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02-01-15 | Posted by

In some circles, New York City-based plastic surgeon Elan B. Singer, MD, is known as Commander Select Elan Singer. He is a commissioned officer in the Navy Reserve and performs monthly surgeries at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD.

Much of what he has learned treating the nation’s veterans has served to improve the care he offers to patients in his private practice.

Singer is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. He received his plastic and reconstructive surgery training at The Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City. Dr. Singer completed a fellowship in aesthetic surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital and the Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital.

He talked to Beauty in the Bag about his practice, his passions and his unwavering support for the US Military. Here’s what he had to tell us:


What is your signature procedure?

Abdominoplasty. Patients who undergo this procedure are among the happiest as the change is dramatic with a very low revision and complication rate.

 What trends are you seeing in your practice today?

Non-invasive and micro-invasive technologies are increasing in popularity as many patients do not want the downtime associated with surgery. They are more willing to accept less than the “best possible result” in exchange for less time away from work and their active daily lives. One of the new techniques that has peaked my interest is called THERMITIGHT to treat skin laxity. It’s a micro-invasive procedure that involves the delivery of radiofrequency energy below the surface of the skin. It can be done under local anesthesia from head to toe and the results are magnificent – without cutting.

What procedures are your male patients requesting?

Cosmetic surgery in men is clearly on the rise. Like many women, men are becoming more comfortable talking about and getting cosmetic surgery. Perhaps the most popular is liposuction. It’s easy, discreet and usually involves little downtime.

Do you think social media and selfies are encouraging more people to choose cosmetic surgery?

Without question. Social media has influenced peoples’ decision-making when it comes to cosmetic surgery. The fact that people are now sharing pictures and their experiences online with their friends (and perfect strangers for that matter) only goes to show that cosmetic surgery is mainstream and not something that people have to hide.

How has plastic surgery on the battlefield helped to shape cosmetic and reconstructive surgery in general?

My work in the military is very important to me for many reasons, but most especially because it grounds me and makes me realize how blessed I am. What many people don’t realize is the most battlefield injuries require input or direct involvement by plastic surgeons. In fact, many advance in reconstructive surgery are the results of treatment of wartime injuries.

What charities do you support and why.

I mostly support military charities such as the Navy and Marine Corps Relief Society. These charities help to take care of mostly enlisted military personnel and their families who have found themselves in financial distress. After more than 10 years or wars and multiple deployments, there is unfortunately no shortage of individuals in great need of financial or emotional support.

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