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Steven Fagien, MD, FACS: His Vantage Point

By: Cathy Christensen
Posted: March 4, 2010, from the March 2010 issue of
Dr. Steven Fagien injecting a patient

Fagien specializes in only two procedures: cosmetic eyelid surgery and injectables. Photography by Steve Levine/Steady70

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The practice is now experiencing a slight upturn because people are beginning to schedule surgery again. But in the bleakest moments of the economy, Fagien’s practice experienced a drop in surgery and, surprisingly, an increase in injectables. “I don’t think the economy is getting any better. I think people are getting used to it and tightening their belts,” says Fagien.

Another facet of his successful practice is his substantial research involvement. Fagien insists that he does research because he is truly interested in innovations and being involved with progress. “We have a truly exceptional clinical study department. We do a thorough and efficient job here, too,” he says.

Avoiding the spotlight

Plastic surgery is a field that has become a curiosity to many in the general public, fueling much media coverage and the ascension of some doctors into more public roles, whether as news correspondents or reality show stars. This path, however, is not one that interests Fagien in the slightest.

“I take my work very seriously. I’m not suggesting that I don’t have maybe a larger ego than some, but I don’t have that need to be in the media that some people do. There’s a certain level of ethics that I feel I maintain by purposely not being interested in it,” he says. “I find some of the serious patients are actually less interested in surgeons who are so visible in the media.”

In fact, what remains a public fascination Fagien sees as a very private issue: treating many well-known people at his office who demand confidentiality. “Media is a double-edged sword. It raises the interest in plastic surgery, but it presents some risks, too. The risk of making plastic surgery so public is that it demeans the importance of selecting a very qualified surgeon to do a procedure, and it suggests that there are no risks to procedures, which I find can be dangerous when someone hears something that suggests it sounds easy,” emphasizes Fagien.

Personal balance