanting to keep breast or tummy surgery under wraps – and not public knowledge – wintery conditions make the perfect excuse to step away from social occasions and keep bandages hidden.

Whatever your plastic surgery ambitions, every individual has a unique pathway and journey to follow, so ensuring you receive the best guidance and care from the onset it essential for peace-of-mind and the best results.

17 April 2019
When It's Cold Outside . . . It's time to transform
When It's Cold Outside . . . It's time to transform

Winter is creeping in but don’t settle for just another season of hibernation. Use the cooler months to address those body ambitions and spring into spring! Here’s how you can rejuvenate in more ways than one:

- Freshen up the face with a little Botox or dermal fillers. These non-invasive procedures work to define and enhance the natural contours of your face. As this year’s global ‘tweakment’ trend reveals – as reported by Harpers Bazaar amongst other news agencies – there is a definite move towards cosmetic surgery that produces truly natural looking results. Amongst these ‘tweakments’ rising in popularity is the use of fillers to reshape nose, the mini-facelift or temporal lift – lifting the outside corners of the brow, and it’s toted there’ll be greater demand for impact treatment – 3D imaging – to see what your face will look like post-treatment before undergoing procedures.

- For greater lift and restoration, a facelift or eyelid surgery can remove unwanted sagging skin, and smooth and tighten to achieve a firmer, youthful appearance.

- Don’t forget your skincare regime this winter too. As the weather cools there’s less moisture in the air and our skin’s natural barrier is compromised. Which can result in dry – sometimes flaky – and acne prone skin which less able to fight off infections and bacteria. But, before you go piling on your serums and oils, build up the hydration in your skin – namely with active hyaluronic acid. This could be a hydrating booster or mask.

- As for your sunscreen – they can be numerous and confusing. In terms of your SPF – Sunscreen Protection Factor – the higher the number, the greater the protection barrier. For the whole family we recommend our IS Clinical Eclipse 50+ Broad Spectrum Cream.

- If you’ve made it your goal to trim down by summer but the weather’s keeping you in doors. Now's the best time to look to nonsurgical fat eliminating procedures – like CoolSculpting. Eradicate stubborn fat and gently contour and sculpt – all in a lunchtime – minus surgery and downtime.

- If you’ve been toying with the thought of liposuction or a tummy tuck, winter is the ideal time to undergo surgery and recover before swimsuit season arrives. The cooler months serve better time to heal – aiding post-op swelling, and covering up bandages is more discreet under those extra winter layers too.

Whatever you winter wants and summer ambitions, speak to our team specialists, we are on hand for all your cosmetic, plastic and dermatological needs.

13 March 2019
Careful Matters . . . Why you deserve the special treatment
Careful Matters . . . Why you deserve the special treatment

For anyone preparing to undergo a cosmetic or plastic surgery procedure, emphasis on safety and quality should always remain at the fore – no matter your age or location. With procedure numbers growing year on year internationally, choosing the right surgeon for you is key to achieving the best results, and the best individual care. Here’s why experience, specialist training and the practise are weighted above all else. The art of plastic surgery isn’t reliant on just skill and ability – it requires sound technical ability too. For the majority of surgical procedures – even non-invasive – the outcome is affected by planning and decision making in the headspace, not just the hands at work. Many people don’t realise that not all surgeons specialise exclusively in cosmetic surgery – more than 90% of them do not. Which is why choosing a surgeon who specialises in both – cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery – like Da Vinci’s Adam Bialostocki and Brandon Adams, is essential for peace-of-mind and careful management of procedures. As reported by the Australasian Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons (ASAPS), it takes eight to ten years of specialist training to become a Specialist Plastic Surgeon and have your training recognised by The Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) – the only professional body accredited to train Specialist Surgeons in New Zealand and Australia. The RACS also requires and monitors ongoing medical education, ensuring specialists continue to provide the highest standards of professional care. Only fully trained and registered Specialist Plastic Surgeons who are fellows of the RACS – like Adam and Brandon – can join the Australasian Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) and the ASAPS. Many renowned surgeons, will also choose to undertake additional post-fellowship training. For example, Adam travelled to Paris where he sought speciality training in breast surgery, facial rejuvenation and body contouring. Attendance at annual symposiums and workshops is also a tell-tale sign a surgeon is vested in his vocation – and everyone (patients and practice staff) stand to benefit from this knowledge. This month Adam attended the Advanced Aesthetic Plastic Workshop 2019 with a dominant focus on eyelid surgery. Alongside sound specialist experience and qualifications, feeling comfortable in your surrounds is essential for any procedure. No matter the size of the practise – big or small – every patient deserves assurance, attentiveness and reassurance. The personalities, communication and ease of the staff – coupled with the care and attention to detail of the rooms and spaces – are sure signs that you are in the right hands from initial consultation right through to after-care procedures.

18 February 2019
Don't Get Botched . . . A Surgeon's Qualifications and Experience Matter the Most
Don't Get Botched . . . A Surgeon's Qualifications and Experience Matter the Most

When it comes to surgery – plastic or cosmetic – it’s no time to play Russian Roulette. Putting your faith in someone you haven’t research thoroughly or meet face-to-face before undergoing the knife, can result in dire consequences. Too often, we hear story after story of surgeries gone wrong and patients suffering – sometimes long-term – because their surgeon lacked the necessary training, qualifications and experience. Unfortunately, anyone can claim to be ‘cosmetic surgeon’ – which is why so many patients aren’t receiving the expertise and care they deserve.

“The term ‘Plastic Surgeon’ is protected i.e. you need the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons qualification in plastic surgery, but since the term 'Cosmetic Surgeon' is not owned by RACS, there is no control over it,” explains Adam Bialostocki, Cosmetic and Reconstructive Plastic Surgeon, at Da Vinci Clinic. “You can literally be a GP and hang a sign up that says 'Cosmetic Surgeon'. A basic medical degree (MBChB) contains “Bachelor of Medicine" and "Bachelor of surgery”, so despite not being a specialist surgeon, a GP can argue he/she has a surgery qualification. For the public, this is very confusing!”

Down Under, surgeons like Adam and Brandon Adams, are leading the way in plastic and cosmetic surgery. Why? Because the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons is the only institute to include cosmetic surgery training in its plastic surgery qualification – and many RAC plastic surgeons will do additional post-fellowship training too.

