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Business Q&A – Nick James, surgeon, Pinehill Hospital

PUBLISHED: 11:30 24 February 2014 | UPDATED: 11:30 24 February 2014

Pinehill Hospital in Hitchin

Pinehill Hospital in Hitchin


Nick James, consultant plastic surgeon at Pinehill Hospital in Hitchin, explains why he loves his job

Tell us about your job.

I have been a consultant plastic surgeon since 1996. My main interests in the NHS are skin cancer surgery, reconstructive and aesthetic breast surgery and head and neck cancer. Working privately at Pinehill in Hitchin, my main interests are breast augmentation/reduction, body contouring including ultrasonic liposuction and abdominoplasty (tummy tuck). I also undertake facial rejuvenation surgery including facelifts, eyelid surgery and rhinoplasty (nose re-shaping).


What do you enjoy most about it?

Using the skills and the expertise I have acquired over the last 17 years to help patients achieve the very best results. Many people come to me because they are unhappy with a part of their appearance. When they come back to see me post surgery, and tell me how happy they feel and how their confidence has increased, it makes my job very rewarding. It isn’t all about appearance, it’s about how people feel about themselves. It can be life changing.


What are the biggest challenges?

Meeting patients’ expectations. If a patient has unrealistic expectations, I give them guidance and advice about what is or is not achievable.


What was your first job?

I was house officer at the Queen City Hospital in Nottingham. Being on call every other night I really got to know how to look after patients.


How did you progress to your current position?

I trained in Leicester, Aylesbury, Adelaide and the Royal Marsden Hospital. I am now a Member of the British Association of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons, the British Association of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons and the British Association of Head and Neck Oncologists.


What valuable business lessons have you learnt?

I have learnt that listening is one of the most important skills you can have. Whatever line of work you are in, listening to what your patient/customer/client is expecting and really understanding their wants and needs is the key to a successful relationship and the best possible outcome.


What are your ambitions for the future?

My ambition for the future is to continue providing cosmetic surgery to the highest level and to make sure that it is always practiced by fully qualified and skilled cosmetic surgeons in a fully audited environment. Most of the bad press about cosmetic surgery is because people have tried to get the surgery quicker or cheaper and have not paid enough attention to the quality of the surgeon or the environment. I want to continue to encourage patients to come and talk to me about their wishes.


Who is your business role model?

My father. He was a dentist who made sure all his patients felt special and received the best available treatments.


What is your motivation?

I am constantly motivated when I see the change in patients post surgery, whether it be cancer or cosmetic surgery.


What has been your greatest business achievement?

I am proud to be a member of the medical team for the British Grand Prix at Silverstone. Also, I do see a lot of patients who have lost a lot of weight. Seeing their transformation once all the excess skin has been removed is fantastic.

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