Plastic Surgery

Parent Q&A

  • seeking reconstructive surgeon for large scar

    (2 replies)

    My 18-year old daughter has a large indented scar above her buttocks, and is considering reconstructive surgery.  We would appreciate any referrals to local plastic surgeons that might perform this type of procedure.

    My son had a large scar on his face and when we asked around to several people they recommended Michael Cedars - has has his own practice but is (or was at the time) head of cranio-facial plastic surgery at Children's Hospital Oakland. He did a good job with my son's scars. 

    The Buncke Clinic is where I would go for anything requiring plastic surgery. If they can’t take that particular case for whatever reason, I would go with whomever they recommend. 

    New replies are no longer being accepted.
  • Plastic Surgery Advice needed

    (1 reply)

    I have already made the decision that I will be getting liposuction (so please no trying to talk me out of that) but for those who have how have you gone about looking for the right surgeon?  I have met with a Dr Cedars in Oakland and I really liked him and his yelp reviews (although limited) are good I feel like I am suppose to go meet more surgeons and price compare.  Any recommendations or advice is greatly appreciated.  Thanks

    RE: Plastic Surgery Advice needed ()

    Go to and pose the question. It is a clearinghouse for all kinds of cosmetic procedures and about a zillion people as well as professionals go there. Your doc in question may have been featured/reviewed there.

    Big lurker, but no guts to take the cosmetic procefure plunge...

    New replies are no longer being accepted.

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Questions Advice about Specific Procedures Plastic Surgeons with Recommendations

Broken Nose

Jan 2002

I need to have surgery on my nose to repair damage I did when I broke it about 6 months ago. I was pregnant at the time so I could not go under general anesthesia to get it fixed before it set. Because it broke in 3 places, I will have to have it rebroken in those places to realign the septum etc. Essentially, I am now going to have a nose job because it has new bumps and is a bit lopsided (although my husband says I am the only one who is really aware of it). I saw Dr. Drury in Oakland when it first happened and was wondering if anyone has experience with him or his partner, Dr. Moyce for surgery of this kind. I am also wondering if I should consider going to a board certified plastic surgeon to fix it instead since Drs. Drury and Moyce are ENT specialists and not board certified plastic surgeons. My insurance is with Alta Bates Medical Group so it would help to have someone in that group. Three doctors I saw that are in that group are Michael Carstens, Richard Kahn and Shain Javaheri. Any thoughts on these doctors would be appreciated. I have seen the recommendations on the website already but they focus on hand surgery and skin issues rather than fixing the bones in the nose. Any experience with nose surgery that people have had would be great! Thanks.

Recommendations received:
  • Richard Kahn
    i would go for the board certified plastic surgeon over an ENT doctor to do what sounds like reconstructive/plastic surgery. The NET doctors should excuse themselves and refer you to someone whose business is reconstructive surgery, especially if their part (in diagnosing the problem) is taken care of. i'd definitely get a referral from them, or from another doc if they won't give it, for a board certified plastic surgeon! (i have no personal experience w/plastic surgery, but my mom is a board-certified palstic surgeon in so. cal., and i hear her talk about issues like this often..) Jessica


    Nov 2002

    I'll appreciate any recommendation regarding Plastic Surgery (M.D.) that has experience with burns. LK

    Recommendations received:

  • William Hoffman UCSF

    Cleft Lip and Palate

    June 2004

    Our daughter was born with a cleft lip and palate. She will be having her surgery at Kaiser (Oakland). We are in the process of choosing a plastic surgeon - Does anyone know a fantastic surgeon w/lots of experience with this specific type of surgery? We would be willing to travel to a location other than Oakland. Christina

    Regarding your daughter's cleft lip and palate, I would recommend Dr. Karin Vargervik, director of the UCSF Center for Craniofacial Anomalies. Dr. Vargervik is one of many in a team of specialists that helps with the physical, as well as the emotional needs of patients with cleft lips/palate. Here is information about Dr. Vargervik and the other specialists.