“Some RAC plastic surgeons will go to a centre somewhere in the world where they perform 100’s of cleft palate repairs so they can be 'the cleft palate’ guy or (like me) go off to Paris to sit in with a famous plastic surgeon to pick their brains and learn some tips,” explains Adam. “I could have undertaken cosmetic surgery without having any extra exposure to those guys, but I wanted to hone my techniques so I would be ‘the breast guy’, ‘the tummy tuck guy’.”

Location – and a potential holiday fix – shouldn’t guide your cosmetic surgery decision making. The specialist training and qualifications of the surgeon should be the top priority. “Remember, cosmetic surgeons with non-plastic surgery qualifications MUST undertake some training in cosmetic surgery because they have had NONE,” cautions Adam. “Plastic surgeons do not need to, it is part of their core training.”

29 January 2019
Freeze to Forget . . . Kiss fat goodbye with a touch of cool
Freeze to Forget . . . Kiss fat goodbye with a touch of cool

Ice-cold temperatures on the outside to freeze fat on the inside? It sounds counterintuitive but FDA-approved CoolSculpting is reducing fat cells – successfully – the cool way. Why treat stubborn fat areas – love handles, jelly bellies, muffin tops, and batwings – with this non-invasive treatment instead of cutting back on the Xmas mince pies and upping the exercise? Because, unfortunately, changes to diet and exercise are not enough to cut through the fat. Here’s why. . . Our fat cells aren’t created equal. Stubborn fat in areas like the thighs, stomach and hips has a higher density of alpha receptors – cells that are harder to shift. So, whilst pumping weights may be sending the right messages to your cells via hormones to release triglycerol, your fat receptors aren’t responding to the call. However, destroying fat cells from the outside in, is going to make a change. “Fat cells freeze at a higher temperature than surrounding tissues,” explains Adam Bialostocki, Da Vinci Clinic plastic and cosmetic surgeon. “And CoolSculpting delivers precisely controlled – and safer – cooling to targeted fat cells beneath the skin. The cells are crystallised and die, and are naturally eliminated from your body over time.” Complications arising from Coolsculpting procedures are minimal too. In an analysis conducted by the Aesthetic Surgery Journal only 12 out of 1,445 people – less than 1% - reported complications following CoolSculpting procedures. With the most common complication being less sensation than before treatment in the treated area. Time spent on the chair is also at minimum because of CoolSculpting CoolAdvantage applicators’ greater efficiency, ease and increased comfort. “For example, using the CoolCurve – which targets larger areas on the abdomen – one freezing session may only take 45minutes,” explains Bialostocki. “And returning to normal day-to-day activities following treatment isn’t an issue because it’s a non-surgical procedure, with minimal side effects.” For many patients a 25% reduction in fat is not out of reach. A 2015 review of 19 CoolSculpting studies published in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery found people lost an average of 14.67 to 28.5% of the fat in areas treated by cryolipolysis (CoolSculpting). Also at the fore of CoolSculpting Advantage technology, alongside fat eradication, is its application diversity – there is an applicator designed specifically for all body areas. From CoolMax – the largest applicator which is best for the lower and upper abdomen, to CoolFit – the longer length applicator with greater grab for treating bat wings and inner thighs, to the CoolMini – the smallest of applicators which is ideal for double chin fat reduction. “Our most popular applicator is the CoolCore, contouring the waist and sides of body, and is ideal for sculpting the hips and bikini areas too,” says Bialostocki. “We want each of our clients to achieve the best results possible with CoolSculpting, so tailoring an individual body plan – with all aspects of time and budget included – is vital to success and long-term satisfaction.” Results are also in keeping with the body’s natural silhouette and form. Unlike liposuction, which can result in misshapen bulges or even scarring, CoolSculpting yields long-term results gradually. Depending on the treatment area and density of fat, changes can be seen within weeks or a few months. “Some patients begin to see results in as little as three weeks after their first treatment, however many experience the most dramatic changes after two months,” explains Bialostocki. “The body will continue to flush out fat cells for up to four-to-six months post-treatment.” So, before shelving your fat loss dreams, it may be time to consider a long-term solution minus the pain and your precious time. If those natural results are not naturally occurring, enlisting the help of a cooling hand may just be the winning ticket.

12 December 2018
Mummy Makeovers, Restoration not supermodel looks
Mummy Makeovers, Restoration not supermodel looks

If you’re a mum in the 20 – 39 age bracket, or know someone who is, your group is undergoing the lion’s share of 'Mummy Makeovers.' Breast augmentations, tummy tucks and liposuction procedures have all been climbing steadily since 2000 – and show no signs of slowing down. With such soaring popularity worldwide, you’d be forgiven for thinking it was all about keeping up appearances. But it’s not.

A ‘Mummy Makeover’ as it’s been coined, isn’t gaining strength in numbers for purely looks sake, but for regained self-confidence and recontouring where it’s most needed. Restring one’s body completely following childbirth can’t be achieved with just exercise and diet alone – something many critics of ‘mummy makeovers’ fail to realise. Why? Because diet and physical exercise cannot repair post-birth stretch marks or sagging breasts, but re-sculpting with surgical procedures is achievable. Rather, than aiming to become a supermodel a mummy make-over is about restoring and revealing the inner you on the outside.

After all, the body undergoes considerable body changes during pregnancy to allow room for baby to grow: Skin and muscles in the abdomen relax, abdominal wall loses muscle tone, excess skin can sit below the belly button and breasts gain weight. With multiple changes constantly occurring, coupled with hormonal changes and physical family and everyday life adjustments when baby arrives, loss of control and insecurity can be overwhelming. Even thoughts of getting undressed in front of a partner can bring on anxieties for many women.

Therefore, mummy makeover specific procedures benefit women both publicly and privately. Liposuction or CoolSculpting to eliminate the fat pockets on the belly and abdomen – easy to gain but hard to get rid of. A tummy tuck to remover the extra skin on abdomen, and a breast lift to regain a pre-pregnancy shape. Forget the supermodel expectations, mum’s simply want to look their best and feel refreshed – and these are expectations we are all deserving of.

