"My personal path of training gave me the inspiration to become an educator myself and to act as a speaker for Plastic Surgery. It is a time investment that pays off – I am constantly faced with the latest methods available."
The Center - Univ.-Doz. Dr. Franz Maria Haas Resume
- Education - high school in Graz
- Studies: Karl Franzens University of Graz
- Certification: March 1990
- 5 years working as a demonstrator and teaching assistant at University of Graz's Anatomical Institute under Professor Thiel
- 1993 Specialty training in plastic surgery at Graz University Hospital
- 1996 Specialist in plastic surgery while working as a senior physician at University of Graz
- 2001 Private practice for plastic, aesthetic and reconstructive surgery, as well as
- continued work as a senior physician at Graz University Hospital
- 2000-13 Chairman of the Working Group for Hand Surgery, Graz University Hospital
- 2004 Certification in medical education while obtaining the teaching license in plastic
- 6/2012 Court-certified expert in plastic surgery and hand surgery
- 9/2012 Member of the Austrian Medical Association's hand surgery division
- 2013 Extensive counseling responsibility at Graz University Hospital and Brothers Charity.
- 2013 Opening of the Center for Plastic Surgery at Graz Ragnitz Private Hospital.
- Regular visiting residencies at various private hospitals in Paris (aesthetic and reconstructive surgery)
- Visiting residency at Bordeaux University Hospital
- Specialist representation in Switzerland (Basel University Hospital)
- Study visits for aesthetic surgery at private hospitals in Germany and Italy
- Austrian Society for Plastic, Aesthetic and Reconstructive Surgery
- Austrian Society for Surgery
- German Speaking Working Group for Hand Surgery
- German Speaking Working Group for Microsurgery
Extensive research activities with focus on hand surgery, microsurgery and reconstructive Surgery.
The Center - Univ.-Doz. Dr. Franz Maria Haas Mission Statement
Plastic surgery stands for renovation, alteration, and restoration of form and function. To me personally it embodies fascination and excitement, a discipline in constant motion, continuously presenting me with new challenges. Plastic surgery encompasses all facets of cosmetic surgery, but goes far beyond that.
As part of long-term plastic surgical training a broad wealth of experience is acquired. The spectrum ranges from hand surgery to surgery of the peripheral nervous system, extending to reconstructive surgery after accidents, burns or tumor surgery.
The Center - The Doctor's Office - The Center
Since June 2013, the Center for Plastic Surgery combines Univ.-Doz. Dr. Franz Maria Haas' expertise and decades of experience in plastic surgery with the safety and comfort of a fully equipped medical facility.
Counseling, examination and surgery can all be carried out in the same location, resulting in short wait times, especially for procedures covered by the health care provider, while guaranteeing the highest safety standards.
The new Center for Plastic Surgery offers its patients an optimal environment for any intervention in aesthetic and reconstructive surgery, as well as hand surgery, covering everything from comprehensive diagnosis, surgery to post-surgery treatment and physiotherapy.
Excellent medical care, efficient processes and a high level of service are our top priority.
Breast Surgery - General – Philosophy
Shapely breasts are commonly considered the epitome of individual femininity. It is therefore all the more fascinating for me as a plastic surgeon to reshape and refine this organ, even after thousands of of such surgical procedures. While the breast is a symbol of eroticism, it also represents an important functional element in a woman's body. A surgeon must consider appearance and functional tasks alike.
Breast corrections, from augmentation to recovery after tumor surgery, pose a special challenge and require many years of experience. For more than 18 years in plastic surgery, I have put a particular focus on breast surgery and spared no effort (residencies abroad etc.) to perfect and refine the techniques and continue to do so today.
Breast Surgery - Augmentation
Many women suffer from genetically smaller than normal breasts from the time of puberty, For others a decrease in breast volume comes over time, especially after pregnancies, making the breasts appear empty and flaccid. However, some women also suffer from the fact that the chest does not fit in size and shape to their body constitution.
Finally, there are a number of system-related abnormalities associated with breast asymmetries in shape and volume.
Dissatisfaction with one's own breasts can often lead to diminished self-esteem and thus to an impaired quality of life.
Breast Surgery - Reduction
Many women suffer from a genetic predisposition to have large and heavy breasts since the onset of puberty. As a result they are impaired not only in appearance, but also in daily activities or sports. Excessively large breasts can negatively affect a woman's self-esteem much like an overly small bust.
In either case, the physical development should be completed before undergoing corrective breast surgery – at a minimum age of 17 years old, and only after thorough elucidation in the presence of the parents.
Especially with young patients the possibility of scar problems or loss of ability to breastfeed must be discussed in detail. However, oftentimes women decide to have breast surgery at a more advanced age, or after multiple pregnancies. In Austria, as well as in many other countries, breast reductions are in certain cases recognized as a medical treatment and therefore covered by the health care provider. This depends largely upon the body’s constitution as well as on the amount of tissue to be removed.
Breast Surgery - Firming
Especially after pregnancy, but also after severe weight loss or as the result of congenital weakness of connective tissue, the breasts may sag or greatly lose in volume.