    March 2001

    For a small cyst, I need a plastic surgeon. My insurance covers Michael Carstens, Michael Cedars, James Langham, Harold McDonald, Andrew Moyce, Douglas Patton, Joseph Togba. Do you know about any of these??

    Recommendations received:

  • Michael Cedars
  • William Holmes
  • Harold McDonald
  • Andrew Moyce (ENT)


    Oct 2002

    I want to have some lipomas (benign fat tumors) removed. My insurance will not cover the procedure, which means that I'm not limited to surgeons who happen to accept my insurance. I've heard that some surgeons use liposuction for this type of surgery in order to minimize the scar. Can anyone recommend a surgeon who's good at removing lumps without leaving big scars?

    Recommendation received:

  • William Hoffman UCSF

    A-Z Recommendations for Plastic/Cosmetic Surgeons

    Christopher Debacker

    Re: Botox (Aug 2002)
    one of the doctors that i work for does botox injections. he is christopher debacker, m.d. our phone number is 886-3937 and we are located in hayward. several coworkers have had the injections. there is a little discomfort and possible headache- y feeling. the injections are temporary and must be repeated every 3-4 months. botox does paralyze the muscle injected. the idea is that if you do botox (on a regular basis) it prevents wrinkles and fine lines from forming permanently. you can target different spots. suzie

    Alexander Ellenberg

    Re: Considering breast reduction - any recommendations? (July 2003)
    I had a breast reduction back in 1980 (!) and it was one of the the best things I ever did. My doctor was really great, but he is in San Jose I think. His name is Dr. Alexander Ellenberg. If you don't have luck finding a closer Dr., you should look him up.

    Loren Eskanazi

    Re: Liposuction (March 2002)
    Loren Eskanazi in SF was an artist before she became a plastic surgeon. She is highly recommended and does excellent work. She specializes in breast reconstruction, but does all types of plastic surgery. JK

    William Hoffman

    Re: Burns (Nov 2002)
    An excellent plastic surgeon is William Hoffman, M.D. at UCSF--he does cranio-facial work as well as plastics on children and adults. He is a superlative surgeon and a really nice guy, and I think an ideal place to start. He performed minor surgery on my child for a cyst, and there is virtually no scar.

    Re: Ear Pin (July 2002)
    I would recommend Dr. William Hoffman, M.D. at UCSF. He is a ped. plastic/cranio-facial surgeon who is ''it,'' in the field of ped. cosmesis, trauma, and congenital abnormalities. He excised a benign cyst (pea and a half size) from my nine-year old daughter's lower cheek. He did a beautiful job, and because she had to undergo general anaesthesia we were relieved to have some of the best ped. anaesthesiologist(s) in the country working on her. Even though many competent plastic surgeons could have excised my daughter's little cyst, we chose Hoffman because there are nerves in the area of excision.

    We also had the good fortune of seeing some of Dr. Hoffman's work--a child on whom he constructed a forehead, another child on whom he constructed an outer ear, and his receptionist on whom he had done beautiful! lidwork--very natural. We are a physician-family so I feel that we can judge. Additionally, we rec'd Dr. Hoffman's name from physicians in L.A. and Boston, as well as from a local dermatologist and pediatrician. Great endorsements, no?

    Finally, this is elective surgery you are talking about. I wouldn't let price guide your choice; it will be expensive You are not only talking about major surgery but also your child being in what amounts to a ''drug-induced coma'' for the duration of the surgery.

    I applaud you for getting this done for your child. I know someone with a lot! of money who will not let her 12 year old son, thus far, get his ears done when he's older. His ears are so profoundly stuck out, it pains me, and he has been teased about them. She says that she wants him not to be so stuck on the way he looks (?), so good for you.