22 November 2018
Christmas Checklist . . . Skin prepped and ready to party
Christmas Checklist . . . Skin prepped and ready to party

Taking time out this season for yourself – or a family member – is important. We can all get caught up in the hype of festivities and reach the end only to feel (and possibly look) like we’ve run a marathon!

So, before you tie on the apron, whisk out the decorations, brace for the onslaught of children, and whip up a present list. Hone in on your skin and body matters.

Redefine those lines . . . Don’t hide behind make up at this year’s celebrations, embrace your skin with accurate use of injectables. Dermal fillers and Botox work to smooth and soften lines, to enhance and rejuvenate your appearance. Forget pain, today’s injectables are less invasive than ever before and because modern-day fillers are created using hyaluronan – which is naturally present in our skin – so the process is less invasive and results last longer (so you can party on well into the New Year!)

Leave the turkey on the table . . . Chin fat is tough area to treat – yet it’s one of the most noticeable areas. Fortunately going under the knife isn’t your only option, instead our latest BELKYRA® injections permanently dissolve fat without incision, and healing is quick. BELKYRA® is a synthetic form of deoxycholic acid, a substance which our bodies produce to help absorb fats, is a prescriptive medication and an injectable treatment that destroys fat cells under the chin. Forever.

Don’t sweat it this season . . .  If excessive armpit perspiration, hyperhidrosis, is an ongoing issue for you – you are not alone. Approximately 3% of our population regularly suffer from this condition. Back in the old days, Hyperhidrosis was typically treated with sympathectomy surgery, which involved cutting the nerves that trigger sweating. However, more commonly nowadays people are seeing and experiencing great results with Botox.

Botox is injected into the skin of the armpit superficially – no incisions needs. While the injections are moderately uncomfortable, no local anaesthesia is required. The armpits will then remain completely dry for somewhere between six and nine months. And unlike surgery, compensatory hyperhidrosis (whereby sweating breaks out in previously affected areas of the body) is rare after Botox.

Close in on skin conditions this summer . . . Don’t leave your skin to chance this holiday season. Book in to speak to our dermatologist, Dr Amy Stanway, who specialises in full skin checks and treatment of suspicious lesions. Amy is also well-versed in common but difficult inflammatory dermatoses – such as childhood and adult eczema, psoriasis, acne and allergies. Don’t suffer through the festivities, step out and enjoy the warmer months with peace-of-mind and your skin under control.



31 October 2018
Deeper Inspection . . . Honing in on skin truths
Deeper Inspection . . . Honing in on skin truths

With summer on the horizon and many of us set to embrace more time spent outdoors, ensuring your skin awareness is up with the play should be first on the to-do list. However, readying our skin should go much deeper than slapping on the sunblock and UV preventive clothing.

Before stepping into the sunshine, a thorough skin check from a trained professional to pinpoint suspicious spots and suspect areas, is essential. Why? Because over 4000 Kiwis are diagnosed with melanoma annually – and growing. Skin cancer isn’t a problem to pick and choose – we are all at risk. It’s not just about reducing our exposure, it’s about targeting the damage earlier for a better outcome, says Da Vinci Clinic skin cancer specialist, Dr Nicola Abbott. “Research tells us that sunburn in young adulthood leads to a greater likelihood of developing skin cancer,” says Dr Abbott. “For example, a study lead by the Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University reported at least five blistering sunburns between the ages of 15 and 20 were 80% more likely to develop melanoma.”

The danger of skin cancer is that it can spread rapidly to other areas of the body. Abnormal cells from a mole can develop and multiple uncontrollably. Careful monitoring and correct diagnosis are the best way to prevent the cancer growing and spreading. “The risk of dying from melanoma is inherently related to the depth of the cancer. The deeper the tumour growth the greater the risk of spread to other areas of the body, the thinner the tumour the lesser risk,” explains Dr Brandon Adams, cosmetic and plastic surgeon at the Da Vinci Clinic.

Skin cancers can present on any part of the body, so examining all hidden areas too such as insides of ears, the scalp, behind the ears, fingernails, butt cheeks, backs of legs, palms of hands, soles of feet and toenails is a must. Self-checking for any new spots or changing moles is important for ongoing management and care, and the experienced team at the Da Vinci Clinic are on hand to guide you through the correct measures and means to stay skin aware. For those up with tech play! Tuning into UV apps - uv2Day and GlobalU – is also a great way of staying sun safe.

30 August 2018
Heating up?
Heating up?

Dreading the excesses of summer? If excessive armpit sweating is an ongoing problem for you, read on. A significant number of people suffer from this annoying and often embarrassing problem, which is known in medical terms as severe primary axillary hyperhidrosis. Sweating is the body’s natural way of responding to heat and stress but excessive amounts can cause issues. Due to the embarrassing nature of this condition there is a general lack of awareness that there is treatment available. In fact, more than half of sufferers are never diagnosed or treated for the symptoms. Many simply move from strength to strength in their anti-perspirants, avoid wearing certain clothes that make the perspiration more obvious, and change their clothes regularly during a day. The effects of hyperhidrosis can be physical, psychological and emotional. People may endure social embarrassment and difficulty being in public situations, work and personal relationships can be affected, time and energy wasted on personal hygiene. In some cases the skin of the armpits may become irritated and infected. While there is no cure, there is an excellent means to avoiding this problem – and it’s a simple one. Injecting small amounts of Botulinim Toxin A (Botox®) into the skin of the armpit, which is first anaesthetised with topical anaesthetic cream for comfort, can be life changing for sufferers of hyperhidrosis. Results are noticeable after two weeks and the effects can last around 6-8 months or even longer. No more reapplying anti-perspirants, ruined clothing or disguising body odour. This is a quick, simple procedure that our skilled appearance medicine team perform regularly. Many patients include it in their annual pre summer routine, perhaps you shoud too.

26 August 2018
Sentinel node biopsy
Sentinel node biopsy

This is a method used to determine whether cancer has metastasized (spread) beyond the primary tumour or cancer site and into the lymph system. Once a melanoma is diagnosed and its thickness determined, this next step in the treatment of this serious skin cancer is used as an important guide for deciding if lymph node testing is necessary. Plastic Surgeons, Mr Adam Bialostocki and Mr Brandon Adams, follow the international guidelines that recommend that melanomas thicker than 1mm are further investigated with Sentinel Node Biopsy. This is done at Grace Private Hospital under general anaesthetic, providing valuable information to both patient and surgeon about their prognosis and further management. With a significant amount of our surgeons' work involving the treatment of skin cancer and reconstruction of areas affected by skin cancer, the importance of having a Plastic Surgeon involved from an aesthetic as well as a medical point of view, is paramount.


