July 2015 – Last month Hiroshi Nishikawa, a consultant plastic, reconstructive and aesthetic surgeon based in Birmingham, led a clinical team of surgeons, nurses and medical support staff on a mission to Ethiopia to provide developed healthcare to those in need through the charity Facing Africa.
This wasn’t his first mission. Mr Nishikawa has worked with Facing Africa for several years, travelling to Ethiopia to operate on children with severe facial deformity. “After several years supporting Facing Africa on their Ethiopian missions and UK-based fundraising activities, it was such an honour to lead the surgical team and provide direction and guidance to younger surgeons operating on these major deformities for the first time”.
Relating this surgical experience back to his NHS and private cosmetic practice in Birmingham, Mr Nishikawa states “The surgical expertise required when addressing severe facial deformity through to a facelift for completely aesthetic reasons are not dissimilar, I believe they are on the same surgical spectrum. You cannot operate on deformity unless you know the nature of normality, and vice versa”.
“Facial surgery, either reconstructive or aesthetic, carries the additional weight of personal perception. Our face tells the story of our life and identification, and there are many idioms relating to saving face. In reality it is training, experience, judgment, honestly and the interests of the patient which must remain paramount in any surgical situation”.
In Birmingham, Mr Nishikawa was one of the surgeons who pioneered the use of local anaesthetic and sedation for cosmetic procedures in the UK, along with a colleague at The Westbourne Centre. This anaesthetic technique allows surgical cosmetic procedures to be carried out with a quicker recovery time and fewer side effects.
Wendy Hughes from Walsall has had multiple cosmetic procedures by Mr Nishikawa with the impetus being an article she read about the procedures as a day case. “I didn’t really want to have a general anaesthetic, and when I saw it was possible to have a mastopexy (breast uplift) as a day case I immediately got in touch. I am so happy with the experience and the results. Every time I look in the mirror I feel I look my best”.
In addition to his charity work in Ethiopia, Mr Nishikawa is a lead member of the Craniofacial team at the Birmingham Children’s Hospital and Queen Elizabeth Hospital, and runs his provide cosmetic practice at The Westbourne Centre. His next trip to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, is planned for early next year.
About Hiroshi Nishikawa
Mr Hiroshi Nishikawa, consultant plastic, reconstructive and aesthetic surgeon, leads a multidisciplinary team managing vascular anomalies and is part of the plastic and craniofacial teams at Birmingham Children’s Hospital and The Queen Elizabeth Hospital. His private practice is located at The Westbourne Centre, a private day hospital he helped create, where he performs a full range of cosmetic surgery procedures using local anaesthetic with or without sedation. More information is available on the website www.HiroshiNishikawa.co.uk
About Facing Africa
Since 2000, Facing Africa has been working closely with its European partners raising funds to send teams of volunteer surgeons, nurses and anaesthetists to Children’s Hospitals in Ethiopia. The funding covers air fares, hotel accommodation, ground transportation, medical equipment and supplier, hospital fees, scans, surgical instruments, capital expenditure, training schemes and many other essential expenses to assist people suffering with NOMA. It should be noted that less than 6% of Facing Africa’s turnover is spent on administration. More information is available on the website www.FacingAfrica.org.