When you are considering cosmetic plastic surgery, you want the noted surgeon, Dr. John Mesa with you from the initial consult to the follow-up care.
Dr. Mesa is known for his extraordinary surgical technique, and flawless and stunning results, which is among the many reasons he is sought out by Hollywood celebrities and laypeople alike.
Dr. Mesa has long been the keeper – and top specialist – of Buccal Fat Removal, an extremely popular procedure among Hollywood’s biggest stars.
This procedure has recently topped the headlines after Chrissy Teigen, the American model and television personality– revealed her pleasure and satisfaction in undergoing the Buccal Fat Removal surgery.
A Harvard-educated, triple fellowship-trained plastic surgeon, Dr. Mesa has made a mark for his specialty in neck-up procedures, which are done with local anesthesia versus general anesthesia making the risk and healing process much easier for patients, and his work also includes procedures for the breasts and body. His strong credentials have given him a unique set of skills for cosmetic plastic surgery.
He is known for delivering premier, individualized care and for achieving consistently beautiful, natural-looking results. He is most famous for being a top specialist in Buccal Fat removal, a procedure becoming increasingly popular.
This noted physician offers his expertise and incomparable knowledge on the ever-trending procedure, which involves the removal of fullness from the cheeks, helping clients achieve a supermodel-like look.
The goal of buccal fat removal is to thin the cheeks, specifically in the area of the cheek hollows. Although a face that is naturally soft and filled out is considered youthful, some people find that their face feels too full, even chubby.
A buccal fat removal removes the buccal fat pad, a naturally-occurring pad of fat in the cheek hollow area. The size of the buccal fat pad varies with each individual patient, and the buccal fat pad in each cheek may be different sizes.
In addition to Buccal Fat Removal, Dr. Mesa also offers minimally invasive procedures from the neck up, like facial contouring and lifting.
Dr. Mesa guarantees his patients the safest and most comfortable options for cosmetic surgery procedures–from chin liposuction to face tightening, including the jowl area – by using tiny incisions, allowing the patient to remain wide awake during minimally invasive procedures.
Born and raised in Colombia, Dr. Mesa’s patients agree that he brings the warmth and care of the Latin culture to his practice, and he is known for providing personalized care in custom plastic surgery.
He is dedicated to ensuring that his patients look and feel their best, and with newfound confidence after their procedures, are better able to achieve their personal, social, and professional goals.
Dr. Mesa is bi-lingual and serves his clientele in his New York and Miami offices, where he attracts many celebrities from Hollywood and elsewhere.
Dr. Mesa, what is Buccal Fat Removal?
Buccal fat removal is the plastic surgery procedure that corrects chubby cheeks, “chipmunk” cheeks, or round/full faces. It allows achieving a chiseled V-shaped facial look. Basically, it will enable patient candidates to achieve a celebrity or supermodel facial look in a very short period with little to no downtime! It is truly a marvel.
Why do you feel that this procedure gaining in popularity?
This procedure is gaining popularity because, thanks to social media, regular people started to realize they can achieve a chiseled facial look in real life as models and celebrities do.
Why do you believe celebrities are attracted to this procedure and therefore others?
Like Chrissy Teigen and numerous others, celebrities are attracted to the buccal fat removal procedure because it allows them to achieve a chiseled facial look characteristic of successful stars. Additionally, for people on-screen (pictures or video look “heavier” due to optical effect), the lack of fullness on their cheeks allows them to look their best both in-person and in audiovisuals.
What other procedures are you passionate about?
I am passionate about performing face and neck procedures under local anesthesia. Most plastic surgeons perform face and neck procedures under either general or twilight anesthesia (aka IV sedation) because the common belief is that those procedures are painful. My passion is to demonstrate procedures like deep plane facelift, chin liposuction, etc.; they can be performed under local anesthesia completely awake and without any pain. I chat with my patients during the surgery!
I understand your procedures can be done under local versus general anesthesia, how is that possible and what are the benefits?
I perform all my facial and neck procedures under local anesthesia. That is possible because patients don’t feel any pain during the surgery with the local anesthesia technique I developed. Just before the procedure, most patients are understandably a tad anxious. They believe that the surgery is going to hurt (and that I am being “that” doctor), but once the procedure starts, they confirm that there is no pain. Then, the patient and I get to talk while the procedure is performed!
Please share with my readers why you became a plastic surgeon?
I became a plastic surgeon because I always had an affinity for beauty and symmetry. Upon finishing high school, I wanted to become an architect. That didn’t work out as I planned, and probably for the better. I also loved studying biology, and what better direction to undertake than medicine! I realized that plastic surgery is being an “architect” of the face and body in medical school. The choice of plastic surgery was obvious to me.