19 August 2018
Spring sunshine - beware
Spring sunshine - beware

Spring is about to hit, and we all have the same reflex...rushing out to get as much of that sunshine, and exposing ourselves to those first sunbeams. After the long winter months, it's normal. However, we urge caution as the eagerness often leads us to be less vigilant or minimize the dangers of the sun. Have a think...have you suffered spring sunburns? Contrary to popular belief, the sun’s rays are just as powerful in the spring as they are in the summer. Obviously, their harmfulness may vary according to altitude, latitude or time but in general, it's wise to keep in mind that you can burn in September.  Many of us still assume that the sun is less harmful at this time of year, however the sun angle must be taken into consideration, and our country is particularly vulnerable due to the ozone layer. In New Zealand, we often have associated stronger brezzes from October through until Christmas, and many dismiss a reddened face as 'windburn', when in actual fact this too is very harful to your skin. Stay vigilant and make sunscreen a daily habit for you and your loved ones. Your skin will thank you for it.

24 July 2018
Vitamin B3 & skin cancer
Vitamin B3 & skin cancer

As the ageing population continues to grow, basal- and squamous-cell carcinomas will become even more common than they currently are. Continuing research is positive in the fight for cancers, and an exciting study has revealed positive results from the use of Nicotanimide, an active form of Vitamin B3. Australian researchers have found the use of this vitamin to significantly reduce the incidence of non-melanoma skin cancers among people who have had previous BCCs and SCCs. The researchers conducted a year long study which found that of a group divided into those who took the Vit B3 and those who did not, cut their chances of developing new skin cancers by 23%. So, a simple twice daily dose of this vitamin may be the secret to stopping those with significant sun damage from developing some forms of skin cancer. As you know, prevention is the best way to avoid skin cancer. Do not burn, make sure you cover up, apply sunscreen regularly and seek shade. Have your skin checked annually. Even a sun tan is a form of skin damage and while the temporary benefits may be enjoyable, the long term effects are not.

8 July 2018
Anna's Belkyra journey
Anna's Belkyra journey

Local media personality, social media influencer and alopecia ambassador, Anna Reeve, started her double chin removal treatment with us recently using the injectable treatments, Belkyra by Allergan. This permanent double chin treatement is an appearance medicine procedure, suitable for both men and women and offers wonderful results. It is comprised of deoxycholic acid, which your body produces in your stomach and dissolves fat cells permanently. Anna is sharing her journey on her Instagram page @annareeve_ posting candid, regular updates as she goes through the series of treatments, sharing her insights, images, and thoughts on her treatments. Hop on over to her Instagram page (follow our page along the way @davinciclinic_nz) and touch base with us if you're interested in learning more about your own Belkyra treatments.

19 June 2018
Fat grafting, a great option
Fat grafting, a great option

Fat transfer, or grafting, is commonly used in breast reconstruction, to add symmetry and volume in the shaping of the breast. The technique can be used for total breast reconstruction, breast augmentation, buttock augmentation (Brazilian butt lift), facial fat grafting for lips and during face lifting. The fat can be taken from anywhere someone has excess, usually the tummy, waist, love handles, or insides of the thighs. Depending on the amount of fat required, liposuction may be used. Some bruising may result which settles within a couple of weeks. The fat transfer to the new area is permanent, with about 70% of the transferred fat surviving. After about three months, a pateint is able to have another fat graft to the same area, to add more volume if required. The first round of fat acts as a supportive scaffold to help the second round of fat survive. Interested in learning more? Talk to our Plastic Surgeons, Mr Adam Bialostocki and Mr Brandon Adams.

10 June 2018
Symmetry and function
Symmetry and function

Do you have a "family nose"? Do you wish your family hadn't shared it with you? Or, have you had an accident which has left you with an uneven, asymmetricl nose or compromised functionality, such as difficulty breathing, or perhaps snoring? You can make changes to your nose, which will restore the symmetry and/or functionality. Rhinoplasty is best performed by an expereinced facial Plastic Surgeon, with a keen aesthetic eye. Our Cosmetic & Reconstructive Plastic Surgeons, Mr Brandon Adams and Mr Adam Bialostocki, consider everything, from the size and shape of your face, your gender, skin thickness, ethnicity and age. These factors help determine the nasal shape that best suits your face. Don't sit and wonder, act now and learn your options.

27 May 2018
Appearance medcine & skin conditions
Appearance medcine & skin conditions

Just becasue you have a skin condition, may not mean you have to miss out on the results achieved with appearance medicine treatments. Any condition which results in active inflammation of the skin, makes cosmetic treatment more difficult. Most treatments can be performed in acne or dermatitis-prone skin if the condition is well controlled at the time of treatment. Treatments which can be irritiating to the skin should be avoided in dermatitis-prone skin, such as TCA peels, as well as the use of cosmetic skin care ranges and retinoids. If you're unsure, just give us a call and talk it through with our specialist nurses who will give you specific advice about your own skin.

15 May 2018
What happens at a skin check?
What happens at a skin check?

We are in the midst of a big battle to reduce our alarmingly high skin cancer rates in NZ. The message is getting through, but still people are hesitant about having skin checks, or unsure who should do them. There are many options, from your GP through to your dermatologist. You can book directly with our dermatologist Dr Nicola Abbott, or one of our plastic surgeons, for your skin check. The three of them work closely together, meaning comprehensive treatment for you. They will ask if you have any freckles or moles of concern, and then do a thorough examination of each of them - from top to toe, including between your toes and in your scalp. You will be asked to wear a gown and rest assured, you will feel comfortable at all times. A followup skin check is advised annually, or if you have something that needs to be treated or removed, this will be scheduled immediately. Get on the phone and make that appointment - it could save your life.

