“For years I struggled with closing my mouth and chewing,” tells Lily Borochov, 32. “This came with a feeling of pressure in my upper jaw and tension in the muscles around my mouth,” she adds. Borochov went from one doctor to another. There were some who recommended filing down the teeth, others who said it was better not to do anything, while most suggested extracting healthy teeth in order to solve the problem.
“I felt like I was groping in the dark until I did a root canal and the doctor recommended that I see Dr. Devorah Schwartz-Arad,” says Borochov, her voice betraying a hint of emotion. “When I got to the clinic and Dr. Schwartz-Arad checked me, she was amazed that nobody ever told me that I needed an operation.”
“The operation changed my life,” Borochov states. “The surgery was four months ago, and I feel like my quality of life improved. For example, I enjoy munching on a piece of pizza, which was something I couldn’t do in the past. And my appearance even changed for the better after the surgery.”
What made you decide to do the surgery specifically at the Schwartz-Arad Center?
“It’s something energetic. Doctor Schwartz-Arad is a very sharp woman, determined and professional. You get the feeling that she knows what she’s talking about.”
The last word
We visited the Schwartz-Arad surgical centre in Ramat HaHayal, Tel Aviv in order to meet face to face with the person granting her patients such quality, professional treatment. At the entrance, the sound of water trickling in the decorative pool in the small slice of garden, along with the elegantly designed lobby, give the place an atmosphere that is far-removed from that of other medical centers.
The center is divided into two departments: the surgical department and the dental department. We wandered around between the treatment and surgery rooms and were impressed by the advanced technology, the precise planning, the cleanliness and the sterilization. “Technology is the last word here. Even the operating room lights were well planned,” we were told. “On the one hand they need to situate the lighting to aid the surgeon, and on the other hand, the way it’s built helps the air circulation system work well.”
Frosted glass doors separate the waiting room from the treatment departments. In order to maintain discretion, patients who so desire can use the elevator which descends directly from the treatment rooms to the underground parkade.
The Schwartz-Arad center also provides solutions for common dental procedures such as extracting wisdom teeth, impacted canine exposure, and all forms of implants. More complex surgical procedures, such as facial-asymmetry and even sex reassignment surgery are frequently carried out in the center, with a combination of surgeons and plastic surgeons forming the central approach of the Schwartz-Arad Facing Forward Center. In addition to aspiring to always be at the forefront of professional and technological advancement, the center’s staff strive to provide solutions through a range of professionals required for facial surgery.
Dr. Devorah Schwartz-Arad, the owner of the center and its head surgeon, illustrates: “The face doesn’t just lose its tautness over the years, there are also changes in the bones, and the plastic surgeon cannot fix that,” she says. “A plastic surgeon can’t constantly give injections. We integrate oral and maxillofacial surgeons along with plastic surgeons, so as to grant the full treatment, both for the jaw as well as the soft tissue. We are the only private place in Israel that integrates the various approaches.”
When meeting with Dr. Schwartz-Arad, it’s hard to miss the attention to the small details and the cleanliness, one of the features that she has passed along to her employees and visitors to the center. “I am very careful about cleanliness and sterilization in all the rooms here at the center,” she says.
Love of surgery and research
Schwartz-Arad is a graduate of the Faculty of Dentistry at Hebrew University, where she completed a specialization program in oral and maxillofacial surgery. In 1991, she received her Ph.D in cancer, anatomy and embryology research at the Hadassah Ein Karem dental school.
She is among the pioneers of the use of blood products to speed and improve healing, through use of platelet rich plasma (PRP). Schwartz-Arad also builds bone using cells that she extracts from the pelvic region and separates them as master cells. “They’re like the cells of the placenta,” she explains. “These are the most elementary cells there are. Cells that are relatively young and can differentiate into other cells in the body can be separated from the pelvis. We can use them to build bone.”
She does all of these treatments here, in Israel, at the surgical center that she owns. The connection with the plastic surgeons is a vision that has been with her for many years. “At first, no one wanted to hear it,” she says of the labor pains. Along with her partner, Udi, an engineer by profession, she established the centre and realized her vision.
Besides her great love of surgery, Dr. Schwartz-Arad is also fascinated by research. To date, she has written two books and published about 80 academic articles. In addition, the surgical center maintains a broad, anonymous, database for scientific analysis.
The center operates a continuing education program for physicians, and includes courses and personal training on a variety of topics. Furthermore, Dr. Schwartz-Arad established a conflict and dialogue study club which, per its name, frequently hosts meetings and dialogues. “A consensus kills all thinking ability. This is the place to introduce ideas and find solutions,” says Dr. Schwartz-Arad.
Schwartz-Arad Surgical Center
Transleted by Joe Jordan