Halloween is about dressing up and pretending to be someone or something other than yourself. Our fantasies can run be somewhat lived out, and the acceptability of masks allows a level of anonymity. This makes for an escape from reality.
As a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, people often come in to have their fantasies realized, but on a more permanent basis. Reshaping the face, nose, breasts, bodies, and buttocks allows for tremendous physical transformations. These physical changes can lead to a change in confidence level and in attitude and personality.
The danger is when people feel that they can fix life’s problems by simply changing physical appearance. This is very rarely the case. You are still you, only better looking.
The best candidates for cosmetic plastic surgery are those who are happy and confident to start with. The physical upgrades are just the icing on the cake.
The ASPS has a code of ethics which prohibits its members from claiming to be the best at anything. We try not to entice patients with false claims, and it would be a very difficult statement to prove. We see “Best Plastic Surgeon” lists in airplane magazines, New York magazine, and even in doctors’ offices mounted on wall plaques. So how do we know who the best is?
In order to become a Board Certified Plastic Surgeon from the American Board of Plastic Surgery, you undergo a rigorous training program followed by a series of comprehensive exams. If you look for the ABPS certificate, you are at least assured of some level of quality. However, I know some genius reconstructive surgeons who can’t do even the simplest of liposuctions.
I have been approached about the list you see in magazines, and am sad to report that they can be bought. Knowing the right PR person or editor can be the key to inclusion as well. I would not want to be a part of that type of list, and if you see my name there do not believe it.
I know many extremely gifted technical surgeons who have no interpersonal skills. Others are poor communicators. Some cannot accept criticism, and yell at and blame their patients for suboptimal results. I know bad surgeons who are geniuses at selling themselves, and even though the results are not perfect, their patients love them.
To me, the best plastic surgeon is the one who makes you feel confident, delivers what he promises, and admits when things are not perfect and stands behind his work. I try to always be the best me I can be, and the best plastic surgeon for my patients.
The practice of “lipodissolve”, utilizing a mixture of fat melting chemicals injected into the area of interest, has long been controversial. The lack of regulation and standards of exact mixtures and techniques lead the ASPS to tell its members the practice was not safe. Some surgeons and even lay practitioners in spas swore by it, and Allergan launched the first FDA approved product, Kybella, for the use in the double chin area.
I underwent a training in Kybella, including an online certification as well as a hands-on observed injector training. Some of the photos are impressive, but is this product the end of submental liposuction? Let us compare.
Kybella is a nonsurgical treatment, so there are no stitches or anesthesia risks involved. You are awake and can walk out on your own after a brief observation period. No blood tests or doctor’s visits are needed before. The treatment is about 30 minutes, and consists of multiple tiny injections into the fat cells. You will experience significant swelling, especially over the first week, and can have a burning sensation. The average patient in the studies conducted received a little more than 4 treatments to achieve the results. The average cost of each treatment is currently $2500 in NYC. Therefore, for Kybella, it is a total of about 2 hours-2.5 hours of treatment time over 4-6 months to get the result at an average cost of around $10,000. There is no surgery, and less healthy patients can undergo the procedure.
Liposuction of the double chin is a surgery. I use 3 tiny incisions requiring a single stitch each (behind each earlobe and one under the chin), and testing is required beforehand. You will receive twilight anesthesia, and someone has to take you home. You will get swelling and potentially some more bruising, and we recommend some massage after to help the swelling fade faster. It is a single 30 minute procedure, though you will be in the office a little over an hour. Results can be seen in as little as 2 weeks, though small areas of swelling may persist for a few months. Average cost in NYC is $3500-$4500.
I offer both, and the choice is yours.
Every October I spend at least one blog talking about my passion for music, especially rock music. I find listening to music is inspiring while I perform cosmetic plastic surgery and have finally yielded to music server technology as opposed to individual cd’s in the operating room. Less space, but I do miss the few discs that are not easily found on the servers.
When I perform and write music, I feel invincible, as I am actually adding to the art and beauty in the world, much the same as I feel when I perform surgery. Some people are caffeine addicts, others adrenaline junkies. I am an artist in my soul, and plastic surgery allows me to express that in my area of interest, medicine and science.
I am going to multiple live concerts this month to celebrate. I like venues where you can stand up close to the stage and actually watch the individual artists work. Listening I can do in my car or home. Seeing the sweat, facial expressions, and identifying the special spontaneous moments of creative genius is what the shows are about.
I implore you to see live music at least once this month but not so you can record it and share it on social media. Leave your phone in your pocket and be in the moment, let it soak into your soul. It will change your life.