As he sits lotus style at his desk, Dr. Jose Soler-Baillo tells of spending his first eight years living in communist Cuba. The wallpaper of diplomas behind him tells that his life after Cuba was not wasted. A veritable who’s who of institutions, beginning with Phillips Exeter Academy, moving on to medical school at the prestigious Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City, and culminating in plastic surgery training with some of the world’s best doctors. The conversation flows from having to wear shoes that were too small for him, to his family’s imprisonment when his mother attempted to leave Cuba illegally. In the jail cell, his mother snapped, “Eat the beans!” His complaints about the small insects crawling in the watery beans fell on deaf ears. “We don’t know when we will eat again”she told Soler-Baillo. “At five years old, I hadn’t developed a taste for small insects” he jokes.
Where did ResultsMD come from?
“Early in my practice I realized that my last name was a mouthful. Soler-Baillo doesn’t roll off the tongue that easily, even for Spanish speakers. So, I asked myself, what am I all about, and the answer popped in my head, results. So first I came up with Dr. Results, then the domain name, resultsmd.com, and the rest is history.”
“I come from a long line of doctors,” says Soler-Baillo. “My father and uncles; even my grandmother was one of the first female physicians in Cuba. My mother taught nursing, I guess you could say, I was born into the field.”
Why plastic surgery?
“There was a time when cardiac surgery was tempting me, but I couldn’t justify giving up my life for a career. I studied figure drawing and sculpting in school, yet the pedigree pointed to surgery. So, I found the perfect combination. I also wanted to see my children grow. My specialty has allowed me to do that, and I wouldn’t trade that for anything in the world.”
Why cosmetic surgery?
Soler-Baillo explains that cosmetic surgery is only a small part of the specialty of plastic surgery. The field is extensive, including general reconstruction, craniofacial, hand surgery, microsurgery, and yes, cosmetic surgery. “I found the challenge of taking something normal, and improving it, fascinating. You need all the skills of a great surgeon, but when you add the aesthetic component, and you take it to a new level of complexity,” he says. “Furthermore, the variety is tremendous. One day you’re sculpting a beautiful waistline with multiple, yet precise strokes of the liposuction cannula, the next you’re elevating a skin flap, millimeters away from the facial nerves. It’s never boring.”
How does your practice different than others?
“That’s a tough one,” he says. “I’ve seen other practices, some focus on the individual, I like that. Others, focus on mass production. I’m a bit old-fashioned when it comes to the way I practice. I like getting to know my patients, and I want them to get to know me as well. So, I take my time, and listen. The surgeon-patient interaction is like a relationship. You shouldn’t get involved after meeting for only three minutes; that’s a recipe for disaster. Also, I consider my staff extensions of myself. My nurses and assistants have been with me for years, so they know the kind of care that I expect them to deliver. For me is not just about doing a case. It’s about creating a bond with another person that will trust you to perform an invasive procedure on them. I take that trust very seriously, and I do my best every day to continue to earn, and keep that trust.”
With so many safety concerns in the news, do you perform your surgeries in a hospital?
“Absolutely not,” he says. “Hospitals are for sick people. I have a state-of-the-art AAAASF certified operating facility. This means that it has the same basic requirements as a hospital. What it doesn’t have are the resistant bacteria that you find in a hospital. If you need to have your procedure done in a hospital because you are that sick, you shouldn’t be getting cosmetic surgery.”
You’ve been in practice for 18 years, how has your specialty changed?
“Social media, the evolution of the cosmetic surgery centers, and price wars have created a slippery slope of unethical doctors, and the destruction of the natural beauty of the human form,” says Soler-Baillo. “All you have to do is open Instagram. The progression of the Kim Kardashian phenomenon is alarming. The obsession with enormous buttocks and lips has reached a critical point. I spend half of my time with some patients counseling them not to make a huge mistake with their bodies.” The doctor believes that social media fuels the current craze, with centers that focus on providing these outlandish procedures focusing on low prices and high patient volume, a dangerous combination in his eyes. “I always say that there is the price of a surgery, and the actual cost of a surgery,” he says. “Many times, a poorly performed cheap surgery can end up costing a lot in the long run. On the positive side, we have definitely gotten better at delivering safe, reproducible results.”
How has your practice evolved?
“I have a masters degree in cardiovascular physiology, from when I thought cardiac surgery was for me. This background in physiology always made me have a holistic approach to my practice.” Soler-Baillo continued to study nutrition and age management, allowing him to offer these services in his practice. “Recently, I’ve become close to Camillus House, which is an impressive humanitarian organization, and service to the Armed Forces is a key component of its mission,” he says. “I am very interested in helping veterans. We have discussed a potential project to help with depression and PTSD using Ketamine IV therapy. I love this country, and these men and women that keep it safe, deserve the best. So, I see ResultsMD morphing into more than just plastic surgery.”
What has been your most gratifying surgery?
“Ten years ago, I did a tummy tuck on my mother. She joked, telling me that first I had messed up her abdomen when she was pregnant with me, and that now I had fixed it,” he says. “About eight months ago I did a facelift for her 78th birthday, and she was so happy. I must say, it felt great to do this for her. After all, who knows if I would even be here, if she hadn’t made me eat those beans.”
For more information please visit, resultsmd.com, or call 786.661.3491.