What is the sign of good cosmetic work? No sign at all, say the top doctors and dentists in New York City.
Dr. Kenneth Mark, a dermatologist who specializes in cosmetic treatments, said people never ask his patients, “Who did your Botox?” or wonder about “why that person looks so swollen.”
“My patients are the ones that people think just got back from vacation or changed their hair,” he said. “We make each person look like his or her best self, not necessarily look different.”
According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, there were nearly 12.8M cosmetic procedures done in the United States in 2015 alone. The mid-Atlantic region saw the highest percentage of those procedures, beating the West Coast by a slim margin.
So obviously, people in New York are getting work done — even if they aren’t necessarily talking about it. Many doctors say their patients frequently deny they got treatments, preferring to let their friends drool with envy — and wonder — over their perfectly taut and ageless skin.
But this tendency toward absolute discretion can make it difficult for those looking for cosmetic intervention to find a quality doctor. After all, if the work being done is so subtle and the people getting it are so loath to discuss it, then how are you supposed to know whom to go to?
“We’re not rocket scientists, we’re artists.”
—Dr. Stafford Broumand
That’s where we come in. With a bit of pressure on our more (ahem) enhanced friends and helpful advice from Denise Thomas, a top plastic and cosmetic surgery concierge in New York City, we pulled together a list of some of the city’s best plastic surgeons, dermatologists and cosmetic dentists. They kindly shared with us trends they are seeing in the industry (patients electing to receive injectables like Botox or Voluma to delay getting facelifts, for instance), steps they take to protect their higher-profile patients from prying eyes and also their personal philosophies as aesthetic doctors.
While all of them count socialites and celebrities as clients, their real credentials come from their ability to provide patients with discreet, thorough service and an honest, direct opinion about what treatments need to be done.
Go to them to fix your nose, lift your breasts, tighten your neck or even correct some sagginess down there. You’ll look and feel better, and, best of all, no one will ever know why.
Dr. Shawn Sadri
116 Central Park South
Dr. Sadri will do anything for his higher-profile patients (of which he has quite a few), including allowing them to make a phone call during a cleaning and waiting hours for them to show up when they’re late. “When you’re a big celebrity, I can’t say no,” he explained.
In addition to his New York practice, Dr. Sadri has a practice in L.A., where he goes every two weeks for three days at a time. He is the official dentist of TMG Entertainment and Films, which sends him actors and actresses from their films and pays him to fix their teeth.
Lately, he’s noticed that his New York patients are looking for the same blinding Hollywood smile as his L.A. patients. “Before it was really natural, now everyone wants just big white teeth; they don’t care.”
Dr. Michael Krochak, NYC Smile Spa
30 East 60th Street
Not sure where to start with cosmetic treatments? Dr. Krochak highly recommends doing cosmetic dental work first because having straight teeth can improve the structure of your entire face.
For those who have crooked teeth or an extreme overbite, “you can get Botox and do a facelift, but if you still haven’t treated the underlying cause, then you’re not going to get as long-lasting a result” (an opinion that’s shared by several of the dermatologists and plastic surgeons interviewed). Also, he emphasized the real health benefits to straightening teeth because it can prevent them from chipping or breaking.
While he sees his fair share of celebrities and high-profile patients, Dr. Krochak said he gets the most enjoyment out of fixing the smiles of regular people. “There’s nothing I like better, honestly, than a non-high-profile patient, an ordinary, working person who deserves to look his or her best.”
Dr. Lowenberg’s very first patients were the Rolling Stones in the 1970s, and ever since then, the cream of the crop continue to seek him out for his top-notch cosmetic dental work.
Today, about 25 percent of his patients are from Europe, particularly Russia, and he said the biggest trend he’s noticed in the past few years is that his patients have become remarkably more educated about their teeth and what they want for their smile.
“I have a patient from Russia that actually came in with drawings that she had done of the shape of the teeth that she wanted.”
The one kind of smile you may not want to ask him for? A fake-looking one; Dr. Lowenberg prides himself on the natural look of his veneers.
“If somebody comes to me and says they want white Chiclets, I do tell them they should go somewhere else because we pride ourselves on doing natural-looking smiles. It goes against my belief system to give someone Chiclets.”
Dr. Ellen Gendler
1035 Fifth Avenue
Although injectables like Botox may help slow down the aging process a little bit, Dr. Gendler emphasizes the need for maintaining and prioritizing skin care over the course of a lifetime so that the need for surgery or injections is reduced. She recommends using Retin A and bleaching creams every day for maintenance.
