Dr. Hani Nabil wakes up every morning with a new promise of changing yet another life. After 10 years of endless work, his clinics, In Shape, have come a long way from being a startup to becoming Egypt’s platform for surgical miracles.
Nabil is specialized in what could be considered the most popular yet least discussed field of surgery. In the past few years, Egypt has witnessed an outstanding number of plastic surgeries — but less than 5% of the cases have the social courage to admit going under the knife.
Categorizing plastic surgery as a taboo is one of the obstacles Nabil constantly faces. As a visionary who has worked on developing this science locally to match international standards, he is currently focusing on spreading related awareness.
This month Nabil talks to Egypt Today about the powerful, often life-transforming effects of plastic surgery, and what really happens inside the walls of his clinics.
Why did you pursue a career in plastic surgery?
I chose this career to change people from within themselves. People think plastic surgeries change them from the outside; on the contrary, it gives them inner satisfaction and happiness that extends and reaches others. Those others might include husbands, fiancés, wives, neighbors and colleagues; if people are satisfied with their appearance they will be satisfied with everything they do in life, including their relationships.
I started as a general surgeon before practicing plastic surgery for five years under the supervision of leading surgeons in order to learn and observe more. Ten years ago, I decided to go solo and created my own brand, In Shape. In Shape was the result of a brain storming session with a marketing agency; we wanted a name that would convey our main purpose. The concept of being in shape could apply to every human aspect including psychological, physical and mental factors.
The journey started with a moderate 45m2 clinic. We started to meet a lot of patients and import the latest technology. Back then, getting the latest medical equipment was a major trend; therefore we imported only the best of its kind. We were also very keen on being straightforward with the patients; until this very day we promise only realistic expectations.
We currently have the kind of technology available in the USA and France. We have strict criteria for our equipment; we do not import anything that cannot deliver accurate expectations or can lead to multiple side effects. Our cutting-edge technology serves as our biggest investment; if we cannot afford the best equipment, we do not settle for second- best. We are also focused on constantly updating our knowledge by reading more and attending all of the international conferences.[caption id="attachment_466449" align="alignnone" width="618"] Dr. Hani Nabil[/caption]
Tell us about a case when a patient’s life was transformed with your help.
Fifteen years ago, a wife visited our clinic right after losing both her husband and son in less than two weeks. Her visit was right after the well-known actress Suad Nasr passed away on a surgical table during standard liposuction operation. The woman was dressed in utter black and she asked for liposuction in any given area; when I asked what she meant, she said that she wanted to die and that is why she needed the risky surgery. I ended up doing a tummy tuck and liposuction thighs.
Less than three years later, she became the manager of one of the biggest hotels in Sharm El-Shaikh. She went back to life and she is currently happy. We’ve remained friends till this very day and we talk every now and then.
She could have committed suicide or gone to an unprofessional surgeon; I changed her life, or at least I tried my best to do so. I am sure many other things in her life have changed for the better, but I can proudly say that I gave her hope.
How do you see the plastic surgery scene in Egypt?
It is starting to boom, even though it has been suffering from severe prejudice. Plastic surgery can provide minor changes that highlight a person’s best features and generate much-needed confidence.
In five years, we will get into every house and family. People need to know that visiting a plastic surgeon can help you define your best features as well as your flaws; a surgeon can also tell you about the best timing to get something done. We have many false beliefs, for example that Botox can lead to blindness or that plastic surgery has high mortality levels. In Egypt we are used to trashing anything that does not meet our personal preferences.
This is becoming much better with the help of search engines such as Google and various media campaigns that aim to change people’s mentality. We need to change people’s mentality; they need to understand that it is a safe procedure that is only recommended when truly needed and most importantly that it is not morally wrong or inappropriate.
How is In Shape changing this mindset?
Locally this science is based on advertisement only; what I aim for is informing and not promoting. As surgeons we are not supposed to post advertisements, we are supposed to inform people of the right facts. People need to know the truth so that whenever they need any procedures, they are informed enough about their surgery.