*Disclaimer – There is no guarantee of specific results and results can vary from patient to patient. Our team of consultant plastic surgeons will ensure you are in safe hands and discuss your results at your consultation.
Niamh Murdock, co-founder and company director with Avoca Clinic, has had a diverse, fascinating career. Prior to leading Ireland’s premier cosmetic surgery, she worked in finance, both in Ireland and abroad.
A cosmetic surgery clinic is, of course, a far cry from the offices and trading floors of Dublin and Australia. But for Niamh, this new life was the chance to change lives for the better, to connect with people and even to make some lifelong friends.
Here, she talks about choice, pursuing happiness and the transformative nature of cosmetic surgery.
Life Before Avoca
Like many Irish people, Niamh pivoted careers following the international financial crash.
“I earned a master’s degree in international business and then I worked in finance in Dublin and, later, Australia,” she says. “I worked there for three years in finance and came back here for my now-husband. This was after the crash, so I couldn’t find a job in finance.”
However, this turn of events brought new and surprising opportunities, not just for Niamh, but for Irish people who wanted something different from cosmetic surgery clinics. “I saw a gap in the market for a clinic run by women for women,” says Niamh, “and that’s what my mum [Ailish Kelly] and I are doing now.”
No Boards of Directors, Just Friendly Faces
The founding philosophy of Avoca was that it had to be accessible, friendly and warm. It’s an entirely independent business, not beholden to boards of directors or third level financiers. This gives Niamh and her team the freedom to run things their way: at their own pace with their own way of attending to patients, before, during and after surgery.
“I think a lot of plastic surgery clinics are run by boards and not necessarily for and by the women of Ireland,” says Niamh. “I think there’s a different pace [in Avoca]. We would never have a surgeon here that we weren’t confident working on us ourselves. We treat every patient like our mother, our sister, or our friend.”
No Two Days the Same
“My working day depends on the clinic I’m in,” she says, “usually starting after lots of coffee! And no two days look the same. We do consultations, reviews, operations, with different kinds of things underway and reaching completion. It’s a lovely, busy environment to work in.”
“But I can be anywhere really.”
Management is divided between Niamh and her mother, Ailish. “I would do most of the backend running of the business,” Niamh says, “whereas my mum would look after meeting patients and consultations. We have a fantastic team that we’re extremely proud of. They’re patient-facing. Consultations happen with surgeons and only surgeons. We’re very passionate about the level of people we work with.”
For Niamh and the team, it’s the patients that make the job what it is.
“The most gratifying thing is seeing the happy people,” says Niamh. “Jen’s journey is a good example. She had an abdominoplasty with us after losing 12 stone. It’s people like her that make it such a nice place to be. We meet lovely women and men all the time. It’s a happy environment. People are excited to come in here. It’s lovely.”
The Changing Face of Cosmetic Surgery
While the concept of beauty is timeless, demands and trends frequently change in cosmetic surgery, just like in every other industry. Now, customers are looking for more low-key procedures than before.
Niamh has noticed a shift in what customers regularly ask for. “I think trends have changed,” she agrees. “In 2012, people were in a very TOWIE [The Only Way is Essex] frame of mind. The aesthetic look was more obvious. Now it’s more subtle.”
“People don’t always want others to know they’ve had it done,” Niamh continues. “We’ve had a major increase in demand for breast reduction in recent years. Tickle liposuction is a real game changer now too. We’re also seeing the effects of the economy improving. People are spending more on the bigger more expensive surgeries such as breast reduction and abdominoplasty.”
Cosmetic Surgery, Society and Happiness
Cosmetic surgery has its critics, but for Niamh, it’s about the freedom to be what you want to be.
“I think it’s all about choice,” she says. “Everything we’re seeing in society is moving towards people getting more choice to be what they are and who they want to be. Everyone’s entitled to that. I think the most important thing that [cosmetic surgery] can give people is options.”
“We have customers who have had three or four children and they’re not happy with how they look. They miss how they used to feel. So much of what’s done now is reconstructive. It’s getting people back to the way they felt.”
See the Difference
Niamh and the team at Avoca Clinic have been changing lives for almost a decade. If there’s anything you’d like to know about how they can help you, get in touch. We’d love to talk to you.