Vivari Aesthetics – Where Five-Star Hospitality Meets Cosmetic Surgery Innovation

Ingrid Wood speaks to Dr Anushka Reddy, owner of the cosmetic surgery clinic and hospital in Johannesburg, which attracts a global clientele seeking top-tier recovery experiences.

By Ingrid Wood

It is the only Department of Health-accredited day hospital on the same property as a five-star hotel, not only in South Africa but on the African continent, offering a variety of cosmetic and weight loss surgical procedures that can be safely performed within a single day. At other day clinics, patients are sent home on the same day as the procedure. However, at Vivari, the discerning clientele are discharged into the aftercare facility at the hotel under medical supervision. We have a dedicated team of plastic surgeons who are experts in specific areas, so depending on what the patient requires, they are referred to the plastic surgeon who specialises in that specific field.

How did it come about?

I have been passionate about aesthetic medicine for the past 20 years and saw an opportunity to open the doors to a much wider market by combining what I love with tourism. My husband, a physician, and I noticed a rising interest in beauty and wellness and wanted to cater to those consumers who were travelling to South Africa seeking these treatments. We were also driven by a desire to innovate and revolutionise the field of aesthetics. The intention was to establish a Department of Health-accredited hospital on the same site as a five-star hotel, which would offer new techniques and products that hadn’t been available previously, providing unique and effective solutions for medical tourists. On a personal note, I could relate to feeling amazing after having undergone transformation procedures myself and I wanted to replicate those experiences for others, helping individuals feel more confident and empowered.

What does the Vivari Aesthetics medical concierge service offer?

The concierge serves as a single point of contact and assists individuals in navigating their healthcare journey by offering personalised assistance and support in scheduling appointments with doctors and other healthcare providers according to their preferences and availability. For foreign individuals, the medical concierge can assist with travel arrangements, including arrangements for visa motivation, transportation, accommodation and local support. It is also the point of call for arranging access to spa and fitness facilities, hyperbaric oxygen treatment for faster recovery post-op, nutrition guidance, mental health support or assistance with lifestyle modifications.

What are some of the risks of travelling post-procedure and how do you minimise these?

The first 72 hours after surgery is the most critical to prevent major complications and the most common risk associated with traveling for cosmetic procedures is the lack of aftercare. A minimum stay of seven days is recommended for a medical tourist undergoing a surgical procedure involving general anaesthesia. Our dedicated aftercare team specialises in post-op care for plastic surgery and weight loss procedures, including a patient coordinator and 24-hour nursing care.

What additional treatments do you offer that help patients get back onto their feet quickly?

There are several approaches that fast-track the healing and recovery process and help alleviate any stress that patients may feel. Vivari Aesthetics offers exclusive amenities and luxurious accommodation, including private rooms with specialised beds, bespoke meals and services such as the spa, fitness coaches and access to nutritionists. To reduce swelling and speed up healing, the facility offers hyperbaric oxygen treatments in a pressurised chamber and combines it with daily lymphatic drainage massage to reduce infection and help patients recover more quickly. Extra measures are undertaken to prevent travel-related complications such as deep vein thrombosis on long-haul flights and may include prescribing a blood thinning agent as well as pressure stockings. Language barriers may complicate effective communication, so we use translators if needed for patients who do not speak English. 

What are the most sought-after procedures?

Breast augmentation, which involves enhancing the size and shape of the breasts using implants or fat transfer. Liposuction is popular and involves removing excess fat from various areas of the body to improve the appearance. Mommy Makeover involves a tummy tuck (abdominoplasty) to remove excess abdominal skin and tighten the underlying muscles to achieve a flatter and firmer abdomen. Breast reduction surgery is performed to reduce the size and weight of overly large breasts, often to alleviate back discomfort or self-consciousness. A procedure that is extremely popular is the Brazilian butt lift which involves transferring fat from other parts of the body to the buttocks, enhancing their shape and overall appearance.

What are some of the new techniques available to your clients?

Vivari is the only facility in South Africa that offers Vaser liposculpture which helps to sculpt the body and create an hourglass figure for women as well as a six-pack for men. It is combined with Renuvion laser skin tightening which alleviates the need to cut excess skin and prevent scar formation. Both procedures are performed at the same time, and the patient is exposed to high doses of oxygen therapy in the hyperbaric chamber to speed up the healing time. We also offer the latest nonsurgical weight loss treatment called endoscopic sleeve gastrectomy, which involves reducing the size of the stomach using a gastroscope and does not require any incisions. The procedure typically takes around two hours, and patients can be discharged within 24 hours.

Where do the majority of your patients come from?

Due to South Africa’s well-developed medical infrastructure, we attract patients not only from within our borders but also from other African countries, most notably, from West Africa and specifically Ghana and Nigeria. The SADC countries supporting South Africa’s medical tourism market are Botswana and Angola. There are direct flights from these countries and the ease to arrange medical visas makes it a convenient stop for medical tourists seeking advanced medical facilities and the presence of highly skilled doctors for cosmetic surgery. 

Vivari Aesthetics is set within the property of the luxurious Vivari Hotel and Spa, which is part of the Mantis Collection. What does that bring to your offering?

The Mantis Collection is a renowned collection of luxury and boutique hotels, eco-lodges and resorts around the world and through this, Vivari gains access to the Mantis Collection’s network and reputation for personalised and high-quality service, which enhances its visibility and credibility within the hospitality industry. Additionally, being associated with the Mantis Collection allows Vivari to reach a wider audience of travellers seeking luxury and unique experiences.

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter and don’t miss out on regular updates from the YourLuxury Africa team on all things luxurious, beautiful and inspiring.