    Tell Dr. Hoffman, if you use him, that the Pascals recommended him. He's superlative. Danna

    Re: Lipomas (Oct 2002)
    You want an excellent plastic surgeon, esp. if lipoma is large or in a ''cosmetic'' place--William Hoffman, M.D. and/or Dr. Mathes at UCSF are both superlative. I have seen their work. Good luck

    William Holmes

    Re: Cyst (March 2001)
    My 4-month-old daughter just had her hands operated on by Dr. William Holmes, who is in Michael Carstens' office. This was less than a week ago and they seem to be healing fine. Dr. Holmes is friendly and professional. Liz

    Shahin Javaheri

    July 2004

    Does anyone have any experience with the plastic surgeon Shahin Javaheri? I need to have a cyst removed and would like to have some feedback on this individual or another plastic surgeon that is recommended. thanks.

    I work with Dr. Javaheri and wholeheartedly recommend him and his work. He is an excellent, caring physician. anonymous
    I have known Dr Javaheri for many years, and have seen his results in his care for my own patients. I would not hesitate to see him myself for cosmetic or medically necessary surgical care. He is well trained in both plastic surgery and ENT surgery. He is personable and gives his patients skilful and compassionate care. a fellow physician

    Re: Broken Nose (Jan 2002)
    Dr. Richard Kahn is a great surgeon. I have used his services. I would make an appointment and look at the photos of has taken of similar surgeries. He is very conservative and honest. You are fortunate if your insurance covers him, mine didn't and I had to pay the bill. Good luck. Joyce

    Harold McDonald

    Re: Considering breast reduction - any recommendations? (July 2003)
    A friend offers the following advice : Plastic surgeon: Dr. Harold McDonald, Berkeley
    Recovery for me was overnight in hospital and 1 week off work. Best side effect: lovely small breasts. Worst side effect: unable to lie in bed comfortably to get a good night's sleep. It turns out that there is a nerve that encircles the torso above the ribcage/below the breasts that can be 'disturbed' during the surgery. As it recovers, you can experience a tightness that is quite noticeable at night when you lie down. I lost a lot of sleep and it resulted in a bout of acute fibromyalgia. But nothing would discourage me from doing it again. Small breasts are worth it!

    Re: Cyst (March 2001)
    A while ago I had Dr. McDonald do a skin graft from the back of my ear to my nose where a basal cell issue had developed and was removed. He was quite good. I particularly liked that he explained things so thoroughly. He was absolutely right that the ear would hurt far more than the nose! I was negatively impressed by his office staff, however. Nori

    Usha Anne Rajagopal

    Re: Laser hair removal on dark skin? (10/04)
    I also have dark skin so when I went of a few clinics in San Francisco they told me laser hair removal would not be very effective. Then I went to Dr. Usha Rajagopal at 490 Post St. (suite 430) in San Francisco.

    The doctor is east-indian herself, so she specializes in hair removal for dark skin types. I found out that there is a special type of laser called a Lyra laser that works on dark skin types - and that only a few doctors in the area have that type of laser.

    My experience was great - her staff were all very caring and knowledgable, and they were open evenings and weekends. I ended up having laser hair removal on my chin, lip and underarms and it only took me 8 treatments. I've had a little bit of growth on my upper lip - but I just go back once every 3 or 4 months and get it zapped again. It's been 3 years and I am so satisfied.

    Anyways, you should check out Dr. Rajagopal's website - it explains the laser proccess better than I can. Its

    Also, they're phone number is (415) 392-3333. They are right by union square so it's very easy to get to - you can take the Muni to Powell St. Station and just walk up Powell to post.

    Good luck! Kristiane

    James Yahr

    Re: Considering breast reduction - any recommendations? (July 2003)
    It has been many years (1986) since I had my reduction surgery but I had a wonderful doctor. His name is James Yahr, and last I heard he was based out of Danville. I was able to breast feed quite easily as he made sure my milk ducts were still in tact. As I recall, it took several months(maybe 6) for a complete recovery...meaning no tingling sensations or soreness of any kind (the first six weeks are not comfortable--riding in a car can even be a challenge)and the scarring will take at least a year to have no any other. The only complication I had was i was allergic to the internal stiching used (the kind of stiches that desolve) and so a had a little infection...but of course that would have occurred no matter who the dr. was! He was fabulous....good luck!
    ps. in spite of the uncomfortableness, I would do it again..... anon