25 April 2018
Chins are changing
Chins are changing

We are well underway with the wonderful appearance medicine treatment, Belkyra by Allergan, which permanently removes double chins. Both our male and female patients are loving the results, and we would like to share some insight with you into the treatment itself, from one of them:

My result so far, 1.5 weeks after my first treatment. There was no pain whatsoever, as a local anaesthetic was used. After about two hours, when the numbing had worn off, my chin area felt warm and heavy but there was no pain, and I carried on working as usual. The next two days I was quite swollen, but only in the injected area, which was about three times the usual size.. I was feeling a bit self-conscious so wore a scarf, but nobody seemed to notice. After one week the swelling is going down and still no one seems to notice, so I am no longer self-conscious at all. The swelling is reducing daily, the area injected is still numb which was explained to me during the consenting process and is to be expected for now. I expect to be a bit swollen for the next couple of weeks but it isn’t noticeable.

28 March 2018
Should I go natural?
Should I go natural?

We often get asked if pursuing natural remedies in order to help solve skin conditions is worthwhile. Natural remedies, like many medicines, are derived from natural products such as plants, fungi or naturally occurring minerals and vitamins. They are not required to pass the same safety or effectiveness standards as medicines but labelling requirements have been improved recently so that consumers have a better idea of what substances are in natural products. Natural remedies can be very effective for some people. Anything that has an effect on the body can also have side effects and just because it is labelled as a “natural remedy” does not mean it is always safe. What we do recommend and something which skin does respond to, is plenty of healthy fresh fruits and vegetables, and a balanced diet.

20 March 2018
I've manned up
I've manned up

Times are changing - in fact, they have changed. At the Da Vinci Clinic, we have increasing numbers of men toughing out tiny, subtle injections of Botox, dermal fillers and TCA Peels, and now they're lining up for the double chin eliminating treatment, Belkyra, by Allergan. Men love these refreshing, rejuvenating results just as much as women do and why shouldn't they? Our specialist appearance medicine nurses are very skilled at  making sure male treatments are in-keeping with a manly outcome. Brotox, manscaping - it's here and more and more men are enjoying the benefits. Introduce the bloke in your life to the Da Vinci Clinic, he'll love you for it.

4 March 2018
Does diet affect acne?
Does diet affect acne?

Acne can be a very frustrating condition, and we are often asked if diet influences the severity of it. There are conflicting results about diet and acne. It does not appear that a poor diet causes acne, or that dietary changes can cure acne. It is likely that a diet low in nutrients and high in sugar is likely to make existing acne worse, and that a diet high in fresh fruit and vegetables, with adequate iron and other essential nutrients is likely to improve acne. Thankfully acne is very treatable now, and ensuring treatment is undertaken is important in order to avoid permanent scarring as well as the discomfort and embarrassment caused by acne.

24 February 2018
No more seeing double
No more seeing double

It's time to bid your double chins farewell - Belkyra, by Allergan, is in town! We are now taking bookings (and they're filling fast!) for the in-clinic treatment to permanently remove double chins. Both men and women are lining up to say goodbye to their double chins, via a series of injections. This treatment is hugely successful in the USA, and Australia, and New Zealand will no doubt follow suit as people realise just how simple and budget friendly it is. Each patient will receive their own advice regarding how many sessions they will need with our specialist nurses, and we can happily advise the cost of this at your consultation. You may experience some swelling or bruising at the site, so people are choosing to schedule their apppointments later in the week, or over a long weekend. Revealing your profile, or creating a profile you've always wanted, is now a very acheivable option, and we know you are going to love the results. See you in the clinic soon.

20 February 2018
Base tans exposed
Base tans exposed

Many people are still under the illusion that a base tan, will protect them from sunburn. In order to achieve a base tan, you must expose your skin to the sun. Tanning of any sort comes about due to damage to the skin. Ultraviolet light causes damage to the skin and in response to that damage, the skin produces more melanin to try and protect the skin from more damage. The increased melanin production does reduce the chance of a subsequent sunburn but the skin has already been damaged in order to achieve that. Some skin cancers tend to occur more frequently in people who have frequent sunburns while others occur more commonly in people who are always tanned. The bottom line? Don't get sunburned, and if you really want to have a skin that appears tanned, there is a huge range of excellent tanning creams available. Check at reception for the range of natural sun products from Skinnies.


30 January 2018
Will I grow out of my acne?
Will I grow out of my acne?

For the vast majority of people, acne is a tennage problem. Most teenagers will have some pimples during teenage years and most acne clears by the twenties. Even acne that persists into early twenties is still likely to resolve by mid-twenties. A small percentage of people will suffer from adult acne which can persist throughout adult life. If acne persists into the mid-twenties, treatments that are more likely to give a long term result after treatment has discontinued are favoured over those that just calm down the acne. If you are concerned about acne, please consult with our dermatologist, Dr Nicola Abbott.

31 December 2017
Choose to be sun safe this summer
Choose to be sun safe this summer

What an amazing summer we've had so far! So much sunshine prior to Christmas has not been the norm in recent years, and we have seen more people getting caught out by not being prepared, and associating regular sunblock with their New Year's holidays. You'll be surprised how much sunscreen you need to stay protected, around a shot glass for each exposed area. Choose a broad spectrum sunscreen, providing you protection against both UVA and UVB. Choose one with zinc, and avoid spray sunscreens as they need around four layers to be effective. Choose at least an SPF30, and reapply regularly, particularly after swinmming. Teach your children to apply their own sunscreen and to cover up. And of course, choose to see our skin specialists should you suspect you have any change to an existing or a new sunspot, it could save your life.

15 December 2017
Confidence with CoolSculpting
Confidence with CoolSculpting

You don't have to be a celebrity to have the fat freezing, bulge busting procedure, CoolSculpting, but as is often the case, celebrities often bring these issues to the media and open them up for discussion. Will & Grace star, Debra Messing, has returned to the award winning television sitcom feeling confident about her body which she freely admits has changed in the 11 years since she last played this role. The stubborn areas of fat that she had removed with CoolSculpting, allowed her to feel confident in the role once again, realising there would be a lot of people comparing her current body to her younger one. If you too struggle with busting those bulges, if diet and exercise just aren't doing the trick, talk to us about this very popular procedure which we perform right here at the Da Vinci Clinic in Tauranga.

