Photo by John Rizzo
Do you think our society places too much emphasis on appearances?
I think there’s a process of natural selection that favors looking your best when it comes to finding a mate, a job, or being successful—it’s in our genes to be that way. I don’t think it’s a bad thing. Of course, there are people who take it too far, but most people use plastic surgery appropriately.
What are some common reasons people give for having plastic surgery?
Some people want to compete better in the workplace, and many say that their appearance doesn’t correspond with how they feel inside. Women often say that when they look in the mirror, their mother is looking back at them.
Do people come in asking for a nose like that of a particular celebrity? If so, whose?
Many women ask for a nose like Megan Fox. It’s just a nice, pretty nose, and not overly angular. And men like Brad Pitt’s nose.
Which male celebrity do you think has the best-looking nose?
I’d say Brad Pitt. It’s a strong nose, straight, good angles and it’s not overpowering.
And which female celebrity?
Scarlett Johansson, although I think it’s been refined a bit. But it suits her face, is streamlined, has a straight profile, and the tip is not too angular.
What’s your professional opinion of Joan Rivers?
She’s done too much. A lot of the work done early on was good, but I think that there is a time to say enough is enough.
How do you feel about so-called ‘pillow lips?’
Lips are way overdone now in our society, and some people try to make them larger than what is physiologically normal. There’s an analogy there with breast augmentation—some women want to have really large breasts, whether they look normal or not.
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Is it really possible to give someone a completely different face and identity, like you see in the movies and on TV?
Yes it is, and there have been some notorious cases in plastic surgery journals about people who have altered their appearance to escape the law.
Have you ever turned down someone’s request for a procedure and, if so, why?
I’ve tuned down many people for surgery—some people have unrealistic expectations, some are not good medical candidates for surgery, and some are not emotionally ready for a change. But it’s only about two or three percent of all those I see.
Is there such a thing as plastic surgery addiction?
One of the most difficult things is telling someone they’ve already done enough. I have a problem with a person who has a perfectly beautiful appearance and wants to do more. That gets into the question of too high expectations or body dysmorphic syndrome, where people have the impression that they have an abnormal appearance in some way.
Are there any procedures you’d recommend for getting rid of crepe-y skin?
Fractionate laser procedures are your best bet, plus chemical peels.
What do you think of the TV show Nip/Tuck?
I want to be Christian—I’m just kidding. Most plastic surgeons are well balanced and thoughtful and compassionate people, and that’s quite the opposite of what I’ve seen on that show.
What’s the age of the oldest patient on whom you’d perform a cosmetic procedure?
About eighty, for a facelift.
Have you ever had any plastic surgery yourself?
Just some Botox.
Would you in the future?
Yes, definitely. At some point, I’ll probably have one of my partners do my lower eyelids.