Dr. Gustavo Gaspar Blanco, plastic surgeon
Dr. Gustavo Gaspar Blanco is a plastic surgeon in Mexicali (Baja California) Mexico. He is well-known throughout Baja and Northern Mexico for his gluteal augmentation techniques using gluteal implants. While this is one of the procedures he is most famous for, he also performs the complete range of body, facial plastic surgery procedures, and post-bariatric reconstructive surgery.
It was an engaging series of interviews as Dr. Gaspar is extremely knowledgeable and passionate about his craft. “Plastic surgery is different from other specialties, it is an art. The surgeon needs to have an eye for beauty and symmetry in addition to surgical skill.”
To read more about Dr. Gaspar in the operating room.
Gluteal Implants versus Fat Grafting
There are multiple methods of gluteal augmentation (or buttock enhancement). Dr. Gaspar performs both fat grafting and gluteal implantation procedures. He prefers gluteal implantation for patients who are very thin (and have limited fat tissue available for grafting) or for patients who want longer-lasting, more noticeable enhancements. (With all fat injection procedures, a portion of the fat is re-absorbed).
He recommends fat grafting procedures to patients who want a more subtle shaping, particularly as part of a body sculpting plan in conjunction to liposuction.
Breast Implants and attention to detail
Like most plastic surgeons, breast augmentation is one of the more popular procedures among his patients. The vast majority of his patients receive silicone implants (by patient request), and Dr. Gaspar reports improved patient satisfaction with appearance and feel with silicone versus saline implants. He uses Mentor and Natrelle brand implants, and is very familiar with these products. In fact, he reports that he has visited the factories that create breast implants in Ireland and Costa Rica. He says he visited these factories due to his own curiosity and questions about breast implants**.
Once he arrived, he found that each implant is made by a time-consuming one at a time process versus a vast assembly line as he had envisioned. He was able to see the quality of the different types of implants during the manufacturing process. These implants, which range from $800.00 to $1200.00 a piece, go through several stages of preparation before being completed and processed for shipping. He also watched much of the testing process which he found very interesting in light of the history of controversy and concern over previous silicone implant leakage in the United States (during the 1960’s – 1970’s).
Another aspect of breast augmentation that Dr. Gaspar discusses during my visits is the breast implantation technique itself. While there are several techniques, in general, he uses the over-the-muscle technique for the majority of breast implantation procedures. He explains why, and demonstrates with one of his patients (who had the under-the-muscle technique with another surgeon, and now presents for revision).
“While the under-the-muscle technique remains very popular with many surgeons, the results are often less than optimal. Due to the position of the muscle itself, and normal body movements (of the shoulders/ arms), this technique can cause unattractive rippling and dimpling of the breast. In active women, it can actually displace the implant downward from pressure caused by normal muscle movements during daily activities. This may permanently damage, displace or even rupture the implant.”
Instead, he reserves the under-the-muscle implant for specific cases, like post-mastectomy reconstruction. In these patients (particularly after radiation to the chest), the skin around the original mastectomy incision is permanently weakened, so these patients need the additional support of the underlying muscle to prevent further skin damage.
Not just about outcomes
While his clients, from all over North America, are familiar with his plastic surgery results, few of them are aware of his deep commitment to maintaining the highest ethical and medical standards while pursing excellence in surgery.
Commitment to ethical care of patients crosses language barriers
While Dr. Gaspar is primarily Spanish-speaking, his commitment to ethical practice is crystal clear in any language. He explains these ethical principles while offering general guidelines for patients that I will share here (the principles are his, the writing style is my own).
Advice for patients seeking plastic surgery
– Patients need to be appropriate candidates for surgery:
Around fifty percent all of the people who walk into the office are not appropriate candidates for plastic surgery, for a variety of reasons. Dr. Gaspar feels very strongly about this saying, “Unnecessary or inappropriate surgery is abusive.”
