Dr. Tom Rees, who is considered one of the fathers of aesthetic surgery in New York, likes to tell a story about starting his practice in the mid-fifties. He was told that there were eight plastic surgeons in Manhattan and no room for another. He ignored the warning—and became the busiest aesthetic doctor in town. Today, there are hundreds of plastic surgeons in the metropolitan area, and cosmetic medicine now includes dermatology, otolaryngology, and dentistry. To narrow the field, we created this list, in conjunction with Castle Connolly Medical, publisher of America’s Top Doctors, of the city’s top cosmetic physicians.
Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital
728 Park Avenue, at 71st Street (212-249-6000)
Considered by many to be the No. 1 man in New York for face-lifts, Sherrell Aston is the chairman of the Department of Plastic Surgery at Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital, the premiere cosmetic-surgery hospital. He is one of the few active plastic surgeons to be a full professor of surgery (at NYU). He developed the FAME (finger-assisted Mylar elevation) technique, which repositions not only the skin, pulling it over the cheekbones, but also the soft tissue of the face to give a more relaxed and less pulled appearance. He currently runs an international symposium in New York for doctors called “Advances in Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.” Tipper Gore and Anna Wintour are said to be among his patients.
Daniel C. Baker
Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital
65 East 66th Street (212-734-9695)
Dan Baker’s knowledge of facial anatomy is unparalleled in the city; he’s done a lot of important studies on facial-nerve damage and reconstruction and brings that expertise to his cosmetic work. Yet Baker, who is one of the most sought-after aesthetic surgeons, still treats non-cosmetic patients who need nasal reconstruction or have facial paralysis. His practice is solely surgical—that means no Botox—but he will do a little liposuction under the chin or on the belly while he takes years off your face. He does an eye-lift with no visible scars. Rumored to have recently rejuvenated Susan Lucci, Donna Karan, and Lorraine Bracco.
Robert W. Bernard
Northern Westchester Hospital; White Plains Hospital
10 Chester Avenue, White Plains, N.Y. (914-761-8667)
Bob Bernard, who start-ed out in engineering, says he applies those principles to his surgical choices. The face-lift he prefers is the anterior vertical one, which, he claims, helps to create more pronounced cheekbones and reduces bruising as well as operating and recovery time. It’s less aggressive and invasive than a traditional lift, which involves just the skin, and the scar is hidden in the ear. He also specializes in endoscopic brow-lifts and breast reconstructions.
Stephen R. Colen
Hackensack University Medical Center
20 Prospect Avenue, Suite 912, Hackensack, N.J. (201-996-5588); 742 Park Avenue, near 71st Street (212-988-8900)
Stephen Colen is known as one of the best doctors for breast surgery since developing the Immediate Breast Reconstruction Program at NYU Medical Center, which uses surgical techniques to reconstruct the breast immediately after removal of breast cancer. He is chairman of the Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Hackensack University Medical Center and maintains practices in both New Jersey and Manhattan. Iman and Stephanie Seymour are said to be among his patients.
Susan Craig Scott
Beth Israel Medical Center; Lenox Hill Hospital
150 East 77th Street (212-288-9922)
Renowned as a hand surgeon, Susan Craig Scott now spends about 80 percent of her time in cosmetic work. She specializes in eyelid surgery, specifically removing fat from the lower lids with an interior incision, an operation that is less likely to impair muscle function or cause drooping but works best in patients under 45 (who don’t have much skin to tighten). She also does a lot of trans-umbilical breast operations, inserting implants through the bellybutton.
Saint Barnabas Medical Center
101 Old Short Hills Road, West Orange, N.J. (973-736-5907)
More than 30 years ago, Frank DiSpaltro devoted his entire practice to aesthetic surgery, making him one of the first to do so—and something of a visionary. He’s one of the top surgeons in New Jersey, and he recently finished his term as president of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, cosmetic surgery’s most prestigious society. His research on ultrasound-assisted liposuction was instrumental in the introduction of the procedure into this country, and it remains a large part of his practice. He often combines abdominoplasty (tummy tucks) with breast reduction or augmentation and body contouring.