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Dr. Hector Salazar-Reyes: I would like to start a movement to promote, support, and communicate about safety in the beauty industry

The true movement that I would like to start is to promote, support, and communicate about safety, whether it’s plastic surgery, cosmetic surgery or the beauty industry. I would like to be able to protect consumers and have them achieve the outcomes that they seek, safely.

As a part of our series about how technology will be changing the beauty industry over the next five years I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Hector Salazar-Reyes. Passionate about cosmetic surgery and patient care, Dr. Salazar loves nothing more than seeing a patient’s confidence transform after a procedure. Having dedicated 17 years of his life to achieve the best medical training, his philosophy is centered around providing beautiful results safely and ensuring each and every patient feels well cared for from their first appointment to their last. In addition to being an American Board Certified Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Salazar is a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), a prestigious organization that is highly selective with its membership. Only plastic surgeons who demonstrate a high lever of skill, experience, and expertise in aesthetic plastic surgery and cosmetic medicine are inducted in ASAPS. Dr. Salazar is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and an active member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Dr. Salazar is also committed to giving back, and he has worked with the Cronin/Christus Foundation to provide much-needed reconstructive care to those in need in Chihuahua, Mexico.

Thank you for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I’ve known I wanted to be a plastic surgeon since I was 10 years old. I planned my entire life for this path which I love. Plastic surgery is a combination of art and science. What brought me to plastic surgery is that as a plastic surgeon, I can impact a patient’s life in a very positive way. As a plastic surgeon. I can make tangible changes which can be seen in a relatively short period of time. Through these physical changes, my patients enjoy the changes in their physical appearance but I also see them benefit from a boost their confidence as well as their general wellbeing.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?

I vividly remember this 58 year old male patient who actually underwent a strict exercise regimen as well as a radical change in his diet and he was able to lose about a 125 pounds without any other further help. We examined him in the office and established a step-by-step surgical plan to get rid of all the excessive and loose skin that he developed. We performed a total body transformation that involved 3 surgeries. He obtained a very natural result. We started with a body lift in addition to a chest wall or breast reduction. On his 2nd operation we performed a face and neck lift together with liposuction on very small specific areas. And on a 3rd procedure we perform hair restoration for him which boosted his overall image. At the end he was still himself but looking much more healthy and with better possibilities of enjoying life without all the excessive tissue that was the result of his well desired weight loss. And this patient’s natural and gradual transformation really remained in my mind as well as in my heart as proof of what well performed step-by-step plastic surgery can achieve on a patient that has taken the appropriate steps for a better healthier life.

Are you able to identify a “tipping point” in your career when you started to see success? Did you start doing anything different? Are there takeaways or lessons that others can learn from that?

I want to share 3 important moments in my professional development. The first moment was when I completed my plastic surgery training after 17 years of medical education. The second moment is when I became part of La Jolla Cosmetic Surgery Centre, which I consider to be the best practice in plastic surgery. My addition created a synergy between a very respected and well-established practice with the youth and new techniques of a young plastic surgeon. The third point was the establishment of two new programs which I am bringing to our practice. These are high definition liposuction, which basically provides muscle etching to our patients, and a comprehensive hair restoration program which runs the gamut from nutritional supplements to full hair transplantation.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person to whom you are grateful who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I’m very fortunate as my life has been touched by multiple mentors. Just to give you an example, I was trained in plastic surgery where the silicone implant was invented. Throughout this journey, I have operated side-by-side with some of the world experts in plastic surgery. I spent several months with Alfonso Barrera, MD, FACS, who is among the most respected plastic surgeons in hair transplantation and a pioneer in enhancing the natural appearance of this technique.

Can you share 3 things that most excite you about the “beauty-tech” industry?

The world of cosmetic surgery and the beauty industry as you’re calling it is very, very vast. Many improvements and advancements are taking place each day.

I would like to concentrate on one topic that I feel really passionate about and that is the area of hair restoration which, it may surprise you to know, impacts women as well as men. Recently, multiple advancements are being introduced since traditional hair transplantation is mostly for men.

First, we are using a newer hair transplantation technique. Incisions are not necessary. This technique is called FUE, which stands for Follicular Unit Extraction. This basically means that every single hair that is going to be transplanted is harvested one by one without the need to place an incision. As incisions can cause visible scars, this is an important advance.

