Patrick Tonnard


Patrick Tonnard earns his degree as a medical doctor with the highest distinction at Ghent University. He then continues his training and education in the field of plastic surgery under the wings of the highly respected professor Guido Matton.

After completing his education in Belgium, he specialised in facial surgery with the world-renowned professor Fernando Ortiz Monasterio in Mexico City, in breast surgery with Dr Pat Maxwell in Nashville and in nasal surgery with Dr Gary Burget in Chicago.

In 1997, he founded the Coupure Centre for Plastic Surgery in Ghent, where he has been running the practice for aesthetic and plastic surgery since 1999, together with his partner Dr Alexis Verpaele.

In 2008, he founded the Aesthetic Medical Centre 2 in St-Martens-Latem, once again together with Dr Verpaele. This is a fully equipped private clinic with state-of-the-art operating theatres and accommodations for patients staying overnight.

In addition to his busy practice, which is visited by national and international patients, Dr Tonnard continues to be scientifically active in the world of plastic surgery.

He remains exceptionally creative in the field of surgical facial rejuvenation and, together with his partner Dr Verpaele, regularly develops ground-breaking and innovative techniques.

He published important texts and circa forty scientific articles in international medical journals. He is also a highly sought-after speaker at scientific conventions and courses all over the world.

Over the course of his career, he has given more than two hundred presentations and he is invited several times per year to lecture about and demonstrate his innovative techniques in the field of live surgery and aesthetic procedures at prestigious international centres all over the world.

Dr Tonnard is a member of various national and international scientific societies, including the prestigious International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS) and the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS). In 2015, he earned a doctoral degree (PhD) from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel’s Faculty of Medicine with his research entitled “The Role of Fat Grafting in Facial Rejuvenation: a New Paradigm in the Reconstruction of Youth.” Recently, his primary focus has been

on research into the regenerative properties of stem cells in the transplantation of fat tissue (Nanofat). Social engagement is a major cornerstone of Dr Tonnard’s surgical activities: he is an active supporter of several charity projects and the co-founder of the Flemish VZW See & Smile. Since 2000, he has supervised more than twenty surgical missions to Myanmar, where children and adults with cleft lips and palates are treated. This has resulted in more than 2,000 patients being cured of this congenital facial deformity.

In his private life, Dr Tonnard’s main interests are yoga and meditation, which give him the inspiration he needs to perfect his surgical activities.

Alexis Verpaele


Alexis Verpaele has been a plastic surgeon since 1997. He is a graduate of the Sint Barbara College in Ghent and earned his medical degree from Ghent University in 1988. Next, he studied to become a general surgeon at Ghent University and did internships in the fields of vascular surgery, intestinal surgery and heart surgery. After acquiring the General Surgeon degree, Verpaele moved on to the plastic surgery programme, which first took him to Norwich (United Kingdom) for a year and then concluded with another two years at Ghent University under the wings of professor Stan Monstrey. He earned his degree as a specialist in plastic, reconstructive and aesthetic surgery in 1997.

Dr Verpaele was a staff member of Ghent University’s Plastic Surgery department for two years, where he focused on microsurgical reconstructions, among other things. During this time, he also studied ear reconstruction under Dr Françoise Firmin in Paris. To this day, he remains particularly interested in the reconstruction of normal-looking ears.

In 1999, Alexis Verpaele partnered with Patrick Tonnard and was instrumental in the foundation of the Coupure Centre for Plastic Surgery in Ghent. He was a co-founder of the VZW See & Smile, for which his associate Dr Tonnard and he have been traveling to South-East Asia every year since 2002 to treat the cleft lips of more than 2,000 children and adults. Eye physicians are also part of the See & Smile initiative. Their main focus is on treating blindness caused by cataracts.

Since 2008, Alexis Verpaele has been a board member of the Royal Belgian Society for Plastic Surgery. He was also actively involved in the realisation of the new law that regulates the qualifications required to perform aesthetic surgery, which entered into force on 23 May 2013. Verpaele is an active member of the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS) and the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS).

In 2015, he earned a doctoral degree (PhD) from the Faculty of Medicine of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel with research into “Minimizing Face-Lift Stigmata and Complications with the MACS-lift”. Together with his associate Patrick Tonnard, he has published dozens of articles in prominent international scientific journals and he has given hundreds of international lectures on aesthetic surgery of the face, eyelids and breasts. Recently, he has mainly been involved in research into the regenerative properties of fat transplants (“nanofat”).

