Dr Nestor Demosthenous discusses why aesthetics is more than just dermal fillers
Born in South Africa, Dr Nestor Demosthenous lived in the US and Cyprus before finally settling in Edinburgh to undertake his medical degree. “I started out in aesthetics the way most people do,” he recollects, “It was something on the side of my surgical career. After completing my junior doctor years, I pursued a surgical career, moving to Glasgow to train in trauma and orthopaedic surgery, and gaining experience in plastic surgery. It was during this time I developed an interest in the specialty.”
Dr Demosthenous decided to undertake training in dermal fillers and botulinum toxin at the Aesthetics Training Academy in Glasgow. He reflects “I did my initial training with Dr Simon and Dr Emma Ravichandran, and they steered me into my aesthetics career. Even after my training was finished, they would let me bring my patients to their clinic, as I was still working in the NHS and didn’t have a base, and would supervise me.”
Although a basic foundation training is all that’s needed to start administering injections, Dr Demosthenous wanted to make sure he gained as much knowledge as he could before going out on his own. “I think that in aesthetics it’s up to the individual to learn – some people take a short-day course and think they know everything,” he says, noting, “But I threw myself into trying to learn as much as I could so that I could be successful and treat my patients in the safest and best way possible. I attended lots of training courses and conferences. It fascinated me, and the more I learnt about the specialty the more passionate I became. I was inspired by some global practitioners (Dr Mauricio de Maio), and local (Dr Tapan Patel). Every piece of information I have picked up in my 10 years in aesthetics has helped me to become a better practitioner.”
Dr Demosthenous notes that moving into aesthetics full time in 2013 was a natural progression in his career. He comments, “Once I started to get more of a reputation in Scotland and had patients who wanted to see me on specific days and times, it got to the point where I had to choose between working for the NHS or working in aesthetics. After owning a small Glasgow clinic for a few years, I moved across to Edinburgh in 2016 and that’s when I opened The Medical Cosmetic Centre.” As well as offering fillers, botulinum toxin and skincare treatments, Dr Nestor’s Medical Cosmetic Centre, which won The ACE Award for Best Clinic Scotland in 2019, opened a women’s health department which focuses on treating both hormonal health and intimate health; as well as offering lifestyle medicine and body contouring treatments.
On his decision to expand his treatment offering, Dr Demosthenous comments, “To me, aesthetics isn’t just about quick-fix filler results. I always knew that I wanted my clinic to represent wellness, whether that’s in my patients becoming healthier, stronger, or more educated. I want to address what’s bothering my patient and help them become better than they were the day before.”
A year ago, The Medical Cosmetic Centre became the first clinic in Scotland to offer the truSculpt Flex device, and Dr Demosthenous is now a key opinion leader for its manufacturer, Cutera. He explains, “Muscle stimulation feeds into the ethos of my clinic because it isn’t just about appearance and helping the patient shed some extra pounds – it’s about concentrating on the physique and bodily structure.”
Dr Demosthenous highlights that muscle stimulation devices can also help non-aesthetic concerns. “They can really benefit people who have suffered injuries and muscle trauma, patients with lower back problems that need to strengthen their core muscles, as well as older patients who can’t push themselves as much as they did before,” he explains, adding, “Given my background in orthopedics, this is not only something that I’m passionate about, but is really rewarding when you make a difference to the everyday life of patients.”
The popularity of muscle stimulation devices reflects the growing nature of the industry, believes Dr Demosthenous. He comments, “From a business point of view, I always think that practitioners should offer as much as they can to suit their patients’ needs. I don’t think the term ‘aesthetic medicine’ really covers our specialty anymore – it’s a beautiful melting pot of specialties that don’t fall within the NHS but have found a home under the aesthetics umbrella.”
With a lot of aesthetics involving lone working, Dr Demosthenous highlights the importance of having a good support network of peers and colleagues, particularly when it comes to new treatments and devices. He says, “There are so many new products and devices coming out in the industry all the time. It’s useful having friends who I can discuss things with before I jump into something. I also did a Master’s in aesthetic medicine a few years ago and that really helped to look into the evidence behind treatments and products, and learn from others. We’re lucky to be in an industry that is constantly expanding its knowledge and we need to make the most of that!”
My advice to new practitioners…
Be hungry and stay humble! Always have the urge to learn and grow, but stay grounded through your success.
The most challenging thing about the industry…
It has to be the lack of regulation. It’s disheartening to keep trying to make a difference and nothing happening. I’ve personally written to the Scottish Health Secretary – we need to make a change.
My plans for the future…
I’m launching my own wellness retreat, Anasa, in Scotland this month! The week-long retreat aims to press the reset button for your body and mind.
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