– Plastic surgery is not a weight-loss procedure. Liposuction/ Abdominoplasty is not a weight loss procedure. Plastic surgery can refine, but not remake the physique. Obese or overweight patients should lose weight prior to considering refining techniques like abdominoplasty which can be used to remove excess or sagging skin after large-scale weight loss.
– Have surgery for appropriate reasons. Plastic surgery will not make someone love you. It won’t fix troubled relationships, serious depression or illness. Plastic surgery, when approached with realistic expectations (#3) can improve self-esteem and self-confidence.
– Realistic expectations – just as plastic surgery won’t result in a 25 pound weight loss, or bring back a wayward spouse, it can’t turn back the clock completely, or radically remake someone’s appearance. There is a limit to what procedures can do; for the majority people, no amount of surgery is going to make them into supermodels.
– Know the limitations
Not only are there limits to what surgery itself can do, there are limits to the amounts of procedures that people should have, particularly during one session. “Marathon/ Extreme Makeovers” make for exciting television but are a dangerous practice.
Just as patients should avoid marathon or multi-hour, multiple procedure surgeries, patients should stay safe.
– Avoid office procedures
As Dr. Gaspar says, “The safest place for patients is in the operating room.” With the exception of Botox, all plastic surgery procedures should be performing the operating room, not the doctor’s office. This is because the operating room is a sterile, well-prepared environment with adequate supplies and support staff. There are monitors to help surgeons detect the development of potential problems, life-saving drugs and resuscitation (rescue) equipment on hand. Should a patient stop breathing, start bleeding or develop a life-threatening allergic reaction (among other things), the operating room (and operating room staff) are well prepared to take care of the patient.
Communicate with your surgeon –
Give your surgeon all the details s/he needs to keep you safe, and have a successful surgery. Talk about more than the surgeries you are interested in –
– bring a list of all of your medications
– know a detailed history including all past medical problems/ conditions and surgeries.
If you had heart surgery ten years ago – that’s relevant, even if you feel fine now. Have a history of previous blood transfusions/ radiation therapy/ medication reactions? Be sure to tell the doctor all about it.
Even if you aren’t sure if it matters, “My sister had a blood clot after liposuction” – go ahead and mention it.. It might just be a critical piece of information such as a family predisposition to thromboembolism (like the example above).
Surgical complications are a part of surgery. All surgeons have them – and having a surgical complication in and of itself is no indication of the quality or skill of the surgeon. Complications can occur for a variety of reasons.
However, how efficiently and effectively the surgeon treats that complication is a good indicator of skill, experience and expertise.
As part of this, Dr. Gaspar stresses that medical tourism patients need to prepare to stay until they have reached an adequate stage of recovery. This prevents the development of complications and allows the surgeon to rapidly treat a problem if it develops; before it become more serious.
“There is no set time limit for my patients after surgery, everyone is different. But none of my patients can go [return home] until I give my approval.” This philosophy applies to more than just medical tourists from far off destinations. It also applies to any patients have large procedures and their hospitalizations. While many surgeons race to discharge clients as same-day surgery patients, Dr. Gaspar has no hesitation in keeping a patient hospitalized if he has any concerns regarding their recovery. “Hospitals are the best places for my patients, if I am concerned about their recovery.”
About Dr. Gustavo Gaspar Blanco, MD
Plastic and reconstructive surgeon
Av. Madero 1290 y Calle E
Plaza de Espana, suite 17 (second floor)
Tele: (686) 552 – 9266
If calling from the USA: 1 (877) 268 4868
Dr. Gaspar attended medical school at the Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara. He completed both his general surgery residency and plastic surgery fellowship in Mexico City at the Hospital de Especialidades Centro Medico La Raza.
He is a board certified plastic surgeon by the Mexican Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, license number #601. He has been performing plastic surgery for over 20 years. Surgeons from areas all over Mexico train with Dr. Gaspar to learn his gluteal implantation techniques.
** He has also visited the facilities in Germany where the Botulism toxin is prepared for cosmetic/ and medical use.