19 September 2017
Expert skin cancer treatment
Expert skin cancer treatment

Should you be diagnosed with skin cancer, achieving optimal results will be front of mind and should include consideration of the best aesthetic outcome. Skin cancers are classified into two groups - melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers. Melanoma is the most serious skin cancer and the cause of the majority of skin cancer deaths. To put it into perspective, about as many New Zealanders die each year from melanoma as die on our roads. However, skin cancer is just as preventable as road deaths, if not more so. This is why the message to have your skin checked annually and if you notice any changes, is so often repeated. From detection, diagnosis and treatment, choosing to see our specialist skin team should be your priority. With expertise in dermatology and cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery available, you will be in skilled hands with all bases covered.

8 September 2017
Our eyes tell a story
Our eyes tell a story

If your eyes have too many stories to tell, then perhaps it's time to consider blepharoplasty, a very popular procedure where excess skin is removed from either the upper or lower eyelids, sometimes both. This can be done either at our clinic, or Grace Private Hospital under GA. Sometimes a brow lift will achieve the desired result, so it's important to speak with our surgeons about your specific case. Down time is around five days & blepharoplasty is sometimes covered by medical insurance if eyesight is impaired. We look forward to seeing you soon!

25 July 2017
No chance for chins
No chance for chins

We are very excited! In the coming months we will be able to offer our patients treatment with Belkyra by Allergan. This is a series of injections used to 'melt' away sub-mental fat (commonly known as 'double-chins'). Generally 1 - 3 sessions are required and this depends on the area and volume being treated. Ask if you're a candidate for this at your next appointment and we'll keep you posted on the availability of the procedure. Belkyra has become hugely popular in the USA and Australia, with both men and women. We know you'll love it too.

* MiniCool - CoolSculpting for chins - is another non-surgical treatment option, and will also be discussed with you.

17 July 2017
Heading to the snow?
Heading to the snow?

If you're packing up for a trip to the ski-field, make sure you slip that sunscreen in your bag. And add a tube to your jacket pocket too! We see some significant sunburn from skin which has been exposed to the sun and harsh elements, and often these burns blister. Lips too require significant protection, the combination of cold and wind can make them very dry and cracked - and very painful. There is a lot of discussion around windburn. Sunburn is caused by UV radiation which is not related to temperature. A cooler or windy day in summer will have a similar UV index to a warmer day. So, there is still UV radiation on a sunny day at the ski-field. If it's windy and you get a red face, it's likely to be sunburn. This is often confused with the term 'windburn'. So, slap on the sunscreen and reapply during the day. Don't forget to moisturise well at the end of the day!

30 April 2017
Confused about skincare?
Confused about skincare?

When you're faced with an array of beautifully packaged skin care ranges, which will not only look fabulous in your bathroom but promise to make you look as gorgeous and flawless as the supporting brand imagery, making that purchase is a no-brainer! But will the product really deliver? We live in an age where image has become a huge priority, for men and women of all ages and stages. Yes, you can achieve great results with skincare ranges, but take care what you choose. Many are full of ingredients that may offer a quick fix, but not a long-term solution. Talk to our team of skincare experts - Dermatologist Dr Nicola Abbott and Plastic Surgeons, Mr Adam Bialostocki, and Mr Brandon Adams. They are highly trained in advising on and treating skin and their aim is to ensure you have the best skin possible. For skin conditions and advice on your skin - see our specialist team.

11 April 2017
Dermatology at Da Vinci
Dermatology at Da Vinci

Have you met our Dermatologist, Dr Nicola Abbott? Some people see their GP for skin conditions including skin cancer, but choosing to see a doctor who specialises in skin, is a good option. Dr Abbott has many years of experience dealing with conditions which cause pain and discomfort, anxiety and embarrassment. She is dedicated to ensuring her patients achieve both relief and results, and understands the difficulties associated with skin conditions. If you have suffered with a skin condition and don't believe it can be helped, take a moment to reconsider and make your appointment to see Dr Abbott.

As a partient of Dr Abbott's, you have the added benefit of input as required by her colleagues, Plastic Surgeons, Mr Brandon Adams, and Mr Adam Bialostocki. The three specialists work together to achieve the most desirable outcome for you. A dermatologist's work is concderned with skin cancer and skin conditions. Plastic surgery also includes specialising in skin cancer, procedures associated with the comprehensive care of advanced skin cancer including melanoma such as sentinel node biopsies, and of course cosmetic and reconstructive surgery for the face and body.

4 April 2017
Your beauty secrets are safe with us
Your beauty secrets are safe with us

We agree! There is no need for your beauty secrets to be obvious. If you choose to have appearance medicine treatments, they should be subtle, youth enhancing and not even your best friend will look twice. But he or she may wonder if you've popped off on the quiet for a luxurious, restful vacation...

Make sure you choose to have these treatmenrts done with professionals, such as our skilled and experienced team of specialist nurses. They are trained alongside our Plastic Surgeons and Dermatologists, who oversee all new patient's treatment plans. Botox and Dermal fillers are safe, thoroughly tested and have been used for many years but should only be administered by health professionals in a clinic environment. Our appearance medicine nurses have an excellent eye for aesthetics, symmetry and a 'less is more' approach when treating fine lines and wrinkles, loss of volume and asymmetry in your face. Book your consultation now and look your best year round.

27 February 2017
More than skin deep
More than skin deep

With a never ending online, onscreen and in-print barrage of beautiful faces beaming at us, having not just good, but great skin has become increasingly desirable. But has it become more achievable? There have certainly been significant advancements in the treatment of skin conditions, from skin cancers through to psoriasis, eczema to acne and everything in between. But with seemingly unreal expectations conveyed as the norm, this apparent standard of a vibrant, hydrated and blemish free facade brings pressures of its own.

Our dermatologist, Dr Nicola Abbott, deals with men, women and children of all ages in her practice. Irrespective of gender or age, some skin conditions are painful, irritating and ongoing. Some are not, but if visible, can contribute to embarrassment and a desire to avoid face to face contact from the fear of having to explain the condition, or to be on the end of unwelcome  looks.  Dr Abbott is well aware of the effects this may have on her patients' self-esteem, that it can go more than skin deep. "Effectively treating blemishes, cancers and rashes goes a long way towards relieving the stress of skin problems." Working alongside her colleages, Plastic Surgeons Mr Bialostocki and Mr Adams, you can rest assured you and your skin will receive the best outcome possible as a pateint of Dr Abbott.

