High Tech Solutions For Hunter Patients
They’re (relatively) new kids on the block, having opened new state-of-the-art clinics in the Hunter in late 2020. But the Laser Pain Management and Skinduced Aesthetics clinics are a welcome addition to the specialist laser industry in the Hunter.
As part of our first Health & Wellbeing Special Feature for 2021, we caught up with Dr Faisal Khan to find out about his passion for helping people who suffer from pain, and find out a little more about his background and the team.
Thank you for taking the time to talk to us, Dr Khan. Please tell us a little about your background – where you grew up, studied, qualifications, specific areas of speciality and worked as a medical practitioner?
I grew up in Pakistan before coming to Australia 15 years ago. My initial experience was gained at John Hunter in Medicine, and I then started working as a General Practitioner in 2012. While working as a GP in Stroud, I developed a particular interest in pain management. I wanted to do something that had no side effects but could help treat pain and various ailments in non-pharmacological ways. I started researching towards this goal and later completed my postgraduate qualification in Medical Acupuncture and then in Photo-biomodulation/Cold Laser Therapy.
When did you decide to start your medical practice and where? How many practices do you currently operate?
After JHH, I worked in the rural areas of Gloucester and Stroud and gained expertise in rural medicine. I am a GP supervisor now for junior GPs and Principal of 5 practices, including a pain clinic and aesthetic clinic serving communities in different parts of the Hunter Region - both metro and rural.
Your new state-of-the-art clinics at Cameron Park include two specific speciality areas – Laser Pain Management and a Skin Aesthetics Clinic (Skinduced). Is there a synergy between these areas of practice that encouraged you to open the clinics together as one practice?
With the ever-growing technology, non-interventional techniques and versatility of the laser devices I use, I
decided to help the community with their health and skin concerns under one roof. At Skinduced Aesthetic clinic, we can tailor skin therapy/treatment as per individual requirements; we have 14 strong modalities in our aesthetics clinic, where anyone can start their skin and body journey with confidence.
Tell us a little about your team. Who is involved in each area of the practice, what is their role and how long has each person been there?
I have a great team of qualified doctors and registered nurses, experienced admin staff and dermal therapists, who have appropriate qualifications and expertise in managing their respective fields. They have been with us over a long period of time. I have grown my team from a single person to more than 40 plus team members.
When did you first become interested in pain management, and why?
Pain is a regular day to day presentation in general practice. The health burden caused by the use of dependant drugs and excessive interventions (with no better outcome) made me interested in medical acupuncture and later in photo-biomodulation/light therapy for pain and related issues. I wanted to offer my patients something effective, with no side effects or post-treatment complications, and lower the dependency of pain medication (specifically opioids) used as a regular treatment for their pain management.
The Laser Pain Management clinic specialises in helping patients deal with pain using state-of-the-art laser treatment. Can you explain what laser pain management is and what treatments are available?
The common name for this is Low-Level Laser or Cold Laser, it is also called Photo-biomodulation, which means ‘ modulating human cells by light. We offer a wide range of treatments, including post-operative treatment, to help rejuvenate inside out, faster wound healing, and help reduce pain. We help patients with fibromyalgia, nerve pain, joint pains, plantar fasciitis, migraines, lymphoedema, lipoedema, psoriasis pain and wound and scar healing, Achilles pain, tennis elbow, bursitis of different joints, sports injuries, and many other symptoms and ailments. A full list can be found on our website, but the best part is that when it comes to sports, this technology is very effective and safe for kids too.
What are the benefits of laser pain management treatments?
Management of any condition with laser is to alleviate pain where either we want to have an alternative to drugs/opioids or surgical options are not available or where other treatments have failed, i.e. physiotherapy, massages etc. I must stress here that patients will be better off having this treatment for many acute injuries early on as the later they delay, the slower the recovery process will be. Still, it is not a replacement of standard medical treatments where applicable and being a doctor I always direct and suggest best possible treatment to my patients.
How does laser pain therapy differ from cosmetic laser treatment? What types of pain do you treat?
