Dr Tunc Tiryaki is one of the world’s most preeminent surgeons specialising in pioneering techniques, such as the mini and micro facelift and regenerative cell treatments that will leave you looking luminous post-lockdown.
He’s also known for his aesthetic surgery procedures, as well as stem-cell assisted mini facelifts, producing a young-looking and non-operated appearance. Dr Tunc is currently based at the Cadogan Clinic, Sloane Street, where he’s a specialist consultant.
You graduated from Istanbul University in 1994, before working as a visiting surgeon at the plastic surgery department at the University of New York. Can you tell us how your formative years shaped your interest in stem cell therapies?
The simple answer is that it’s a family business. My father is a professor of molecular biology and biophysics. When I became a young consultant for plastic surgery, I had the opportunity and privilege to work together with his teams at Istanbul University. That is why we became one of the first teams to start using autologous fibroblasts – a patient’s own skin cells – for regenerative purposes back in 2003. Once we were in the field, we pioneered things again in 2009, using fat derived stem cells for reconstructive surgery.
Who are the best candidates for stem-cell assisted facelifts?
Everybody over the age of 40 is a good candidate for stem-cell assisted facelifts.
How long would you expect the results to last?
We know that, volume-wise, we’ll have 50% of tissue remaining for the rest of the patient’s lift. That alone is a great thing. But furthermore, we expect the face and skin to continuously get better in the months after that surgery. That means we’re not only reversing ageing, but slowing down, perhaps even preventing, the ageing process.
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What are the operating and recovery times of the mini facelift? Is this a same day operation?
It is a same day operation, yes, and we’re able to send the patients home the same day too. We remove the drains the next day and get rid of all the dressing on the second day, when the patients can also take a full shower and wash their face and hair. That said, I wouldn’t advise agreeing to a social event until 2 weeks post-op.
What should a consultation patient expect when coming to your office for the first time?
I want to always make sure the patient has a clear understanding of the facial ageing process, and all the options to prevent and reverse this process. That’s why, after listening to my patients and examining their faces, I explain all about the facial ageing process and why this occurs.
Then we sit down and discuss their specific needs, all the options, along with their pros and cons. I always share examples of these options also. Finally, we decide together the best option for them right now – and also what we need to do in the coming years.
Where do you see stem cell therapies going in next 10 years? Looking to the future, what are you most excited about?
Regenerative medicine, in general, is the future. We’re learning how to get the most natural outcomes from our procedures, and naturally the best way is to use our own cells to keep ourselves young and healthy.
What do you recommend as the best strategy for youth preservation or age maintenance?
Lifestyle is extremely important. Training, non-smoking and other usual precautions. The second important thing is our hormone levels. I’m a great fan of HRT [hormone replacement therapy] for post-menopause. Then comes the care of your body, face and skin. Here, we have to think of ageing as a disease which can be slowed down, prevented, and even cured. This century’s plastic surgical interventions are not intended to change people – just the opposite, to keep them unchanged, even by the ageing process. Using cutting-edge techniques like mini-lifting and your own stem cells are our latest weapons in this fight.
Are you able to operate for clients privately in their own private medical facilities?
I prefer to do the operations at our facility, since the preoperative preparation and postoperative care are inseparable parts of a successful and safe patient journey.
Could you briefly explain how the inverse abdominoplasty procedure works? And how you were able to reduce the recovery period and suprapubic scarring?
Traditional abdominoplasty operations usually have three problems. First, they’re very long operations, usually over 3 hours. Second, the post-op period is very painful. And finally, the aesthetic result is not aesthetic at all: you have a flat abdomen, but not the natural curves of a fit and attractive belly.
Inverse abdominoplasty is solving all of them, reducing the operating time to an hour and a half, a totally painless post-op period due to new intraoperative numbing techniques, and most importantly we can achieve a very attractive six-pack belly due to the special techniques we described. All in all, in just one week’s time the patient is expected to be able to drive and slowly but surely go back to work.
Are your stem cell treatments seeing particularly large uptake in those looking to treat hair loss and fragility?
That is not my area of expertise, even though a lot of hair surgeons are successfully using stem cells.
We understand you partake in volunteer missions to countries including Syria, Sudan and Georgia, as well as leading rescue missions during the 1999 and 2011 earthquakes in Turkey?
Yes, I used to volunteer missions even back when I was a resident, with Interplast Society, where we were treating children with cleft lip and palate. Since 2014, I’ve been the chair of the humanitarian programs of our world society, the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, where we did lead quite important missions to war zones and disaster areas.
What is coming up on the horizon in the field of cosmetic and plastic surgery? Are there any new procedures or products to watch out for?
I believe the regenerative revolution in aesthetic medicine has not yet revealed itself. We will hear more and more of stem cell treatments, but one more thing coming is the use of exosomes, which are the active messenger particles with which the stem cells do their regenerative work. These will probably be available for the market in the next couple of years.