Alexis Verpaele is a passionate man who loves plastic surgery as much as he loves people, music and sailing. He goes to extremes in everything he does in order to achieve optimal results.


Dr Ilse Van Renterghem earned her degree as a Doctor of Medicine, Surgery and Obstetrics from Ghent University in 1994. After that, she spent four years as an assistant in the fields of general and plastic surgery, while also completing an aesthetic surgery study programme.

Since 1999, Dr Van Renterghem has been dedicated to the development of a top-of-the-line laser treatment centre at the Coupure Centre for Plastic Surgery. Even at the time of the centre’s foundation, the importance of laser treatments to the field of aesthetic surgery was clear – and it remains so to this day.

By attending many international conventions, Dr Van Renterghem, Dr Tonnard and Dr Verpaele keep their knowledge of the latest techniques and laser treatments up to date.

She uses state-of-the-art lasers and the latest techniques in the fields of skin rejuvenation, rosacea or other vascular conditions, photo rejuvenation and permanent hair removal.

Furthermore, Dr Van Renterghem acquired a special competency in the field of treatments with Botox injections and fillers in 2005. At the Coupure Centre for Plastic Surgery, she is also responsible for all small dermatological surgical procedures that are performed under local anaesthesia.

Dr Florence Desmidt is from Lierde, East Flanders. In 2016, she graduated with honours as an elementary doctor from the University of Ghent. She then did her 2.5 years of experience in urology, a surgical discipline. In 2022, she graduated as a general practitioner, which she still practices part-time today.

Moreover, she also gained knowledge about dermatological disorders and their specific approach. Since 2020, she has participated in several workshops, (inter)national conferences and refresher courses to stay maximally informed about all possible techniques and (innovative) products within aesthetic non-surgical medicine. She also focuses on laser treatments.

Over the course of their twenty-year-partnership and after treating more than 20,000 patients, Tonnard and Verpaele have earned national and international renown as world-class specialists in the field of plastic and aesthetic surgery.

The Coupure Centre for Plastic Surgery in Ghent, which the two have managed together since 1997 with the help of a team of secretaries, nurses and international fellows, is known for the exceptionally high standard of quality in these fields.

The unique concept that Tonnard and Verpaele have developed, which revolves around constant collaboration, conference and innovation, results in an atmosphere in which every single patient receives the care they need to achieve optimal results – at every stage of their treatment. This standard of quality is unattainable for a solo practice. Together, the two experts are more than the sum of their parts…

In 2007, Tonnard and Verpaele founded this independent surgical centre, driven by an urge to provide “four-star service” without compromising the safety or quality of the procedures performed there. A decade later, the centre’s former patients are its best ambassadors: thank-you notes and congratulations for the kindness of the staff, the professional care and the quality of service are a weekly occurrence.

The centre features two state-of-the-art operating theatres and four residential suits. It is fully tailored to receiving and caring for patients in a warm, personal and strictly private atmosphere. The quality of the centre is assessed every year by KIWA (for Flanders) and the AAAASF (*) for international standards.

E=MC² is the mathematical formula of Albert Einstein’s famous theory of relativity, which describes the correlation between mass and energy. By analogy, E:MC² refers to the unity between body and mind. It also contains a nod to the relative nature of physical beauty.

(*) American Association for Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgery Facilities

Tonnard and Verpaele both care deeply about education. The first courses about their latest facial surgery techniques date back to 1999 and were intended for regional and national colleagues. The publication of their first book, The MACS-lift Short Scar Rhytidectomy, in 2004 marked the beginning of their international breakthrough and the inception of the Coupure Seminars.

The duo hosted a number of international conventions in Ghent that were seen as a sort of thinktank in the field of plastic surgery. Twice a year, they also hosted intensive two-day master courses with live surgical demonstrations, covering the latest techniques such as MACS-lifting, fat transplants and “nanofat.” These conventions and courses are consistently appreciated greatly by the international plastic surgery community.

Because we understand and accept our social responsibilities, we devote part of our time and income to the organisation of surgical missions to developing countries via VZW See & Smile.