If Diana Breister Ghosh, MD wasn’t a board-certified plastic surgeon, she might be doing hair. Really.
The San Diego native, who is an expert in both cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery, very much enjoys the creativity of her job and working with her hands. She also loves making her patients at DBG Plastic Surgery℠ feel good about themselves. “It's really gratifying to see a concrete change make such an emotional and spiritual change as well,” she says. “You feel very honored to have helped a person achieve that.”
Dr. Breister Ghosh is dedicated to improving her patients’ lives through surgery — but she says there’s one hurdle (read: guilt) that many people battle with before going through with treatments and procedures. She gently reminds them that no one should feel bad for wanting to better themselves!
Her nature to nurture might be correlated to motherhood. While dedicating years of education and practice to plastic surgery, the 51-year-old has raised three teenagers, who she very much enjoys spending time with when she’s out of the office. They find joy going to the movies, and exercising together, too.
But before kids — and even before completing training in plastic, cosmetic, and reconstructive surgery at the University of Southern California Los Angeles℠ — Dr. Breister Ghosh earned her medical degree at New York Medical College℠ and attended undergrad at The University of California® San Diego.
Despite her short stint in the Northeast, Southern California is where she ultimately stayed to build her practice. During our interview, Dr. Breister Ghosh talks frankly about overcoming vanity-related moments of guilt, the most popular consultations at her San Diego office, and what makes her great at her job.
Spotlyte: When did you know you wanted to be a plastic surgeon?
DBG: I was always fascinated by medicine and always wanted to be a doctor and a surgeon. When I was doing my rotations through the different specialties, I discovered plastic surgery and the variety of procedures that it had to offer.
Spotlyte: If you didn't become a plastic surgeon, do you think you would be involved in another form of surgery?
DBG: I would have been a really good hairdresser, too, just because of the creativity and working with your hands. But plastic surgery is a really good fit for me. I can't really imagine myself in any other field of medicine.
Spotlyte: What are the most common topics that come up in the office?
DBG: Every patient asks about recovery, but on a broader scale, I find that a lot of times women say, "Oh, I know this is so vain of me." I sense that women sometimes feel a bit of guilt for wanting [ [to] fix something or look better. I find that's a common theme. I try to counteract it by saying, “You shouldn't feel bad because you want to feel good about yourself.” We all have strains of vanity in us!
Spotlyte: Why is it so important to better ourselves without feeling guilty?
DBG: We all care about something about ourselves, whether it's how we look or how we feel or what our body looks like. Part of being a human being is taking pride in ourselves. I don't think that women should feel bad if they want something done or changed, because if they feel good about themselves, then that's completely valid.
Spotlyte: What are the most requested treatments in your office?
DBG: Facelifts, breast surgeries (like mastopexies [breast lifts], augmentations, and reductions), and tummy tucks are the top three procedures that I find women are requesting. Also, labiaplasty.
Spotlyte: What about your job excites you the most?
DBG: I love the actual technical aspects of doing surgery. It's incredibly gratifying, and time basically just flies by when I'm operating. It could be a six-hour case, and it feels like it was half an hour. The actual technical skill is very exciting to me, challenging, and satisfying.
Spotlyte: What other elements of your job give you pleasure?
DBG: What really makes me excited is when I see a transformation in a patient. I see how their whole persona and confidence changes with the positive changes that they see in their bodies. It feels really good.
Spotlyte: Before heading to the office, what is your morning skincare routine like?
DBG: I'm pretty minimalist when it comes to my own personal skincare routine. I generally tend to use products from SkinCeuticals®. I wash my face, I cleanse it. I always use their lotion with some sunscreen.
Spotlyte: What is your evening skincare routine like?
DBG: At night, I feel that the most important ingredient in any product is going to be [prescription] tretinoin, [a retinoid]. I believe in the science behind that. It helps to build collagen. I always use a dab of tretinoin — pharmaceutical grade, 0.0 or 0.01 — and then I layer that with a nice heavy cream from SkinCeuticals.
Retinol shouldn't be used by women who are pregnant, considering getting pregnant, or nursing. Please consult with your doctor before use.
Spotlyte: What are your thoughts on facial injectables?
DBG: I believe in them. I like them. They have a very important role in facial [aesthetics].
Spotlyte: Do you get injectables?
DBG: I get some. I do injectable wrinkle reducers in corrugators [frown lines or elevens], crow's feet, and the forehead. Occasionally, I will do filler in the nasolabial fold, but it's pretty [subtle]. I'm careful not to overdo anything.
Spotlyte: What kind of workouts are you loving these days?
Injectable wrinkle reducers temporarily smooth the look of moderate to severe wrinkles in certain areas of the face, including the forehead, frown lines, and crow’s feet; they should not be used more frequently than every three months. Injectable filler is a temporary treatment that adds volume to areas of the face such as the lips, cheeks, and laugh lines. Like any medical treatment, both injectable wrinkle reducers and injectable fillers have potential risks and side effects. Talk to a licensed provider to see if they’re right for you.
Spotlyte: How do you prefer to spend your time outside the office?
DBG: My number one passion would be my three children. They are now teenagers. They're 15, 17, and 18. I have very much enjoyed being a mother, and that's been a tricky balance, but I feel like I've managed to achieve it.
Spotlyte: What kind of activities do you do with your kids?
DBG: We exercise together. We go to the movies together. They're adults, basically.
Spotlyte: Do you foresee them following in your footsteps professionally?
DBG: Even though their father is a neurosurgeon, none of the three of them want to be doctors. We've always encouraged them to follow their own paths. I have a daughter who's extremely artistic and creative. Although I feel like she'd be a great plastic surgeon, the medical part's not for her. She'd probably be a graphic artist. If my middle son sees a drop of blood, he gets a little weak in the knees. My third child is a complete scientific engineer.
Spotlyte: What do you think makes you great at your job?
DBG: I'm a pretty empathic listener, and I do really enjoy people and their experiences. When people meet me, they feel like they're really connecting with a person that is going to care about them, and really look out for what's best for them. It comes across in my demeanor and the relationships I build with my patients. Not only do I really help them to feel comfortable — that's really a strength — but they feel connected because I'm a genuine person. I’m not just interested in doing a procedure, but actually helping them on a journey.