Why is providing custom plastic surgery so important?
Providing custom plastic surgery is essential because everyone is different. It isn’t a plug-and-play business. Individual needs and wants need to be considered while designing the plastic surgeon procedure(s) to address the specific and unique patient’s concerns.
Please tell us about your background and training.
I am a board-certified plastic surgeon. I specialize in facial contouring (cosmetic procedures of the face and neck). I was born and raised in Colombia, South America, where I did my medical school training. I immigrated to the United States to pursue my surgical training. I trained in general surgery at Harvard. Then, I trained in plastic surgery at Penn State University.
I did three fellowships training: one in craniofacial surgery (reconstruction of the head and neck) at the University of Michigan, the second one in aesthetic surgery (cosmetic surgery of the face and body) at the University of Birmingham in Alabama, and the third one in Plastic Surgery Research at Harvard.
How did you become an expert in Buccal Fat Removal?
I became specialized in buccal fat removal because I became very interested in the clinical results the procedure delivers to the patients. I started to perform many buccal fat removal procedures early in my career when almost nobody knew about the procedure (except in the celebrity and modeling world).
As the procedure became more mainstream, I started to do even more buccal fat removal surgeries. My patients are impressed with their buccal fat removal results. After performing so many procedures, one gains the experience and wisdom to be specialized in this particular surgery.
How important is having trust in your plastic surgeon and what should one always look for when choosing a plastic surgeon?
It is imperative to trust your plastic surgeon when undergoing an elective cosmetic procedure. I tell my patients that undergoing plastic surgery is like getting married: you need to make sure you can trust him/her during your journey. If a complication arises, it doesn’t mean that a “divorce” should happen. During that time, you need to be confident the plastic surgeon you choose will be taking care of you during and until the issue is resolved.
Are there current trends in plastic surgery?
Yes, there are new trends in plastic surgery these days. I would say that the top trend nowadays is buccal fat removal (chubby cheek reduction). This trend is closely followed by chin liposuction and jawline sculpting and facial beautification or facial masculinization with injectable fillers. It’s all about the lines.
What is your professional philosophy?
My professional philosophy is to treat my patients as if they were family members. Therefore, nothing short of my personal best for them.
How does it feel after a patient returns for a follow-up visit and he/she beams with satisfaction from the inside out?
It is very gratifying and makes you feel valued. I feel very elated in those moments. It reaffirms that I am doing what I love to do and am meant to do in life, and I am doing it well. Because how we look is deeply connected to how we feel, making a patient happy inside out with my plastic surgery procedures is the highest praise I can ever receive.
What are one or two life lessons you want to share with the next generation?
One lesson that I would like to share with the next generation is that when you love your work, it doesn’t feel like work at all. Another life lesson I would like to share is that if you are committed, disciplined, and work hard towards a goal, you can achieve it no matter how difficult the journey might be.
What wisdom can you pass on to the next generation of plastic surgeons?
I would like to tell the next generation of plastic surgeons that fellowships are essential to gaining additional surgical skills before joining the workforce. I also would like to say to them you should pursue the field or subspecialty of plastic surgery that makes you the happiest.
What steps should a patient take in choosing the plastic surgeon that is right for them and the procedures that they seek?
When choosing a plastic surgeon, patients should do their “homework.” They should avoid choosing a plastic surgeon just based on price. They should evaluate the surgeon’s credentials (e.g., board certification in plastic surgery), the field of specialization, the “before and afters,” and the reviews. Most importantly, they should feel rapport and trust with the surgeon during the consultation (aka, good “gut feeling”). Trust and certainty are the keys.
What is your definition of success – both in your practice and personally?
Success in my practice and on a personal level it means to me being happy in what I do for work and my personal life. Success is easily confused with monetary gains (just being rich, a millionaire). Wealth does make life easier but it doesn’t automatically equate to a happier one. You cannot buy happiness. No matter the level of monetary success you achieve, you are successful if you are happy at work and with your life.
How does your Latin culture influence the care of your patients?
My Latin influence allows me to understand and care better for my patients. In Latin culture, patients are not just paying customers or strangers that come for a cosmetic service. Patients are like friends or family members; therefore, you need to treat them the best you can from all angles of care.
What are your plans/goals/aspirations for the future?
I would like to help spread awareness that cosmetic plastic surgery of the face and neck can be performed painlessly under local anesthesia, bringing down the stigma of a complex and strenuous undertaking, for the patient at least.
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