Approachable and amiable, Dr Katarzyna Mackenzie MD, PhD, FRACS (Plast) is an expert in the fields of skin cancer, and hand, breast and facial surgery.
Why you should call
When we need specialist help with serious issues such as skin cancer or surgery, choosing who to contact can present a stumbling block. It can be a time when we feel vulnerable, and entrusting ourselves to go ‘under the knife’ with someone is a somewhat different from choosing a beauty therapist, gym instructor or GP.
“You need a doctor who’s eminently qualified as well as someone you can feel comfortable with; someone who will work with you as part of ‘Team You’ and be there for you on the other side.”
Information is power
This is the advice of Dr Mackenzie who has trained and operated alongside world leaders in both plastic and hand surgery. One of the few female plastic surgeons in New Zealand, Dr McKenzie has just returned after honing her skills in London. Her superb credentials marry seamlessly with an innate ability to put one at ease. It’s not difficult to sense that she genuinely cares about the wellbeing of her patients. “It’s my mission to inform and empower people to make the right decisions,” she says.
A wife, a mother, a doctor
Known to most people as Kasia, Dr Mackenzie is wife to Tom, and mother to Emilia, 15 and Antoni, 11. A passionate art collector and sometime oil painter, her artistic eye plays itself out both at home and work. “I like beautiful things, things with soul,” she says. “I enjoy plastic surgery because it’s creative and requires a deep understanding of tissue biology, meticulous attention to detail and an artistic touch.”
A quest for knowledge
Born in Poland, Kasia met her Kiwi husband, Tom, in Dublin when she was a medical student. She gained her medical doctor degree (MD) from the Medical University of Warsaw, then moved to New Zealand with Tom and trained in plastic surgery in Christchurch and Auckland.
PhD in skin cancer
Kasia has a strong belief that being at the forefront of research and medical technology helps her provide the best care. Using this as her guiding light, she completed a PhD in skin cancer at the University of Otago, making her one of only four plastic surgeons ever to be awarded such a PhD in this country. It also qualified her as an expert in the diagnosis, non-surgical and surgical treatment of skin cancer, aesthetic reconstruction, and scar optimisation.
International fellowship in Canada
This inherent principle also led Kasia to Canada where she completed an aesthetic breast surgery stint with one of the most influential plastic surgeons in the world, Dr Elizabeth Hall-Findley.
“The idea is not to have surgery, but to have the right surgery with the right surgeon” Dr Katarzyna Mackenzie
Prestigious fellowships in London
The last three years have been spent in London, working with the best in the business.
During this time, Kasia was the microsurgery and breast reconstruction fellow, and then hand surgery BSSH fellow (British Society for the Surgery of Hand) at St Andrew’s Centre, Chelmsford, which is internationally-recognised as one of the leading centres for microsurgical breast reconstruction and hand surgery.
She then won the prestigious microsurgery and breast reconstruction fellowship at The Royal Marsden Hospital in London, which is Europe’s largest and most comprehensive cancer centre.
An aesthetic surgery fellowship at London’s top private hospitals with many of the pioneering minds in aesthetic surgery including Niall Kirkpatrick, Patrick Mallucci, Norman Waterhouse and David Floyd followed, before the family returned to New Zealand last month.
A strong support system
“I would never have been able to do this without the support of Tom,” says Kasia who also credits her children for their resilience. Tom is an inventor (and – just quietly – his forefather was Sir Thomas Mackenzie, our eighteenth prime minister). He points out that Kasia’s made sacrifices. “She’s been training for 18 years and a lot of these prestigious fellowships don’t pay a lot of money,” he says.
The doctor is in
Those years have, however, shaped a polished and extraordinarily skilled surgeon who’s incredibly relatable. With rooms in both Epsom’s and Remuera’s Clinic 42, Dr Mackenzie is on hand to help those affected by disease, deformity, and trauma, or who wish to improve and enhance their aesthetic appearance. She also offers non-invasive injectables and an exclusive, high-performance range of skincare—ZO Skin Health by world-renowned Beverly Hills dermatologist, Dr Zein Obagi.
“I appreciate the pressures of the 21st century when it comes to how we look,” says Kasia. “That said, I’m not only about aesthetics. It’s important to me to help people who are experiencing trauma, skin cancer, breast cancer or debilitating hand conditions. I understand what it’s like to want to find someone you can trust to work with you. I don’t offer false promises, but I will be able to give you a realistic idea of what’s possible.”