Dr. Leslie Stevens, MD FACS, believes that by focusing on just a few cosmetic procedures, he can consistently deliver optimum results to his patients—achieving results that are balanced and natural-looking. Practicing in the Beverly Hills area since 1988, he limits his practice to aesthetic surgery only, specializing in facial rejuvenation, breast surgery, and body contouring. He has been featured as an expert in numerous publications—including Cosmopolitan, People, and The Wall Street Journal—and has volunteered his time performing operations in South America for the charitable organization Interplast.
What is the difference between east coast and west coast plastic surgery requests?
Typically, on the east coast, surgery starts 3 hours earlier. Just kidding. According the American Society of Plastic Surgeons’ most recent procedural statistics, breast augmentation is more than twice as popular in the west as compared to the east coast. Breast reduction surgery is more common in the east as well as rhinoplasties. For non-surgical procedures, fillers are more popular in the east and Botox in the west.
What procedures are popular with celebrities right now?
Everything, it is a youth conscious industry driven by beauty and image. My high profile patients do not do everything at once. For example, we will do upper lids with skin resurfacing then come back 3 to 6 months later and do a lower face lift, then again lower lids as a third procedure. This way they end up looking forever young in lieu of the tabloids saying, “what did they do?” Consistent, very subtle tweaking is the key. Another popular variety of treatments is liquid lifts with fillers, less invasive laser skin treatments, and of course Botox.
How does breast augmentation for a woman in her 20s differ from a woman in her 50s?
A young woman in her 20s typically wants a sexy bathing suit body, whereas a woman in her 50s is usually post child bearing and wishes to recapture lost fullness and look better in clothing. However, she does not want to have too much fullness or a dramatic increase in size that might make her look too matronly. Women in their twenties usually have a tighter thicker skin envelope. This can mean that with larger implants, the soft tissues covering them will not accommodate their size so easily, leading to a more “done” or less natural-looking result.
One more fact that is important to be aware of is that up until the age of 22, a woman’s choice of implants in a cosmetic procedure is limited to saline filled only. This is a restriction that the FDA has instituted.
What is your opinion of “mini facelifts”?
Even though the discipline of surgery is in an era of operating through smaller incisions with less invasive techniques, this philosophy does not always apply in facelift surgery. The principle is this: the more laxity and descent of the skin and soft tissues of the cheeks, jowls and neck there is, the more they need to be lifted, tightened and, in the case of skin, removed. A surgeon is very limited as to how much rejuvenation can be done through a “mini” incision. Even if there is a notable improvement with mini lift techniques, the results typically do not have the longevity of a more formal or encompassing facelift technique.
A majority of the doctors that market mini facelift procedures are not board certified plastic surgeons or facial plastic surgeons and lack the formal training and knowledge of facial anatomy that is essential to performing a more appropriate procedure. However, there are times when doing a mini lift is indicated. For example, small revisions where the patient just needs a little tuck or with a patient that has very little of the manifestations of aging and wishes a procedure to hold her or him over till a more definitive surgery is needed.
What is new in the field of body contouring?
The latest technology to be approved by the FDA in the field of body contouring is Cellulaze. This is a minimally invasive laser/surgical treatment for cellulite. A very small incision is made to allow the insertion of a laser probe that heats up and disrupts the fibrous connections between the fat lobules that cause cellulite. According to the manufacturer, only one treatment is needed and there have been no known recurrences in the two years since the study began.
What is your plastic surgery philosophy?
I feel that as an aesthetic plastic surgeon, the mark of a good post-operative result is one that is natural, balanced, and proportioned with one’s body type. Remember the only facelifts or breast enhancements you notice are the bad ones! Faces that are pulled too tightly and brows that are lifted too high, breasts that are sitting way up on the chest or are way too voluminous to fit the physique should be the exceptions not the rule. Your friends and peers that are not in on your little secret should look at you after your recovery and wonder what is different – not notice what is different. My goal is to assist in creating a better more youthful version of you, not a version that people no longer recognize as you.