It should come as no surprise that the field of plastic surgery – like much of other medical professions – has long been dominated by male physicians. While recent stats on the number of female plastic surgeons in Canada are difficult to extract, it’s estimated women make up less than 15% of plastic surgeons.
In Canada, a Plastic Surgeon is a surgical specialist who has:
- received a medical degree,
- completed a minimum of 5 years of study and training in surgery,
- demonstrated successful completion of training,
- passed a rigorous examination process overseen by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, and
- been deemed qualified and certified to practice reconstructive and aesthetic (cosmetic) plastic surgery
At ICLS, our Plastic Surgery department is led by two female aesthetic plastic surgeons – Dr. Julie Khanna and Dr. Maryam Zamani. “When you have two female surgeons, you approach things differently. Nobody’s going to argue we listen better – most of the time,” says Dr. Khanna, co-founder and Medical Director of Plastic Surgery at ICLS. All kidding aside, communication is an important factor in how she and Dr. Zamani interact with their patients. “We’re very open with all of our patients – men and women.” she continues. “We delve into not just what they’re interested in having done, but the why and why today”.
“We want to understand the underlying motivations and reasons in order to manage expectations, so together we can work with your downtime and your expectations and give you the right operation,” adds Dr. Zamani.
Being female has some obvious benefits when relating to patients. “Most of our patients are female, so there’s an inherent understanding of the female body – what pregnancy and breast feeding does to it, and how our bodies change and evolve over time from motherhood to menopause,” explains Dr. Khanna.
Research shows that choosing a female surgeon may in fact result in better patient outcomes. A recent study by JAMA Surgery, an international peer-reviewed journal, showed that surgical patients – both men and women – who had a female surgeon experienced lower risk of complications and fewer hospital readmissions. The study looked at more than 1.3 million adults and nearly 3,000 surgeons who performed one of 21 common elective or emergency surgeries in Ontario between 2007 and 2019.
Above all, patients should look at a surgeon’s qualifications and expertise when considering a surgical procedure. “At ICLS, our top priorities are safety and giving you the best result.”
Drs. Julie Khanna and Maryam Zamani – aka the Sisterhood of the Scalpel – are female plastic surgeons specializing in aesthetic and cosmetic procedures at ICLS Dermatology & Plastic Surgery in Oakville, Ontario. They are board-certified by the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada. Dr. Khanna is also a Diplomate of the American Board of Plastic Surgeons.