Tell us about yourself
I am Leandro Junqueira, a Brazilian plastic surgeon here in UAE. I am 46 years old and married to an amazing Brazilian woman. Ten years ago, I came to Dubai with a happy heart after closing 5 branches of my clinic in Brazil. I looked forward to making a life in this beautiful country. After coming here, I worked in a couple of places until I got the right opportunity to start my own business. The moment came along with the right set of investors and the best team. Now we have established the Junqueira Medical Clinic in a beautiful location in Dubai.
Plastic surgery is huge in this part of the world. Why do you think that is so?
I think that everything is connected to globalisation because today everyone wants to look great. I believe our life spans are now longer. In most families, you will find at least one elderly person. This was not the same decades ago. This has opened opportunities for people wanting to look great and having good figures. Globalisation has also brought about opportunities. Today, you could be a stay at home parent and tomorrow, you are a businesswoman or businessman. Therefore, people want to look their best. Also, with the weather in this part of the world and all the beautiful beaches around, people want to look fantastic when going to the pool and shores.
What are your specialities?
My professor in plastic surgery developed an effective facelift technique - full facelift. We open from one ear to the other and pull the face upwards. However, today only a few people can afford this. No one has a month of downtime. Most people don’t want a big change. The focus is mainly on small procedures with big results. Today, it must be something short, quick and shouldn’t show much. Due to my professor’s teachings, I have fallen in love with face and breast surgeries; bums not so much. Note that I do all types of surgeries, but my passion lies in face and breast operations.
What should we look for when choosing a good plastic surgeon?
The first thing a person should seek out before finalising a surgeon is an existing patient of the doctor in question. Secondly, check if the doctor has a good reputation within the community and the plastic surgery society. Ensure you know enough about them before stepping foot into their clinic. That way, you are already aware of what to expect. Once at the consultation, look for that chemistry between you and the doctor. That is vital! Even if they are very talented, don’t go for them unless you feel that chemistry. It must be someone you feel confident in, connected to and comfortable with.
Plastic surgery is still considered vanity. What is your take on this?
I don’t see plastic surgery as vanity. I see it as something that helps people with their confidence. It is not like it was before, say 15 years ago, where some people were crazy and over-the-top with plastic surgery as a means of finding happiness. Today, people are not equating confidence with plastic surgery. Of course, there are still a few extremes, but it’s a minority. Mind you, I am quite a conservative doctor. I don’t stimulate. If I see that the patient is unsure, I am not going to convince them, because it may not be the right moment for them to have the surgery. I am not a salesperson. I am not here to sell products and procedures. I am here to prepare the patient for the changes in his or life after the surgery. It is for the patient to be ready for that change.
How honest are you with your patients?
You know, when I moved to the UAE, my intent has always been to make life here - to build a great name, reputation and brand. I would never pursue someone in doubt because that is a lot of responsibility. Sometimes, the patient has other things they need to deal with before surgery. I see beauty in every situation and in every person. I see God’s beauty in every person, therefore would never push a patient to get a procedure done for financial gain.
Some people go overboard at times with plastic surgery. When is it time to stop? How do you break that to your patients?
The best thing is to explain to the person that everyone has limits and that beauty is not in the amount of stretch. Beauty is a combination. Everyone has limits. Our bodies have limits. We must respect our bodies. If I see I will not be able to offer a good result based on the patients expectations, I will definitely opt out of carrying out the procedure. Overdoing is not my thing.
What are the most popular treatments
in this part of the world?
- Aesthetics - The number one requested aesthetic treatment is botox. Following that is fillers. Today, the techniques are more advanced, quality of the products much better, therefore, the results are great too.
- Surgery – For plastic surgery, the number one requested operation is breast augmentation; secondly liposuction, then breast lift, abdominoplasty, facelift and nose jobs. That is usually the sequence.
Are men getting as many treatments or surgeries as women? What is the proportion? What do men tend to have done?
Today, the number of male patients that visit the clinic is about 15-20% of our total clients. Men have started to realise they need to do something to reduce the speed of aging and to take care of their existing age marks. However, men are not like women. Women are usually less bothered about scars and the downtime required to heal. But with men, it’s not that simple. They care a lot more about these things. Recently, men have started taking care of their hair and doing gentle botox, a little filler and sometimes, liposuction or even a nose job at times. Men have begun taking towards plastic surgery, but at a slower pace than women.
What is your definition of beauty?
I see beauty in everything. I think beauty is looking at something and not feeling bored, seeing the wow factor in that thing. It could be in a face, shape or even in a hand. I think beauty is connected to simplicity. Being humble and simple is so important. If the person is physically beautiful, but not humble, what is the point? If you can’t talk to this person, what’s the point? Beauty is connected to a person’s personality, character and attitudes. Beauty is like a flower - you want to look at it, not touch it. However, sometimes the flower needs to be positioned to get sunlight and be watered.
What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about getting surgery?
After you are sure about the doctor, the patient must think very carefully about why they want this surgery. Is this for the pleasure of someone else or for themselves? If the patient is not in a good mental space, it is not time for a procedure. Because sometimes, changing the face or body is not what’s needed. If the patient is not stable mentally, how will the person deal with the changes after surgery? The patient must know why they want to have surgery. They should consult with family and friends before reaching a final decision.
What is your general message about beauty, health and well-being?
I believe it is very important for a person to take care in all aspects of life. Beauty reflects what’s inside, who you are and how you live. You can look great if you look after your face. But facial beauty will not last very long. The lasting beauty is in taking care of your spiritual, physical and mental sides. If you can connect these, then that’s beauty. But of course, plastic surgery can help in two of these areas, the physical and mental. But spirituality is something only the patient can look after. The real beauty comes from an equilibrium between these three pillars. So my general message is to eat good food, have adequate water, make time for yourself, enjoy being with loved ones, have time for your faith and of course, time with us (laugh).
Where can readers get more information about you and the services you offer?
Today, our clinic in a beautiful location in Jumeirah on Al Wasl Road in Dubai. We occupy about 400 square metres of the Galleria Mall which has good parking and other facilities. Many members of our fantastic team has been together for years. We all understand the vision of the Junqueira Medical Clinic. Every detail of our clinic aims to offer our patients the very best. I believe our patients must feel embraced, comfortable, confident and happy. This is why when you approach the clinic, you find a beautiful garden with a mirror behind. This is to indicate that you are a flower in the midst of all others in the garden. We want you to begin to feel happier the minute you enter the premises.