Photo Credit: beautyinthebag.com
Dr. Darren M. Smith is a board-certified plastic surgeon in New York City whose roots are from his extensive training in craniofacial surgery. He completed prestigious subspecialty fellowship training in aesthetic surgery of the face, breasts, and body as well as in craniofacial surgery (surgery of the bones of the face and skull).
Having grown up in Manhattan, and trained all over the country, he has recently joined the practice of world-renowned plastic surgeon Alan Matarasso, MD on New York’s Park Avenue. He prides himself on being an innovator in his field based on an impressive background and has a keen aesthetic eye and good hands; essential attributes for a plastic surgeon specializing in facial and body procedures.
BITB found out what makes him tick.
1. As a plastic surgeon, what are the top 3 most popular surgical procedures your patients and asking for right now? (be specific and name brands as you wish)
Liposuction is the most popular thing people are asking for right now. This makes sense with the general emphasis everyone is placing on feeling and looking fit in our culture. For many people, no matter how intensely or how frequently they are exercising, there are areas of stubborn fat that just will not respond. These are the areas that are especially well suited to treatment with liposuction. Liposuction can also be used to create total body transformations in those that are looking for a bit of a boost. People get even more excited about it when they learn that they don’t need general anesthesia and that they can usually be back at work on Monday if they have the procedure on Friday. Breast augmentations are also very popular. This is a procedure that year after year is in high demand as it boosts self-confidence and a patient’s sense of sexiness and femininity. It is also very easy to recover from. Finally, facelifts are always incredibly popular. This is the classic plastic surgery procedure that turns back the clock. I’ve done a craniofacial fellowship in addition to an aesthetic surgery fellowship, and patients really like that added perspective.
2. What new non-surgical treatments are you most excited about?
In the non-surgical department, I’m a big fan of Restylane Refyne and Defyne as well as Fractora. Fillers have been around for a while now, and they have been pretty good at providing volume and filling in lines on the face (and elsewhere). Most innovation in this space has been incremental and has come in the form of consistency or longevity. With the introduction of Refyne and Defyne, I think for the first time in a while we are seeing a significant advance with these products. That is because their chief value-add is their increased flexibility: they are specifically designed to be more compatible with the face’s expressivity. They allow us to emote more effectively, more naturally. Another non-surgical product a see my patients really liking is Fractora. This is a radiofrequency microneedling treatment that addresses fine lines and also improves skin elasticity. While it can sometimes offer enough of an improvement in facial or neck skin laxity to delay surgery in subtle cases, I really like it in conjunction with a facelift to correct the fine lines that a facelift isn’t designed to address (like those around the mouth, for example). It has many other uses around the body; I’ve even seen it improve the quality of crêpey skin over the knees. It is important to remember, though, that Fractora is not a replacement for surgery. It is an adjunct, and it has its limitations.
3. When it comes to millennials, what are their chief concerns and the treatments they ask for most often?
Millennials are most concerned about continuing to look like millennials! This means they are very into fitness and preventative care. That translates into my practice in the form of a lot of interest in spot liposuction and subtle, frequent injectable treatments (especially Botox!). Why liposuction? A fit, healthy ethos is central to the lifestyle of many New York City millennials. Regular, demanding workouts and a solid meal plan will not always get someone all the way there in terms of the body they want, and stubborn fatty bulges end up belying their dedication to living clean, fit lives. Enter spot liposuction. With this technique, I can target stubborn pockets of fat in areas like the love handles, the abdomen, inner or outer thighs, arms, chin, underarms, etc., that just aren’t budging. For limited cases, I can get this done in under an hour with just local anesthesia. For bigger cases, we use “twilight” anesthesia. Either way, the patient is awake and breathing on his or her own, has minimal soreness, and is almost always back at work on Monday if they have the procedure on Friday – and back at the gym on Wednesday. In terms of injectables, Botox (in small, frequent doses) is very popular among millennials so prevent facial lines from forming. Subtle but meaningful lip volumization is also a hit. Also going along with the fitness theme, a sculpted jawline achieved with well-placed Voluma can make a powerful statement.