DreamLabs Presents: Dr. Robert A. Jacobs, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Devotion to family, community and profession characterize Dr. Robert Jacobs best. Simple pleasures and activities bring the most satisfaction. While many might assume he lives the sophisticated life of a successful doctor, he thinks of himself as a regular guy who just happens to be a (highly regarded) plastic surgeon.
Commitment to community, particularly education plays a major role in his life. He is one of the founders of the Solomon Schechter Day School, a grammar school that provides outstanding education. Although all of his children are grown, he continues to volunteer for the Port Jefferson High School Prom Construction Committee – where the entire school is transformed into the prom theme, but of greater importance, it provides a safe environment for students on that special night. He can be regularly seen about town and commuting to work on his bicycle – it’s 1 part exercise, 2 parts fun. Photography is one of his regular hobbies; landscape and nature scenes interest him most.
After graduating from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.A., Dr. Jacobs attended Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia and graduated in 1972. He completed his General Surgery Residency at the Polyclinic Medical Center in Harrisburg, PA and his Plastic Surgery Residency at Temple University Hospital.
We had the pleasure of catching up with Dr. Jacobs for our interview:
1. Can you start by telling us your name and provide me with your credentials.
Robert Jacobs, Board Certified in Plastic Surgery and General Surgery, Port Jefferson Station, NY and I have been practicing since 1978
2. Do you have any affiliations with any of your local hospitals or does your office have a surgical suite?
I have two partners and we do have a surgical suite accredited by AAAASF at the highest level. I am Chief of Plastic Surgery at Saint Charles Hospital and I am on staff at all the local hospitals, including John T. Mather Hospital, Peconic Bay Hospital and St. Catherine of Sienna Hospital.
3. What made you want to become a Plastic Surgeon as opposed to being another Surgeon?
In medical school, I took an elective with a plastic surgeon, and it was very enjoyable. I thought it was a good specialty and since the very first day of practice I have enjoyed every moment of it.
4. Would you consider yourself a plastic, reconstructive or cosmetic surgeon?
I would consider myself more of a cosmetic surgeon versus a reconstructive surgeon. The majority of patients that present to my office are cosmetic. That should not be surprising since our practice is Cosmetic Surgery of New York, PC. As a result I see a wide spectrum of cosmetic surgery. Basically, it’s one third facial rejuvenation, one third breast surgeries and one third the rest of the body (liposuction, and tummy tuck). However the most popular thing right now isn’t surgery; it is injectables; such as Botox Cosmetic, Juvéderm and Restylane. That’s really where the growth is right now.
5. Is there a surgery or a procedure that you yourself enjoy doing more than others?
I like breast surgery. The procedures are pretty straightforward, there are not a lot of problems and we get tremendous results. However, I would say that I enjoy all areas of cosmetic surgery as it provides a great service to the patient both physically and mentally.
6. What is the most common question you get from potential patients about their surgical procedures?
The number one most asked question is: “What’s it cost?” Everybody asks that. But in terms of surgical questions, the most common question I encounter is that the patients want to know about the recovery – how long they have to take off from work or school. The way in which I respond to that question is that everybody’s different. Most typical patients will take a week off no matter what we do. I explain that they’re not going to be 100% at the end of the week, but they’ll be okay, and they can go about their business for the most part. If they overdo it, it’s not like it’s going to do any damage. It just doesn’t feel good.
7. What separates you or truly makes you stand out in regards to Cosmetic Surgery from your competitors?
I’ve been doing it a long time, so I’ve seen all the mistakes that people make over the years. And I think we’re real nice to patients, and it’s not all about the dollars. If somebody has a problem, we’re going to take care of them. We don’t worry about whether it’s a dollar more or a dollar less; we just take care of them. We want them to be real happy and tell all their friends.
8. What if any trends do you see in the next few years that will be changing cosmetic Surgery?
The trend is towards nonsurgical treatments. That includes injectables and radio frequency devices. Some people consider lasers as non surgical, and some are, , but I personally don’t consider the more powerful lasers nonsurgical because they can have more downtime than even surgery for a lot of people. The non-ablative lasers are pretty mild, but the ones that really do the job the ablative lasers are just like surgery.
But the trend is toward all non-surgical, quick, easy in and out no problem. That’s what people want. There is some interest in fat injection for breast enhancement. I don’t think it’s the best way to go right now, but who knows; in the future there may be something.
9. What advice would you give your prospective patients that will read this interview prior to considering Cosmetic surgery?
The specific thing is we want them to not take medications such as aspirin or some of the over-the-counter medications that people typically want to take lately because they enhance the chance of bleeding. Other than that, just go to a board-certified physician and listen to what they say. Don’t go with stars in your eyes; just listen to what’s they say. And if somebody doesn’t tell you that there are significant down sides and risks to every surgery, then they’re not telling you the truth, and move on.
10. What have you been noticing in marketing trends (how practices are marketed) for Plastic Surgeons over the last few years?
Unfortunately, advertising is not the best way for patients to get information about surgery or surgeons. It is too impersonal. So although it’s done and it’s legal now, it’s probably not a good thing in terms of patients’ wellbeing. I think in general, patients were probably better off years ago when they went to their physician and said, “I’m thinking about doing a form of surgery and the physician would say “it’s a good idea; or it’s a bad idea; but if you want to go see somebody, see this person. They will help you out.” Now, everybody goes online and they see who has the most Facebook friends, and that’s their referral. It doesn’t make any sense. But that’s what the world is right now. There is also surgery tourism in which an individual goes on a trip to another country to have the surgery done, recuperate and then return to the states. Truly not the smartest way to take care of your body. The idea is that you can save money in a foreign country. The problem is that now you have no local contact and if there are immediate problems you are in a foreign country. If you have later problems, you have no one locally. Often times a patient can end up paying more to have revisions done to fix what was done elsewhere. I’m not saying this happens to everyone but you really need to make a decision that is in the best interest of your health.
11. So what do you think is most beneficial marketing-wise for your practice?
For us personally, the best thing we have is the physical sign out front. People see it; they stop in. It basically costs us nothing. That’s the thing that gives us the biggest return on investment. We have done over the years newspapers, radio, internet, TV, all the things that you can possibly do, and I have to say the return for us was not really very good. So we stopped doing it. So either we weren’t doing it right, or something, but it didn’t really justify the expense for the most part.
12. Do you think that that’s the future of marketing for practices is the internet?
Well, I think the internet is for sure the future for the foreseeable future. We’ll see what crazy things people come up with in the future in terms of what kind of electronic craziness that’s going to be on your watch or your eyeglasses or your shoes or something. Who knows what it’s going to be? But right now it is, the internet for sure. Everybody comes in the office, and I ask them if they know anything about what they’re interested in, and they say, “well, I looked on the internet.” Everybody has.
13. If you could give another cosmetic surgeon or surgeon in general some advice if they read this, whether it be marketing or how they obtain new patients to build a practice like yours, what advice would you give them?
Just pay attention to the patients and what they want, and give them real value for their dollar, and you’ll be fine. You should always have the best interests of the patient as your primary concern.
Thank you for your time today Dr. Jacobs. I know the Audience of “I Love Plastic Surgery” is going to love this and that it’s really going to help patients make a better decision regarding the choice of their surgeon and assist other surgeons in helping them market their practice as successful as yours.
If you would like to know more about Dr. Robert Jacobs and Cosmetic Surgery of New York please visit http://csnycosmetic.com/ or contact him at (631) 473-7070 for a free consultation.