Photo Credit: zwivel.com
Gary D. Breslow, MD, FACS is a board certified plastic surgeon on a mission. Having trained at some of the most prestigious universities in the country, and growing a successful cosmetic surgery practice in New Jersey, he recently founded a tech company. In 2015, Dr. Breslow and his best friend, dentist Craig Abramowitz, launched an innovative consultation platform called Zwivel.com.
Dr. Breslow is a graduate of Brown University and received his medical degree from New York University School of Medicine. He then spent six years training at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania’s Plastic Surgery Residency Program, and returned to NYU Medical Center to complete a Microvascular Reconstructive Fellowship. He is Board-Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.
Today, Dr. Breslow serves as the Medical Director of The Breslow Center For Plastic Surgery in Paramus, NJ. When he is not seeing patients or operating, he is working on growing Zwivel into the premier online consultation platform to match patients with qualified aesthetic doctors, dermatologists, and plastic surgeons. BITB sat down with him to find out what really makes him tick.
1. How has aesthetic plastic surgery changed over the past 5 years?
First, cosmetic procedures are so much more prevalent now than when I did my plastic surgical training. In today’s social media-driven society, everyone is aware of it and everyone knows about the different options available. Second, everyone now is doing it. The perfect storm of Obamacare, declining reimbursements, the internet and social media and the emergence of noninvasive technologies has made it omnipresent. Third, patients are going online and checking reviews and marketing materials more so now than ever. There is also a sweeping trend towards less invasive procedures. More people want treatments that can be done quickly and with great results, but with minimal recovery time. Fortunately, with the advent of new technologies driving the growth in aesthetic medicine and surgery, such as CoolSculpting®, MiraDry® and others, we can meet a lot of consumers’ demands.
2. Walk us through the aha moment when you came up with the idea to develop the Zwivel.com platform?
Surgeons by nature love to operate. It’s the best part of our job. Often times, seeing patients can take a toll. Some patients come in having done their homework and are educated while others come in with very little understanding about what cosmetic surgery can and cannot do. So, one day in 2012, I had a very frustrating day of consultations with new patients. For example, I consulted with a patient who really needed to lose weight but only wanted liposuction; a patient who wanted a breast augmentation with an implant only, but really needed a breast lift too to get a good result; a patient who wanted $20,000 worth of surgery but had no idea what surgery costs and had only budgeted for $2,000; and a patient who was convinced that she needed a browlift when she really only needed some BOTOX for her forehead. I got on a plane that night to Utah for a father-son ski trip with my best friend whose son is best friends with my son. I told him how frustrating the consultation process can be. For four hours we went back and forth over the problem and worked through an idea for a solution that had never been done before. It was on that flight that the idea for Zwivel.com was born.
3. What are the 3 procedures you enjoy doing the most and why?
I like everything I do or I wouldn’t do it, but Breast Augmentation, Tummy Tuck, and Rhinoplasty are the three operations that I truly enjoy the most. I like Breast augmentation because they are fun operations to do and I am confident that I can get very good results. Tummy tucks can be transformational, especially for women who have a few kids and really just want to get their bodies back. I like watching that happen. It makes a difference in their lives and the self-esteem boost is big. Rhinoplasties are the most challenging operation I perform, and it requires 3-dimensional thinking, planning and problem solving. I like challenging myself with difficult noses. The results can be extremely rewarding for the patient as well. The nose is the central feature on your face and even making a small change can have a major impact in your overall appearance.