In Profile: Dr Roy Saleh

By Kat Cooke / 01 Aug 2015

After almost 30 years of working in the specialty, 2014’s Aesthetics Awards Lifetime Achievement Award winner, Dr Roy Saleh, speaks to us about his journey into aesthetics

“You must always be safe. Never take risks with your patients, that’s the key”

After almost 30 years of working in the specialty, 2014’s Aesthetics Awards Lifetime Achievement Award winner, Dr Roy Saleh, speaks to us about his journey into aesthetics 

Having started his career in 1983 in his home town of Manchester, Dr Roy Saleh has since specialised in a wide range of non-surgical facial rejuvenation treatments and has become an innovative leader within the field. Dr Saleh explains, “At the time, there wasn’t anything in between cosmetic surgery and beauty salon treatments, so we tried to develop treatment that was somewhere in the middle, in the hope they would gradually become popular.” Before botulinum toxin was used in the industry, Dr Saleh treated patients in a south Manchester clinic with dermal fillers and collagen treatments. “I set up on my own in 2008 and I decided to stick to the north as there’s an advantage to treating the same patients over time,” he explains, “Facial rejuvenation occurs over many years, so if you’ve got a very transient population you can never see if people are improving or not. Whereas, if you see the same people for years and years, you can then see the improvements.” Dr Saleh explains that he has always been, and is still, dedicated to helping patients achieve a natural, youthful look. “Botulinum toxin is very effective when used on the forehead and around the eyes, but this means the middle and lower part of the face is still ageing. So for the last 10 years we have concentrated on treating the middle and lower part of the face. Otherwise we would have a group of people who wouldn’t look naturally balanced.”
The introduction of botulinum toxin to the aesthetics industry, he says, was a turning point, and played a big part in the boost of non-surgical treatments. “Botulinum toxin breathed life into the non-surgical industry. It meant that you could do much more and we were seeing more patients than before,” he says. Between 1997 and 2001, Dr Saleh explains, there were very few practitioners using botulinum toxin in aesthetics, and he was in fact the only practitioner doing so in Manchester. Dr Saleh has been witness to the vast scientific advances in the field of non-surgical facial rejuvenation over the past twenty years. “At one time we were injecting by following lines that had already been established, but what we’re doing now is looking at facial volume and aiming to improve the appearance by putting more volume into the face,” he explains.
Dr Saleh has accrued a loyal patient base over the years, despite the increasing number of new clinics and practitioners establishing themselves in the industry. “I love my patients, and I appreciate the fact that they continue to come to me,” he says. Reasons for his patients’ loyalty seems self-evident. “You always have to treat your patients with respect, and you have to do whatever you can for them. I always try to choose the best product and the best treatments for them,” he says. Dr Saleh also takes great pride in ensuring his patients endure minimal side effects. “The clinic is quite secluded so people can come and go without feeling as if they’re being watched. We work very hard for the patients to look as good as possible when they’re leaving; we don’t want them to look as if they are bruised. People can come and have their treatment and leave with confidence.”
Dr Saleh works by the view that, “You must always be safe,” – a notion he is very ardent about. “Never take any risks with your patients, that’s the key to doing well,” he emphasises. Given the chance to do anything differently, Dr Saleh admits he might have opened his own clinic sooner. “I’ve enjoyed the last eight years such a lot,” he explains, “You can always look back and think ‘if only I had done it sooner’ – but I’m very proud of the fact that we’re busy and we remain full.”
Looking back over his career, Dr Saleh says maintaining his strong team of staff, some of which have been practising with him for more than 15 years, has been one of his biggest achievements. Another was winning the Lifetime Achievement Award at last year’s Aesthetics Awards, “I was so pleased to receive it – that was a fantastic surprise, I had no idea at all! It’s been lovely for me to have recognition from the rest of the industry, and it’s been very nice for my patients to see the award, to see that they’ve been coming to somebody that’s really tried hard for the whole of their career. I’m so very proud.” Dr Saleh has no plans to slow down and is always looking ahead, “The aesthetic medicine specialty is growing rapidly and successfully and I still want to be there as it progresses.”

What technological tool best compliments your work?

The cannula has revolutionised our treatments. I believe it’s safer, you cause less damage and there is less risk. I definitely think that the cannula has markedly changed the way that I do things.

Do you have an industry ‘pet hate’?

No – I love it! I love everything about it, and I hope I’m lucky enough to carry on doing it for more years to come. It’s been very satisfying for me.

Is there anybody in particular that you have learnt a lot from?

The man who sticks out the most in my mind is Professor Fournier; he was the person who taught me how to remove fat and to inject it into the face. In my opinion, there can be no better filler than the body’s own fat. Professor Fournier is very experienced in teaching this method and had a big influence on my career.

What aspects of aesthetics do you enjoy the most?

I like the idea of helping ladies to retain their youthfulness, slowing down the ageing process, and improving their confidence. If I can carry on doing that and carry on helping people, then that would be my ultimate goal. 

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