Ask Steven L. Davis, D.O., FACOS, to define his profession, and he will likely say, “plastic surgeon.” While that’s certainly true, one might also describe him as an investigator of sorts, a man who uses his curious mind, keen eye, and kind heart to help people feel better about who they see when they look in the mirror.
“I see myself as someone who can offer solutions to help people based on their individual needs or concerns,” he says. “Some people may be best served by a surgical solution, while others may be better candidates for nonsurgical options, such as dermal fillers or energy-based devices. The answer is going to be different for everyone, depending on who they are and where they are in their life. And here’s the thing: The answer could change as people get older or enter different stages of life. It’s my job to take all those factors into consideration and offer the best path forward.”
Dr. Davis is the founder of Davis Cosmetic Plastic Surgery, which has two offices in New Jersey and a third in Philadelphia. His practice specializes in surgical cosmetic solutions such as facelifts, breast augmentations, and abdominoplasty, as well as nonsurgical procedures such as dermal fillers, “liquid facelifts,” and skin-tightening treatments using radiofrequency-based devices, among others.
His approach to patient care may be best described as bespoke, personalized, or custom-tailored. When Dr. Davis meets with a prospective patient for the first time, he not only does a thorough physical examination, but also delves deeply into what’s most important to the individual. Consultations have become quite thorough as a result, because he believes each individual should come away from the encounter fully informed and aware of their options.
“You have to listen and empathize with people,” he says. “Whenever I meet with a patient, I hand them a mirror and say, ‘Show me what’s bothering you and tell me why.’ There may be a textbook answer to address a certain body part the patient wants to change, but you have to factor in their lifestyle, what they have been through, and what they want to deal with moving forward. So, instead of that textbook answer, you have to look at other ways of tackling a challenge.
“I like to give everyone all their options, but I usually recommend the safest route with the least amount of downtime and the best risk-to-benefit ratio,” he continues. “People can always come back and do more, if needed. The No. 1 thing that prevents someone from making a change is they saw someone on TV who had a procedure done and looks unnatural; that patient most likely wanted that result. At the end of the day, the patient is the one who is going to make the decision.”
These consultations sometimes serve as a reeducation of sorts. Dr. Davis cites one recent patient who came into his office insisting on a facelift.
“She had some acne scars and other skin issues,” he recalls. “I suggested laser skin resurfacing and fat grafting would give her a much better result than a facelift. I used the analogy of bringing a dress to a dressmaker; the dressmaker could alter the dress to make it fit better, but if the material is not in good shape, it’s not going to be a good dress. I’m assuming she was thinking facelift because she had met with another surgeon who didn’t listen to what she was concerned about.
“By the time she left,” he continues, “she was absolutely thrilled and happy that she didn’t have to go through a facelift. It doesn’t mean a facelift won’t help her down the line, but it wasn’t the best option for her at that moment.”
Changing the Game
Like many surgeons, Dr. Davis discovered his natural curiosity at a young age. He also wanted to help others—a desire that has only intensified over his nearly 30 years in practice.
“During my training as a plastic surgeon, I started to realize that plastic surgery was about much more than the actual surgery you are performing on the patient,” he says. “Inherent in plastic surgery is this concept of making people feel better about themselves. There’s a psychological component, in that you’re doing something that helps someone in ways that go far beyond altering their physical appearance.”
Dr. Davis’s increasingly robust armamentarium keeps him engaged and eager to expand his knowledge base. His involvement with leading societies and organizations devoted to plastic surgery and cosmetic medicine places him among the first to learn of new technologies and products designed to give patients better outcomes. He also works closely with manufacturers of injectables and energy-based devices to bring new modalities into the fold.
“You can literally reshape the face with some of these new products,” he adds. “More and more, you’re seeing injectables taking a 3D approach, where the fillers are placed in different levels and depths in order to build an architecture to support the face. When you’re a surgeon, people assume you’re always going to want to do surgery, but the things we’re now able to do with fillers, neuromodulators, and other nonsurgical procedures can leave people with a completely different version of themselves.”
Dr. Davis continues to make his mark in ways other than direct patient care. He builds on his media presence with regular appearances on local and regional media outlets, and he also spreads his message through his podcast, The Plastic Surgery Revolution. In addition, though he can’t yet share specifics, he is in the process of developing a cosmetic-medicine curriculum for a respected university that he believes will be “a real gamechanger.”
“Everything comes back to the question: What problem can I solve for the patient?” he says. “The most exciting thing for me is that I’m able to incorporate so many different modalities. It reminds me of Marvel’s The Avengers in that I have this whole team of procedures and modalities, each with its own superpower. I put each of those superpowers to use, when needed, and come up with the most bespoke solution for the ultimate benefit of the patient.”
Davis Cosmetic Plastic Surgery
1916 Route 70 East, Suite 1
Cherry Hill, NJ 08003
2306 New Road (Route 9)
Northfield, NJ 08225
1546 Packer Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19145
Photography by Alison Dunlap
Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Family Magazine, Volume 12, Issue 11.
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