Ron Israeli, MD, FACS
Plastic Surgery - Great Neck, NY

I have never underestimated the psychological importance of what we do, or stopped appreciating the relationships that grow from our work. We will see our patients many, many times, before and after any procedure, and a long-term connection can grow from that. I think that reflects the role we play as plastic surgeons - today we get to know many of our patients the way the old-fashioned primary-care physician knew them. It's a healthy, open relationship.

Many of my patients present to me because they need to undergo mastectomy. They must face breast cancer or may find that they carry the breast cancer gene mutation, and of course they feel very vulnerable. Fortunately, the process has become much more proactive for these women: I will meet with them before the mastectomy takes place - to address the reconstructive surgery that follows. Today, reconstruction immediately following mastectomy has become the standard of care for most women requiring mastectomy. And the benefits of immediate reconstruction are enormous. From a surgical standpoint it is significantly easier - much of the scarring, which often makes the procedure more difficult, can be avoided. Cancer patients are able to put the diagnosis behind them, and patients with the breast cancer gene mutation can find peace of mind. It is all about getting to feel normal again.

A decade ago, our practice initiated our participation in the American Cancer Society's Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk out at Jones Beach. In our first year, only a handful of our patients were there. Since then, we have become flagship sponsors of the event, ranking first in the region, and attracting several hundred of our patients to join us in the cause. Again, this is a reflection of our commitment to the treatment of women at risk of developing or already diagnosed with breast cancer.

Certainly the Internet has changed everything. I'm like everyone else: When I need to research something, I go online. Patients are definitely more informed - but I'm not sure they are always better informed. Unfortunately, there is a lot of bad information out there. Because of this, in our practice, we decided to develop a comprehensive web resource for patients considering breast reconstruction. Still under development, has already become a reliable source of information for thousands of women.

Among many plastic surgeons across the country, only a handful sub-specialize in breast reconstruction - and even a smaller percentage are expert in microsurgical free flap breast reconstruction. This, along with my work doing direct-to-implant and AlloDerm breast reconstruction, has helped make my practice unique.

One of the most satisfying things for me is that I see people from every background, from every socio-economic group. In my practice, I have the opportunity to genuinely help so many people. You don't get that same sense of satisfaction in every profession - I'm extremely fortunate.

Ron Israeli, MD, FACS
"I have never underestimated the psychological importance of what we do, or stopped appreciating the relationships that grow from our work."
Phone: (516) 498-8400
Fax: (516) 498-8404
Boston University, Combined Liberal Arts - Medical Education Program (Doctor of Medicine) cum laude, 1990
Boston University, B.A., magna cum laude, 1986
Plastic Surgery Residency, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School Department of Surgery, Division of Plastic Surgery
Surgery Residency, The Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York, Department of Surgery
2011-05-03 08:35:14