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The Cutting Edge

Top plastic surgeons pick the field’s sharpest new talents.


A generation ago, cosmetic surgery was largely reserved for wealthy women in their sixties and teenage girls for whom rhinoplasty was a rite of passage. The pool of surgeons who performed these procedures was very small, too, and few (if any) medical schools and teaching hospitals taught students aesthetic surgery as a career; reconstructive surgery was the goal. If a student picked up techniques on face-lifts, breast implants, or nose jobs, he did it on the side.

In 2003, aesthetic surgery is no longer an adjunct to a reconstructive practice but a legitimate academic discipline of its own. The plastic-surgery teaching programs are affiliated with the city’s top hospitals—New York-Presbyterian, Mount Sinai, NYU Medical Center, Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat, Lenox Hill, and Montefiore. Not surprisingly, the graduates tend to be stellar.

So, from this pool, we asked the top doctors in the city to name their most promising young colleagues practicing here today.

Lawrence Bass
NYU Medical Center; Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital
568 Park Avenue, near 62nd Street (212-593-2600).

As director of the minimally invasive plastic-surgery program at NYU Medical Center, Lawrence Bass evaluates and develops new methods and technologies for less traumatic procedures. He attended Columbia Medical School, did his residency at NYU, and was a principal developer of the deep Erbium laser peel to erase wrinkles. He is also a proponent of micro-peels, which have a short recovery time. Bass is one of a few doctors in the city who favor the controversial injectable Radiance.

Sam Beran
White Plains Hospital
10 Chester Avenue, White Plains, N.Y. (914-761-8667); 91 Smith Avenue, Mount Kisco, N.Y. (914-241-1911).

A co-author with famed Texas plastic surgeon Rod Rohrich of the definitive book on ultrasound-assisted liposuction, Sam Beran is an expert on large-volume liposuction safety. He attended the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, where he became a faculty member. Beran later joined the practice of Westchester surgeons Bob Bernard and Dan Morello and consulted with Morello on the TV show Extreme Makeover.

Andrew Elkwood
Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital; Monmouth Medical Center
30 Central Park South (212-421-6725); 535 Sycamore Avenue, Shrewsbury, N.J. (732-741-0970).

Andrew Elkwood applies what he’s learned in his reconstructive work to his cosmetic clients. While doing eyelid-lifts, for example, he likes to cut the muscle between the eyes that causes frown lines, creating a “permanent Botox effect.’’ He also does a minimally invasive tummy-tuck, which is best for women after pregnancy, and breast augmentation in a procedure that goes through the belly button. He did his general surgery and plastic surgery at NYU and considers Drs. Sherrell Aston, Dan Baker, and Alan Matarasso his mentors. He’s medical director of the Institute of Advanced Reconstruction at Monmouth Medical Center.

Robert Freund
Lenox Hill Hospital; Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital
220 East 63rd Street, Suite LJ (212-583-1200).

Secondary rhinoplasty—a complex operation to fix a nose that another doctor has already worked on—is one of Robert Freund’s specialties, as is breast work from lifts to reconstructions. Freund calls his version of a lift and augmentation a “teardrop mastopexy”: Instead of cutting away large amounts of skin, which is the norm, he reshapes the tissue. Even though it seems counterintuitive, he says, the skin will conform to the new breast mass, achieving the lift without the scarring. After medical school at Cornell and general and plastic-surgery residencies at NYU, Freund studied with Aston and Baker.

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