– Words by David Wylie Photography by Lia Crowe
Age before beauty is how the old adage goes. But age and beauty need not be mutually exclusive, and doctors at The De Pieri Clinic are passionate about preserving healthy youthful looks.
“We all need to embrace aging; it’s a part of life—it’s the story of what you’ve been through. But we can help a little bit with decreasing how fast it occurs,” said Dr. Stefan Milanovic, one of the varied and experienced practitioners at the clinic.
Stefan is also a family physician who currently has a practice in West Kelowna. He joined The De Pieri Clinic to offer his aesthetic services.
Operating in Kelowna for about 15 years, the clinic provides anti-aging and cosmetic skincare treatments to patients throughout the Okanagan. It’s headed up by Dr. Andrew De Pieri and offers the latest in medical and cosmetic research and techniques to patients at a reasonable cost.
During his years as a family physician, Dr. Andrew De Pieri took a special interest in preventative and anti-aging medicine, along with nutrition and supplements. Along the way, he became interested in the art of cosmetic medicine.
Keeping up to date on aesthetic medicine
Stefan’s interest in dermatology began while training at an aesthetic plastic surgery clinic in Europe. He undertook hair transplant surgeries and assisted on face-lifts and plastic surgery procedures.
These days, he makes a point of staying up to date on the latest innovative aesthetic medical techniques, such as injectable procedures, and attends conferences around the world to augment his knowledge.
He’s currently intrigued by the buzz around biostimulators, which encourage collagen production. Over the years, he’s seen improvements in the types of fillers and materials used in aesthetic medicine, and these developments, he said, have resulted in fewer complications. There’s also been a shift toward less invasive fillers and Botox treatments, and a concurrent movement away from lifts and other surgeries.
Stefan earned his Doctor of Medicine degree in Serbia at the University of Belgrade School of Medicine, and then completed his family medicine residency in Vancouver, doing rotations at St. Paul’s Hospital.
At the clinic, he does fillers and Botox and laser treatments. He likes the full-body approach the clinic takes, including the application of hormonal balancing.
“It was a good fit,” said Stefan, of joining the clinic, which he said takes a more natural approach. “[Here,] less is more.”
Skin tightening and volume replacement are his most popular procedures. As we age, we lose volume in areas of our bodies that results in sagging. Filler treatments replace that volume. “That’s how you keep it more natural,” he said.
Stefan said he likes the work they do at the clinic, where people are apt to come in before milestone events to help improve their confidence. Men and women between the ages of 40 and 60 benefit the most from his work because by the age of 25, they are already losing collagen at a rate of about one per cent each year.
“By the time we’re 40, we’ve lost quite a bit, but it’s not that drastic. It’s more easily replaced if you start on time,” he said.
Embracing a natural approach to well-being
Dr. Corrine Dawson specializes in naturopathic medicine at The De Pieri Clinic. She speaks enthusiastically about helping people find common-sense ways of taking care of themselves and incorporating these routines into their daily lives.
Corrine advised starting simple to protect your skin, including wearing sunscreen and taking vitamin C.
“The sun really is the number one cause of wrinkles among most people,” she said. “Put on sunscreen every day—I know it’s kind of a stretch—but it does make a big difference.”
She also advocates for work-life balance and a good night’s sleep.
“We heal when we sleep, so by getting more sleep, our bodies will feel better. Then our digestion will be better and we’ll absorb more of our nutrients,” she said.
Regular exercise is also on her list of things to do to stay young.
One of the things Corrine appreciates about working at the private clinic is the amount of time she’s able to spend with patients—about an hour at a client’s first appointment. She takes time to discuss sleep, energy, appetite and digestion, as well as family history. Dawson does a full physical exam and runs lab tests to try to get to the root of issues, which can often be linked to things happening in her patients’ lives, she said. Those could be stress, poor sleep, eating an unbalanced diet or other reasons.
“The heart of naturopathic medicine is trying to get to the root cause of disease and treating the whole person,” she said. “It’s a lot easier when you have more time with people, are able to give follow-up appointments and really explain the protocol. We make clear what they’re taking and why they’re taking it.”
Corrine is the top-rated naturopathic doctor in Kelowna on RateMDs.com, which she believes stems from her compassion and empathy, as well as her willingness to clearly explain treatment.
She spent more than a decade at one of Canada’s largest naturopathic clinics, and her training comes from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine—Boucher Campus, with undergraduate work at Simon Fraser University.
Corrine lectures in the community and has made radio appearances. She was also recognized by Suzanne Somers, in her book Knockout, for her work in bio-identical hormone replacement therapy.
Practicing for close to 20 years, Corrine focuses on balancing hormones through supplements. Some of the common problems she’s found include men with low hormone levels and younger women with excess estrogen or low iron. There are different ways of improving hormone levels, she said, including using creams, pills and supplements.
She said her patients often report feeling calmer, sleeping better and having more energy, which makes exercising easier and increases their productivity levels.
She also does aesthetics, such as Botox and fillers.
Corrine said Dr. De Pieri provides an excellent example to follow, as he doesn’t over-prescribe or over-promise.
“I love working here. I’m just as happy or happier than the first day I started,” she said. “Everyone is so honouring of patients, and it starts top-down. Dr. De Pieri is very kind and he only recommends things that he really believes in his heart are going to help people.”
For more information on the clinic, visit thedepiericlinic.com.