Education Plus Experience Equals Excellence -By Ellen Paris
Dr Mark SofonioThe recent reality shows featuring extreme makeovers and cosmetic surgery success stories have made plastic surgery a must-have for more men and women than ever before. Last year, according to The American Society of Plastic Surgeons, more than 87 million people had some type of cosmetic surgery. That’s a 33 percent increase from 2002.
“There are so many new things available for patients, including noninvasive procedures with little discomfort or down time,” explains Rancho Mirage plastic surgeon Mark Vincent Sofonio, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Take note, though – not all cosmetic surgeons are created equal. Of the 75,000 practicing in the United States, only 6,000 are board-certified plastic surgeons. The plastic surgery specialty requires extensive training, including medical school, internship, and two residencies.
A cosmetic surgeon may complete medical school and an internship. In the expanding world of aesthetic plastic surgery, there is no substitute for education and experience. “More training and more experience increase the chance of a great outcome,” says Dr. Sofonio. After all, that’s the ultimate goal of both patient and physician.
Dr. Sofonio is board certified by the American Board of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. His professional memberships include the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, American Academy of Cosmetic Surgeons, American Burn Association, American College of Surgeons, American Medical Association, and American Society of Laser Medicine and Surgery.
As former Section Chief of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Eisenhower Medical Center, Dr. Sofonio possesses the depth of training and practical experience that make him one of the desert’s most respected aesthetic plastic surgeons.
He’s known as a superb surgeon with a highly refined eye for aesthetic detail. Dr. Sofonio specializes in all forms of facial rejuvenation and body contouring surgery, including the latest techniques in laser surgery. Dr. Sofonio also offers a variety of non surgical procedures and skin treatments, including light source therapy, Botox, and filling agents.
Dr. Sofonio’s patients are assured of safety and privacy because all surgeries are performed in his on-site, state-of-the-art surgical center. It has even earned the approval of the State of California Institute for Medical Quality.
Dr. Sofonio uses only board-certified M.D. anesthesiologists for all surgeries requiring anesthesia. In addition to his position at Eisenhower, Dr. Sofonio also has privileges at Desert Regional Medical Center. “Not all cosmetic surgeons practicing in the desert have hospital privileges,” he warns. “Prospective patients should inquire if a surgeon does have hospital privileges. It’s a key component that they do.”
Office StaffDr. Sofonio completed, with magna cum laude honors, the prestigious accelerated UCR / UCLA combined undergraduate / medical school program. Upon graduation from UCLA Medical School, he did his internship and general surgery residency at the University of Hawaii. At the Medical College of Ohio, he completed his plastic surgery residency. In addition to several post-residency fellowships, he received firsthand experience while running the Burn Unit / Wound Care Center at Medical College of New York.
He went on to receive more training in his chosen field of cosmetic surgery from some of the world’s top aesthetic surgeons at Connell Aesthetic Surgery Institute. Throughout his career he has lectured and published extensively on both cosmetic and reconstructive surgery.
As plastic surgery gains nationwide acceptance and attention, patients now come better informed with specific desires and real knowledge of what can be accomplished. Dr. Sofonio’s patients benefit from his training as both a general and plastic surgeon. Successful plastic surgery requires an artistic component.
“There is a definitive aesthetic artistic feel for each procedure because you’re not following a rigid set of rules,” explains Dr. Sofonio. “With liposuction, you’re actually sculpting the body. When you perform a face-lift rejuvenation, you are molding the face,” he adds.
For optimum results, Dr. Sofonio insists a plastic surgeon must appreciate both the physical and emotional needs of a patient. The goal of plastic surgery should be both an aesthetically pleasing result and a happy patient who has experienced a pleasant and satisfying outcome.
This article was published in the July 2005 Edition of Palm Springs Life Magazine, Volume XLVII, Number 11