New York City-based facial plastic surgeon Minas Constantinides, MD, FACS, is as much an artist as he is a surgeon. Early in his career, he was tapped to serve as the director of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery in the Department of Otolaryngology at NYU Langone Medical Center, which includes Tisch Hospital, Bellevue Hospital, and the Manhattan V.A. Hospital, and did so from 1994 to 2012 before starting his own practice. Today Constantinides specializes in the type of complicated reconstructive and cosmetic facial procedures that many doctors shy away from.
Even with a thriving Upper East Side private practice, he finds time to give back to his specialty through his work with the American Academy of Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery. Constantinides is the secretary-elect of the AAFPRS and serves on their Board of Directors. He is also one of the directors for the industry’s premier rhinoplasty event—Advances in Rhinoplasty.
He recently sat down with BeautyInTheBag to chat about his practice and why he still loves what he does.
How do you define/create beauty?
The best definition of beauty is by an anonymous author: “Beauty is hard to define, but when it walks into the room, you know it.” Creating beauty requires a sensitive eye. I look for the best features in a face, usually the eyes and smile, and find ways to enhance them and draw attention to them. For instance, when I speak to someone about rhinoplasty, I look for ways to change the nose so I can enhance how the eyes and the smile look.
Who is your beauty inspiration?
It sounds corny, but my wife Melissa. She is a beautiful woman on the outside, and one of the most caring people you will ever meet. She inspires me to be a better man and a better surgeon.
What is your beauty mantra?
Achieving beauty is overcoming your fears to reach a more positive place in your life.
What is your signature surgery?
Complex rhinoplasty and revision rhinoplasty.
How did you get started in the beauty business?
I started off training in head and neck cancer surgery in the department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery at NYU Medical Center in New York City. The surgery is fabulous and complicated, but the disease is terrible so many patients die despite excellent surgery. I really liked the reconstructive aspects of that surgery, so I did a wonderful fellowship in Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery in Toronto. My chairman at the time hired me back to build a Facial Plastic Surgery division at NYU. From there, I got lucky and continued to get great cases in rhinoplasty. The rest is history.
What sets you apart from others in your space?
I do the cases that no one else wants to do because of their level of difficulty. I spend a lot of time making sure my patients know what their surgery will be about. I love the process of making patients feel well cared for, and I am always available to my patients for any question or problem, 24/7/365.
What procedure do you find most challenging?
Revision rhinoplasty in a patient with nasal obstruction requiring rib grafts to rebuild the nose.
What charities do you support?
The Face-To-Face program of the AAFPRS, which provides free surgery to victims of domestic violence and veterans of U.S. wars.
Why do you love what you do?
I love what I do every day. I love the process of helping a patient who feels scared and afraid of surgery become comfortable and optimistic. I love imagining the potential for beauty every face has, and finding ways to make that face look better, but never fake or operated-on. And I love the surgery. It requires supreme concentration, minute-to-minute decision making, and minute attention to detail. It is still exciting after 20 years in practice.