DR. GARTH FISHER, MD FACS
“The most important thing about the filler is not the filler,
but who’s injecting it.”
Dr. Garth Fisher is a world-renowned Plastic Surgeon located in Beverly Hills, California. Known as the “Plastic Surgeon to the Stars”, celebrities, entertainers, business executives and other physicians from around the world have sought him out to perform his surgical skills on them. The “A” list celebrities enjoy the confidentiality that Dr. Fisher offers them, and the doctor says: “I am proud to say we have not had a celebrity surgery tabloid leak in 20 years!”
Dr. Fisher was named “One of the Top Plastic Surgeons in the United States for Facial Cosmetic and Breast Surgery” in the Best Doctors in America, a listing of the nation’s most prominent physicians. In a Vanity Fair Special Edition issue, he was deemed “the enhancer” for being the top breast surgeon in Hollywood. Kourtney Kardashian, Holly Madison, Jenna Jameson and Playboy’s Kendra Wilkinson, have all bragged about their breasts being done by Dr. Fisher.
He was the first surgeon to inaugurate the concept of Plastic Surgery on television in ABC’s hit reality show, “Extreme Makeover”. Medical organizations have praised the show for using the media to bring Plastic Surgery out in the open for the public to see.
Dr. Fisher felt there was a need to educate people who were thinking about Plastic Surgery, so he created and produced an award-winning 5-part series of informational DVDs called, “The Naked Truth About Plastic Surgery”. The DVDs are used as an educational tool to help prospective patients, by delivering an honest, unbiased look at the procedures – covering both the risks and the rewards of Plastic Surgery.
STRIPLV: How did you get involved in doing the show, “Extreme Makeover”?
DR. FISHER: Howard Schultz was the producer and he came to me and asked me if I wanted to be the Plastic Surgeon to start episodes of the show. I had a couple of conversations with him and when I felt comfortable that it was going to be a venture that was going to be substantive to the patients and didn’t exploit them, and that it was good for our profession, I decided to do it.
STRIPLV: In your opinion, is it more traumatic to the body to do multiple procedures than just working on one thing at a time, or safer, while they’re under anesthesia, to do it all?
DR. FISHER: You have to take each patient on a case-by-case basis. They have to be appropriate from our Plastic Surgery standpoint and also medically. Everything has to be under the umbrella of safety, for sure. It’s very common to do multiple procedures in the operating room. Each one of these patients were carefully selected and interviewed, assessed and evaluated medically. In many “What makes a painter a good painter? It can be the same painting,
the same canvas, but the hand and translation of what they feel is beautiful
goes onto the canvas and everyone appreciates that it’s beautiful.”
cases, it’s safer to do a procedure during the same time than to do separate ones. Everything turned out well and we didn’t have any complications.
STRIPLV: Do you perform multiple procedures at the same time on your other patients, aside from the show, Extreme Makeover?
DR. FISHER: I am doing the same procedures on my other patients all the time.
STRIPLV: The healing time must vary with multiple procedures, correct?
DR. FISHER: The healing time varies depending on the patient and what procedures you’re doing. Sometimes it’s better to do it all at once and sometimes it’s better to break them up a little bit.
STRIPLV: When a patient comes to you, what’s the best tool they can use in the initial consultation to understand what their final results will be?
DR. FISHER: The first thing I tell them is to go to my website and pull up “The Naked Truth About Plastic Surgery”. These are 1½ to 2-hour videos that I created to inform patients of the risks and benefits of Plastic Surgery and what to totally expect. They are award-winning tapes and they’re free to watch, and help you choose doctors, help you to know what you’re going to get from this and what you’re not going to get. I first tell them that, and a lot of them come in pretty informed. Depending on what they’re going to get, I’m one of those doctors that communicates very clearly with patients. I try to get their expectations to be really reasonable. Sometimes we use other equipment, like an “imager,” to show them what they might look like after a rhinoplasty, or at least what the goal would be after a rhinoplasty nasal surgery. I have them bring in pictures of what their goals would be for breast surgery. I tell them to bring in one picture that’s too big and one that’s too small and one that’s the size that she wants. We use that in the operating room to try to evaluate the size for what she’s trying to achieve.
STRIPLV: When a prospective patient walks in and says they want Natalie Portman’s nose or Scarlett Johansson’s lips, can you tell them honestly: “We can’t do that, because it won’t look good on your face?”
DR. FISHER: Regarding celebrity’s features, I usually say: “I can’t make you look like a celebrity, in general.” Sometimes, with a lot of work, you can, but what I like to do is dig down deeper to find out what are the elements of that particular structure that you like, so we can try to incorporate that into their procedure. If I think it’s a bad idea or a little bit weird, I just won’t do the surgery. If it seems reasonable and I think it’s a good idea, I will try my best to cater to the patient.
STRIPLV: Do you use saline or silicone for breast augmentations?
DR. FISHER: I use both implants. They are probably equally popular at this point. Silicone implants have a very dense composite and feel a little bit more natural than saline, but if you’re not thin-skinned, there’s not much difference at all.
STRIPLV: Do you put the implant behind or in front of the muscle?
DR. FISHER: I usually do it partially under the muscle. I do a “half under, half on top” technique that is very natural.
STRIPLV: Is there a time frame that the implants would need to be replaced, if the woman wasn’t having any problem with them?