Secondly, we’re obtaining great hair restoration results by injecting of plasma rich platelets or PRP into the patient’s scalp. I have many female patients who are overjoyed to have healthier, thicker and more dense hair relatively quickly from this outpatient procedure.

Lastly, we recently added the Keravive scalp treatment which is a very powerful “facial” which is performed on your scalp, not on your face. Stimulating and nourishing the scalp is something that has never done before.

I’m very excited about the comprehensive holistic options that we have for hair restoration and those 3 things could be the considered noninvasive treatments that actually work and provide fabulous results for patients.

Keeping “Black Mirror” and the Law of Unintended Consequences in mind, can you see any potential drawbacks about this technology that people should think more deeply about?

All treatments have their own intrinsic risk and benefits, but we are very cautious with all the services that we provide. If we offer a treatment at La Jolla Cosmetic Surgery Centre, you can be assured that it has been clinically proven and can be offered safely. Patients can rest assured that we are not experimenting with these new advancements in technology and that our number one priority is their satisfaction with the treatments that we’re providing.

Can you share 3 things that most concern you about the industry? If you had the ability to implement 3 ways to reform or improve the industry, what would you suggest?

The beauty industry ranges from simple skin care product to complex surgeries to improve appearance. Along the continuum, new technologies and treatments are being introduced.

My main concern is the consumer’s ability to evaluate these new offerings and the qualifications of the providers. Our website, ljcsc.com, contains a treasure trove of information to help patients. We characterize our practice as, The Smart, Safe Place to Get Glam®. There is a lot of philosophy concentrated in those few words. Consumers need to be “smart shoppers” and choose practices that adhere to the highest U.S. safety standards.

Secondly, there is a great deal of misinformation that endangers patients. As consumers consider different procedures and providers, they will encounter much non-regulated content on websites and in social media. There is a lot of laxity or gaps in legislation that enables doctors and providers from other specialties to provide treatments or perform procedures that they may well not be properly trained or qualified to do. What someone can do in one state, they cannot do in another.

Lastly, it is important that patients are properly prepared for treatment and recovery regardless of how small or involved the treatment is. Our practice is known internationally for its patient education and informed consent process. We educate our patients and we make sure that we every opportunity to make them a partner in their rejuvenation journey.

You are an expert about beauty. Can you share 5 ideas that anyone can use “to feel beautiful”?

I think my response will surprise you. I think the most important things that people can do to feel good about themselves are pretty basic.

  1. Maintain good health, which includes eating properly and monitoring your weight.
  2. Exercise regularly and vary what you do so you can be consistent and enjoy this time.
  3. Both men and women should have a good skin care regimen and avoid excessive sun exposure.
  4. Nurture your mind by learning new things and interacting with positive people and activities
  5. Do things that are fun, including non-surgical or surgical procedures that will reflect your spirit and enjoyment of life.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

The true movement that I would like to start is to promote, support, and communicate is about safety, whether it’s plastic surgery, cosmetic surgery or the beauty industry. I would like to be able to protect consumers and have them achieve the outcomes that they seek, safely.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

So even though this quote may sound obvious, it’s very important and not every health care provider or physician or specialist follows it, “Listen to your patient.” It is really important that the treating physician can listen carefully in order to translate their words into a surgical vision. The patient comes in with a concern, knows exactly what bothers him about a certain condition. The patient has an idea of the way she wants to look or the goals that she would like to achieve. Communication is crucial. Ultimately, the patient becomes part of the treating team.

How can our readers follow you online?

I invite your readers to follow La Jolla Cosmetic Surgery Centre Instagram account (@ljcsc) as well as my Instagram account which is @dr_salazar_la_jolla_cosmetic and to visit our website at www.ljcsc.com. They’ll find many stories of people like them finding ways to better enjoy their lives. They can also email, give us a call, or send a text to establish contact. If there’s any area of their body that they have a concern about or simply want to improve or enhance, we will listen to their concerns, present different options for treatment, and think about their satisfaction and safety at all times. Thank you.

Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational.


Dr. Hector Salazar-Reyes: I would like to start a movement to promote, support, and communicate… was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.