Friday, August 22, 2008

ask dr. bienstock

We are beyond thrilled to bring you a new feature here at Beauty in Real Life.

We're starting a new column called Ask Dr. Bienstock.

Who is Dr. Bienstock you might ask?'s his bio:

Dr. Bienstock is a world-renowned Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon with offices in New York City and Princeton, New Jersey.

A graduate of the prestigious Duke University Medical School, Dr. Bienstock has extensive experience treating patients in everything from complex procedures like body sculpting, to less invasive procedures to reduce the signs of aging like Botox and Juvederm.

As a member of the American Medical Association and American Society of Plastic Surgeons, Dr. Bienstock ensures that each of his patients look and feel their best. Dr. Bienstock’s work is has been on your favorite stars, New York City socialites, and well-known personalities… You’d never know it!

Why are we so thrilled?

Well, Dr. Bienstock is going to be answering the questions that you send us! Isn't that cool?

All you have to do is send us an email at with Ask Dr. Bienstock in the subject line. Please be sure to include your name and where you're from (don't worry, if you'd rather be anonymous, just let us know). We'll choose the best ones and send them over to the good doctor to answer. If your question is chosen, you'll see it on the blog.

To get the ball rolling, we've asked him a question ourselves:

What's the best way for patients to find good plastic surgeons in their area and what do you need to look for when choosing them?

His answer?

The best avenue to follow in choosing a plastic surgeon in your environment and area is to ask your internist and physicians who are currently taking care of you for recommendations. Another great and viable option is to interrogate your friends and relatives on plastic and reconstructive surgeons that have treated them. They should acquire recommendations from those who have had procedures performed by that plastic surgeon. Two other excellent sources are to use the American Society of Plastic Surgeons website to find a board certified plastic surgeon in your respective zip code at And the final option is to target plastic surgeons that are on staff at the teaching or community hospitals. The essential component in the search is to make sure that the doctor is a board certified plastic surgeon and not merely a cosmetic surgeon. Cosmetic surgeon is a mere title and appellation that does not identify any specific level of training.

When a patient chooses their plastic surgeon they should be looking for specific qualities and characteristics. As I mentioned before, the surgeon should be board certified in
Plastic Surgery. Many physicians will carry the umbrella of cosmetic surgery; this does not mean that they are board certified nor does this mean that they are surgically trained. Patients and individuals should do their homework and look up their physicians on line and peruse and analyze their credentials. 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 bedside manner. Most importantly, the patient should form his/her own impression of the physician during the first consultation. Pictures and diagrams are very useful but the patient should be aware that plastic surgeons will always show pictures of their best work; this does not mean the surgeon will be to achieve the same success with every case. The patient should feel like the surgeon spent enough time and was not rushed during the office visit; he or she should be able to ask enough questions and have them appropriately answered by the plastic surgeon. He/she should feel like a strong rapport was developed between the patient and doctor and that the doctor treated them as an individual patient with specific features and not like every other patient that walks into his office. The patient should come out of the consultation feeling comfortable with the surgeon and not coerced into procedures he/she does not need or want.

Wow...told you he was good.

A couple of things to note:

1) He is a doctor and the answers he gives are to be used as advice/opinion only. You should always, always, always get the opinion of your own doctor before taking this or any medical advice*.
2) Please keep your questions to the plastic surgery and rejuvenation area- both invasive and non-invasive procedures.
3) We will not share your email addresses with anyone.

That's it!

Get working on those questions!

With love (always),
Jennifer and Christine

*Editor's Note: If you decide to follow the advice/opinion of Dr. Bienstock, the editors of this blog are not to be held responsible for what may occur. You are following it of your own free will and at your own risk. All surgery is a risk and should be taken very seriously. As always, before following this or any medical advice you should always check with your own doctor first.


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