A DOUBLE BOARD CERTIFIED PLASTIC AND RECONSTRUCTIVE SURGEON SPEAKS ABOUT THE LATEST ADVANCEMENTS IN TECHNOLOGY AT HIS SHEEPSHEAD BAY PRACTICE, BREAKING THE SURGERY STIGMA, AND WHY AMERICANS ARE MORE INTERESTED IN COSMETIC PROCEDURES THAN EVER BEFORE
BY AMANDA McCoy PHOTOS BY AMANDA DOMENECH
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, more cosmetic treatments within that medical field are being administered today than ever before. In 2006, the ASPS recorded 11 million of them, including surgical, minimally invasive, and reconstructive procedures. Ten years later, that figure had increased to 17.1 million, with an estimated spending of more than $8 billion. While the amount of people who opt for plastic surgery has remained largely unchanged (in fact, the number that underwent cosmetic surgery actually decreased slightly from 2006 to 2016), interest in non-surgical and minimally invasive procedures, and their application, have skyrocketed.
Refinements in laser technology and noninvasive surgery have changed things,” noted Roman Rayham, M.D., a plastic and reconstructive surgeon and founder of RR Plastix NY Plastic Surgery Center in Sheepshead Bay. “Advancements in fillers, injections, laser resurfacing, and other non-operative procedures have completely transformed the game, slashing costs and recovery time. What was once largely regarded as a luxury for the rich and famous is now much more attainable for the average person.”
Rayham cited an additional change the absence of downtime patients can devote to recovery in what is too often an 18 hour working day modern world.
“Before, most patients had time…weeks for recovery,” he said. “Now, the majority maintain their appearance through minimally invasive techniques. They feed and hydrate their faces, and that helps us to push back operations. And if the time comes that an operation needs to be done, it’s usually less dramatic.”
Double board certified by the American Board of Surgery and the American Board of Plastic Surgery, Rayham was born in the former Soviet Union, and relocated to the U.S. at the age of 21 to pursue a medical education.
“I was always interested in creating with my hands,” he recalled, though initially thought he would seek a career as a dental technician. After graduating from medical school from the State University of New York and completing his residency in general surgery at the Staten Island University Hospital, Rayham was admitted to the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Program at the world famous Mayo Clinic. Upon completion, he continued education in aesthetic and cosmetic surgery at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary. The Sheepshead Bay resident opened his practice in South Brooklyn 10 years ago, and now has a second location in the city on Madison Avenue.
Since opening the practice doors, Rayham said that he has seen dramatic improvements in noninvasive technology, and believes the field will continue moving toward a less invasive approach, in part because it can often produce a more natural appearance.
“If you look like you’ve had something done, that’s most likely not what you want,” he said. “The goal of plastic surgery is making a person look normal.”
Lasers, he explained, were once the vanguard in reducing imperfections on the face, but now doctors are able to actually
Tighten tissue. Ultherapy, for example, utilizes ultrasound energy to lift and tighten skin. Cosmetic fillers are also far more natural looking and long lasting, he said, and are able to address issues that once required a surgical answer.
“Ten years ago, patients were typically getting their first facelift in their 40s,” observed Rayham. “Today, we’re able to push that back as far as their 60s and 70s.”
Advancements on the pre surgical front have also helped ease patient hesitation or dissatisfaction. Crisalix 3D Virtual Reality Technology removes the guesswork before large operative procedures like breast augmentations or facelifts. Utilizing photos taken from different angles, the system is able to render a realistic representation of how the patient will look post procedure. Before this technology came on the scene, a patient interested in a breast consultation was left to choose a size based on photographs, or trying on samples of the implant, Rayham explained. Now, they can see the results before getting near an operating table. “People can immediately tell if this is some-thing that they like,” he explained, “making it easier to decide how they want to proceed. This has significantly reduced the rate of unsatisfied patients.”
Even with cosmetic procedures becoming more widely accepted in society, the surgeon does still occasionally encounter misconceptions, typically generated, he said, by social media and Internet memes highlighting an obvious makeover or poorly executed procedure.
“Some people still think that plastic surgery is something that makes people look abnormal,” said Rayham. “In reality, what we are doing is making you look like you, just a little better. For every one person who looks like they had something done, there are nine others who look like themselves, but with improvements. The first time I see a patient, their expectations are different because he or she generally doesn’t know what to expect. To help, I show many before and after photographs. Most people look at them and simply say ‘Wow! It’s just a better version of the same person.”
With regard to any botched procedures people see on the street or their phone screens, the doctor stresses the importance of choosing a board certified plastic surgeon and cosmetic surgeon.
“If anyone does anything to you, you want it to be someone who knows the anatomy of your face and your body inside out,” said Rayham. “So, find out about qualifications. That’s where a little Internet research can pay off.”
RR Plastix NY Plastic Surgery Center
1616B Voorhies Avenue / 718.354.8572 161
Madison Ave, Suite 11W New York, NY 10016 (718) 354-8572