The words ‘plastic surgeon’ genuinely create a gut reaction. For various reasons people can have an initial response that may not be positive. But when the name Dr. Michael K. Newman is spoken it is sheer bliss.
The prominent physician first attended UCLA before heading to North Carolina for medical school. His first years of study were followed by a successful residency at Medical College of Virginia at Virginia Commonwealth University. Then following was a fellowship in breast and cosmetic surgery at Georgetown. There he was mentored by the notable and renowned Dr. Scott Spear. Now Dr. Newman is making his own waves in the community.
We recently spoke to him from his Beverly Hills office where he continues to be busy with appointments. Despite the pandemic his business has remained in demand due to his first-class reputation around the planet.
You have a stellar reputation that has made you one of the most sought out doctors in the field. How do you describe yourself to someone hearing about you for the first time?
I am a board certified plastic surgeon. I did subspecialty training, as well as cosmetic and breast surgery. Then there is also a fair amount of breast cancer reconstruction. Breast reconstruction certainly is a very rewarding aspect of what I do.
How did you get started? There must have been a life-changing moment.
I really got inspired by others. During medical school you get to try everything out and go through different specialties. I really thought that plastic surgery was very creative and very magical – very transformative. It was so fantastic to be able to see those transformations happen right in front of your eyes within a few hours of surgery. So, that was very inspiring for me, and it got me excited about the specialty.
And why did you select California as the place you wanted to grow that passion?
I was born in Belgium, but I grew up mostly in Los Angeles. I went to junior high school and college in the area – San Fernando Valley, and then UCLA. And then I did most of my medical school training on the east coast. Then I looked around for jobs afterwards. I really just wanted to come back to California because of the great people. I just love the environment. It’s great to care for my patients here and have people that are nice to work with.
And here in the place that you love you must get truly inspired. That positive vibe must lead to a lot of word of mouth clients I can imagine.
I think a lot of it starts internet-based these days with people looking stuff up online. And then it ends up being word of mouth still. It is the old-fashioned way based on reputation. I just had a patient I was talking to this morning who said she was on a walk when she ran into a friend. The friend told her she was thinking about having a particular procedure done. And, then my patient said she just had it done by me and loved it. It’s total word of mouth when you make your patients happy.
That is the ultimate form of flattery. Even in the middle of the pandemic people trust you so much they are referring other patients.
I think most of us plastic surgeons throughout the country expected to slow down with the pandemic because we thought a lot of people would be hesitant to have surgery. But, in fact, it really has been the opposite. We are finding that people are at home. They are not going to parties or social events, and they’re not going on work trips. So, it’s really freed up their schedule to go ahead and have that plastic surgery that they have had on their mind for years.
What is the biggest thing in demand?
Historically, women have gone for breast implants. In the past they went for implants that were often large. So, now we’re having a lot of patients come in say I want to be smaller now, and I want to look more natural. Taking implants out is a big part of plastic surgery these days. One of the things that we can do, if we’re taking implants out, or even if we’re not, is just using fat instead of a breast implant. We’ve been doing fat transfer for decades.
The most common area is to inject the butt. And that’s what has been publicized in the media a lot. Celebrities are getting that done. But now, we can also take that fat and put it into the breast. So, instead of an implant you get a very natural looking result, and more importantly a result that lasts forever.
That is incredible. Can you describe a forever breast in more detail.
This forever breast surgery is where we can take fat from somewhere on the body, such as the abdominal region, and inject into the breast. It will last forever and it changes with the body. So if someone gains weight, the fat gets bigger. If somebody loses weight, the fat gets smaller. It’s a forever result versus an implant, which has a temporary lifespan and at some point has to be replaced.
So, also there are less medical issues I assume. What about breastfeeding if you have a baby?
There are a lot of advantages of the fat transfer, or what is known as the forever breast technique. And one of them is that it really should interfere minimally or not at all with breastfeeding. And for that matter, very little with breast and nipple sensation. It’s done with very tiny incisions. So, it’s really just done with needle holes. There’s almost no scarring.
How long has this been around for?
Fat transfer to the breast really started in the 1980s. But, it wasn’t very popular then because people were concerned about side effects. The technology has dramatically improved. The problems that were there in the past are really not here now. Now we’re minimal. And, you can do at any point in life.
Is it a hard recovery?
The healing time is just a few days, maybe a week. And people can even start getting back to exercise within a few days. It’s really a quick recovery. For people that are very into fitness or they have kids it is perfect
You are an expert on breast surgery. Even with all the work you do you still have time to use you skills for good I hear. You really care about your patients and that shows even with volunteer work that your offices are doing. Rhonda’s Kiss is one group that you are working with now and they focus on giving grants to help with patients with cancer.
I was incredibly moved by the story of one of the founders, Kyle, and his mother who went through cancer treatment. He turned that very challenging, negative and sad situation in their lives into a very positive thing to help others. I think there’s a huge need out there for helping people and helping their families get through cancer and cancer treatment. You know, it takes a toll on everybody. It’s a huge burden. So, any way that we can help ease that burden is wonderful.
For more information on the work of Dr. Michael K. Newman please visit his website at drnewmanbeverlyhills.com.