26 January 2017
Head to toe coverage
Head to toe coverage

Our team of dedicated health specialists have your plastic surgery, dermatology and appearance medicine needs covered - quite literally from head to toe. Working in unison, our dermatologists, plastic surgeons and specialist nurses ensure you have streamlined care and optimal outcomes.

The beauty of having skin specialists and surgeons under the same roof, means that the Da Vinci Clinic in a sense, becomes a one-stop shop. Whether you are having skin checks, or treatment for skin cancer, our team work closely and in consultation with each other, from detection and diagnosis through to treatment, including MOHS surgery, sentinel node biopsies and analysis. Urgent appointments are always available should you have concerns about a change to your skin.

This comprehensive approach is also apparent in our Plastic Surgery and appearance medicine teams whose work complements each other in providing you with the best result possible. We are always realistic about outcomes and liaise closely with our patients to ensure their desires are a significant part of of the plan, be it cosmetic or reconstructive plastic surgery.

Talk to us to learn more about what is available here at the Da Vinci Clinic. Our services include dermatology, plastic and reconstructive surgery, skin cancer checks by specialist dermatologists and plastic surgeons, ACC surgery, appearance medicine including Botox and dermal filler treatments, as well as the state of the art fat freezing technique, CoolSculpting.

18 January 2017
Let's lower melanoma rates
Let's lower melanoma rates

Have you made your 2017 New Year's resolution yet?

Why not make it a resolution to have your skin checked? Yes, it's one of those things that sadly does get put off, but with the alarming skin cancer and melanoma statistics in our country, an annual skin check should become a priority, and as important as having a mammogram or prostate cancer screening. In recent years, more New Zealanders die from melanoma than on our roads. But there is good news. Melanoma can be treated successfully if caught in time. Early detection is imperative, as is sunsmart behaviour. Check out the facts about early detection with Melanoma New Zealand.

Our Dermatologist and Plastic Surgeons work in unison to provide you with all you need in skin health, and are dedicated to ensuring your optimal outcome. A Dermatologist working alongside a Plastic Surgeon means you are assured of the best aesthetic outcome and here at the Da Vinci Clinic, we use only the latest, state of the art methods.

So, pick up the phone and make that skin check an annual event - it's time to make the change.

12 December 2016
Is Botox for me?
Is Botox for me?

So we are all pretty good at spotting the frozen face of too much Botox in friends, colleagues, in newsreaders and on reality TV shows. This is an example of Botox which has not been placed in the right muscle, in the right place, in the correct dose. At the Da Vinci Clinic we like to start with the lowest dose, and while this might mean you need to come back for a top up sooner, until we know how you respond and what look is right for your own personal optimal outcome, this method produces the most subtle and natural look. We believe starting these low dose treatments when fine lines begin to appear, will provicde the best anti-ageing strategy. Botox relaxes the muscles that create the lines. Once the deeper lines are already formed, more Botox is needed to erase them and sometimes the use of natural, mealleable dermal fillers too. Why not find the right prescription for you? Each new patient at our clinic is seen by one of our specialist doctors, in consultation with our appearance medicine nurses. We are happy to discuss cost, time frames and more. Botox treatments generally take around two weeks to be fully effective, whereas dermal filler treatments are immediate.

31 October 2016
Time to refresh & rejuvenate
Time to refresh & rejuvenate

With the countdown to Christmas and the festive season already upon us, it's time to make sure you look and feel your best. If a lack of volume in your cheeks, frown lines that make you appear grumpy, crows feet or fine lines around your mouth are not what you want to see when you look in the mirror, make your appointment now to see one of our skilled appearance medicine nurses. There are still appointments available, but to avoid disappoinment and to make sure your skin looks radiant and has volume where it counts, book now. Remember too that each new patient sees one of our Dermatologists or Plastic Surgeons for a specific treatment plan. Be assured that we use the very best products available, carefully chosen to address individual concerns in our discreet, professional medical clinic.

18 October 2016
Standards introduced
Standards introduced

Screening and diagnosing skin cancer, and melanoma, is an important area of continued research in New Zealand. In 2013, a national melanoma tumour standards working group, produced a provisional set of diagnostic and treatment guidelines for doctors. This was done in order to ensure patients receive a consistent standard of care throughout our country. While these standards are yet to be implemented, we believe they are important to be aware of.

  • Risk factors should be identified to all patients: age, prior melanoma or skin cancer, sun damage and/or large moles. This does not mean that if you do not fall into these categories, you should be any less vigilant with your skin checks.
  • Skin examination techniques should be taught, annual skin checks advised for at risk patients and if you have a lot of moles, digital dermatoscopy is recommended.
  • All primary doctors should be trained to recognise skin lesions that could be melanoma.
  • Patient risk factors should be estimated by doctors, and a base line skin reading identified for the patient.
  • Those who have an increased risk of melanoma, should be indentified. Ongoing management should include logging of mole numbers and 'unusual' moles.

At the Da Vinci Clinic, our team of medical specialists which includes Dermatologists and Plastic Surgeons, assisted by specialist nurses, are well placed to care for you and your skins needs - from diagnosis through to treatment and all associated care.

5 October 2016
Cover them up!
Cover them up!

Hats and sunscreen? Check! But what about sunglasses? It's a great idea to get your precious little people used to doing all three of these in order to protect them from our sun's harmful rays. Yes, we know it's not always easy to keep those hats and sunglasses in the right place, sometimes little people think it's a great game to remove them. But ensuring hats are comfortable, not too tight or with scratchy inside bands, and that glasses are good quality, not too heavy and don't distort vision, goes a long way to success. Wearing hats and sunglasses yourself encourages children to think that this is the norm, no questions asked.

Protecting your children and grandchildren from sun damage while they are young, is doing them a huge favour and could in fact be a life saving changing action. Sunburn as a child can double your risk of skin cancer in later years. So keep an extra hat handy, in the back of the buggy, the car and in school and pre-school bags. Make sure glasses have quality lenses and include your child in their purchase - there are huge varieties to choose from now, available at a range of retail outlets and optometrists. And remember, if you notcie an unusual spot on your child's skin, have it checked - it's always best to err on the side of caution.

