At FACES+ in La Jolla, California, Dr. Steven Cohen is revolutionizing the world of aesthetic surgery. Using techniques that he pioneered and equipment that he invented, Dr. Cohen remains on the cutting-edge of facial surgery and regenerative medicine.
As an internationally renowned surgeon with a client list that includes high profile socialites and industry titans, as well as a celebrated lecturer and frequent guest on national talk shows, Dr. Cohen has seemingly reached the pinnacle of his career. Yet he continues to press forward with innovation – and in doing so he delivers an unmatched level of care for his patients each day.
What drives someone who has already achieved so much?
For Dr. Cohen, it may come down to the delicate balance between science and art.
“Everyone who is a plastic surgeon has special gifts,” Dr. Cohen says. “But I am not aware of any that have undergone the rigorous training I have in general surgery and cardiac surgery, and ultimately, craniofacial surgery, which are the foundations of my approach to work.”
“The depth of experience managing critically ill patients, minutes from death, makes me the surgeon I am today,” Dr. Cohen says.
As a scientist, Dr. Cohen is always creating. He has designed and invented medical equipment, including the first commercially distributed facial bone distraction device – an incredible surgical breakthrough that has now become the standard of care in treating children and young adults with many types of craniofacial disorders.
In the field of aesthetic surgery, in addition to performing the first “Stem Cell Facelifts”, he invented the Nanocube, a device that allows doctors to mechanically process and optimize the collection of regenerative cells from a fat graft.
Dr. Cohen understands first-hand how quickly a life can change. While in his second year of surgical training at Columbia, he returned home for a brief vacation and met a beautiful young woman from France. On the night of his birthday, they went out in Washington DC and toward the end of the night, were robbed at gunpoint.
“I was put in the trunk of the car,” Dr. Cohen recounts. “My date began yelling and was shot point-blank in the head and died almost immediately.”
For a long time, the terrible events of that night shattered the foundations on which he had built his life. Ultimately, it led him to pursue a greater purpose.
“I began to fill my cup up, one drop at a time, ” Dr. Cohen says. “I filled it only with drops that made me feel that I was making a contribution.”
Each new patient that Dr. Cohen encounters represents an opportunity to make a lasting contribution. And that, perhaps above all else, is what drives him to continue to innovate in a field that he has largely mastered.
At FACES+, Dr. Cohen and his staff are committed to optimizing and rejuvenating the appearance of their patients in a way that is both unique to each person and natural in execution. Dr. Cohen provides a personalized consultation for each patient, ensuring that he delivers the right procedure at the right time.
For many patients, Dr. Cohen said in an interview on The Wellness Hour, the greatest fear is not anesthesia or the surgery itself but the fear of looking different.
Throughout his award-winning career, Dr. Cohen has discovered that people do not want to dramatically change their look. For his patients, these are not vanity projects, and they are not attempts to redefine their lives. For nearly every patient, aesthetic and facial surgery is the opportunity to be the person they always intended to be – to be more authentically themselves.
They want to look in the mirror and see their true selves. Through trauma or injury, or the slow breakdown of time, they have lost connection with that best version of themselves. At FACES+, Dr. Cohen provides minimally invasive procedures as well as facial surgeries that are specifically designed to optimize his patient’s features without being noticeable.
It is a distinction that Dr. Cohen has perfected through his years of experience as both a surgeon and an artist.
“My art is inseparable from the work I have done over the past 30 years, I have developed creative skills that few have,” Dr. Cohen says. “I view things differently and question norms if it leads to beauty and a better world.”
As an artist – both in his formal art and his medical practice – Dr. Cohen creates stunning work but in a way that removes him from the art itself. You will see no evidence of him, and that is the point: He wants to achieve the most natural appearances – to take what his patients already have and maximize their beauty.
It is not about changing another person. It is about bringing forth the beauty they already possess, to bring forth the vitality they once had, to optimize their features in a harmonious way.
It is the artistic drive to create, to perfect the process of creation, that drives Dr. Cohen forward. Although he appreciates the accolades (and certainly has earned recognition as one of the best surgeons in America from media sources such as Newsweek Magazine, Castle Connolly, Best Doctors, Inc. and US News and World Report, that is not what keeps him going.
Whether it is because of past tragedy, his background training as a cardiac surgeon , or the wisdom gained through his years of experience as both surgeon and artist, Dr. Cohen understands, perhaps better than most, the razor’s edge between life and death. How quickly it can turn.
He intuitively understands the value and power of a single life, and he is on a mission to help his patients achieve all that they desire in their lives.
“What drives me is the realization that we only have one life, and we need to put our greatest efforts and passion into living it every day,” Dr. Cohen says. “For me, it is a drive toward finding a more beautiful life.”
Dr. Steven Cohen is an internationally recognized plastic surgeon, inventor, author and artist. Dr. Cohen has been selected as one of the Top Plastic Surgeons in America, by Newsweek, US News and World Report, Castle Connolly and Best Doctors, Inc.
Dr. Cohen’s mission as a plastic surgeon is perfectly summed up in this poem written by him.
What do I do as an aesthetic plastic surgeon? I chase beauty. I pursue elegance, harmony, balance. I sense the texture of tissues, the minuscule details of the skin’s landscape, constantly shifting with each expression. I am a hunter for the beauty inside. A bounty hunter who will journey deep into hidden lands to find beauty, to bring it to the surface, a diver with the treasure in hand. And what is it that I seek? I seek only what you are looking for, I search for the soft night light, the moon in the clouds, the beginning edge of a smile, the opening of an eyelid, the tremor of well-being that warms you.
– Dr. Steven Cohen