Cover Story » Current Issue » Vol. 16

Looking Young – The Art of Cosmetic Surgury

By Ellen O’Connor

Dr. Stanley Levenson

Dr. Stanley Levenson

Dr. Stanley Levenson

Dr. Stanley Levenson has been practicing dentistry for more than 20 years and has been bringing smiles into people’s lives for at least the past 15. He earned his DMD degree from the University of Pennsylvania, did post-graduate work as a general practice resident at Worcester Memorial Hospital, and then began his private practice in 1987.

“I’ve always been interested in people’s appearance,” said Dr. Levenson, “We can help in a relatively short period of time and create beautiful smiles. We believe everybody deserves a beautiful smile.”

The impetus to get into cosmetic dentistry came from that feeling ~ helping other people ~ and is what makes his practice so fun and so rewarding, he said.

“People don’t enjoy getting a root canal,” he said. But they do enjoy procedures geared toward improving their smiles, which, in turn, improves their appearance.
“It is what people want, not what we tell them they need,” said Dr. Levenson.

Dr. Levenson, whose practice is located at on Linden Street in Worcester, straightens people’s teeth (yes, braces are not just for kids anymore, they are for people in their 30s, 40s and 50s) and whitens their teeth, among other procedures. He can put in crowns or dental implants and can replace fillings and broken-down teeth. In short, he can do whatever it takes to restore your teeth to what they should be: white, shiny and lined up in perfect order like little enamel soldiers.

“The easiest procedure we offer is whitening teeth,” said Dr. Levenson. “They get yellow and discolored over time. We offer that to almost every patient who walks through the door.”

Straightening teeth has a benefit beyond making a person proud of his or her smile, said Dr. Levenson. “When you straighten someone’s teeth, it can make them easier to clean and it can prevent gum problems.”

“The baby-boomer bracket wants to look better and maintain their health,” he said.

Dr. Levenson has followed that boomer philosophy. He is interested not only in improving his patients’ outlook through improving their smiles, he is also concerned with solving larger health issues. For example, sleep apnea is a significant health problem. People with this condition stop breathing while they are sleeping ~ sometimes for up to as long as 10 seconds. This can lead to fatigue, high blood pressure, and ~ possibly ~ heart attacks or strokes. One solution for sleep apnea is to use what is called a CPAP machine, an apparatus that some find extremely uncomfortable.

Dr. Levenson can offer a less intrusive solution. He can create an oral appliance that is designed to reposition the jaw and depress the tongue, thus creating an open airway during sleep. It can also help people who snore, but do not have sleep apnea.

“We give people quality, necessary care and we also make sure that they are healthy. We provide them with a beautiful smile and we contribute to their overall health.”

Dr. Levenson’s practice is located at 9 Linden Street, Worcester. His phone number is 508-753-3105 and he can be found on the web at www.levensonsmile.com.
Dr. Cynthia Poulos

Dr. Cynthia Poulos

Dr. Cynthia Poulos

When Dr. Cynthia Poulos was in medical school she was lucky enough to work with some very talented plastic surgeons during one of her rotations.

“They inspired me by what they did and knowing I wanted to be a surgeon all along anyway ~ the creativity and problem solving that they showed ~ that really kind of is, in a nutshell, why I became a plastic surgeon,” said Dr. Poulos.
“They were great examples of surgeons doing interesting work. I saw the opportunity to be creative and that is what clinched it for me,” she said.

Dr. Poulos received her medical degree from the State University of New York School of Medicine and did her general surgery residency in New Haven, Connecticut. She then continued her education by completing a residency in plastic surgery at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.

In 1994, she opened up her own practice. When she first started, she had one person working for her. Now, she has 10. She is the only physician at the practice, but there are several nurses on staff, as well as massage therapists. The Classique Medical Spa has two locations, one in Northborough and one in Milford.

“One of the things that I think really sets us apart is that we look at things from head to toe,” said Dr. Poulos. “Because we have so many different ways of looking at things and such a talented staff and because we really do the whole gamut [of options], I think we are truly what a medical spa is supposed to be.”

And just because she is a surgeon that does not mean an operation is the only solution.

“I love doing surgery, but I always look at non-surgical ways of addressing things,” she said. “Some people would rather not have surgery and so we evolve through the person’s needs to find answers.”

Among the non-surgical procedures at Dr. Poulos’s practice are laser treatments for hair or vein removal, facial peels, and dermal fillers such as Botox.

Most of her patients are females, but she does have some males come in for treatment.

