About R. Laurence Berkowitz, M.D. San Jose Plastic Surgeon Deciding to make a change in your appearance should be a positive experience. Whether you are seeking aesthetic or reconstructive surgery, the results will not begin and end with your reflection in the mirror. They are far reaching and influence how you think about yourself and how others see you. And what will they see? Critically, it is important that, above all, the plastic surgeon is a good physician-giving attention to the whole patient and his or her physical and psychological needs. You with extra confidence. You more youthful. You, Only Better. Welcome to our practice. When R. Laurence Berkowitz was a young boy, his father, a Rabbi took his son's hands in his own and declared, "These are the hands of a surgeon." And a doctor was born. After 30 years of a practice built upon the tenets of trust, humility and constant improvement, R. Laurence Berkowitz, M.D. is no less thrilled by his calling than the first day he witnessed a cleft palate repair on a child. "It was magic--almost indescribable. To change someone's life in a matter of hours? I had to learn how to do that." R. Laurence Berkowitz, M.D. describes plastic surgery as a serious yet highly satisfying endeavor where "only the obsessive/compulsive need apply." The years have only served to strengthen the bonds of wonder and enthusiasm R. Laurence Berkowitz, M.D. felt that first day. He insists that when you carry that type of heritage into an aesthetic practice--it is different. Although he continues to perform a broad range of both reconstructive and aesthetic procedures, he does not feel a distinction between the two. "In my mind, the difference between reconstructive and cosmetic surgery is an artificial line set by our society declared "necessary versus elective." To the patient it is always necessary. People don't subject themselves to surgery unless they have considered it carefully and have a strong need to change something." R. Laurence Berkowitz, M.D. feels aesthetic surgery fills an important role. "My patients have full lives but look to me to augment their appearance to feel better and keep functioning on a high level." Because of carefully individualized surgical plans, there are really no standard procedures. Rather, broad categories within which there are an infinite number of variations. R. Laurence Berkowitz, M.D. relies on his critical judgment to stay true to his promise of You--Only Better. (C) "Rarely does someone want to look like someone else. They want to be recognizable by family and peers and told they look great. To be asked, "What's different?" is not a compliment." A testimony to R. Laurence Berkowitz, M.D.' results lie in the fact that a considerable part of his practice is dedicated to secondary, revisional procedures and challenging cases referred by peers. Preserving the sanctity of the relationship between physician and patient is paramount. His philosophy is he should be available at all times--no middleman. "I have a superbly trained staff that help me and facilitate what I do, but ultimately I am there for the patient." R. Laurence Berkowitz, M.D. gives his patients absolute access to reach him and is firm in the belief that any physician who is going to delegate a patient to an answering service in the immediate post op period cannot be trusted. According to R. Laurence Berkowitz, M.D., cosmetic surgery is not the commodity some would have us believe. The experience and training required for safe outcomes and beautiful results is not a part time pursuit. "A plastic surgeon's core training in medicine, general surgery, reconstructive surgery and aesthetic nuances should not be taken for granted because they are essential in handling a patient properly. Physicians in other core specialties who are eager to practice cosmetic surgery do not share our discipline, network or tradition. There are no short cuts."