DR. FISHER: There’s no 10-year rule, and a lot of patients come in thinking that they’ll only last for 10 years, but that’s not true at all. Implants can last 20, 30, 40 years. No one really knows the lifespan of an implant, but they could fail at any time. If the woman isn’t having a problem, I wouldn’t worry about it.
STRIPLV: With men and women both coming in and wanting to stay young, what do you think is the most telltale sign of one’s age?
DR. FISHER: It’s the quality of the skin, I think. Some people animate a lot and creases are formed. People tell me that the sun has caused wrinkles. Well, it’s not really the sunlight causing the wrinkles; it’s the squinting from the result of the sunlight. There are not a lot of wrinkles on the tip of your nose. People that smile a lot have these nice crow’s-feet lines by their eyes and they have lines outside the corners of their mouth. So if you animate a lot, you’ll get more wrinkles. Some people age prematurely, because they animate so much. When the wrinkles appear and the tissue starts to sag a little, you will have excess skin around your cheeks, jawline, and the neck and the brow will start to droop a little. In general, everybody ages the same way, you just see people aging at different rates. The quality of the skin is probably the telltale sign.
STRIPLV: Plastic Surgeons all get great training, but what do you think makes one surgeon’s results better than another?
DR. FISHER: That’s the thing. What makes a painter a good painter? Everyone can put their paintbrush into a different paint. It can be the same painting, the same canvas, but the hand and translation of what they feel is beautiful goes onto the canvas and everyone appreciates that it’s beautiful. It’s the same thing in medicine and Plastic Surgery. It’s one of those specialties where you’re really marrying art with the performance of a technical procedure. You are right. A lot of doctors know how to do it, but a) some people don’t do it very well, and b) they don’t have artistic sensibility where they really know what their end point is going to be, and c) a lot don’t communicate wisely and effectively to find out what the patient really wants. It’s really hard to try and find that doctor who is going to communicate, has artistic sensibility, is going to be safe, really is experienced and knows how to do the procedure. It’s hard to find that. Start with a Board Certified doctor with referrals, and look for a level of trust when you have your consultations. It’s important to educate yourself about the procedure you want done, so you can ask the doctor questions that you may have.
STRIPLV: In an interview you said: “About 70% of the top Hollywood stars have had some sort of Plastic Surgery.” Besides being a fantastic surgeon, what keeps them coming back to you?
DR. FISHER: I’m a perfectionist and I translate it with my hands. I appreciate beauty and I know what looks good and what doesn’t. I’ve done this for so long, and I’m really, really meticulous and careful in the operating room. Stars are used to getting what they want and I think it puts a tremendous amount of pressure on the Plastic Surgeons. In general, I believe less is more.
STRIPLV: What are the most popular procedures for men and women?
DR. FISHER: Men do a lot of rhinoplasties, liposuction, facelifts and eyelid surgery. For women, depending on age, it starts off with breast augmentation and liposuction and then goes on to eyelid surgery and facial rejuvenation procedures, such as facelifts and brow lifts and rhinoplasties.
STRIPLV: What’s on the horizon?
DR. FISHER: We’re always getting new fillers and new lasers. The anatomy is not changing, but how we address the anatomy is changing a little bit. I don’t ever think there will be a perfect filler. I don’t think waiting for perfect fillers is going to help, because it’s kind of like the painting analogy I talked about. The most important thing about the filler is not the filler, but who’s injecting it. You can get the world’s greatest injector and they can make something look great, or the world’s worst injector with the best injection materials and it will look terrible. The problem is that if you get something that’s a permanent filler, who’s going to inject that? If it’s permanent, injected by someone who’s not technically gifted or has no artistic sensibility, then you have problems, so maybe it’s not so good having anything permanent.
STRIPLV: How do you feel about injecting a patient’s own fat?
DR. FISHER: The problem with fat is that it’s unpredictably permanent. I don’t care where you go, not all that fat is going to live that’s moved from one place to another. People either tend to overfill areas thinking that half of it’s going to go away and then you end up with one area that’s still overfilled because it took, and one area that’s under-filled because it didn’t, or you’ll see lumpiness. I think fat injections are just too unpredictable.
STRIPLV: So you are not advising that procedure?
DR. FISHER: I’m not advising or against it, but you’ve got to be careful with this stuff. The benefit of the other fillers is that at least it goes away.
STRIPLV: Angelina Jolie chose to have her breasts removed before the risk of any cancer appearing, and followed with breast reconstructive surgery. Do you do some of that breast reconstructive surgery?
DR. FISHER: Yes, I do some of that, as well.
STRIPLV: When something new is on the horizon, how long do you wait before you start using the product or begin performing the procedure?
DR. FISHER: While I embrace new technology, I am very cautious and I never jump on the bandwagon unless it is time-tested. It often takes years to determine if something new is really effective and not harmful.
DR. GARTH FISHER M.D., F.A.C.S.
120 S. Spalding Drive, Suite 222 • Beverly Hills, California 90212
310-273-5995 • GarthFisher.com
If you are considering Plastic Surgery of any kind, it is advisable to view Dr. Fisher’s tapes: “The Naked Truth About Plastic Surgery” at GarthFisher.com. It is an incredibly comprehensive instructional series of five one-to-two hour DVDs. Each DVD offers information about how to pick a Plastic Surgeon, what to ask your doctor, a glossary of terms, the procedures and tips on how to obtain “natural” results, and most importantly, the risks involved. They also have many before-and-after pictures and information to help you become better informed before making your final decision about whether or not to undergo any form of Plastic Surgery procedure.