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Interview - Channel 6

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Speaker 1: In the Oakbrook Shopping Center near Marshall's. Call 837-2800. 

Dr. Bunkis: I'm Dr. Juris Bunkis from Orange County Plastic Surgery. We offer an array of aesthetic procedures including eyelid surgery, face, mid-face, and brown lifts, which can make you look years younger. Our Medi-Spa compliments our surgical procedures. We also offer an array of nasal, breast and body contouring enhancements. Call us, 888-9700 or visit our website at ocps.com.

Speaker 3: And, we're back with more of what's happening around our area. And something that a lot of people are happening, is happening to them is looking their best and feeling their best as we all continue to age and enjoy the years here in Laguna Woods Village. A lot of people wanna feel good about themselves, and take care of maybe some little things in their lives that they maybe not too happy about. Well, our next guest is someone who helps people deal with that. Dr. Juris Bunkis is with us today from Orange County Plastic Surgery. Doctor, welcome back.

Dr. Bunkis: Thank you very much. Nice to be back.

Speaker 3: Let's talk a bit about your background first of all. Like a lot of people, you started out wanting to get into medical practice, and then you started to focus in on your specialty. A bit about your background and your training.

Dr. Bunkis: Well, in order to become a plastic surgeon, you have to have what they call prerequisite training. And, I did five years of General Surgery at Columbia, became Board Certified in General Surgery. Then, I went to Harvard University and did my Plastic Surgery training. And plastic surgery is a very broad specialty. I started by doing hands and burns and all kinds of birth defects and trauma defects, as well as aesthetic surgery. I taught for a couple of years at University of California in San Francisco. And, most of that time was spent with reconstructive surgery, and I didn't really focus on aesthetic surgery until 1983 when I went into private practice. 

Speaker 3: Your down here now in Orange County area, and obviously you provide a wide variety of services. And some would be the result of maybe an accident or an illness or something. But, in many cases, someone just wants to look a little bit better and the process I guess is involved. They may think what they want. I wanna have, you know, certain things done to my body or certain things done to my face. And, part of your job is to say, kind of serve as counselor and have a reality check, I think. 

Dr. Bunkis: Well, of course. We always ask patients what bothers them. And it's my job to assess their deformity or perceived deformity and to offer them a range of solutions. A lot of times people come in and ask me for a procedure. When I really look at them, they're not a candidate for it, and I have to tell them to come back in a few years or tell them a different option.

Speaker 3: Are we finding that people are coming to you at younger age these days?

Dr. Bunkis: Oh. Most definitely. Also, for aging faces, people come at earlier times with less of a droop than they would've 20 year ago. But, the younger people are coming in for thing like liposuctions and nose surgeries which are increasing in popularity in the 20 year olds and the late teens.

Speaker 3: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Some things are related to age appropriate. Some people who aren't fully developed as teenagers maybe want procedures that might not be appropriate. But, other procedures such as noses, aren't gonna change probably over the next two or three years. So, that's something that might be at a younger age. 

Dr. Bunkis: Nasal surgery is appropriate at a teenage age. Pinning ears back is appropriate at an even younger age, grade school age. But, it sounds like you're talking about breast augmentations, and ...

Speaker 3: That's seems to be a popular thing for high school girls these days. 

Dr. Bunkis: They have to wait till they graduate. It's not appropriate to do that before they're 18. 

Speaker 3: So, it's sometimes your job to talk somebody out of a procedure?

Dr. Bunkis: We do that every single day that we work. People come in with either unrealistic expectations or excessive concerns for a minor deformity that's not worth operating on.

Speaker 3: Right. Right. Well, for those that do meet the qualifications, I know we've heard so much about how medicine has improved. I was sharing with the doctor, my wife recently had cataract surgery, and it was not quite outpatient, but almost. And, went out to lunch, went home and took a nap, and back to activities within a couple of days. That's the case with cosmetic surgery as well. It's a lot less invasive, I understand. 

Dr. Bunkis: There are many less invasive procedures that are done through short incisions, passing threads under the skin, using scopes without making the longer incisions. And, also what's very, very popular are all the variable injectibles, things like Botox which paralyze muscles and soften lines. And fillers is the variety that can fill lines or make lips plumper. Those are all procedures that are done, at lunch time people call them. Go home the same day.

Speaker 3: Literally within minutes of the actual procedure. If somebody's interested in getting an evaluation, how does that process work? Call your office? Make an appointment? And, should they tell the person on the phone, I'm interested in having a talk with the doctor about X, Y, or Z?

Dr. Bunkis: It's very helpful if they tell us why they're coming, because then the staff can schedule an appropriate length of time for the consultation. We spend a lot more time in a consultation for somebody coming in for facial rejuvenation, close to an hour, than we would for someone just showing us a mole. So, it's very helpful if someone tells us why they wanted to see me. 

Speaker 3: Right. And, that mole might be more health related than cosmetic. We hear so much today about skin cancer. That certainly is something that people should get looked at.

Dr. Bunkis: But, it doesn't take me an hour to discuss that with a person. So, somebody comes in. It looks like it's skin cancer. I tell them it should come off. And, if it looks like a benign mole, I tell them it's not necessary to take it off. That consultation could take 10 or 15 minutes 

Speaker 3: Right. Right. You said, not necessary, and sometimes that's a cosmetic decision. One of our Presidential candidates has had I know something removed from the last time he ran. People have commented on that on the media, maybe about that more than his policies on certain things. Sometimes those things that aren't a risk still could be a cosmetic issue and can be removed.

