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Many people tend to think that all plastic surgery is cosmetic surgery. However, there are actually two types: reconstructive plastic surgery, which treats parts of the body affected aesthetically or functionally by infection, tumors and disease, for example, and cosmetic plastic surgery, which enhances or reshapes parts of the body.
Long Island Plastic Surgical Group (LIPSG), which has been around since 1948, does both. In fact, the practice has pioneered and performed reconstructive and cosmetic surgical procedures for more than half a million patients. And with President Dr Tommaso Addona at the helm, it will soon boast many, many more.
“It’s an ambitious target, but in the next five years, I want to put us on the national map,” he tells The CEO Magazine. “When I was nominated and elected President, I saw room for growth and expansion. And now, my goal is to work from our strong local and regional presence and expand it, becoming a national brand in the future.”
What’s been mind-boggling, just a wild curve ball, from both a healthcare and business perspective, is that even during a COVID year we’ve experienced growth.
Dr Addona has a great foundation to build on. The practice has seen many great leaders before him put in their sweat equity to make LIPSG what it is today. “Our previous presidents did an exceptional job, setting us up for success. We’ve been a growing business that’s making great progress,” he shares. “And, in becoming President myself, I feel like I’ve been given the keys to a Ferrari and have been told, ‘Just don’t crash it.’”
He’s done more than simply not drive the practice into the ground; Dr Addona has helped it flourish even during the uncertainty and devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic. “What’s been mind-boggling, just a wild curve ball, from both a healthcare and business perspective, is that even during a COVID year we’ve experienced growth,” he reveals.
“While a handful of the plastic surgeons in the area experienced decline on the cosmetic side and stayed pretty neutral on the reconstructive side; as a practice, we had 17 per cent growth. And we’re proud of that.”
It’s not that surprising considering the fact that LIPSG isn’t like every other practice in the state of New York. For one, it’s a proud partner of ReSurge International, a not-for-profit organization that provides life-changing, reconstructive surgeries and builds surgical capacity in developing countries. Through this partnership, LIPSG’s surgeons travel to impoverished areas that lack basic medical care and trained specialists, and provide surgical care to restore function for patients who have been injured or are born with conditions that limit their mobility, basic capacity or ability to work.
“Beyond helping people in a way that vastly improves their lives, our surgeons also share their knowledge, training the local medical staff,” Dr Addona points out. “Even during the pandemic, we’ve kept this up as much as possible by delivering virtual training. And it’s something we will continue to do once we resume missions again this year.”
Even more, LIPSG has a plastic surgery residency program that was established back in 1954. Since its inception, the program has trained more than 130 residents. “Many of them have grown into some of the most respected and skilled plastic surgeons in the nation,” he says. “Graduates from our residency program have gone on to successful careers in both private practice and academia, and have also become some of the leading innovators in the fields of plastic and reconstructive surgery.”
However, one of Dr Addona’s biggest points of pride is arguably the practice’s Deep Blue Med Spa, a comprehensive medical spa that offers innovative treatments by board-certified physician assistants, nurse practitioners and certified medical aestheticians overseen by its award-winning team of plastic surgeons. “Our Med Spa is a proud extension of our practice,” he smiles. “All services provided there are clinically proven to rejuvenate, restore and refresh. This is a thriving area of business for us.”
Even with all of the innovation, excellence and gumption to go national, Dr Addona concedes that the reason LIPSG is a true stand-out all comes down to one word: longevity. “We’ve been doing this for 73 years,” he says. “There have been significant changes in the healthcare landscape over the past 20 years, and especially in the past three to five years. And I think the part that we do well is our ability to change with the landscape and continue to grow, and sustain growth in that setting.”
It’s something Dr Addona credits to the practice’s amazing staff and core values. “Commitment, quality, integrity, leadership, service and safety. These core values are at the forefront of how we run the practice, how we treat our patients, and how we serve the community,” he explains. “And all of those factors really play into us being in business for more than seven decades, playing a role in taking care of patients locally and, hopefully in the future, nationally.”