The "Doctor of the Stars", plastic surgeon Andreas Foustanos, in a spectacular flashback on his personal journey from his childhood years in Kypseli, to Brazil, which defined him professionally and from there back again to Athens, which embraced his pioneering – for the time - specialty. Andreas Foustanos talks about his unexpected choice to study medicine and about the difficulties he encountered at the beginning of his career, trying to convince himself that what he was doing was "surgery and not hairdressing". He describes his model of beauty and gives advice to women and men who consciously choose an intervention that will make them happier.
A Tireless Explorer of Human Beauty
By Stella Rapti
Translated by Alexandros Theodoropoulos
Andreas Foustanos is a smiling man; every word comes out of his mouth with a smile or a deeper laugh; a real trickster in his childhood, a carefree child who grew up in 1960’s Kypseli, with friends and among ducks, playing in the sandbox. He loved people from an early age. He could see from an early age both their internal and external beauty and decided to highlight that beauty in his own innovative way.
The First Revolution
When you ask him about his childhood, he recollects many good moments. He remembers a free, graceful and playful boy growing up in Patissia and Kypseli which in the '50s and '60s were a safe playground, ideal for exploration. Surrounded by friends, in the warmth of his family's peace and accompanied by his beloved sister, Andreas Foustanos grew up with the extroversion and power of that time. From being the "trickster" of the neighborhood, he grew up into a teenager who loved cinema and approached girls elegantly and masterfully in his own way. After all, the female sex has always had a special charm on him.
He studied for two years to enter the Polytechnic School, to continue the tradition of his engineer father. But he was destined to become the 7th Doctor in the family, following the example of almost his entire extended family of Foustanos. Just days before taking the exam, he announced that he would try to get into Medicine and he succeeded. His teacher, Grigoris Skalkeas, saw a great talent in him and urged him to take up the specialty of Vascular Surgery. Andreas Foustanos received the specialty of General Surgery but would eventually do "whatever he was destined to" and after his PhD from the Medicine School of Athens, he flew to Brazil where he realised his dream.
The Doctor of the Stars
Andreas Foustanos returned to Athens as a Plastic Surgeon and struggled to convince people that Plastic Surgery was not hairdressing. At the time, it was really difficult for him to pass the message that plastic surgery was not something unimportant and only about aesthetics, but a real surgical specialty of medicine. Back then, without having actual competition in this field and having great patience and perseverance, Andreas Foustanos started his career and fought against the taboos of the time that required women either not to decide at all to change external characteristics that bother them or, if they did, to hide it and not to admit it.
The recognition of plastic surgery in Greece came after the then First Lady of Greece, Margarita Papandreou, publicly admitted in an interview in 1986 that she had indeed had plastic surgery. Without taboos, Margarita Papandreou shed light on what was happening secretly and helped plastic surgery in general and Andreas Foustanos in particular.
Since then, Andreas Foustanos has told many stories of women and men who visited him with a photo in their hands, asking him to become the same as the person in the photo. And he explained with empathy to them that plastic surgery can change one’s appearance but cannot change the person itself. He explained that you don’t do plastic surgery just to receive acceptance. You do it because you want to. Throughout his professional journey and his accumulated experience, Andreas Foustanos can now say with certainty that plastic surgery is actually psychiatry with a scalpel.
The recognition of uniqueness
Honesty, straightforwardness and confidence in knowledge and experience are the elements that distinguish Andreas Fοustanos and bring people to his office to become even more beautiful and to feel even more comfortable with themselves. Usually their first request is to erase the signs of ageing and then he encourages them stoically by saying: “No man can avoid growing old. But everyone can grow old better”!