Get To Know Dr. Steven Svehlak of Sunset Cosmetic Surgery

Plastic surgeon Dr. Steven Svehlak specializes in the short-scar facelift, brow lift, eyelid and ear surgery, facial fat grafting, lip enhancement, chin implants, and rhinoplasty. Also, Dr. Svehlak is a skilled specialist in Los Angeles for liposuction and liposculpture, tummy tuck, minimal-incision natural breast augmentation, and breast reduction (both female and male). His practice also includes skin cancer removal and reconstruction, reconstruction after mastectomy, revision breast surgery, and hand surgery. Dr. Svehlak has been featured in the Consumers’ Research Council of America’s Guide to America’s Top Plastic Surgeons for the past six years consecutively and is proud that Sunset Cosmetic Surgery was recognized among the Top 1% of BOTOX® providers in the nation. The renowned surgeon of Sunset Cosmetic Surgery spoke with Haute Beauty about the future of his field, his most requested procedures, and the surgical advancements he’s most excited about.

My greatest achievement…

Some may feel that graduating medical school, or becoming a surgeon and plastic surgeon, or even running a successful plastic surgery office would be my greatest achievements.  Yes, they great achievements and milestones.  But, for me, my greatest achievement is meeting my wonderful wife, Wendy, and creating my beautiful daughter, Genevieve…It is my family!  It’s what I live for.  It’s the joy of having them in my life.

The future of my field is…

The field of cosmetic plastic surgery has been progressing rapidly over the last several years with introductions to new therapies such as new neurotoxins, fillers, and new non-invasive body and facial treatments.  The future of this field will always advance based on the demands of our patients.  They demand more non-invasive treatments, with less downtime and more natural, long-lasting results.  Nowadays people lead busy lives and can’t afford the recovery and downtime associated with traditional surgery.  I believe new therapies, such as Nano-fat and stem cell technologies, will become more common as part of our armamentarium to offer our patients.  Although still controversial, the regenerative potential of these treatments are being proven in many clinical studies throughout the world, not only for cosmetic and plastic reconstruction but also to treat many diseases such as osteoarthritis, blindness, Alzheimer’s, heart disease, neurodegenerative diseases, etc.  This is an exciting new era we are entering. Of course, there will always be a need for surgery to treat certain cosmetic and reconstructive problems.  These include breast reconstruction after mastectomy, facelifts for the aging face (but this can be postponed by treatments with the non-invasive and less invasive therapies), breast lifts and reductions, tummy tucks, reconstruction for trauma, etc.

The biggest misconception about my field is…

Over the years, plastic surgery and cosmetic surgery have gotten ever-increasing exposure through media (TV, social media, news, print, etc.).  It has been glamorized to be easy, fun, simple, quick recovery, etc., with various marketing “gimmicks”, and this can be very misleading.  Potential patients expect quick treatments, without pain, and quick recovery with amazing results.  This can be very difficult as a plastic surgeon because the patients expect perfection.  As a plastic surgeon, I need to spend significant time discussing and managing expectations.  I need to provide realistic goals.  I need to thoroughly review all risks and benefits of a particular treatment, and inform my patients that there are certain very real potential complications.  Some patients can brush these off and believe they are insignificant.  If I feel the patient and I don’t see eye-to-eye on this, I will refuse to perform a particular treatment.

My most requested procedures are…

I have become known as the expert in revisional body contouring surgery.  I have patients come from all over the world for help in improving and fixing botched liposuction and body contouring procedures.  This has become very common nowadays.  I see patients who have gone to other countries or other less qualified doctors to save money, or who have had very aggressive procedures using technologies such as lasers, ultrasound, radiofrequency, or who have had very aggressive liposuction with fat transfer to the buttocks to create that full, round, perky butt (Brazilian Buttlift).  These patients, because of the aggressiveness of their procedure and/or the inexperience of the “surgeon”, are left with very significant contour irregularities and deformities of their body with scarring and discoloration of the skin. These types of problems are difficult to correct.  Corrective surgery is tedious, time-consuming, and may require more than one procedure to get significant improvement. I do, however, perform many other types of surgery involving primary body contouring procedures, breast enhancements and tummy tucks (Mommy Makeover), facial procedures such as facelifts, neck lift, eyelid surgery, rhinoplasty, and otoplasty (ear reshaping and pinning).

What surgical advancements are you most excited about?