The technology and applications are different, and the machines we use for that are different. We help with all types of joint and non-joint related pains, muscle pains, nerve pain etc. With skin, we can help with psoriasis, acne, scarring, wound healing, skin barrier repair etc.
You have invested significantly in a range of cutting-edge medical equipment to deliver Low-Level Laser Therapy – what are some of the technology and equipment available in your clinic, and what are they used for? Are these new technologies readily available elsewhere in Australia?
We use Therapeutic Guidelines of Australia (TGA) approved equipment for laser pain management and skin repair treatments. Our laser devices include Irradia and Thor lasers. There are very few clinics Australia wide, and in the Hunter region we are the only clinic using these cutting edge devices to treat pain and skin concerns. A few of the devices I use are available elsewhere with different modalities: Thor, Irradia, and MKM.
Are these emerging technologies such as Low-Level Laser Therapy a miracle cure and suitable to all patients? How can patients find out if these are the right treatments for them? Is a referral required?
We don’t require referrals, but it is beneficial to have a health summary, scans/reports of any investigation and details of any previous treatments the patient had prior to their initial consultation. However, if one does not have those on hand, as a GP, I can arrange and refer them for initial or further investigation before advising a treatment plan. I would say this is a possible treatment for everyone, but there may be some resistant patients as their disease process has reached its limit.
We can advise that after an initial consultation. It’s not a miracle cure and not a replacement for standard medical treatment but an excellent adjuvant of standard treatment for early and/or quick recovery. There are no long-term complications for this treatment.
You also recently opened the Hunter’s newest Doctor Lead Cosmetic and Aesthetics clinic in the Cameron Park facility. What is Skinduced Aesthetics, and how does it differ from other skin treatment clinics?
Skinduced Aesthetics is a state of the art, purpose-built clinic located in Cameron Park Plaza, next to our Medical Practice. Not only do we have the best technology and devices available, but we’re considered a premiere destination for cosmetic injectables and device-based skin treatments. We are proud to say that we are the only clinic in the Hunter region to have 14 strong modalities, physician-grade cosmeceutical peels including acnelan, cosmelan, and dermamelan, as well as glycolic and salicylic peels 20%, 30%, 40% and 60% to treat any skin type. Our body sculpting devices can be used separately, but when combined, can help speed up the results of our client's weight loss and body sculpting journey.
Tell us about the different types of skin treatments on offer at Skinduced? What is the most popular treatment on offer?
The most popular treatments are the body contouring and sculpting, facelift and double chin reduction, treatments for pigmentation and skin rejuvenation and treatment for incontinence. We often run special offers which can be found on Facebook and Instagram ( #SkinducedAestheticClinic).
Who is your “usual” Skinduced client? Are you seeing any trends or a change in the type of clients you attract or services required?
Our treatments can be tailored based on client concerns with no restrictions on age groups or skin type or gender, and we focus on achieving the best possible result for each individual. Skin is our first immune barrier and the main contributor to our self-confidence. Better skin leads to a lot of health benefits. The list of treatments we can do at our clinic is too extensive for inclusion here, but patients can visit our website for further details.
Do you have a mission or a vision for your clinic moving forward? What are your plans for the future? Do you see any key trends in your industry that you are working towards?
Our motto is “Evolving Better Health”, and I think my expertise as a General Practitioner, Laser Pain Management Specialist and now with further training in skin treatments enables us to provide services to the community that involves a combination and variety of treatments for individual treatment plans – so individualised health, I guess. Medicine and technology are evolving rapidly; I believe we must embrace it and move forward for the better health outcome of our communities. The technology is here to help us manage, maintain or improve conditions and lifestyle. By embracing this principle, I have gained the trust of my patients and staff.
My mission is to offer my patients the approach where they can be treated by a combination of non-interventional aspects of medicine, hence evolving better health in the safest possible way and avoiding the costs and complications of surgical procedures where possible.
WORDS BY DI VON ESSEN
IMAGES BY EDEN CONNELL