Orange County’s Finest Plastic Surgeons

Written By: Alana Aronson Plastic Surgeons of Newport Beach

Newport Beach is home to dozens of highly skilled and passionate plastic surgeons. We gathered up some of Newport’s best and left it up to you to choose the city’s top 7 surgeons. Their dedication to their patients and talent in the operating room positively impact hundreds of individuals from the inside out. Find out what got them started, how it feels to be voted one of our readers’ favorites, and what they love to do outside of the office.

 

Justin West, MD: Finesse Plastic Surgery

Q: What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?

Justin West: As a plastic surgeon I don’t often get the chance to save lives, but I very much get to change them. Whether it is a woman coming to me to rebuild her breasts after cancer surgery, or a teenager seeking out ear surgery because of bullying, I get to help people feel better about themselves. There is nothing more rewarding than when those patients return to the office and share with us how much we have improved their sense of self and their lives.

Q: What does it mean to be among the top 7 winners of our Favorite Plastic Surgeons in Newport Beach poll?

JW: I think it’s very flattering to be one of the favorites, especially in a city with almost 90 other plastic surgeons. I think our popularity speaks to the way we treat our patients. We make patients feel comfortable and safe, and give them the same care and attention we would to a family member. We spend a considerable amount of time during each consult making sure patients get the education they need about their procedure. We make every effort to understand their goals, so we can develop a customized plan to deliver the results they want.

Q: What inspired you to become a plastic surgeon?

JW: From the time I was a kid my plan was to be a general surgeon like my father. I started going into the operating room with him before I could drive a car. By the age of 18, I was performing surgery in the cardiac research lab at UCI to test new heart bypass systems. In medical school, I happened to do a plastic surgery elective. I had hoped to do a month of orthopedic surgery, but there weren’t any available spots. On the first day of my elective I had the chance to assist with a TRAM flap breast reconstruction where we use the tissue from the belly to rebuild a breast. That case changed the direction of my career. I was compelled by the opportunity plastic surgeons have to restore and rebuild, making patients feel whole and confident.

 

Aaron Kosins, MD MBA

Q: What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?

Aaron Kosins: The most rewarding aspect of being a Plastic Surgeon is getting to see the results of my work and creativity on a daily basis. I get to see patients after surgery, and the newfound confidence is overwhelming. In my practice I specialize in rhinoplasty. I love this operation because it can really change a young person’s life. Seeing my patients come in with a big smile and new energy makes me feel good inside every time. Unlike a lot of professions where you may only get a “win” every few months, as a physician we often get them every day.

Q: What inspired you to become a plastic surgeon?

AK: When I was in medical school, Plastic Surgeons were the most skilled surgeons I worked with. On my first day rotating on the Plastics service, I saw them use a man’s fibula (leg bone) to make him a new jaw. They disconnected the leg bone with its blood supply and reattached it in the neck. I thought, “I want to do that!” And the first time I saw a rhinoplasty, I knew that would be my lifelong passion. The operation itself is the most difficult operation in Plastic Surgery, and every nose is very different. Making a nose fit the face and look elegant is very difficult, and so I have dedicated my career to doing that.

Q: Do you have any other passions besides your profession?

AK: Absolutely! I love being outdoors and traveling. Every year I try and visit at least four new countries, and I usually incorporate surfing into that. Next year I am going to the Maldives and I am very excited. Being active and doing activities outside is what makes me happy. Fortunately, my biggest passion is rhinoplasty, so I usually don’t feel like I am actually “working.”

 

Mark Gaon, MD: Finesse Plastic Surgery

Q: What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?

Mark Gaon: The most rewarding aspect of my job is the ability to help others achieve their goals. Whether it’s a breast cancer patient that I can help make feel whole again or a cosmetic patient to whom I can restore confidence and self-esteem, seeing the effect of patient’s physical transformation lead to psychological transformation makes me proud of what I do every day.

Q: What inspired you to become a plastic surgeon?

MG: My inspiration came from my father, who is a practicing plastic surgeon in the area as well. He taught me everything I know, including all the secret plastic surgery recipes for success! He’s been a true inspiration. Growing up I used to be his assistant in the operating room, and now I thoroughly enjoy turning the tables and using him as my assistant.

Q: Do you have any other passions besides your profession?

MG: When I’m not taking care of patients, I enjoy spending time with my children. They are at great ages right now when they can enjoy going on adventures and not tire out easily! As for myself, I enjoy lazy days at the beach and deep sea fishing.

