As a child, Kevin Tehrani, MD, FACS, always admired and looked up to his four physician uncles. “I thought of them as role models,” he says, adding that doctors are especially respected and revered in his native country, Iran. It seemed natural that he, too, would go into medicine. But there was a bump on the road to becoming an MD.
At age 14, Dr. Tehrani had to be smuggled out of the country during the Iran-Iraq war. Upon safely settling in New York City, he set his sights back on the goal of achieving a medical career.
He earned his medical degree at SUNY Downstate Medical Center and completed a general surgery residency at Beth Israel Medical Center. “I liked that surgery offered the ability to fix something right away,” says Dr. Tehrani. “I sought that immediate gratification.”
Initially, he was drawn to head and neck surgery; the intricacy of cardiac surgery likewise appealed to him. Then he landed upon plastic surgery, which offered both intricacy and immediate gratification. “And it’s a much happier field,” he notes.
In 2003, Dr. Tehrani opened two practices simultaneously—one in Long Island and another in Manhattan, where he lives. “I had two locations from the beginning,” he says. “Yes, I knew that it would be hard enough to start with one location, but my referral patterns led me to realize that having both locations would pay off.”
As the dual Aristocrat Plastic Surgery practices grew, the Long Island location became his primary practice, but he continues to work two days a week in Manhattan. “To grow my patient base, I relied on physician referrals initially, and later word of mouth from patients,” says Dr. Tehrani. “Though the offices are just 10 miles apart, that can be an hour or more with traffic, so they are kind of like two separate practices that each grew independently.”
He credits his success to his basic overriding philosophy, which he applies to both the clinical and managerial aspects of his practice: Never, ever settle. “I tell new doctors, ‘Don’t settle for what you learned in training. Always think outside the box and find a better solution,’” he says.
Dr. Tehrani does this by first visualizing the result he’s after, and then selecting the best method to achieve that outcome. He compares the process to architecture. “Architects don’t start by thinking of the building blocks needed to create a building, and they don’t do the same thing over and over again,” he says. “Instead, they start by envisioning the finished structure.Then they look for different ways to achieve it. I think of the beautiful result, and then I figure out how to get there.”
Mommy Makeover Fame
Though his plastic surgery practices offer both invasive and noninvasive cosmetic procedures—and are pretty evenly divided among body work, breast procedures and facelifts—Dr. Tehrani has made a name for himself with “Mommy Makeovers” in particular.
“This has become my niche,” he says. “It’s a combination procedure that deals with the trunk and breasts—both of which change when a woman’s body goes through pregnancy. It includes abdominal work and also improves the volume and shape of the breasts. It gives a lot of confidence back to the patient.”
Depending on the specific patient’s needs and preferences, the procedure might include a breast lift, implants, fat grafting and/or an abdominoplasty. And for women who request it, he incorporates other procedures, such as rhinoplasty, at the same time.
Photo by Keith Barraclough.