Thomas Nakatsui, MD FRCPC FAAD, is the medical director of the Groot DermaSurgery Centre, which was founded by Dr. Don Groot to provide Edmonton and surrounding areas with state-of-the-art medical dermatology, laser, surgical skin care, and hair transplant surgery.
The Groot DermaSurgery Centre was first launched out of the LeMarchand Mansion, a one-of-a-kind professional building in Edmonton’s community of Oliver, where beautiful architecture and spectacular views were part of what the Centre’s clients enjoyed. New lasers and technology, along with a growing list of patients, meant a move in 2000 to the upscale and elegant Crestwood Centre.
It was also in 2000 that Dr. Nakatsui was asked by Dr. Groot to join the practice. The team worked together until Dr. Groot’s retirement in 2015, at which time Dr. Nakatsui became the sole owner.
“Dr. Groot was a pioneer in laser surgery and pushed the envelope in terms of new technologies,” Dr. Nakatsui confirms. “I have continued the drive for finding the best available technologies and keeping up with the most recent advances and techniques.”
The Groot DermaSurgery Centre is very pleased to be one of the clinics in Edmonton offering a safe non-invasive alternative to fat reduction surgery. “CoolSculpting,” Dr. Nakatsui explains, “is the most common nonsurgical technique for freezing away fat cells. Our Centre was one of the first in Alberta to use the new second-generation CoolAdvantage applicators, and it was one of the first to use the CoolMini and CoolPetite applicators for smaller areas of fat.”
“Another big change,” he adds, “was the addition of HydraFacial for revitalizing the skin, which is one of the most popular procedures we currently offer. Other new technologies include ThermiTight®, which is a radiofrequency treatment to tighten skin and tissue. Our most recent acquisition is the Cutera® excel HR laser for hair removal, which offers faster, less painful hair removal treatments. Other new products include longer-lasting fillers for facial rejuvenation and a new injectable medication called BELKYRA® that destroys fat cells, particularly for the double chin.”
In addition to the new treatments that are offered, Dr. Nakatsui continues to be one of the busiest to perform rejuvenation treatments such as BOTOX® and Juvederm® (fillers). These treatments are quick and effective ways to rejuvenate the face, with little to no downtime. “Patients often tell us that their friends and relatives say they look refreshed, but can’t pinpoint what has changed. This is what we like to hear,” smiles Dr. Nakatsui.
The Centre is also fortunate to have a contract with Alberta Health Services to provide laser treatments for vascular birthmarks. This contract is important as it allows Dr. Nakatsui to treat patients born with vascular birthmarks such as port-wine stains and hemangiomas at no cost to the patient. This is the only centre in Edmonton to have such a contract.
The Centre utilizes highly trained nurses, and most have certification in advanced cardiac life support; some have been with the Centre for over 15 years.
“Our very experienced staff take continuous training and always put the patients’ needs first,” the doctor confirms.
With such a focus on quality, and on remaining at the forefront of derma-technology, it’s easy to see why the Centre’s independent Google reviews are so high – which, incidentally, leads to an interesting challenge.
“Our greatest challenge continues to be finding a way to see all the patients that request assessment and treatment at the Centre,” informs Dr. Nakatsui. “We continue to look for another dermatologist to join us, and we are fortunate to have as part of our team, Dr. Linda Smith, who focuses her practice here on acne, rosacea, and warts; and Dr. Bruce Ramsey, our anesthesiologist.
“The most rewarding thing we do is making patients happy about themselves. It is extremely gratifying to see patients empowered by improvements in their skin. Although the skin doesn’t necessarily reflect the type of person we are inside, the skin is one of the first things someone else sees. Improving someone’s skin, whether that be treating acne, rosacea, eczema, moles, scarring, or wrinkles, is so empowering for the individual. We simply cannot underestimate the profound effect this has on a person’s life.”
Dr. Nakatsui has some great advice when it comes to self-care and preventative measures for your skin.
“The most common thing that people overlook when caring for their skin is the damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation (UV) over the long-term. Concern about excessive UV radiation and sunburn is, thankfully, becoming more common, but it is still one of the most overlooked skin issues. There are still many people who allow themselves to become sunburned, and many people who still use tanning beds.
Be nice to your skin! It’s going to be with you for a very long time.”
The doctor is pleased to work alongside his wife, Melanie, who oversees how the entire clinic is run. She ensures that the clinic is well maintained, ensures that the staff are doing a great job, and determines whether there is a need for new equipment or upgrades to the facility. Many varied components fall within her sphere, but one of the most important is staff management. Teamwork is valued throughout, as each member, in their role, is extremely valuable to the team.
Dr. and Mrs. Nakatsui proudly support many charitable organizations, including: the Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation, the Edmonton Opera, The Works International Visual Arts Society, the Singing Christmas Tree, Fashion with Compassion, McDougall House, Crescendo, Free2BeMe, and other local organizations. They were honoured to be nominated by the Royal Alexandra Hospital Foundation and receive an award for philanthropy in 2014 as part of AFP’s National Philanthropy Day.
The couple is happily raising a very athletic daughter, who entering junior high in the coming year.
“She is an avid badminton player and loves golf,” smiles the doctor. “She recently went to the Junior Pan American games and won a bronze medal in mixed doubles with her partner. She also plays the piano and enjoys swimming, and skiing. She loves horses and dogs, and would love to have one of each.”
The Groot DermaSurgery Centre is the proud recipient of numerous awards and recognitions, including eight Consumer Choice Awards, Top Choice Awards, and Metro Community Choice Awards, among others awards for hair transplant surgery.
“My time at the Centre has taught me that there is a lot more required to running a clinic than just seeing patients,” Dr. Nakatsui admits. “Decisions need to be made on a daily basis, ranging from new equipment to repairs to renovation to staffing. I also learned that leading a wonderful team like we have requires me to be inspirational and focussed, but also mindful of the needs of the staff, and that sometimes means I need to stand up for and protect the staff when needed.” Ensuring patient care on all levels remains at the forefront of everything they do.
Dr. Nakatsui, Melanie, and the entire team at the Centre couldn’t be happier to continue Dr. Groot’s legacy while carving their own path into the future of all skin care needs.
“We want to continue to serve patients and be on the cusp of modern technologies in dermatology and all skin care needs,” concludes Dr. Nakatsui. “We also want to focus on inner and outer health as we strive for prevention rather than intervention. If intervention is needed, then we want to have all the current tools and knowledge on how to treat our patients, medically or cosmetically.”A