Repeatedly listed in New York Magazine’s Best Doctors issue, Dr. Robert Guida has been practicing aesthetic and reconstructive surgery in New York since 1990 and is double board certified by both the American Board of Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery and the American Board of Otolaryngology. He has extensive training in both functional and cosmetic surgery and is renowned for his command of innovative plastic surgery techniques as well as the natural looking results he achieves for his patients. Dr. Guida believes that any cosmetic surgery procedure should reflect the patient’s individuality, and he sees himself as both a physician and a craftsman, believing that patients should benefit from both his technical expertise as well as his artistic sense. A proponent of pro bono surgery for the less fortunate, Dr. Guida has also devoted his time and efforts to performing facial plastic surgery in third world countries, primarily on children with facial birth defects.
Tell us a little bit about your background and how you chose plastic surgery as a profession.
As a surgeon specializing in the face and head and neck region, I felt I had the ability and opportunity to significantly improve people’s lives in a very positive, direct, and visible manner. During my medical training, I was fascinated with the intricate anatomy of the face and head and neck region. Facial cosmetic surgery allows me to incorporate both my artistic capabilities and my technical expertise.
I look to improve one’s appearance from a molecular level on up, using a variety of resurfacing techniques as well as surgically reshaping skin, muscle, cartilage, and bone to yield a more attractive, balanced, youthful look.
Nasal surgery has always captivated my interest as I can greatly enhance a patient’s cosmetic appearance with a well-performed rhinoplasty while simultaneously improving the patient’s health by correcting the functional aspect of the nose and sinuses.
How do you think the field of cosmetic surgery has changed since you began practicing in 1990?
I have seen a significant increase in the number of male patients in my practice over the years. Cosmetic and functional nasal surgery is often motivated by former athletic injuries or snoring issues combined with cosmetic concerns, and these are frequent problems in the male population. Also, many men now understand that cosmetic eyelid, nasal, or facelift surgery can be done to improve their appearance and make them look younger. Most of my male patients are physically fit and are mentally at the top of their game, but are competing with a younger work force. Looking younger and feeling good improves their confidence and makes them more competitive in a tight job market.
Another major change I have noted is the increase demand for minimally invasive surgical procedures. Male plastic surgery demands surgical expertise in minimally invasive but effective procedures with well camouflaged incisions as often the male patient seeking facial surgery has a receding hairline or no hair at all. Cosmetic surgery should improve one’s appearance with no obvious signs of surgery.
What are your specific specialties?
Because of my training in head and neck surgery as well as facial plastic surgery, early on in my career I became fascinated with cosmetic and functional nasal surgery. For more than 20 years, I have successfully performed thousands of rhinoplasties and revision rhinoplasties for patients around the world, focusing on enhancing both the cosmetic and functional aspects of the nose.
My other area of expertise is my ability to surgically help someone look younger and more attractive while maintaining a natural appearance. Cosmetic eyelid and facelift surgery can be done with well-camouflaged incisions. Often, fractional CO2 laser resurfacing done in combination with eyelid and facelift surgery can literally turn back the clock and make someone look 10 years younger.
What does a consultation between you and a potential patient generally consist of?
My primary goal is to truly understand my patient’s goals and then educate them about realistic treatment options. Asking the right questions, listening carefully to the patient’s answers, and being empathetic are essential to achieving the best cosmetic goals for a patient. I want to reassure them that facial plastic surgery is quite individualized and can have a very positive impact on one’s appearance and feeling of self-confidence. Obtaining a natural, more youthful look is a realistic and attainable goal. Using computer imaging during the consultation enhances our ability to communicate better about potential results from a surgical procedure. We need to review all options and find the most appropriate choice for each individual patient.
What procedures do you find are most popular right now?
Because of my training, one of the most popular procedures I perform is a combination of cosmetic and functional nasal surgery. This type of surgery is complex and requires the surgeon to have technical expertise, artistic capabilities and the ability and concern to listen the patients’ desires cosmetically, and achieve them while improving nasal function.
What do you think the future holds for aesthetic and reconstructive surgery?
The future outlook is exciting and quite promising. The emphasis will be on less invasive, but more effective and safe procedures. Advances in endoscopic and minimally invasive surgery along with improved anesthetic techniques will allow for better cosmetic results with faster and safer recovery. Improvements in laser technology will allow us to non-surgically resurface the skin and reverse signs of aging and sun damage. Body contouring and cellulite reduction is now being done without surgery and that technology continues to improve dramatically. Advances in stem cell research may eliminate baldness, improve results of body contouring using one’s own fat stem cells, and even reverse some of the aging process. “Lunch time” techniques with injectables such as Botox and fillers will improve and allow for a more youthful look with no downtime.
If we can commit to a healthy life style of sensible diet, exercise, sun protection, and positive interpersonal interactions, with some help along the way of the judicious use of cosmetic surgical techniques, we will live longer, look better, and feel better than generations before us.