While injectables have become much more sophisticated over the past 20 years, she noted that her job is “not just about putting a needle into a line and filling it. It’s really about crafting a whole facial shape and having a plan for how to age in a way that makes you look as lovely as you possibly can look without going overboard.”
Still, she is skeptical about the ability of injectables to tighten the skin, and warns her patients, “The results are very underwhelming.”
Dr. Gendler loves that she can help all generations of people in her office (and often has). “I can see the mother, and I can see the daughter, and I can even see the grandmother. What better gift is there than that?”
It’s hard to track down Dr. Mark, who splits his time between New York, his two Hamptons locations and his office in Aspen. But you can be sure when you need him, he’ll be there.
Because Botox can wear out after three months in some patients, Dr. Mark makes sure he always visits each office at least once every three months so he can redo the treatment.
Many of his patients are jet-setting types, like him, and he said “there’s a decent number of patients who have seen me in every office.”
Dr. Mark’s favorite treatments include Voluma, Volbella and Ulthera. But be warned he doesn’t believe in overdoing fillers, nor does he think it’s the cure to all wrinkling: “The biggest thing that is being done wrong is that there are people out there who are doing poor placement of filler or doing too much filler. And I personally hate that chipmunk look.”
Dr. Neal Schultz
1130 Park Avenue
Discretion is the name of the game at Dr. Schultz’s office, where high-profile patients can rest assured that every possible measure is taken to ensure no one knows they are there, including being taken directly to a treatment room to avoid peeping eyes in the waiting room. The office will even anticipate the awkwardness of treating two patients who may know each other, booking their appointments at different times.
Once you’re in the treatment room, plastic surgery concierge Thomas said Dr. Schultz is “incredibly direct and honest” about what services you do (and do not) need. “I turn people away all the time,” he said. “People who imagine that they need filler and I can’t find a line.”
He also offers his own skin care line, BeautyRx Skincare, which he claims performs better than some of the priciest products on the market. Considering the high expectations of his wealthy clientele, he noted that it has to; they know “exactly how they want it, when they want it, if they want it.”
Dr. Stafford Broumand and Dr. Daniel Maman
740 Park Avenue
It may be hard to find the entrance to 740 Park Plastic Surgery, (it’s off Park Avenue on 71st Street), but that only makes you feel more like an insider when you finally do. For the practice’s more high-profile clients, there’s even a secret door.
But not all patients themselves are so discreet; supermodel and television star Chrissy Teigen actually went so far as to thank Dr. Broumand (left photo) in her 2014 acceptance speech for Spike TV’s Guys’ Choice Awards.
Though Dr. Broumand and his partner, Dr. Daniel Maman, offer a range of services for their patients — from the Brazilian Butt lift to a facelift for an 84-year-old woman — Dr. Broumand insisted that the complexity of their work comes not from the actual tasks that they do but from developing their aesthetic sense. “We’re not rocket scientists, we’re artists.”
Dr. Broumand prides himself on his commitment to perfectionism in his work, and noted that if “I didn’t have that, I wouldn’t be here at 740 Park Avenue.”
According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, 90 percent of patients who get cosmetic work are women, and yet most of the board-certified plastic surgeons are men. As Dr. Devgan pointed out, this creates a “very strange dichotomy where all of these women are seeking approval and treatments from men who are telling them how to be.”
And so she suspects that many of her female patients seek her out because they feel more comfortable with her.
She also asks people to be more forgiving of those who decide to get plastic surgery. “You have to be born blessed — having hit the genetic lottery with a cute upturned nose and a taut abdomen and full, pouty lips or else you’re a superficial plastic surgery junkie,” she said. “There’s a whole middle ground in there.”
Dr. Charles Thorne
812 Park Avenue
Denise Thomas called Dr. Thorne “king of kings,” and it’s no wonder given his impressive credentials; he is the chairman of the department of plastic surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital, an associate professor of plastic surgery at the NYU School of Medicine and the former chair of the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
Dr. Thorne is still careful to give his patients reasonable expectations. For instance, though you may want a particular type of nose, it may not be physically possible. Another precaution he takes is making sure his aesthetic matches his patients’; some patients, he said, may want procedures that he feels are wildly off base for them or perhaps unnecessary. “If my perception of attractive is very different from the patient’s perception, then we don’t do it.”
The maxim he swears by? “You make your money by those you
operate on, but you make your reputation by those you refuse to operate on.”