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Last week Dr. Sullivan was asked to participate in a live online radio forum on , Women’s Radio Network. During his 8 minute segment with host Lisa Singer, Dr. Sullivan discussed his approach to cosmetic surgery of the face, breast and body. He discussed with Lisa how he prefers a natural looking result as opposed to the operated upon look. Dr. Sullivan also spoke about his emphasis on patient safety and stressed the importance of patient education when choosing the right doctor for your individual needs. Dr. Sullivan and his team are dedicated not only to providing the best in patient care but also educating the public about the importance of their chosen surgeon being highly experienced in the type of treatment the patient desires. Dr. Sullivan also stressed the importance of being shown many pre and post-operative pictures of a surgeon’s work and ensuring your chosen surgeon be certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. The full transcription of this interview, as well as the live recorded interview, are both available below for your reading and listening pleasure below.
Open Forum with Lisa Singer
Women’s Radio Network
Lisa: Welcome back to Open Forum, I’m your host Lisa Singer and my next guest is Dr. Patrick Sullivan. He is a certified plastic surgeon and he is located in Providence, RI.
Dr. Sullivan: Hello Lisa, how are you?
Lisa: I’m good how are you?
Dr. Sullivan: It’s such a pleasure to be on talking with you.
Lisa: It’s a pleasure to have you! So tell me about your facility, you have a boutique plastic surgery firm. Tell me about how this all came about? Did you immediately know that you wanted to open your own place or did you work with other doctors? How did it all start?
Dr. Sullivan: Well we decided what we really needed to do was to be there for our patients. Our patients tend to really want privacy, just like people on the red carpet whom you deal with Lisa. Our patients tend to be business men and business women who really want to have privacy and confidentiality. Thus, we set up an office with a private entrance, so when people come in they are not seeing anyone else while here, they also go to a private certified operating room with board certified anesthesiologists. We worked out a system where we don’t use general anesthesia over 90% of the time so patients just have intravenous sedation. It’s to such a degree that patients don’t hear, feel or see anything-they just wake up [after surgery] and say, “did you start yet?” and the surgery is all over. So we wanted to get those kind of things built into [our practice] and we just couldn’t do this in a hospital environment and achieve that kind of privacy. So we did it on our own. Now we have been over 20 years and it’s been incredibly successful. We’re situated between Boston and New York. We have terrific hotels, great restaurants and we take care of a lot of people whom come in from outside our area.
Lisa: All different areas?
Dr. Sullivan: Yeah, all different areas.
Lisa: So what do you really specialize in there?
Dr. Sullivan: Well, a lot of what I do, Lisa, is rejuvenation of faces. You know, for people’s eyelids, faces, necks. For people who get told they have tired eyes, or they look in the mirror and they don’t feel what they see. There is this vibrant person on the inside, but they look in the mirror and they don’t feel what they see. There is this vibrant person on the inside, but they look in the mirror and say, “who’s that?!”
Lisa: Right, right.
Dr. Sullivan: So we try to help people get that back. My speciality, which I’ve been [working on] for years is to give a very natural appearance for people so they never have an operated look. They go back and they feel much more confident and when they are confident they are able to perform much better at work and also socially.
Lisa: Right, but I also do think that is important. A lot of times, and I guess I’ll talk celebrity-not specifically, but we see them so it’s more “known”. You’ll see someone whom you know had something done because their face looks very pulled. They may look good a year or two later after it has relaxed a little bit but that initial look is not something that I would ever think, I would never want to trade those tired eyes to have that look where everyone knows you did something. So you saying that it’s very natural, I think that is very important. You must find that with your patients as well that is something they are looking for.
Dr. Sullivan: That is exactly right. At least with my patients that is what they are looking for. They tend to people who are out in the public eye. We try to get them back [to work] in two weeks. We have people come to us saying things like, “nobody knew that I had anything [done], I’m just getting all of these compliments. I’m not being told I look tired or sad or upset anymore”. They are just able to forget about their appearance and just dive into what they were doing socially or businesswise with so much more confidence. It’s just really gratifying to see that.
Lisa: And do you think we are seeing, again I you said that you opened your practice and it’s been more than 20 years now, are you finding that today it is more common place than it was back 20 years ago?
