Get to know Mr Kuen Chin | Consultant Plastic Surgeon
We sat down and talked to one of the newest additions to our surgeon network regarding his experience as a plastic surgeon and goals for the future.
Written by Medical Quality Officer, David Jones , MPharm
Published: Friday, 4 March 2022
What was it about Medbelle that attracted you?
Initially, Medbelle was recommended to me by one of my colleagues who had worked with Medbelle before. But what drew me to Medbelle is the principle of patient safety first. Medbelle takes pride in making sure that all patients are carefully assessed and allow the clinicians to decide what is best for the patient. So, rather than just being a business, Medbelle really cares for patient wellbeing, and I think that is very important.
What's the best aspect of your job?
The best part of my job is working together with patients to achieve the best outcomes and make them happy. I want to know that I've given them the best possible result. When a patient is happy after surgery, then I’m satisfied that I’ve done the best for the patient. Their happiness is the most rewarding part of my job.
Would you share a patient memory you have?
One fond memory I recall is from a patient of mine, who was a bit older. She was initially very worried about the treatment. Everything went well and she was very happy. Anyway, later when she heard that I had relocated, she got in contact to wish me well and said that she was happy to hear that I would be living closer to where her children now lived. She said she hoped they would meet with me, and if they ever needed any surgical treatment, she was happy to know that I am around the area because she would highly recommend me to them. I think it’s such a lovely compliment. Not only was she happy with the treatment but she would recommend me to her own family!
What are you biggest challenges and how do you overcome them?
Plastic surgery, like any surgery, comes with a risk. We will take all the precautions to reduce risks and get the best outcomes, but some complications may still happen. One example was when I was a trainee. There was a patient who had a hematoma (a pool of clotted blood) after surgery. We all know that a hematoma is a surgical risk, but when difficulties occur it’s more important than ever to be open with patients. It’s important that they know the risks but also know that you’re taking all necessary precautions to avoid them. If complications do happen we will do everything we can to rectify things. And in this case, with happening the hematoma, we solved the issue, but more importantly, the patient was aware of what was the whole time. She was very understanding and ultimately was very happy with the final results, despite the hiccup in between.
This is an example of how important a strong relationship with the patient is. This is how I conduct my practice and how I ensure that my patient is happy with the outcome and my management.
How does digitisation shape your job?
I think there are pros and cons. There are certainly a lot of positives about this transition. Digitisation allows us to work from different sites while still having all information about the patient available to us. It can help to speed up communication between all the teams involved and centralise the patient documentation. It is comforting to know that with Medbelle, there are very safe practices to ensure that all this information is safe and securely kept. Medbelle take precautions to make sure that the patient is not compromised in any way. In this way, we can really reap the benefits of having this digital technology.
Anything specific you wished people knew about plastic surgery?
Well, plastic surgery is a very broad speciality. While cosmetics are an important part of it, we deal with a lot more than that.
People should know that plastic surgery is not just about achieving Instagram or reality TV ideals. There are significant benefits that patients do get from cosmetic surgery. Society can make it seem as if it’s something that needs to be hidden or that it is a taboo subject. But actually, I think that it can improve patients' lifestyles and the opportunities in their lives. It can give them confidence and many benefits which make it worthwhile. You can make a patient happier and more confident to face the world.
Of course, we have to make sure that we help the patient understand what’s achievable and what is reasonable. That’s how we get good outcomes.
Where do you see healthcare in 10 years time?
I think, increasingly it is all about prevention and ensuring people are leading a healthy lifestyle. Health professionals are taking more steps to ensure that people have a balanced life not only physically but also regarding mental health. I think it is important to view a person’s health as a whole. We want patients to be healthy in body and mind.
Why did you choose to become a plastic surgeon?
I really enjoy the breadth of plastic surgery and the skills required to be a plastic surgeon. It is often the last stage of a patient’s journey too. By using plastic surgery skills and principles we can tailor surgery to individual patients. Our in-depth knowledge of anatomy allows us to operate in different parts of the body, unlike some other specialities
Any advice for medical students or young people considering this profession?
If someone is interested in plastic surgery they should visit plastic surgery units to get some exposure. And just go for it if they are certain that is their calling.
What can be done in healthcare to make it better for all patients?
If we can have more information for everyone about prevention then we can make things better. The UK is already focusing more and more on prevention but we must continue to teach people how to live a healthy lifestyle. This would reduce a lot of the illnesses we see today like diabetes and skin cancer.
For example, if people had greater awareness of the importance of sunblock, and particularly balancing it with taking vitamin D supplements, then this could reduce future skin cancer rates and therefore the demand and strain on the health system would reduce. We could then invest in other areas that may have a need. So, I think education will be the key.
To learn more about Mr Kuen Chin's experience, qualifications and speciality procedures, you can find his surgeon profile here.
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