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Meet Dr. Robert Cohen of Santa Monica

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dr. Robert Cohen.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Dr. Cohen. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I first became interested in plastic surgery in high school, when I was trying to find a career that would both utilize my interest in science and allow me to apply my technical/artistic skills that I enjoyed, such as drawing and sculpting. After spending time with a prominent surgeon over the summer of my junior year, I knew plastic surgery was the right career for me! I don’t think I really understood that after high school graduation, it would be 14 more years of hard work (premed at Emory, medical school at Tulane, general and plastic surgery residency at Dartmouth, and an aesthetic surgery fellowship in Marina del Rey) before I would be starting my career, but I stuck with my plan and in 2005 I started my private practice.

My original practice began in Scottsdale, Arizona, which is where I grew up (I was born in Montreal, Canada, but moved to Arizona when I was a child). I had met my wife in LA during my fellowship year, and we moved together back to Scottsdale, and within a couple of years I had a very busy aesthetic surgery practice with a focus on breast and body surgery, and a particular level of expertise in revising patients who suffered poorly performed surgery (like the show Botched). We had a smart, funny and beautiful daughter in 2008 and had a great life overall, but both my wife and I missed living in LA.

Fast forward a decade or so after starting my practice… Although everything was smooth overall, we felt that we wanted to change our lifestyle and head back to LA. We both always loved Santa Monica, and felt the time was right to make a move. I maintained my Arizona practice, and started the process of building a new practice in Santa Monica. This has involved a lot of travel back and forth between the two cities and a lot of extra work, but it has been an exciting process that has certainly made life more interesting! My wife was living near her family again, my daughter was very happy with her new school and friends, and we were able to enjoy all of the amazing things (ocean, great restaurants, culture, arts) that LA has to offer.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Opening an additional plastic surgery practice is never easy because so much depends on your reputation, which has to develop over time in a new community. I have a great reputation in Arizona as an ethical and high-quality surgeon, and thanks to the internet I developed a wide reach with a large subset of fly-in patients from around the US and globally as well. I am very focused on education, and speak at a lot of plastic surgery meetings and have written multiple book chapters and academic papers, so this helped with my professional credibility within the LA plastic community. Building my practice has been an organic process, and by focusing on excellent results and the highest level of safety and patient care, I have been increasing my business and making solid gains into an incredibly competitive market. I think the most challenging part of this process has been dealing with all of the back and forth travel between my two practices and the time I have had to spend away from my wife and daughter as a result.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
I am a board certified plastic surgeon specializing in aesthetic surgery. I have always had an interest in breast and body surgery, so I decided to really focus on being the best possible surgeon in these areas. I do many other types of surgery as well, but my depth of knowledge and experience is most significant in those areas. I pride myself on being able to achieve excellent results in some of the most difficult cases- particularly with botched breast surgery. My efforts have been recognized by the plastic surgery community, and I have been invited to speak/teach at many national meetings and in places as far away as St. Petersburg, Russia and Stockholm, Sweden. Besides my skill-set with regards to surgery, I think the other aspect of my practice that sets me apart is my focus on patient care. Safety and a great overall experience are critical to the success of my practice, and I put a tremendous amount of effort into really listening to all of my patient’s issues and doing whatever is within my power to help them. I have also been involved with an organization called UTU Humanitarian Alliance since its start, which I’m very proud of. For every surgery I have performed, I have also funded, through UTU, a necessary surgery (such as a cleft palate repair) for children in a number of third world countries. At this point, I have been able to help thousands of children, and my patients are thrilled that their procedures help not only them, but also a child in need!

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
My plans are to keep moving forward with regards to the development of my LA office and to become really established in the community as the go-to surgeon for high quality breast and body aesthetic surgery. My goal is to have the same reputation and recognition here as I do in Scottsdale. I’m looking forward to being able to spend more and more time with my family doing the things we like best: travelling, exploring, skiing, spending time at the beach, and just having fun together.

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