In the 20 years since she graduated from Manchester University Medical School, Dr. Anuya Deshpande has relentlessly studied toward various post-graduate qualifications. Initially, Deshpande completed qualifications in general practice, and then while working as a GP in the UK and New Zealand, she studied cosmetic medicine, dermatology, phlebology (varicose vein treatment), skin cancer diagnosis, skin cancer surgery, and ultrasound diagnosis.
Last year, she travelled to Korea to train with Kwan Han Jin, one of Korea’s top Cosmetic physicians and
an innovator in combination cosmetic medical treatments, including dermal threading and high-frequency ultrasound (HIFU).
Now based in Tauranga, Dr. Anuya treats faces and legs out of her Cosmetic & Veins Clinic on Tenth Avenue. “I get to work at each end of the body, without having to touch the middle bits, and that seems to suit me.”
In the 15 years since she joined the cosmetic medical industry, Dr. Anuya treated thousands of patients with fillers and botulinum treatments. She became increasingly interested in the gap between surgical and non-surgical means of achieving lift, especially in the lower face. She attended many international conferences and at one of these, she was invited by leading cosmetic physician, Dr. Kwon for intensive training in the latest non-surgical cosmetic techniques at his clinic in Seoul, Korea; an opportunity that saw her further narrow the surgical-nonsurgical gap.
Dr. Kwon encouraged her to make the techniques she learned there available to her patients in New Zealand, and she has been amazed at what is possible using the techniques she learned. “Lifting using dissolving filaments has been around a while, but there are not many doctors who use the full techniques as part of their “armatorium” or skill set.
“I look at a face differently now, and can pretty quickly know what the best non-surgical treatments are. Even though there’s a lot we can achieve without surgery, I’m still aware of the limitations, and I’m always happy to refer patients to a good plastic surgeon colleague or another specialist if that’s what they need,” she says.
Dr. Anuya gets her patients close to – and sometimes exceeds – what can be achieved with surgery, using non-surgical techniques.
“Most patients are reluctant to go for a full neck-lift – the general anesthetic and the cost are the main factors. Many are happy with the results they can get through thread-lifting dermal fillers, HIFU (high-frequency focused ultrasound) and collagen stimulation – it’s low-risk and high-return,” she recommends.
A key to a successful outcome is a thorough initial consultation. “I often liken it to renovating a building. It takes someone who knows what they’re doing to work with you and make a detailed plan. It has to fit with what you need, and what you can afford. You need the right tools, skills and experience to turn plans into reality, and you need to start with good foundations. Those finer points people notice first – whether it’s curtains, lips, lines or wrinkles – you worry about those last, because if you don’t get the basics right, those finishing touches won’t look right either,” Anuya says. “By now, I’ve done a lot of threads, and I’ve done fillers and Botox to the point that it’s second nature to me. Those aesthetic elements, combined with the facial skin cancer surgery I’ve done, means that more invasive procedures like stronger thread-lifting don’t phase me because I thoroughly understand the underlying anatomy.”
Dr. Anuya’s entry into the treatment of varicose veins – a field known as “phlebology” – came about by chance after a fellow cosmetic physician asked her at a conference why she was not looking at it as part of her practice. This chance conversation at a conference in Queenstown led to her completing four years of study in the diagnosis and treatment of varicose veins, a field that she now finds one of the most satisfying aspects of her work.
“Now I feel really excited when I see a patient with big chunky veins come in, because I know they’re about to go on a journey that will change their life – it will free them of discomfort, embarrassment and possible complications like venous ulceration. As a doctor, that is so satisfying and exciting. Whether the patients are present with spider veins or advanced vein disease which has resulted in leg ulcers that need regular dressing, it’s a complete joy to use those skills and go with someone on that journey.”
Since 2011, she has treated over 2000 legs, initially at her clinic in Gisborne, and now in Tauranga, where over the past three years her practice has quickly grown along with her reputation.
“The most common feedback I get is people saying they wished they’d had their legs fixed earlier and how much they enjoy wearing shorts in summer,” she says. Many people put off vein treatments because they think it involves surgery with a general anaesthetic, but the “gold standard” for vein treatment is non-surgical endovenous thermal ablation, followed by an ultrasound-guided sclerotherapy, or UGS.
Patients are routinely followed up for a year following treatment, but the treatment is 90-95% complete in the first three months. Despite being at opposite ends of the body, Dr. Anuya says there are similarities between the two fields of medicine in that both free people from feeling they need to hide away, whether it’s by wearing jeans to the beach, or makeup on their face.
“Whether it’s hiding your legs or hiding asymmetry, sun damage, or signs of age; it represses people. It’s so satisfying to help them break free of that and be prouder of who they are.”
74 Tenth Avenue, Tauranga, 3110