“Men tend to worry about different things than women,” said Dr. Poulos. One thing that does concern them ~ as well as women ~ is gaining a bit of extra weight.

“When they hit 35, sometimes they can’t get rid of their love handles,” she said. A simple liposuction procedure takes care of that problem.

Other surgical options include eyelid surgery, face lifts, brow lifts, and rhinoplasty, which is the reshaping of the nose. She also does breast reduction, augmentation and breast lifts.

Sometimes people are concerned that surgical work will make them look fake and perhaps a little freaky, like some Hollywood stars do, said Dr. Poulos. That is not a worry at The Classique Medical Spa. She focuses on making people look better, but natural.
“I don’t even know how to do the ‘Hollywood’ facelift,” she said, talking about the kind of facelift that is painfully obvious.

Dr. Poulos’s practice is located at 17 South Street, Northborough and 14 Prospect Street, Milford. The phone number for both locations is 508-393-4544. She can be found on the web at www.drpoulos.com.

Pasquale Totaro, Sanremo Hair Center

Pasquale Totaro

Pasquale Totaro

Pasquale Totaro has been in the hair business for more than 30 years, getting his start in his home country of Italy when he was a lad of only seven.

He is now, along with his wife Barbara, the successful owner of Sanremo Hair Center, but it was not an easy road.

His first barbershop in Worcester was on Shrewsbury Street and opened in 1980. Customers were few and far between, recalled Barbara. In the first week of business, they made just $40.

“We would sit there and wait for someone to come in,” she said. One day, an acquaintance of theirs came by in his big, paneled station wagon. He, his wife, and their kids all piled out ~ a whole family of customers.

“It was like a bus had pulled up,” recalled Barbara with a laugh.

Eventually, Pasquale decided to get into the hair replacement part of the business. He was encouraged to take that direction by a man who already had such a studio on Park Avenue. He worked there for five years, learned the trade, and then decided to get his own place.

In 1990, he and his wife opened Sanremo Hair Center on Park Avenue across from Diamond Chevrolet. Seven years ago, they set up shop at their current location on Southbridge Street in Worcester.

Sanremo offers solutions to people who are losing their hair ~ because of male or female pattern baldness, alopecia (the loss of hair due to hereditary causes, hormonal imbalance and some diseases) or because of chemotherapy or radiation treatment. Sanremo is well-known and well-respected within the medical community, said Pasquale, and it gets a number of referrals from physicians whose female patients are desperate for their services. Overall (and excluding female cancer patients), their customers are primarily men, largely because most women don’t realize there are options out there for them as well, said Pasquale.

“We get people who are 18 years old all the way up to 90,” said Pasquale. Some customers have lost most of their hair. Other customers may have lost just enough of their hair so that their scalp is visible. Sanremo has a solution for everyone. They provide hair restoration for people at all stages of hair loss, as well as wigs and turbans ~ whatever the customers need to feel better about themselves.

Assisting women who have lost their hair due to cancer treatments is a particularly gratifying part of the business, said Barbara.

“I love being able to help the women,” said Barbara. “They come in here so upset with the thought of losing their hair.”

They are generally very nervous about the whole situation, but when the process is complete, they are happy and smiling, she said.

Pasquale echoed that sentiment. He enjoys helping his customers get back what they have lost.

“You should see their faces when we are done,” he said. “Hair makes a big difference.”

Sanremo Hair Center is located at 958 Southbridge Street, Worcester. The phone number is 508-755-5852 and the website is www.sanremohaircenter.com.

Dr. Stuart Bentkover

Dr.  Stuart Bentkover

Dr. Stuart Bentkover

Dr. Stuart Bentkover has blended art and science in fashioning his career in plastic surgery.

“There is a technical side and an artistic and creative side [to plastic surgery],” said Dr. Bentkover, who has been practicing medicine since 1979. He has more than 30 years experience as a plastic surgeon and more than 20 years experience in cosmetic laser surgery.

“Surgery is how I find fulfillment for myself and my patients,” he said. “The reconstructive stuff that we do really involves thinking on your feet when you are faced with someone who has had part of their nose taken off from skin cancer.”

Reconstructing someone’s nose in that setting is “every bit as creative as cosmetic rhinoplasty,” he said. “The two procedures really go hand in hand.” Rhinoplasty involves the reshaping and restructuring of the nose, either for cosmetic or medical reasons. It is an extremely complex surgical procedure and a specialty for which Dr. Bentkover has a passion.

“Rhinoplasty is as much art and architecture as it is science,” he said.

