Dato Dr. Abdul Jalil Jidon is a renowned Plastic Surgeon here in Malaysia’s cosmetic surgery scene. Starting out 28 years ago, there were only a handful of plastic surgeons which allowed him to be exposed to almost all of the plastic procedures. Albeit his fame and experience, he spoke with so much humility, it is no wonder why patients are comfortable with him as their doctor. Have a read at this interview about this true bred Malaysian surgeon who loves spicy food.
Dato Dr. Jalil, tell us how your interest in the cosmetic beauty industry develop and what made you pursue it?
I’ve been a plastic surgeon for 3 decades since 1988 and a general doctor for 1981. I’ve always wanted to be a surgeon from young and I became a plastic surgeon when I completed my housemanship. I was doing my rotation and there was where plastic surgery came to my interest. Back then, my interest was in either pediatric or plastic surgery, but I chose plastic. My previous employer also encouraged me as he saw my capability. I started work in 1983 once I completed my rotation.
What’s your strength or specialization? Are there any procedures that you do more than the others?
I’ve done almost all surgeries. But the most common thing about cosmetic surgery is the face, the nose, the ears, the breasts, the abdomen and the limbs. I do all these surgery every day.
How has plastic surgery changed? Since you’ve been in this industry for 30 years. Are there new techniques and procedures?
There is nothing totally new but I would say it’s more of an evolution of techniques. We pick up these new techniques from meetings and discussions among other colleagues. Nowadays, I only attend smaller and specific meetings of specific topic for example breast, face lift, or tummy tuck. During younger days, I’d attend everything. In Malaysia back then, there weren’t many surgeons so we tend to do more than our colleagues from other countries. There were only a few of us, say 6 or 7 in total , but now we have about 40 plastic surgeons in our country. I would say I’ve done my fair share of the procedures, from simple ones to very complicated ones, I’ve done all of them I would say. It has became like my second nature since I do it daily.
How do you distress?
I listen to music, play badminton which I still do now, I play three times a week. I like driving fast cars, even to sit in one is good enough. I like sports car too.
Beauty to me is a whole package. There is not just one specific area. It has to be proportional because everyone is different and what fits on you might not on others. It is also important to discuss with patients because it’s a two way thing and I have to bridge the gap between their expectations and real life. What I can do and what I can achieve is up to me to tell them, I can only do certain things, I’m not God, and I can only attempt to improve things. Second thing is to tend to their expectations, some expectations are way too movie-like so it’s really complex and we have to discuss with our patients about it. For example if a person comes in with a beautiful nose, but still want to do something about it, I’ll tell them that I won’t do a procedure that isn’t necessary. Unless the change is significant, then only it’s worthwhile doing. Otherwise the monetary side of things should not be the first priority. We should be helping people.
What’s your greatest fear?
If I’m not well. Health is important.
Three words that describes yourself.
Simple. I’m a very simple person, I don’t dress like a doctor neither do I look like one cause I do not have the conventional doctor look. Even when people tell me that I’m famous and all, I don’t feel it. I’m just an ordinary person, very simple. I can do ‘teh tarik’ with anybody, I don’t choose people to hang out with. You may sell burger but you still can be my friend.
If you weren’t a cosmetic surgeon, you’ll be…
A Pediatric surgeon.
Do you eat ice cream?
What’s your favourite ice cream flavor?
Ice cream is not my favourite but Chocolate flavor.
I like all these Malaysian food. The pedas (spicy) one. I cannot live without pedas. Typical Malaysian, I’m true bred Malaysian and proud of it.
If you have one wish, what would it be.
It’s to stay healthy and to help people, and to make them happy. Say when a patient comes to me, I want to make them happy by trying to fulfill their request. So it’s a very simple philosophy of mine.