New York City-based facial plastic surgeon Minas Constantinides, MD, FACS, is as much an artist as he is a surgeon. Early in his career, he was tapped to serve as the director of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery in the Department of Otolaryngology at NYU Langone Medical Center, which includes Tisch Hospital, Bellevue Hospital, and the Manhattan V.A. Hospital, and did so from 1994 to 2012 before starting his own practice. Today Constantinides specializes in the type of complicated reconstructive and cosmetic facial procedures that many doctors shy away from.
Even with a thriving Upper East Side private practice, he finds time to give back to his specialty through his work with the American Academy of Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery. Constantinides is the secretary-elect of the AAFPRS and serves on their Board of Directors. He is also one of the directors for the industry’s premier rhinoplasty event—Advances in Rhinoplasty.
He recently sat down with BeautyInTheBag to chat about his practice and why he still loves what he does.
How do you define/create beauty?
The best definition of beauty is by an anonymous author: “Beauty is hard to define, but when it walks into the room, you know it.” Creating beauty requires a sensitive eye. I look for the best features in a face, usually the eyes and smile, and find ways to enhance them and draw attention to them. For instance, when I speak to someone about rhinoplasty, I look for ways to change the nose so I can enhance how the eyes and the smile look.
Who is your beauty inspiration?
It sounds corny, but my wife Melissa. She is a beautiful woman on the outside, and one of the most caring people you will ever meet. She inspires me to be a better man and a better surgeon.
What is your beauty mantra?
Achieving beauty is overcoming your fears to reach a more positive place in your life.
What is your signature surgery?
Complex rhinoplasty and revision rhinoplasty.
How did you get started in the beauty business?
I started off training in head and neck cancer surgery in the department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery at NYU Medical Center in New York City. The surgery is fabulous and complicated, but the disease is terrible so many patients die despite excellent surgery. I really liked the reconstructive aspects of that surgery, so I did a wonderful fellowship in Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery in Toronto. My chairman at the time hired me back to build a Facial Plastic Surgery division at NYU. From there, I got lucky and continued to get great cases in rhinoplasty. The rest is history.
What sets you apart from others in your space?
I do the cases that no one else wants to do because of their level of difficulty. I spend a lot of time making sure my patients know what their surgery will be about. I love the process of making patients feel well cared for, and I am always available to my patients for any question or problem, 24/7/365.
What procedure do you find most challenging?
Revision rhinoplasty in a patient with nasal obstruction requiring rib grafts to rebuild the nose.
What charities do you support?
The Face-To-Face program of the AAFPRS, which provides free surgery to victims of domestic violence and veterans of U.S. wars.
Why do you love what you do?
I love what I do every day. I love the process of helping a patient who feels scared and afraid of surgery become comfortable and optimistic. I love imagining the potential for beauty every face has, and finding ways to make that face look better, but never fake or operated-on. And I love the surgery. It requires supreme concentration, minute-to-minute decision making, and minute attention to detail. It is still exciting after 20 years in practice.
Largely due to his flair for enhancing natural beauty, Theodore Diktaban, MD, is sought after for body contouring work, rhinoplasty, and everything in between. The double-board certified plastic surgeon and otolaryngologist is named one of the “Best Plastic Surgeons in New York” by Castle Connolly year after year, and also has been honored in New York Magazine’s “Best Plastic Surgeons” listing and The New York Times’ “SuperDocs of New York” list.
Before setting up shop in New York City, he received his undergraduate degree from New York Medical College, and completed his residency training at Lenox Hill Hospital and Mount Sinai Hospital, both in New York City. He also completed a fellowship in microsurgery at the University of Louisville in Kentucky.
What is your signature surgery?
Rhinoplasty is my signature surgery. It is one of the most challenging procedures in cosmetic plastic surgery as it can drastically change the overall look of a patient’s facial appearance and might potentially damage the nasal function. However, rhinoplasty remains as my favorite procedures as it improves more than just the nose. By reshaping and sculpting the most projecting point of your profile can help create a more youthful, balanced and youthful look.
How did you discover your interest in plastic surgery?
When I was in medical school in 1974, I had my own nose surgery for both functional and cosmetic concerns. That experience lead to my interest in the balance between use and look, and how they were addressed and performed. Shortly after, I began my inquiry into plastic surgery, starting with nasal operations.
What sort of body treatments/surgeries are most in demand by your patients, and why do you think that is?
Liposuction is the most demanded and performed procedure for both men and women. The public eye has become increasingly more focused on aesthetics. Liposuction can address the areas of fat accumulation that are refractory to both diet and exercise.
