In the Life of Dr Arthur Swift

By Ellie Holden / 23 Dec 2021

Canadian plastic surgeon Dr Arthur Swift outlines his typical working day and how he gained popularity across the globe

 A typical working day…

My typical working day starts by waking up at 5-5:30am – my body doesn’t let me sleep any later! I do some stretching and have a shower. I don’t really eat breakfast – around three sips of orange juice is enough – and I head straight to my clinic in Montreal, Canada. Each day varies, and I have surgical days and non-surgical days. If it’s a surgical day, it begins at around 7:30am and I might conduct between three to eight surgical cases. I’m a full body surgeon so I perform a wide variety of surgeries throughout the day, from faces, noses and eyelids to breasts and abdominoplasties. If I could choose one surgery to perform for the rest of my life, it would definitely be face-related as I’m fascinated with facial beauty, so it would probably be rhinoplasty. I’ve brought a younger surgeon into my practice now to take on heavier cases, such as thigh and arm lifts, which has enabled me to narrow my focus down a bit and do more non-surgical procedures.

My injectables day starts at around 8am – I like to give my injectable patients the extra half-hour to sleep in! I see quite a few patients, usually up to 45. Some appointments might be follow-ups to check results and ensure there are no complications, and others will be actual procedures. I feel like I’m a little bit too busy for someone who is mature, but for the next 10 years I’m going to concentrate more on education and teaching, whilst performing non-surgical treatments and injectables, and occasionally some surgery too.

Once the day has finished, I’m off back home again. Usually in the summer months it means I can get into the pool and swim a couple of laps to keep somewhat in shape, or have a nice outdoor barbeque. However, during the winter months, I enjoy going skiing on the weekends or doing activities to try and stay active.

The story behind the famous BeautiPHIcation paper…

I was a home-grown, community plastic surgeon working at McGill University in Montreal and teaching residents. The direction of my career was on a singular path, but it takes one moment in life to bounce you off that path and open other avenues. I wrote an article called BeautiPHIcation: A Global Approach to Facial Beauty, trying to explain how to use ratios and proportions on the face when performing dermal fillers and botulinum toxin injectables. I was soon invited to a scientific meeting to discuss it, and the next thing you know, my life turned upside down and I didn’t expect so many people to find it useful! I think the most fascinating thing is that the article was published in 2011 – 10 years ago – and people are still reading it now. When is it that you find a physician or healthcare professional pick up an article which is 10 years old? I didn’t create the ‘golden ratio’ theory, it’s been around for thousands of years, but putting it into writing and applying it to injectables in the face seems to have had a longevity that I never expected.

Soon, I was being invited to explain my thoughts and concepts all over the world, which it turned out I had a knack for! I try to make my talks educational but also with some entertainment, and so I became more in demand. My recent educational trip was to CCR London with Canadian dermal filler brand Prollenium to launch Revanesse dermal fillers to the UK market. I enjoyed two fantastic days of teaching and learning, whilst conducting symposiums on lips and tweaks with Revanesse and mastering the mid-face with Revanesse. I also had a dedicated ‘an audience with’ session in which I got to answer questions and explain my experiences to UK practitioners.

Most memorable day in my career…

They say you never forget your first! In one of my first surgeries, I remember it was a reconstructive surgery on a woman who unfortunately was born with a cleft deformity and due to living in a rural province of Quebec, they didn’t understand how to deal with it. Instead, the medical team removed the part of the lip which was in the middle and closed her mouth. As a result, the patient ended up with a mouth that was going to split! She never had the chance to eat solid food and could only eat through straws, and she worked as a telephone operator in the basement of a building because she was so embarrassed to be seen in public. I met her when she was in her 40s and said we would try to rebuild and recreate the mouth.

Within the surgery, we gave her more of a mouth as well as some very nice lips! The patient ended up getting her life back and left her job as a result. Aesthetics and surgery are all about having an impact and being able to restore confidence in people’s lives.

Career if you weren’t in aesthetics…

I think I was destined to be a rockstar! I had a musical background and was taught classical piano when I was younger and loved it.

Favourite movie…

I have two – Shawshank Redemption and Amadeus. I could watch them numerous times and still be entertained.

If you could live anywhere…

I was fascinated with Cape Town when I visited. I also love London, Paris, and Vienna, which are all beautiful and I would happily live in one of these cities.

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