Marta Walsh Interviews Plastic Surgeon Dr. Bienstock

I recently interviewed Plastic Surgeon Dr. Alan Bienstock for .

Here it is:

Marta Walsh: When did your fascination with plastic surgery begin?
Dr. Bienstock: When I was a teenager, I watched a television show about an army plastic surgeon (played by Armand Assante) who reconstructed the mauled face of a nurse over several years. I thought back then that this was my calling since it was an amalgamation of sculpting and science.

MW: Which procedures are you most known for?
DR. B: Fat grafting, body contouring for massive weight loss patients, and lip suspension.

MW: What non-surgical procedures do you also perform?
DR. B: Botox injections, Juvederm and restylane – soft tissue fillers

MW: What are some of the most popular plastic surgery procedures today among women?
DR. B: Women are frequently having botox and fillers done in terms of non invasive approaches. For invasive surgical procedures, they are getting liposuction and breast augmentation.

MW: What advice can you give to anyone who is considering plastic surgery for the first time?
DR. B: Patients and individuals should do their homework on the surgical procedure and the plastic surgeon. Patients should look up their physicians on line and peruse and analyze their credentials. They should not rush into anything and remember that surgery does have risks. Cosmetic surgery is purely elective and should be evaluated with patience, care, and research. Many plastic surgeons have their CV posted on their website. Patients should not be awestruck by overly slick and decadent websites, advertising and offices; these can often be masks and facades and are not a true testimony of the physician. The surgeon’s surgical skills, integrity, and personality are more important than the quality of leather in his waiting room. Individuals should focus on word of mouth from their friends and colleagues opinions in terms of the physician’s quality of work and bed side manner. Most importantly, the patient should form his/her own impression of the physician during the first consultation.

MW: Which tips can you give us for achieving natural looking breast augmentation?
DR. B: The key to achieving a good, natural appearing breast augmentation is for the patient and doctor to choose the appropriate implant in terms of size, width, and composition based on the individual’s body. Breast augmentation that involves too large of an implant or placed to centrally can give the image of unflattering or excessive cleavage that does not suit the woman.

MW: How do you help your breast augmentation clients in deciding which cup size to go for?
DR. B: The surgeon and the patient must decide together what the best size implant is for the patient based on her body’s proportions. The breast width and dimensions in conjunction with the overlying skin envelope help determine a range of suitable implants. In the office, I will also give the patient a range of sizers, both saline and silicone to place in their bra to get a feel for size they may desire.

MW: Is a breast size D or DD is achieved differently on different body type, say a petite woman vs. a taller wider woman?
DR. B: The same breast implant will have a different appearance on women of different build. Cup sizes are truly arbitrary since there is no true science behind it, meaning that one patient’s view of C-cup maybe another’s B-cup. Larger breasts and implants will be more congruous and harmonious with a taller and wider woman compared to a petite woman. Breast enhancement can look very artificial when the implants chosen are too large. When the implants are too large, the breast can look very unnatural with thinned out and attenuated skin, leading to stretch marks.

MW: What are some of the main differences between saline breast implants and silicone breast implants?
DR. B: Saline filled breast implants are composed of a silicone shell that is filled during breast augmentation after the implant is inserted into the breast pocket. Silicone gel implants also consist of a silicone outer shell, but they are also pre-filled with a silicone gel rather than saline. The silicone gel has a viscous and thick consistency which more closely approximates native breast tissue while the saline implant isn’t compressible and can have a firm impression. Silicone implants frequently feel and look more natural.
However, patients are still concerned about possible silicone rupture although the rupture rates and capsular contracture rates are similar for both subsets of implants. Based on current guidelines, patients who have silicone implants are also supposed to have interim MRIs to rule out implant rupture. Furthermore, silicone implants are more expensive than their saline counterparts.

Dr. Bienstock is shown here, with The Luxury Spot’s own Stephanie, at the September 5th NY Fashion Week Launch of Ottavia et Emma.

MW: How would you go about consulting a patient before a rhinoplasty, and is bringing sample celebrity photos of one’s desired nose helpful?
DR. B: During a consultation with a patient who is interested in rhinoplasty, I focus on the functional aspects as well as the form of the individual’s nose. There is the issue of the appearance of the nose with the overall harmony with the face. In certain scenarios, the patient is concerned about their large nose, but the real issue is their under projected chin. I will also identify if there are any breathing problems or nasal obstruction such as a deviated septum. I don’t think bringing celebrity photos is helpful and can actually be a problem during the consultation. The patient may have unreasonable expectations if they want or expect to have a celebrity nose. The nose is defined by so many variables such as skin thickness, bone structure and cartilage support that no two noses are the same.

MW: What have been the key innovations in plastic surgery over the past few years?
DR. B: Some of the key inventions or novelties in cosmetic surgery are the short scar face lift, soft tissue fillers such as juvederm and restylane, and the total body lift for gastric bypass patients.

MW: Truth or Myth: Best plastic surgeons are in New York City or Beverly Hills?
DR. B: It is pure myth that the best surgeons are in NYC or Beverly Hills. There are very talented and bright surgeons throughout the US.

MW: What is your philosophy about beauty?
DR. B: Beauty is the essence of feeling fresh, healthy, young, and vibrant. An individual’s beauty revolves around his/her inner and outer core in terms freshness and natural aura. Our perception of beauty should not revolve around the media’s prejudices.  In order for patients to maintain their beauty, I encourage all of my patients to have a healthy, complete diet that is replete with vegetables, proteins, fruit, and vitamins. In addition to nutrition, I emphasize the importance of exercise, sunscreens, sleep, relaxation, moisturizers, and smoking cessation. Sun, smoke, stress, and dryness can be the biggest catalysts of the aging process.

MW: What do you love most about being a plastic surgeon?
DR. B: Plastic surgery is a great career since it incorporates sculpting skin, fat, and tissue with medical acumen, basic science, anatomy and physiology. The gamut of the field is overwhelming from breast reconstruction of cancer patients to cleft lip and palate to total body lifts for massive weight loss patients. The field is always advancing in terms of technology and technique and never stagnates.

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