Often the individuals affected are sporty, dynamic women whose bust no longer matches the overall body image. Together, a treatment concept can be worked out depending on the patient’s situation and ideas.
Breast Surgery - Breast deformities
Congenital breast deformities are not rare, but are often treated late or improperly. There are a variety of different malformations: from simple asymmetry, where the breasts significantly differ only in volume, to completely different breast shapes all the way to the so-called Amazon syndrome, where not only the breast itself is missing, but also the underlying muscle. Breast deformities strongly affect patients’ lives.
Depending on the diagnosis corrections of one or both sides are usually covered by health insurance.
Breast Surgery - Inverted nipple correction
Mostly as a congenital condition, rarely also after lactation periods, some women exhibit nipple retraction on one or both sides, caused by a shortening of the milk ducts.
Inverted nipples usually provide no functional problem (which could not be helped even by surgery), but are unsightly and often painful. In exceptional cases, correction of inverted nipples is paid for by the health insurance.
Aesthetic Surgery - Face/neck
The face is a reflection of our inner selves and serves as a comprehensive communication tool. In no area become surgical procedures more evident than in the facial region.
Surgical intervention demands an especially high level of responsibility and utmost care in achieving potential changes. Treatments in the facial area require an extraordinary anatomical knowledge, as the interplay of mimic muscles, innervation and blood flow is unique. Even small changes can have a big impact, because the face must always be considered as a whole.
The natural aging process leads particularly to a reduction of soft tissue and thus an increase in wrinkling as well as loss of adipose tissue by volume. Through use of modern surgical techniques and technical innovations, incredibly natural results in facelifts can be achieved.
Depending on age, condition of the skin and soft tissue, as well as anatomical conditions, therapy concepts are developed jointly with the patient and problems are addressed holistically.
Aesthetic Surgery - Body Contouring
There are two main indications for abdominoplasty. Firstly, many patients suffering from weakness of the connective tissue, which becomes apparent especially after pregnancy or weight loss. In the area of the middle and lower abdomen stretch marks develop and the skin becomes saggy and wrinkled. These changes do not regress despite sports or other efforts and can especially affect slim patients.
Secondly, many somewhat heavier patients suffer from so-called "stomach aprons” that will not disappear despite all efforts (diet, exercise). Not only can overhanging skin and excess fat hamper the patient during exercise, but may also result in recurring rashes from excessive sweating.
Aesthetic Surgery - Liposuction
Body contouring, whether by removal of skin and fat excess or by aspiration of adipose tissue, places the overall appearance at the center of its focus. The point is to recognize and treat problem areas in a targeted way to achieve a harmonious whole.
Sufficient experience and accurate surgical planning are essential. Liposuction procedures exhibit some of the highest complication rates, which is largely due to the fact that most interventions are not carried out professionally, and often with poor infrastructure. A deliberate choice of doctor and thorough vetting of the physician's training, expertise and experience in this specialized field is therefore particularly important. Body sculpting has nothing to do with weight reduction.
Liposuction as a means to lose weight has to be viewed and evaluated highly critically.
The time of conventional liposuction is over. Rather a combination of special instruments and procedures (fine needles, WAL technique, or when indicated vibration technology = power-liposuction) makes it possible to remove fatty tissue with precision and also insert it in other places, if necessary. Through autologous fat transplantation fatty tissue can be harvested from the thigh, processed and then subsequently injected into places where it is lacking (buttocks or breast, etc.). Especially the new WAL technique (water assisted liposuction) allows for very gentle, largely dry and especially precise liposuction. In addition, the harvested fatty tissue is of unprecedented quality for further use in transplantations. At all times any changes have to be balanced and planned within the context of the overall appearance.
Aesthetic Surgery - Labiaplasty
Corrective surgery in the labial area requires a lot of empathy and discretion. Through my years of working in restorative surgery, in cooperation with colleagues from the field of gynecology, I have dealt with this region intensively and gained a lot of experience.
The anatomy of the labia (large outer and small inner) varies greatly from woman to woman. In particular the labia minora are often highly developed, so that they protrude far and not only appear unsightly, but can cause functional problems. Often, certain sports cannot be performed and wearing underwear or swimwear may cause problems.
Hand and Reconstructive Surgery - Hand Surgery
Words and phrases such as "handling of matters", "grasping of ideas", or "hands-on treatment" indicate what significant roles our hands play as a social element – evidenced in our language.
It is unimaginable to no longer be able to shake hands, write, gesticulate, play music or, in my case, be able to perform surgeries. Most daily activities, whether in the private or professional realm, are reliant upon two functioning hands. We are usually only aware of this once a disease sets in or after an accident.
It is therefore hardly surprising that hand surgery has become increasingly important in recent years. In many countries, Hand Surgery is already recognized as a separate field within surgery. In Austria, this additional qualifier is not yet sufficiently defined, however, the Austrian Society for Hand Surgery is currently working on a similar regulation.
The hand is an organ housing a variety structures such as nerves, blood vessels, tendons, muscles and bones in a confined space, allowing them to work in perfect coordination.
It is therefore hardly surprising that a large part of the cerebral cortex is responsible for our hands. Even small impairments or injuries can seriously disrupt the balance of functions and therefore interfere with our quality of life.
