Photo Credit: drkotlus.com
With offices in Manhattan, Westchester and Long Island, oculplastic surgeon Brett Kotlus, MD, is widely sought after for his expertise in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery. Bringing a special touch to every procedure he performs, Dr Kotlus has also developed eyelid surgery instruments with 3D printers and has a patent pending for the design of custom aesthetic facial implants.
He received a Master’s degree in Genetics from the Pennsylvania State University in State College and a Medical degree from the Sackler School of Medicine at Tel Aviv University in Israel. After completing his residency at the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Manhasset, NY, Dr. Kotlus went on to complete a fellowship in Oculofacial Plastic Surgery and one General Cosmetic Surgery in Tucson, Arizona.
He spoke to Beauty In The Bag about the eyes, beauty and the growing popularity of lip enhancement in his practice. Here’s what he told us:
1. What is an oculoplastic surgeon and why did you choose this path?
Oculoplastic surgeons start off with training in eye surgery and then undergo fellowships in plastic surgery focused on the eyelids, orbit, and face. In my case I’m also fellowship trained in cosmetic surgery.
When I was a medical student I assisted an oculoplastic surgeon during a clinical rotation. I was immediately drawn to the type of surgery he performed as an ultra-specialist. Years later, I’m still fascinated with the field and I especially enjoy the intersection between plastic surgery, eye and face surgery, and cosmetic surgery.
You can say that we are eye-centric plastic surgeons, which is important because the eyes are the primary focus of facial beauty.
2. Why are the eyes the primary focus of beauty?
The reason the eyes are the focal point of the face is because they are the most dynamic and beautiful facial organs. The muscles in the eyelids and eyebrows convey an incredible depth of emotion and they can distill our complex feelings into a single glance. In my practice I aim to preserve the balance between the appearance of the eyes and the surrounding face. This usually means that a combination of procedures is required to rejuvenate the eyelids while maintaining a natural-looking overall facial aesthetic.
3. What is your signature procedure?
People seek me out for under-eye fillers and surgical lower eyelid lifts. I frequently combine fat grafting and fractional laser skin resurfacing with blepharoplasty so the procedure is more than just eye bag correction. It reverses sun damage and sunken cheeks at the same time. My patients want to look like a younger and more refined version of themselves. They don’t want to be labeled as someone who’s had work done, and they rely on me to tell them which procedures will be natural-looking and appropriate.
4. What is trending in Manhattan these days?
Lip enhancement is more popular than ever but it’s being done more conservatively, in a good way. Patients are now asking me for “just a touch” of filler in their lips. Over-inflated lips look silly and I think they are finally out of vogue.
5. What role do non- or minimally-invasive procedures play in your practice?
I’m always thinking about the minimum effective dose for each patient. If something less invasive than surgery will work then I’ll recommend it. For the right patient, a combination like Ultherapy, Sculptra, and Botox can reverse years of facial aging in an hour.
6. Tell us about your recent medical visit to Mongolia?
I was part of a medical mission to Mongolia a few years ago where I shared my expertise on reconstructive eyelid and orbital cases with the local surgeons. I also shared my techniques for double eyelid surgery, which is an increasingly popular cosmetic procedure among all Asians.
I’ll never forget one of the traditional nomadic meals I had in a Yurt that was prepared by placing meat and vegetables in a pot with hot stones that we collected from the river. After a few hours, we had a delicious, perfectly cooked stew. The trip was an incredible professional and cultural experience.