Dr. Jhonny Salomon wears two hats, one as a renowned plastic surgeon and another as an artist. Fittingly, the two go hand in hand as Dr. Salomon uses his artistic roots to deliver a true masterpiece to each one of his patients. A perfectionist in all senses, Dr. Salomon utilizes his artistic vision combined with his skilled precision to provide impeccable results. Haute Living sat down with the talented surgeon to discuss art, medicine and how the two come together for him.
HL: Can you tell me about how your journey with medicine first began?
JS: I was surrounded by medical and artistic influences while growing up in Haiti. My father was in the medical field while some of my uncles either owned prominent art galleries or created art. When the time came to decide my career path it only seemed appropriate to blend the two major influences I grew up with. Plastic and cosmetic surgery was the perfect choice. With early acceptance into Boston University Medical School, I completed my doctorate and moved onto Brown University for Plastic Surgery training. After completing an extended fellowship in craniofacial surgery from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, I started my Miami practice. Plastic surgery is fascinating because it truly combines medicine with empathy, research and art.
HL: What inspires your artwork and the photos you take?
JS: It’s a continuum. My passion for photography stemmed from an incredible trip I took to Africa 15 years ago. It was the first time I was really focused on mastering my photographic skills, and it encouraged me to train my eyes a bit more in order to detect beauty in everything around me. I’ve traveled the world to capture various aspects of the natural world and human condition since.
HL: How does surgery and art come together for you?
JS: There are many ways to approach surgery. One can look at it as very logical in a step-by-step manner, or you can visualize the outcome as an artist would visualize a piece of artwork. The most amazing results are possible when you combine both ideologies. Similar to a chess game, it’s about the equilibrium of details, the equilibrium of visions and understanding that natural beauty holds greater impact. That’s the way I look at cosmetic surgery―it’s the cultivation of small steps in order to achieve the most natural, perfect beauty.
HL: Can you explain the creative, artistic process of when you’re out taking photos and then when you are performing a surgery; how are the two similar and how do they differ?
JS: Although similar in that they are both forms of art, photography and plastic surgery are also very different. In photography you’re essentially finding the most impactful angle or scene and immortalizing that exact moment. You’re documenting the world and human condition through the lens, and it’s very two-dimensional. Plastic surgery requires a bit more depth. The human body is three-dimensional, and the surgical component including the healing process is also another dimension. As a surgeon, you have to understand how the tissues will come together following the procedure and how this will affect the final outcome.
HL: As a top surgeon in Miami, what do you think makes your skill and technique so unique? Do you feel that with your artistic background you’re kind of at a competitive advantage as a surgeon?
JS: From when I was a child, I’ve always had a competitive mindset. Not in the sense of being better than others, but more so in the sense of always working to achieve perfection. I take this approach with all aspects in life, especially within my practice. My patients come to me seeking the best, and it is my job to make sure that I am providing them with as close to perfect results that are realistically attainable.
HL: When you have a new patient coming to the office, how do you prepare for treating each person?
JS: My focus and approach with every patient is to make sure that they feel comfortable and safe in my care. As it is, many patients come into my office because they are unhappy with something about their aesthetic, and they are already in a very vulnerable state. It’s my job to gain their trust and assure them that their best interests are my No. 1 priority. Each patient is very different so it’s important that I listen to their needs and desires, so I am best equipped to provide them with a satisfactory cosmetic plan.
HL: Is there a certain specialty, because I know you have a few, that you find the most popular amongst your patients when they come to see you?
JS: I’m fascinated by the intricacies of the human body. Facial procedures have the most detailed components because you have to understand the aging process, analyzing the movement of fat deposits and analyzing the overall facial structure to ensure the results you create are natural. Facelifts, eyelid surgeries and rhinoplasties are quite popular amongst my patients as well as injectables. I would say facial procedures are my specialty. However, I do perform many breast and body procedures, as well.
HL: What surgical advances have you made in the past few years? Are there any new techniques that you’re implementing with the new technology available?
JS: The greatest thing about plastic surgery is that it is constantly evolving. There’s so much research that is allowing for more and more technologies to become available. Today, we’re able to incorporate non-invasive and invasive techniques to maximize the natural results our patients are seeking. In 2016 alone we’ve incorporated new fillers into our practice, as well as skin tightening and weight-loss treatments such as CoolSculpting, ThermiTight, ThermiVa and VelaShape III. I’m constantly researching technologies and methods to provide my patients with maximum results with minimal discomfort.
HL: Do you have a favorite artist or photographer?
JS: There are so many artists who I’ve come to respect and admire. My collection includes pieces from Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Damien Hirst, Frank Stella as well as an extensive collection of Latin-American art such as pieces from Botero, Lam, and Matta as well as several pieces from Haiti. My photography collection includes photographs from Sebastião Salgado, Annie Leibovitz, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Pieter Hugo and Terry O’Neill.