Dr. Sullivan: Much more common, especially for men, and also for women. It used to be that I would just operate on…I’ve operated on a number of actresses and wealthy people…now it is much more common place. You are absolutely right. That is great; I would like to see it so that it [plastic surgery] would be possible for anybody who wants to look their best.
Lisa: Do you think it is because people are working longer, until they are older? They are not maybe retiring so they want to keep a youthful appearance? But also it seems that we are seeing that are younger even and are having something done, ya know, and for those reasons, more like a rejuvenation. I’m not talking about the ‘nose job’ or something like that, I’m talking about where it’s to perk them up a little bit or they feel they need a little tweak.
Dr. Sullivan: No, that is right. So the entry level, for us, isn’t surgery anymore. It’s frequently Botox, injectables, or people’s own fat with their stem cells to help rebuild faces. We all deflate as we get older. Especially people who work out to stay healthy, they notice that they deflate more. So we can help to build them up with very minimally invasive procedures. It’s not just a full facelift or something. People are, just as you pointed out, entering at an earlier stage and getting rejuvenated without surgery. Then they go on and if they do ever want it we are available for that too. We do a lot of surgery.
Lisa: Right. And, I guess, for anyone that is listening and maybe they don’t have access to you. What do they need? There are a lot of scary things that can happen out there as well. You can’t just go to anybody. What do they need to know to know they are getting a doctor like yourself that is certified and that is going to do that kind of job that is going to look natural and not going to be something worse? How could someone prevent a situation like that from happening?
Dr. Sullivan: That is an excellent question, and we try to address that on our website www.drsullivan.com and we try to let people know what they should be looking for in terms of board certifications and also US News has a rating. We were honored to have received their top 1% of plastic surgeons rating. But I’m not the only one; there are other people out there that are very capable as well. So I think looking at those things. Also certification by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, those things are helpful. But also, once you get in there you have to ask that surgeon, “show me pictures”, “Show me pictures of what your other patients look like, and where the incisions are” things like this. I think those are some of the most helpful things.
Lisa: Right. Like you said, you want to give that natural look but maybe other doctors don’t. They could be good doctors, in terms of reputable, but maybe their outcome is a little different. So to know these things, to know you are both looking for the same goal.
Dr. Sullivan: That’s right. And their thing may be a totally different kind of plastic surgery but they will do face plastic surgery even though they do it very rarely. Their result isn’t going to be the same. The other thing is, one really needs to have a sense of artistry in plastic surgery. That is why looking at pictures, and looking at many, many pictures, of the surgeon’s examples can give you an idea of whether that’s the way you want to look.
Lisa: Right. And that’s good point, what you said, that someone could be a good plastic surgeon and have no issues against them but maybe the predominantly work on the body and not on the face or other certain areas. So it’s not only finding out if they are good and reputable and certified but also that they work on what you looking for and that it is what their specialty is and that they can at least do that well.
Dr. Sullivan: So seeing on their website over and over, picture after picture, of things that you are looking for and that it is that kind of result that you are looking for. Also, to ask, there are a lot of patients of mine who will not be on the website but will allow me to show pictures of them in an office setting. So, those are the kinds of examples that are really helpful and we have found really helpful for people to see. Because…you really want to connect with your patients.
Lisa: So you want to know what you are getting into. So, Dr. Sullivan thank you. I really appreciate you talking with me. As you said, more and more people are doing this and we want people to do this where they can get the results they want and also be safe. So this is really good advice, thank you.
Dr. Sullivan: You’re welcome. Safety is key. If someone gets their face messed up because they are going for a lower price, or something, so many people come to me that I can’t fix. It is so disheartening. So you really want to do it right the first time.
Lisa: This is not where you necessarily bargain hunt, this is where you find the best. Let me just tell everyone again, to remind them who I am speaking with, I am speaking with Dr. Patrick Sullivan, and as I mentioned he is a certified plastic surgeon and he is based in Providence, RI; but, as he talked about he is very convenient to New York and Boston. A lot of people come from different areas. If you want to find out more about him and perhaps you are interested in having something done, or just window shopping at first, go to www.drsullivan.com. You have been listening to Open Forum on the Women’s Radio Network.