24 August 2016
Taking it on the chin!
Taking it on the chin!

CoolSculpting has quickly become a very popular procedure at our clinic for both men and women. It is loved equally for the results, and the procedure itself which is non-invasive, incurs no downtime, no needles and is budget friendly too. We have more exciting news for those of you who already know about CoolSculpting and for those of you who don't. We are now treating chins with the feezing technology! Commonly referred to as a 'double chin', this area responds beautifully to the fat freezing technique employed by CoolSculpting. The actual procedure is minimally uncomfortable, requires only a short appointment and leaves very little in the way of visible signs after the treatment. Bookings are filling quickly, as always happens with the hint of spring in the air. Make yours now to avoid disappointment.

25 June 2016
Southern Cross Affiliation- more for you!
Southern Cross Affiliation- more for you!

As Southern Cross affiliated providers, this ensures a very streamlined process for you as our patient. Enjoy automatic prior approval when you see us for skin cancer detection and/or treatment, carpal tunnel surgery, and the removal of lesions. We process the prior-approval paperwork for Southern Cross Health Society to authorise surgical costs at our Cameron Road clinic, and at Grace Private Hospital. A significant time saver for all concerned which means treatment, should you need it, will be offered more swiftly. Ask us about this service when you make your appointment, or when you are next at the Da Vinci Clinic. We will also keep you updated on other procedures being added.


14 June 2016
No more dull skin days
No more dull skin days

Post summer skin? If you have tired, dull skin, pigmentation, fine lines or uneven skin tone, the cooler months are the perfect time to have a TCA peel. How to choose, who to go to and what you can expect to pay are questions you will probably want answers to and we welcome your enquiry. Skin peels have been available for many years and most of us have heard stories about them - harsh, painful treatments which leave people scurrying for cover, applying soothing cream and literally peeling layers of skin. Things have changed!

What is a TCA peel? Trichloroacetic acid, is a medium depth peel, controlled by using a lower or higher percentage as necessary for the skin being treated. The area being treated and the depth of the peel will determine how many sessions you will need, but generally patients have two to three, around two – four weeks apart. Administered by our specialist nurses, TCA peels are overseen by our dermatologist, Dr Nicola Abbott. “The TCA peel results in a gradual, controlled peel that reveals fresh new skin and a youthful appearance due to the stimulation and regeneration of skin cells. Peeling of treated skin usually occurs around four to seven days after the peel, allowing most clients the ability to continue working and engage in normal social activities during their treatment course. We discuss the depth of peel and and recovery time at your first appointment,” advises Dr Abbott. If you would like to freshen your facade, enliven your skin and reveal a more youthful you, contact us for your appointment now.

28 February 2016
No laughing matter!
No laughing matter!

Nasolabial folds - more commonly known as smile or laugh lines - can become deep and pronounced as we age. Our appearance medicine nurses have been recently trained in a new technique to restore the fullness, and therefore youthful appearance of these lines which run between the nose and mouth. The technique is known as the Volift platform technique by Allergan, and uses one of their most recent dermal fillers, Volift, which has Hylacross technology. This natural, subtle and malleable product is FDA approved as are all of the products we use, and offers impressive longevity, around 12 - 24 months. This treatment offers a discreet look, restoring plumpness and volume, which in turn softens lines and enhances definition. Enquire now!

10 November 2015
Our specialist nurses
Our specialist nurses

We have a team of specialist nurses on hand to assist our dermatologists and plastic surgeons. Each of them are Registered Nurses but chose to pursue careers as specialist plastic surgery and/or dermatology nurses. So, what does this involve?

Generally, nurses choose to work in a specific discipline, or medical area. Their training is often hands on and as they learn, they are given more responsibility, supported with theory based learning. Additionally, our nurses receive ongoing training from our specialist doctors and attend conferences to ensure that they too are up to speed with the latest in medical advancements, trends and practices. Our nurses support the specialist doctors with wound care, in theatre, pre and post operative reviews, surgery performed under anaesthetic, biopsies and assisting our patients at each stage of their time with us. Between them, Angela, Chris, Nicky and Nicole have a wealth of experience and bring empathy, warmth and humour to our medical team. Learn more about them by clicking here.

31 October 2015
The lowdown on sunbeds...
The lowdown on sunbeds...

Have you ever used a sunbed? If so, you might want to read this...

Emerging evidence has linked exposure to sunbeds, to an increased risk of skin cancer, including melanoma. It is a myth that using sunbeds is better for your skin that tanning in the sun and that they are less damaging. You are more at risk of skin cancer the more often you use sunbeds, and the younger you start using them. While there are more stringent restrictions around the use of sunbeds and their upkeep, they are still available.

Exposure to sunbeds before the age of 30, increases your risk of melanoma by 75%. Beauty salons and magazines appeal to our vanity, and promote that a tanned body reflects a healthy lifestyle, which in fact could not be further from the truth. This image needs to change and if you do feel the need to look tanned, try one of the many tanning lotions on the market. Skin cancer, including melanoma can be prevented by protecting your skin with clothing and sunscreens and this too is the best anti-aging advice we can give you. If you have used sunbeds then you need to remember to be extra vigilant with your skin care and skin checks.

28 October 2015
Have confidence in your skin
Have confidence in your skin

Nearly 85% of people have acne at some point in their lives. It usually starts during puberty but can affect people in their 20s, 30s, 40s and even 50s. Living with acne can be really hard work; it can affect many facets of your life due to the embarrassment, irritation and sometimes pain of this condition. People also report the added time spent covering up their problem skin with makeup, which of course may lead to further skin irritation due to the use of these products.

If left untreated, acne can leave both physical and emotional scars. While laser treatment in later years can alleviate some of this scarring, that too is not without discomfort and cost. Why not treat acne before it takes hold? There are a variety of treatment options available with excellent results. A visit to our dermatologist, Dr Nicola Abbott, will leave you informed and aware of the choices modern medicine now provides. Their discreet and considerate manner will ensure you - or your teen - do not feel embarrassed. We also have a range of skin products specially designed to ensure your skin is supported, not irritated, and still benefits from a daily skincare routine. Make your appointment now, and have confidence in your skin.