ISSUE 147: Special Section

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Marty Luftman, MD, Transitions to a New Practice That’s Just Right

Marty J. Luftman at his new practice location on « Euclid Avenue in Lexington.

LEXINGTON The Goldilocks moment is finding the “just right” balance between life, work, and everything else. Upon transitioning to his new Lexington practice, plastic surgeon Marty J. Luftman, MD, achieved such a moment. After 35+ years of solo practice, Luftman joined forces with M. Bradley Calobrace, MD, and feels he now has the ideal situation to continue his work in plastic, cosmetic, and aesthetic surgery. “I’m in a wonderful spa-like facility with the support of a full staff who help me with my surgical and non-surgical patients on the days that I work,” says Luftman.

Luftman started his solo practice in Lexington in 1981. Previously, he was a student athlete at Brown University in Rhode Island; went to medical school at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine; did his residency in general surgery at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina; and then completed specialty training in plastic surgery at the Medical College of Northern Ohio, now known as the Toledo School of Medicine. “We landed in Lexington because my wife Ginny drew a big red circle around Cincinnati, her hometown. She said we could live anywhere within that 200-mile circle. We visited Lexington and loved it.” Virginia Luftman, PhD, LCSW, MSW, is a professor in the Department of Psychiatry at UK Healthcare.

The New Attitude about Cosmetic and Aesthetic Surgery

Attitudes about plastic, cosmetic, and aesthetic surgery have changed radically over the years. For most of Luftman’s career, the majority of plastic and cosmetic surgeons wouldn’t operate on a patient who had underlying health issues such as smoking, obesity, pre-diabetes, or high cholesterol. “A patient has a much better outcome when they are healthy with a healthy lifestyle before cosmetic surgery,” explains Luftman.

However, the general public didn’t realize underlying poor health factored into the cosmetic surgical equation. Nor, did they grasp how cosmetic surgery could lead to positive lifestyle changes and better health. Now, patients are more aware of this link. “There’s a much greater understanding that life is challenging, and how someone feels about themselves affects their health,” states Luftman. “A good self-image has a powerful and positive effect on someone who struggles with how they are seen by others and themselves. I believe that when you feel better about yourself, you have more to give to others.”

He goes on to state, “I’ve seen that effect in my patients who come from many different walks of life, occupations, and family circumstances. Cosmetic surgery may not completely change your life, but it can certainly change your outlook.”

Scope of Practice and the Future of Cosmetic Surgery

Throughout his career, Luftman has become an expert in aesthetic facial surgery. “I really enjoy surgery that balances the facial features such as eyelid lifts, brow and face lifts, and chin implants.” Luftman notes that there are non-surgical and mini-surgical treatments that are commonly used, such as Botox fillers, radio frequency, and lasers. As options for aesthetic facial reconfiguration have increased, patients have become more educated and have a better understanding of what can and cannot be accomplished through aesthetic surgery and non-surgical options.

In Luftman’s opinion, breast reconstruction led the way for the current acceptance of cosmetic and aesthetic surgery, not only within the medical community, but also in the patient population. “After a mastectomy, no one argues now that breast reconstruction shouldn’t be performed if the patient wants it done. Oncologists and general surgeons saw the benefits that cosmetic surgery had on the patient’s well-being. It really set the tone for where we are today in aesthetic surgery.”