Dr. Babak Azizzadeh, M.D., F.A.C.S. talks to Haute MD about his prolific surgical career, as well as what it takes to be a great doctor.
- What is your approach to customer satisfaction?
Even though cosmetic surgery can sometimes be subjective, I truly want to have a 100% customer satisfaction rate or as close is I can possibly get to that. This means that we spend more time with patients than most plastic surgery offices. During our consultations we use cutting edge technology such as three-dimensional imaging systems to better discuss the potential results of the surgery, as well as illustrations to detail the surgical procedure and anatomy. We review before-and-after photos of similar issues to the pertaining case. We provide patients with a second consultation one to two days before the procedure to make sure that the patient and I are in sync and on the same page with goals and expectations. Most importantly, I listen to my patients to make sure that I can not only meet their expectations, but beat them.
- What characteristics separate a great doctor from a good one?
A good plastic surgeon may have nice bedside manners, may be a good clinician, may be a good educator, may be a good surgeon, or may be cutting edge…a great doctor has it all. They must be a cutting edge physician who is able to critically analyze and incorporate new techniques while knowing time tested procedures. He or she knows not only when to perform a procedure but also what exactly needs to be done to obtain excellent results. Furthermore, they can handle unforeseen complications with deft skill. In addition, they must be kind, compassionate and be able to listen to their patients. Finally, they must possess amazing surgical skills that are precise and detail-oriented in order to obtain the best possible outcome.
- How do you keep abreast of the latest advances and techniques in Rhinoplasty?
To keep up with the latest advances, one must be at the cutting edge of medicine by being an educator, researcher and constantly reading the latest, both in medical and lay journals. I teach residents and run the USC Facial Plastic Surgery Fellowship program. Furthermore, I am a Co-Director of Macro, which is a clinical research organization that performs clinical trials. I also have edited the top three medical textbooks in my specialty that has allowed me to collaborate with some of the top experts in the world.
- How should patients prepare for a Rhinoplasty procedure?
First and foremost, patients should make sure that they have picked the right surgeon who has expertise and experience in this particular procedure that many believe is the most difficult in cosmetic surgery. Second, they should have realistic expectations – no surgery will change one’s life and all procedures have their limitations! This is an operation that, if performed well, will improve aesthetics and function of the nose which can be very gratifying for both the patient and surgeon.
- What new projects are you working on?
We are doing extensive research on 3D imaging systems to better educate patients. I am also the primary investigator on a stem cell research studying nerve regenerations at Cedars-Sinai.
- Tell us about your favorite hobby?
Skiing, but unfortunately I tore my ACL last year so I had to take this year off. Nevertheless, I went on several trips to ski tons this winter just to breathe the fresh air and take in some R&R.
Since training at Harvard Medical School for facial plastic and reconstructive surgery, Dr. Azizzadeh has found due recognition in the medical field, with appearances on the Oprah Winfrey Show and ABC’s The Doctors. In the five textbooks that Dr. Azizzadeh has written, the expert touches upon the intricacies of interpersonal connections, art and science and how the three intersect. His patients travel from all over the world to meet with him because of his profound knowledge and experience in the field, his cutting edge approach to medicine and his compassionate bedside manner. Read more about Dr. Azizzadeh here.