Dr. Bunkis: For sure. An unsightly mole on your face can be just as bad as a bump on a nose for a person. Right. Right.

Speaker 3: We talked about things like breast augmentation. That's a very popular procedure these days. We've also heard that there are some risks involved in that. How do you counsel your patients on that as far as risk versus cosmetic appeal?

Dr. Bunkis: Well, first of all they just released a survey by the American Society of Plastic Surgery, and last year, breast augmentation was the most popular aesthetic procedure in America. But, whether it's breast augmentation, removing a mole, or doing a face lift, there are risks to every procedure. Things like infection, unsightly scars. Things can go wrong with any procedure, and we have very detailed information sheets that we hand to every patient. And, I discuss those with the patients at their initial consultation. We discuss those with the patients again at the second consultation. And, patients have to be aware of the risks, especially if a procedure is totally elective. You have to know what you're getting into. 

Speaker 3: So, it sounds to me like they don't just walk in the door necessarily, get scrubbed for surgery. There's some time involved.

Dr. Bunkis: Yeah. I never operate on somebody unless I've seen them at least twice. I wanna make sure that not only physically, but mentally the patients are good candidates for a procedure.

Speaker 3: Talk a bit about the facilities that you use. The procedures you set up, the procedures you do are performed in your facility.

Dr. Bunkis: No, they're not. 

Speaker 3: They're not. Outpatient.

Dr. Bunkis: Yes sir. We have an office in Santa Margarita, a first class facility where we do some laser work there, laser hair removal, vein treatments and so forth. But, the surgical procedures where we actually cut and anesthetize people are actually done right next door to this building at the Laguna Hills Surgery Center across from the Aris Hotel. 

Speaker 3: Okay. So that's convenient here to our folks as well at Laguna Woods, and if they had to have a procedure or were getting a procedure, that would be right here. And, then the recovery time, they could go right back home and ...

Dr. Bunkis: Well, it depends on what they're having done. There are many procedures like, eyelids and breast augmentations where it's very appropriate to go right back home. But, for larger procedures like facelifts of abdominoplasties, we have an aftercare program set up at the Aris Hotel where a nurse will pick you up at the Surgery Center, bring you to the hotel, and stay with you for one or two days, bring you to the office for us to check you, and then you are rejoined with your family.

Speaker 3: That's great. Obviously, the followup is important as well. You mentioned infection as a possibility and make sure that everything came out the way that everybody wants it to. 

Dr. Bunkis: Obviously, yes. 

Speaker 3: That's very, very good. I understand also that in addition to your regular practice and working with folks in both cosmetic and medical areas here, you've also done some work in foreign countries and helped people who probably wouldn't have access to your services otherwise. 

Dr. Bunkis: Well, that's very common thing, I think for plastic surgeons to do. And, eye doctors. People who can do elective surgery. And, a lot of eye doctors, ophthalmologists, and plastic surgeons will go to third world countries and provide services that aren't available to the local people. And, I've gone to Guatemala multiple times with an organization called Hospital de la Familia. We go to a small little country hospital and take care of somewhere between 100 and 150 people in a week's time with a crew including the eye team and so forth.

It's very, very rewarding for me. I love taking care of people here, but it's twice as rewarding to take care of somebody who doesn't have access to care.

Speaker 3: Right. And, in many cases these are children who have a much better life and a healthier life as a result of what you've done to them.

Dr. Bunkis: Well, things like a cleft lip or a cleft palate, they're unsightly, and you fix that child and they can rejoin their playmates in the village and look normal. But even more importantly, if you have a bad cleft lip and pallet, it's very hard to suck milk properly and to nourish yourself. So, it's not just an aesthetic thing. 

Speaker 3: It's a nutritional issue as well. It's not just how they look and how they feel.

Dr. Bunkis: Absolutely.

Speaker 3: If our folks here would like to find out more, and it sounds like they're gonna meet with you at least twice before any procedure, at least a major procedure gets performed, they can call you office locally at 888-7900 and find out more. Again, the procedures will be happening right here across the way actually in this center here. So, people would be nearby to home. If recovery was required, a couple of days at the hotel, and then back home. Literally, with a whole new look is some cases.

Dr. Bunkis: Yes sir. 

Speaker 3: Doctor, we thank you for joining us today. We appreciate your time today. Thanks for coming by. 

Dr. Bunkis: Thank you very much.

Speaker 3: If you'd like to find ut more of some of the procedures available and hoe it can help you feel better and look better and be healthier, give then a call down at Orange County Plastic Surgery. And, again, that number 888-9700.

Our program continues for today right after this brief time out. 

Dr. Bunkis: I'm Dr. Juris Bunkis from Orange County Plastic Surgery. We offer an array of aesthetic procedures including eyelid surgery, face, mid-face, and brown lifts, which can make you look years younger. Our Medi-Spa compliments our surgical procedures. We also offer an array of nasal, breast and body contouring enhancements. Call us, 888-9700 or visit our website at ocps.com.

Speaker 4: You probably didn't know that Jolanda's Catering well known in Laguna Woods, has a great restaurant right near you. Come in and enjoy one of our daily breakfast or lunch specials. Jolanda's, with a small town, mid-American feel, features our famous croissants made fresh da-