Dr. Steven Cohen’s Unique Surgical Background Is Making FACES+ the Go-To Clinic to Fight Facial Aging

Dr Steven Cohen

Written in partnership with  David Grabinski

It’s hard to talk about plastic surgery and aesthetic medicine in the United States and not mention Dr. Steven Cohen. His FACES+ La Jolla, California practice has risen to international recognition not only for his work in helping treat children with facial deformities but also in facial aesthetic surgery, making the well-spoken surgeon and educator one of the most prominent names in the specialist field.

“There are very few plastic surgeons, if any, with my kind of background,” explains Dr. Steven Cohen. “I’ve worked and trained in some of the most rigorous programs in the US, doing general surgery at places like Columbia and Dartmouth and cardiac surgery for two years at the National Institute of Health, along with plastic surgery at the University of Pennsylvania and craniofacial at UCLA.”

Dr. Steven Cohen shifted his course from cardiac surgery to plastic surgery after seeing a PBS program featuring the advancements in craniofacial surgery. What was in that program spoke to him as a doctor, but also as an artist – Dr. Steven Cohen paints, and he’s had showings and been selling paintings for decades. As a very visual person, it only made sense for him to devote the next stage of his career to the first thing we see in other people – the face.

“They were taking these people and making them look normal. It was incredible,” says Dr. Steven Cohen. “And I felt confident with my surgical skillset as a heart surgeon. The fact that I was very comfortable with critical surgical care, and had that can-do attitude of a cardiac surgeon, helped me master craniofacial surgery with ease.”

Even though Dr. Steven Cohen found himself back at the beginning in some sense – starting over in a new, exciting specialty – he quickly became a household name in craniofacial surgery. Eventually, he founded the FACES+ center as his principal place of practice, even though he continues to teach, demonstrate, and help people worldwide.

With FACES+, the concept was to provide a comprehensive set of treatment options to ensure people get the best possible results. This concept was, at the time, reasonably novel – Dr. Steven Cohen can’t recall seeing any other practices using the same approach in his area. Only a few did it in the US, maybe even the world.

“Coming out of craniofacial surgery, I was always dependent on other specialists so that, as a team, we delivered exceptional care to people. In other words, I may need an orthodontist or a dentist if I do jaw surgery. I also need to be able to communicate with them, and they do their job,” Dr. Steven Cohen explains. “In a comprehensive aesthetic practice, you want to have the ability to not only do surgery but to treat all the components of aging.”

The components Dr. Steven Cohen refers to are many. They include preventable ones, such as sun damage, and those that come through genetics and natural aging. Bone shrinks, fat atrophies, and the face loses volume and becomes lax. The diet, facial mechanics, and movement all give us the face we deserve.

Not that we have to be stuck with that face, though, if Dr. Steven Cohen and his team have anything to say about it. Because of the complexity of the issues regarding the aging of the face, the solutions offered at FACES+ have to be multipronged and include skincare, lasers, and surgery.

Dr-Steven-Cohen

“When patients come in, you’re not trying to push them to something that you know you have in your office because that’s the only thing you have,” explains Dr. Steven Cohen. “You’re trying to teach them so that they can make an intelligent choice. And they understand why you’re talking to them about laser when they are only there for a facelift, or why you’re talking to them about adding back their fat and regenerating their skin when they’re only there for a facelift.”

For his part, Dr. Steven Cohen does his magic by performing surgeries that few other surgeons do. A great example is the complex surgical procedures involving the deep neck – a rare offering in other clinics, performed routinely by Dr. Steven Cohen at FACES+. Weak chin corrections are another one of those surgeries.

These surgeries have had a curious effect on the FACES+ client base, as they’ve been attracting more male patients. Dr. Steven Cohen has reached parity in an industry where the share of male customers is single digit.

“You do a chin advancement on a man who’s got a weak chin, and boom – he just suddenly comes alive,” Dr. Steven Cohen says. “The same is with young ladies who need rhinoplasties or want a facelift because they don’t feel attractive anymore. Even if the change is purely aesthetic, it can tremendously and positively affect our patients’ lives.”

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