Dr. David Alessi shared with us popular plastic surgery requests due to Instagram and celebrity trends. Read further to dive into our interview with him, but first, a little about him
Dr. Alessi is the founder and medical director of the Alessi Institute for Facial Plastic Surgery. He is board certified by both The American Board of Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery and The American Board of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery. Dr. Alessi’s experience, training, artistic hands and desire to help people feel their best has resulted in thousands of patients from all over the world choosing Alessi Institute for facial rejuvenation. He delivers the most natural-looking results through a variety of trademarked techniques and procedures that he personally developed to reduce scarring and recovery times for patients.
Dr. Alessi serves as the Co-founder and Physician Advisory Board Director of Face Forward, Inc. a 501(c)(3) non-profit charity organization helping victims of domestic violence, human trafficking and other cruel acts of crime move forward with their lives after suffering from abuse. For more information on how you can help, please visit www.faceforwardla.org
Dr. Alessi is also an active Advisory Member of the Cosmetic & Reconstructive Support Program (CRS™) of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, which was created to connect survivors of domestic violence to medical associations and professionals. www.ncadv.org.
Can you tell us about your practice and area of expertise?
I’m an official plastic surgeon. I’m double boarded and both the ENT had neck surgery as well as facial plastics. It gives me the unique opportunity to preserve form and function so I can make people look better and also have their noses and faces work better afterwards.
What makes your practice stand out from other plastic surgeons?
Innovative techniques. I have been doing this for a long time. Everybody knows that I’m an expert in thinking outside the box and diagnosing things that other people can’t diagnose and also through my foundation, I have accumulated a huge amount of experience in really bad because of issues from domestic violence and war crimes. So I use a lot of those reconstruction techniques to go ahead and help patients with their primary surgeries come out better or even more problematic, since about 60 percent of the procedures that I do for the nose or face are going to be revisions of all the people’s work. When you do a revision, although it’s cosmetic you need to be able to be exceedingly adept at reconstruction to have the best outcome for complex patients like that.
Which surgeries wind up getting the most botched?
Most things around the face. I’ve seen botched breast implants and liposuction, but the nose isn’t very forgiving. So I would say rhinoplasty.
Do you get requests from patients to look like certain celebrities or to get certain body parts to look like a celebrity?
That’s a complex question, but the answer is yes especially in the Instagram age. Many patients that come in want to look like a morphed Instagram picture. I’ve explained to those patients that you cannot make yourself look like someone else, but if you tell me what you like about that person, for instance, smaller cheeks, jaws, noses, or things like that then I can say what’s practical and what’s not practical.
With celebrities having the tiniest waists in the world with these massive buttocks, thank goodness it’s finally trending away from it now, but that was a very common trend. I think a lot of it was surgeon dysmorphism where the plastic surgeons, with a lot of them being male, and they basically thought the bigger the breast implants, the better. I remember seeing some of my associates putting giant breast implants on a 90-year-old woman, and I was thinking, “what are you doing?”
Now, I think patients are actually looking for things that are more appropriate for them and they’re just looking to enhance things they already have. But we do have patients that come in with dysmorphia who come in and say “Doctor, can you make me look beautiful?” and when we ask what they want exactly, they say “I don’t know”. That’s when a therapist is needed. But if someone comes in and they have something specific they want and a well-defined request, then that’s perfectly fine from a plastic surgeon’s standpoint.
I know you can’t reveal the names of your patients, but have you treated many celebrities?
Yes, quite a bit. That’s why the form and function is so important because we tailor things for celebrities. There are a lot of people on camera that only come to me for their botox and fillers because of camera angles that will make their fillers look odd or their face is completely paralyzed and they have no expression on camera. So we underdose those patients so they can still move their face.
Have you ever refused to do a surgery?
Absolutely. There is an old saying in plastic surgery. A good plastic surgeon knows when to operate, a great plastic surgeon knows when not to operate. I will never get in a position where I am forced to promise someone that cannot be done. Then they try to go to someone else and wind up coming back to me to fix the problem. Then there are some patients that will never be happy with themselves.
Do you have techniques that help calm patients prior to surgery?
Sure. I instill confidence by telling them what to expect and I also give a little humor to help relax them. For example, some guy was having rhinoplasty done and I could tell he was really nervous. So I went up to him and said “They made a mistake on your consent form. It says you’re getting two breast implants today, but we’re going to three.”
I heard you have a new address. Any particular reason for the move?
It’s more in the hipper area of Beverly Hills and it has one of the best operating rooms in the city, but also it caters to our clients. Everything needs to be Instagammable so patients love it.
Sandy Lo is an author, blogger, journalist, and digital strategist. Her personal story is inspiring. Sandy started StarShine Magazine, an online publication in 2001, at the age of 18. She wrote her first novel in 2009, “Lost In You,” followed by the “Dream Catchers” Series. She was the first person ever to professionally interview Taylor Swift and has received personal endorsements for her books from members of boy bands Backstreet Boys and 98 Degrees.