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Technology changing the face of plastic surgery

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Dr. Scott Newman.

Dr. Scott Newman marks his 20th anniversary in private practice this year.

The plastic surgeon who specializes in breast surgery and other forms of body contouring lives in Scarsdale, with offices in Westchester, Manhattan and Long Island.

Over the years, Newman has seen many changes.

“To me, I think the biggest change or biggest evolution over time in my practice is embracing the fact technology is playing a big role in what we do,” he said.

Ongoing improvements in equipment and ever-advancing procedures mean there’s always a need to stay current.

“That’s what my practice is all about, staying on the cutting edge, not just surgically but technologically,” he said. “A lot of people who practice aesthetic medicine do within the confines of their offices.”

Newman, though, is out teaching, talking to colleagues and attending seminars.

“You have to stay current,” he added.

And these days, the requests for procedures seem to be on the rise, which Newman said happens when times get tough.

“I think a lot of this might have been economy-driven.”

People are scrambling to secure, or keep, jobs, often competing against much younger candidates.

“Sometimes you don’t get the job because you just don’t look the part anymore,” Newman said.

Too often, he said, people seem tempted by quick fixes and want fast results at good prices with as little downtime as possible.

“That’s what the world has demanded,” he said.

But he urges people to really think about what they might be getting.

He gives the example of the laser hair removal centers found on “every street corner,” where one machine supposedly addresses all problems.

“I have four different devices in my office for hair removal,” he said by contrast.

Some places simply set up shop and patients flock.

“Some of it’s become almost silly a little bit,” he said. “If someone can get their hands on something, they can use it. … It’s not hard to give somebody an injection.”

And that multitasking, such as a gynecologist giving Botox, scares him.

“You know, this is your body, not your car,” he said. “You would think that we would take a different perspective on it.”

At his offices, Newman prides himself on one-on-one consultations where the focus is beyond the basic and equipment is ready to pursue any avenue.

“They’re coming in for help with what they see in the mirror,” he said.

His office, he said, is ready.

“Whatever that is out there, I have access to,” he said. “I really have every piece of technology that exists.”

It’s the same way, he said, his experience helps him understand the nuances of what a patient is really after.

“Sometimes what they think is bugging them really isn’t what’s bugging them,” he said.

Newman said training and staying active in the field can only add to a doctor’s success. Newman attended New York Medical College, was chief resident during his time at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City and has been acting as clinical assistant professor of plastic surgery at the Albert Einstein School of Medicine and chief of the Division of Plastic Surgery at St. John’s Riverside Hospital. Newman is also certified with the American Board of Plastic Surgery and belongs to professional organizations including the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

It all adds up to years of expertise developed through a thriving practice.

“It’s a matter of not just understanding how to do things, but how to do them well,” he said.

And he wishes more patients would take time when deciding on their next procedure.

“A lot of it today is buyer beware,” he said. “It doesn’t mean that I’m wonderful. It just means I’m determined to put together a (practice) that’s appropriate.”

For him, the patient is never out of the forefront.

“Making sure your patient has realistic expectations is still the most important part of all this.”


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