Lavinia K. Chong, MD

Q: What inspired you to become a plastic surgeon?

Lavinia K. Chong: My parents recognized and cultivated my potential, long before I could dream for myself. As my ambition became more authentic, my family unselfishly supported my vision, while mentors nurtured me. I have accomplished so much through the help of others.

Q: Do you have any other passions besides your profession?

LKC: My hubby and I are enthusiastic yogis who enjoy visiting our extended family in Europe, Asia, and Australia. I am also a Cal women’s water polo fanatic and self-appointed team photographer.

Q: Any advice for people interested in getting plastic surgery for the first time?

LKC: System approach: Be prepared to enter a patient-physician alliance.

  1. Do your homework. Define your aesthetic ideals, bring in photos of desired results, budget, time line for proceeding and health issues
  2. Interview a short list of practices, based on recommendations from previous patients whose results you like. Ask to review Before and After images
  3. Understand logistics: financial package, location of surgery, anesthetic techniques, risk, benefit, complications
  4. Prepare physically, emotionally and intellectually
  5. Communicate closely with your practice. Follow instructions and seek clarification whenever necessary.

 

Dr. Robert Kessler: Kessler Plastic Surgery

Q: What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?

Robert Kessler: There are so many rewarding aspects of plastic surgery. The diversity of presentations which continuously challenge, the constant introduction of new products, devices and techniques which allow us to achieve better results, the sense of accomplishment that comes with a well-performed procedure are just a few. But the most rewarding of all is the psychological transformation that occurs in my patients when I have restored or improved their body image. The self-confidence and self-assurance exhibited by them in their follow-up visits is palpable, and the energy is uplifting.

Q: What does it mean to be among the top 7 winners of our Favorite Plastic Surgeons in Newport Beach poll?

RK: The award is meaningful on multiple levels to me. I see this as a public validation of the quality of my work which is very important to me. I also invest in my relationships with my patients and so I feel even more appreciated by them as they have made an effort to participate in this poll. I am thankful to them for this. Lastly, there are quite a few plastic surgeons here in Newport Beach and to be ranked in the top is a meaningful accomplishment.

Q: Do you have any other passions besides your profession?

RK: My wife and three daughters. They are the reason I run out the door at the end of the day and manipulate my schedule continuously to make performances, soccer games and now dance recitals. Having just sent my first daughter off to college, I really appreciate how little time we have with them all to ourselves.

 

Alexis D. Furze, MD, FACS

Q: What does it mean to be among the top 7 winners of our Favorite Plastic Surgeons in Newport Beach poll?

Alexis Furze: It is an honor to even be considered among the top Plastic Surgeons in Newport Beach. Newport Beach is home to so many excellent surgeons so to be held in such high regard is quite humbling. The recognition also echoes that all the hard work and sacrifice to get to this point was well worth it.

Q: What inspired you to become a plastic surgeon?

AF: I was inspired by the fact that facial plastic surgeons have the ability to change both form and function of facial structures to help their patients. Not only can we make our patients look better, but at the same time we can make them feel better and treat certain medical conditions. Plastic surgeons get to combine science and artistry to influence patients’ lives.

Q: Do you have any other passions besides your profession?

AF: My family. When I am not treating patients, you will find me spending time with my beautiful wife and young children.

 

Melissa M. Smith, MD: Aisthetikos

Q: What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?

Melissa Smith: To me, plastic surgery is about helping people look and feel like their best selves. There’s no greater reward than seeing the happiness and self-confidence it brings to my patients. As a woman, I personally understand how important that is, so I feel privileged to be able to contribute to that in some way.

Q: What inspired you to become a plastic surgeon?

MS: Coming from a medical family and always being a “hands-on” person, I knew from an early age that I wanted to be a surgeon of some kind. But what appealed to me about plastic surgery is that it’s not just a technical skill, there’s an artistry to it. It allows me to be creative and to collaborate with my patients to achieve the truly beautiful results that they’re looking for.

Q: Do you have any other passions besides your profession?

MS: If I weren’t a plastic surgeon, I’d be a chef. I love to experiment with flavors and cuisines. Like with plastic surgery, there’s an art to it. And it’s incredibly gratifying to sit down to a meal with people I love and see how much enjoyment they get from my cooking.

Your Favorite Newport Beach Plastic Surgeons