I am excited about surgeries becoming more minimally invasive, where less is more and creating more natural results, with less anesthesia, and quicker recovery.  One important advancement that I am applying in my practice and for my patients, is the art of regenerative treatments.  The science is moving along quickly and I believe that this will become more common.  Regenerative medicine and science involves using the body’s tissues and cells to help heal, regenerate, rejuvenate, and improve tissues that are damaged.  These tissues and cells are Microfat, Nanofat, and Stem Cells.  Stem cells are the young immature cells in our body that have the capability of transforming into normal healthy cells of various types of injured tissues to help heal and rejuvenate them.  Microfat and Nanofat contain these stem cells.

What are you best known for?

I believe I have become known as the plastic surgeon who is the expert to go to for fixing botched body procedures, especially body contouring procedures.

What is your most memorable patient reaction?

I remember a young woman from several years ago who consulted with me in the company of her mother because she didn’t like the way she looked, in terms of her body figure and shape.  She was very depressed and socially withdrawn.  Her mom stated that at times she felt like life wasn’t worth living.  She had been to see therapists to help her with her depression and despair. After consulting with her and her mom, I spent a significant amount of time reviewing her physical concerns and what I could do for her.  I even discussed options with her therapist.  I discussed that I could make these changes and improvements physically, but she may not feel much better about herself.  We eventually all agreed to pursue surgery. I performed significant body sculpting and liposuction, with some fat transfer to her breasts and buttocks.  Afterward, she healed well and did look much better.  What was quite surprising is how this had changed her mood and outlook on life.  She became much more happy and outgoing.  She had more friends.  She wasn’t depressed anymore.  It became life-altering to her.  She had a new appreciation for her life. She became excited about the endless possibilities for the future.  And now, many years later, she remains a loyal patient and refers many of her friends and family.  She is very thankful for how I changed her life.

What sets my practice apart is

Sunset Cosmetic Surgery is one of only a few surgical practices anywhere, where 2 double board-certified plastic surgeons practice together in the same practice.  At our practice, we have the unique circumstance of having two highly experienced knowledgeable surgeons at the service of our patients who have been in practice together for more than 15 years.  Patients can rest assured that their experience and treatments will be delivered with the utmost professionalism, honesty, safety, and ability.

What I love most about my profession is…

My ability through my knowledge and skills, as a plastic surgeon and doctor, to change someone physically, and through this step, improve a person’s self-confidence, emotions, outlook on life, happiness, etc.  They just feel better about themselves.  They feel beautiful.  And when they reciprocate these changes back to me, I feel overjoyed, satisfied, and proud to be able to make such a profound effect on someone’s future.

Can you describe a career-defining procedure?

More than 10 years ago, I had treated a well-known movie actress after she had a bad experience and outcome from a body contouring (liposuction) and breast lift procedure.  Her problem became known to the world during a Red Carpet event where she had a wardrobe mishap, exposing her body for all to see.  It hurt her emotionally and diminished her self-confidence considerably.  It even affected her career.  We eventually met through a friend because she was seeking to fix her botched surgery. I performed reparative surgery which included revisional lipocontouring and liposculpting surgery which included micro-fat transfer and sculpting.  Also, a revision breast lift was performed.  She had significant improvement in her body contours and a much nicer, natural breast shape.  Her confidence improved and she began doing more movies.  She was so happy, that she told her story to the public through the tabloid media.  This one experience has had a significant positive advancement for my career, and now I have become one of the few highly sought after reparative surgeons.

What new services are you excited to offer?

We are redefining our practice, of Sunset Cosmetic Surgery, from being just a plastic surgery office, with plastic surgeons, to one that brings and promotes a Health and Beauty Experience.  We are incorporating other specialties, such as OB/GYN, and personnel, to bring these services to our practice. I am excited to be offering more noninvasive beautifying treatments and procedures such as LED light therapy, microdermabrasion, and micro-needling with PRP (platelet-rich plasma) for skin rejuvenation; laser and radiofrequency for vaginal rejuvenation; Micro-fat and Nano-fat technology for facial, skin, and hair rejuvenation; M-sculpt for muscle toning and even fat reduction; Instalift Silhouette Thread Lifts for the minimally invasive facelifts, neck lifts, and body lifts; and more procedures requiring only local anesthesia with minimal downtime.  We also are offering more, high grade medical topical skin treatments with growth factors and peptides that are proven to improve and rejuvenate the skin such as LifeLine, Defenage, etc.