Through my many years of employment at the Anatomical Institute I have developed a special attention to detail. Since beginning my work at the hospital almost 15 years ago and after countless interventions up to the present day, hand surgery has had me in its grip and has never let go. However, I remain critical of the fact that these days many surgeons seem to perform hand surgery without proper training and supervision, getting overwhelmed by the task in the process. This is evidenced by an increasing number of legal disputes and lawsuits.
When it comes to your hands, trust only the best and gather all available information on the surgeon's training as well as daily routine. Perfect results can only be achieved through a combination of specialized hand surgery, physiotherapy and hand splint treatment if necessary, with all elements working together consistently and at a high level.
To provide that high standard of excellence is my goal with each patient.
Hand and Reconstructive Surgery - Restoration
As the name implies, reconstructive surgery concerns itself with the reconstruction of form and function.
As a result of injuries and accidents, after tumor surgery or certain diseases, defects may occur that are disfiguring or associated with functional impairments. One example for a loss of form is the removal of a breast as a result of malignant diseases. In such a case immediately or even years after initial surgery, the breast can be restored by transplantation of autologous tissue (harvested from the abdomen, back or buttocks). At a later time, even nipple and areola can be reconstructed by means of special techniques.
An example for a loss of function would be the late effects of nerve injuries, especially in the upper extremity, where treatment options in form of complex surgical procedures (nerve grafts or muscle transfers) can be offered.
There are literally hundreds of examples. Reconstructive Surgery is a specialized field of plastic surgery with which I have been closely involved from the beginning of my education. It provides the basis for most plastic surgical techniques. The most elaborate methods (such as microsurgery, etc.) are highly demanding due to the generally long duration of the intervention and the need for special dexterity on the surgeon's part. Precisely for this reason plastic surgery possesses a unique appeal and clearly sets itself apart from other medical fields. Furthermore, no two cases are the same, requiring special improvisation skills and the capacity for three-dimensional imagination. Reconstructive surgery is also the basis of any type of aesthetic surgery.
Hand and Reconstructive Surgery - Tumor Surgery
In principle, tumors (both benign and malignant) can grow from all skin and soft tissue cells. There are a variety of benign skin tumors (nevi, moles, skin tags, etc.) that occur according to skin type, age and disposition. Also, a number of benign tumors are known to occur in soft tissues. The best known are probably adipose tissue tumors (lipomas) or enlarged sebaceous cysts (atheromas). A skin tumor frequently occurring is the basal cell carcinoma, which is considered a semi-malignant change. Although locally destructive, it only very rarely causes metastases.
In addition, there are a number of malignant tumors. The best known is probably the malignant melanoma. Effective treatment requires close cooperation between dermatologist (follow-up and chemotherapy) and plastic surgeon.
Specifically, surgery of the lymph nodes plays a central role in the therapy concept. Through modern techniques, sentinel lymph nodes can be detected and treated early on.
Another frequently occurring malignant tumor of the skin is the squamous cell carcinoma. Sarcoma refers to a malignant tumor of the soft tissue. Therapy requires a thorough treatment strategy in collaboration with oncologists and radiotherapists.
Cosmetic Surgery - Dermal Fillers
The market for dermal fillers is hardly manageable anymore, because nowadays hundreds of different products are available.
We distinguish between substances that are endogenous and are metabolized after about 6-12 months (e.g. hyaluronic acid), substances harvested from the animal kingdom mainly containing collagens (e.g. bovine collagen), as well as substances containing foreign materials that are not metabolized (e.g. silicone beads). In addition, there are many different combinations of these components.
With animal collagens and synthetic products, however, caution is advised as allergies and intolerances can result in serious complications. Professional application as well as prior allergy testing are an absolute necessity. Basically dermal fillers are suitable to smooth especially small and micro wrinkles. Repeated treatments are better than subjecting oneself to unnecessary risks!
Cosmetic Surgery - Botox
Botox is a neurotoxin, as is commonly known, able to paralyze muscles for 4-6 months. We have all seen the typical rigid faces of actresses, whose therapy had obviously been exaggerated. Nevertheless, when used in moderation and targeted, Botox can often prevent wrinkle development for years, making it a good treatment option especially in the forehead area and around the eyes. Especially in recent years, targeted Botox treatment of the lower face area, neck, and particularly lips (ruffled mouth) has gained importance and partially replaced dermal fillers. Botox is introduced into the muscles to be treated with a very delicate needle, in very small amounts.
The full effect is achieved after about a week. However, Botox has its limits with regards to deep folds and must be used properly, in order to avoid functional impairments that could lead to grotesque consequences.
During treatment, Botox can be combined with all kinds of filling materials (dermal fillers).
Botox is overall a very effective weapon against the onset of wrinkles, consequently having become indispensable in the field of aesthetic medicine.
Cosmetic Surgery - Laser Surgery
Peels/dermabrasion (skin planing)/laser treatment:
Wrinkles around the mouth can be improved by peeling or grinding, equaling superficial burns. Laser treatments of affected areas work on a similar principle. When not used properly, side effects can be substantial (pigment disorders, etc.).