Bentkover Facial Plastic Surgery & Laser Center is located at the Worcester Medical Center, 123 Summer Street in downtown Worcester. Dr. Bentkover also has a practice in Stoneham, MA. Originally from the Chicago area, Dr. Bentkover did all of his surgical training at Harvard Medical School and is on the faculty there, as well as at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He received his medical degree in 1974 from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine.

He decided to make medicine his career for a couple of reasons.

“People go into medicine for altruistic reasons and for self-fulfillment reasons,” he said. “The altruistic side is that I clearly like helping people. The self-fulfillment side is I wanted to make a career doing something that I enjoy. I don’t think that is selfish, it is just realistic.”

In addition to rhinoplasty, Dr. Bentkover practices the entire specialty of facial plastic surgery, including face lifts, mini-lifts, facial rejuvenation, and eyelid surgery. He also offers various facial fillers, which help alleviate the effects of aging. Depending upon the procedure, a patient may find him or herself in Dr. Bentkover’s office or in the operating room at St. Vincent Hospital.

“I get quite a few people coming here from out of town and they are quite pleasantly surprised when they come to St. Vincent. It is a pleasant and comfortable place to have surgery.”

Staying current “is a key thing in aesthetic surgery,” he said. “You need to look at things in a healthy and skeptical way and not be so quick to jump onto the bandwagon.”

As a result, Dr. Bentkover is frequently analyzing scientific data regarding new techniques and procedures before deciding whether to add them to his practice.

“You need to look carefully before you make up your mind.”

He said his 30 years of experience in the field helps a lot in that regard.

Bentkover Facial Plastic Surgery & Laser Center is located at 123 Summer Street, Suite 675. The phone number is 508-363-6500. Dr. Bentkover can be found on the web at www.drbentkover.com.
Dr. Jean Keamy

Dr. Jean Keamy

Dr. Jean Keamy

Dr. Jean Keamy, an ophthalmologist with a practice in Westborough, took a rather circuitous route to medicine.

She started in science with an undergraduate degree in molecular biology from Princeton, then she veered into business with an M.B.A. from the New York University Leonard N. Stern School of Business Administration.

After graduation, she worked several years on Madison Avenue in New York City, but something was missing.

“I just got bored,” she said.

So she turned back toward science, getting her medical degree from the State University of New York Health Science Center in Brooklyn. Her return to science really wasn’t all that surprising, given her family pedigree.

“My father was an [ear, nose and throat] surgeon and a plastic surgeon of the head and neck,” she said. “He was probably the biggest influence on me.”

Dr. Keamy trained in ophthalmology at Tufts University School of Medicine/New England Medical Center in Boston. She followed that training with a fellowship in refractive surgery at the Gimbel Eye Centre in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

She returned to Massachusetts in 2001 and opened her own eye center in August of 2004. Her practice, focuses on eye surgery and cosmetic surgery of the eye.

“We do LASIK surgery for a lot of people who just want to get rid of their glasses,” said Dr. Keamy of the patients who are seeking to improve their ability to see distances by undergoing laser surgery. Laser surgery is minimally invasive and the down time is minimal.

Laser surgery has improved so that patients don’t necessarily have to use reading glasses after undergoing the procedure, she said. Additionally, the side effect of night glare can be significantly reduced.

Even those people who wear very strong prescription glasses can be helped. They are not candidates for laser surgery, said Dr. Keamy, but there is a procedure where the ophthalmologist inserts a lens behind the iris and in front of the natural lens.

“It is like having an implanted contact lens,” she said. The end result: people who couldn’t see anything without their glasses have much improved vision.

Dr. Keamy also performs cataract surgery, which is a condition that strikes many people over the age of 65. The lens of the eye becomes clouded by the accumulation of protein, eventually disrupting clear vision.

“We now have the ability to put multi-focal lenses in the eye,” said Dr. Keamy, which means a patient’s vision has been corrected for both distance and reading.

Dr. Keamy also offers cosmetic surgery of the eye. The most popular procedure? Fixing drooping eyelids.

“It is even more popular than LASIK right now,” she said. “People look in the mirror and see dropping lids and it makes them feel old or tired.” It is a quick fix and one that can be done in the office, rather than a hospital.

Dr. Keamy also offers various therapies to improve the skin, including Botox.

Dr. Keamy’s practice is located at 24 Lyman Street, Suite 130, Westborough. The phone number is 508-836-8733. She can be found on the web at www.seemedrkeamy.com.

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