For women, the second most commonly performed body procedure is breast augmentation, which can be done with implants or with fat transfer. Breast surgery and liposuction surgeries work together to achieve a harmonious and proportionate total body contour.
Do you see many male patients?
As my practice has grown, I have seen a definite increase in male patients. Males are catching on to the benefits of plastic surgery that women have benefited from for several years.
What are men most interested in?
Young adult males tend to be interested in rhinoplasty (nose surgery), liposuction, and reduction of enlarged breasts, known as gynecomastia. As men get older the tendency is for them to still consider liposuction and body contouring. Facial aesthetic procedures such as blepharoplasty (eye rejuvenation surgery) and neck contouring are also quite popular in that patients often feel younger afterward and look more viable in the job market.”
What new technologies are you most excited about/by?
I am very excited about Precision Tx™, also known as SideLaze™. It is the most accurate, effective & minimally invasive form of a laser facelift. Believe it or not, Precision Tx™ can even be used for those people suffering from excessive under arm sweating.
The other technology, Cellulaze™, is the most effective method to address cellulite with long-term results. There are many treatments on the market that are minimally effective and temporary in nature at reducing/removing cellulite but for 80 percent of the women who suffer from cellulite, Cellulaze™ is finally a solution with effective, long lasting results.
What are some of the common misconceptions about plastic surgery?
The biggest misconception about plastic surgery is that it produces unnatural results. In my 30+ years of practice, I have developed and honed my skills to give people the most natural looking results possible. I believe that plastic surgery should help you be the best version of yourself, as opposed to a caricature of someone else.
Another common misconception is that plastic surgery is only for the rich and famous. Although I do have celebrity clientele, the majority of my patients are everyday women and men. They come from all different economic and social backgrounds wanting to optimize their looks.
The third misconception is that facial plastic surgery can make you lose your ethnicity. Plastic Surgeons who have an appreciation of each individuals ethnicity, like myself, will modify a patients looks in a complementary way to preserve as much of their ethnicity as desired.
The fourth, and largest misconception is that plastic surgery is unsafe. In the hands of a board-certified plastic surgeon, working in an accredited hospital or accredited facility/surgical suite, plastic surgery is very safe. Anesthetic monitoring techniques and pharmacology have improved steadily year by year leading to a safe outcome for patients.
American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS) President Robert M. Kellman, MD, has devoted much of his time in office to making the “R” in the AAFPRS count. Kellman, the Professor and Chair of Otolaryngology and Communication Sciences at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, NY, is first and foremost a reconstructive surgeon, but he knows that to be successful, form must travel together with function.
“I worked very hard to make the reconstructive a little more central to the Academy and bring the facial reconstructive surgeons back into the fold,” he tells BeautyInTheBag.
Do you consider yourself cosmetic or reconstructive facial plastic surgeon?
My leaning is definitely in the reconstructive realm.
What is your signature surgery?
I am best known for putting together broken faces including those people who have been in motor vehicle accidents and had their faces smashed. Another niche is patients who have been kicked in the face by horses.
Wow. Is that common?
I wouldn’t call it common, but there are a lot of people who own horses around here. The impact is rather impressive and the damage that horses can do is rather remarkable.
What other reconstructive surgeries do you perform regularly?
I also do a lot of functional rhinoplasty in older patients.
Is that challenging?
Yes, many breathing problems become more exaggerated with age. And just as other parts of the body lose support with age so too do the fine cartilages and tissues of the nose. The tips of many older people’s noses hang lower than the tips of younger people’s noses.
How do you balance form and function in these cases?
It’s a very fine balance to get in the aesthetic comfort zone and allow people to breathe well. The key is to have the middle third of the nose wide enough for airflow without making it too wide.
What does a ‘Robert Kellman ‘nose look like?
My noses look natural. If one looks a little ‘done’, I am disappointed.
What are people in Syracuse looking for in terms of facial plastic surgery?
In Syracuse, people do prefer a natural look, but there is a geographical variation in what people want.
Is cosmetic surgery on the rise, in your opinion?
We are seeing a growth in our country and society in the acceptance of cosmetic surgery. There used to be some degree of embarrassment about plastic surgery and people tried to hide the fact that they had some work done. Now, people are encouraging each other and it’s very acceptable to say ‘yes, I have had injectables’ or ‘yes I have had a rhinoplasty.’
You are the current president of the AAFPRS, the world’s largest association of facial plastic and reconstructive surgeons. Has this affected your practice?
I live to serve, but I don’t let it interfere with my practice. This does mean that my days are longer.