His bobblehead collection sat still in a cardboard box. Stacks of medical books crowded a credenza. Awards, certificates, diplomas and photos lay on the carpet.
They awaited the arrival of a bookcase at Dr. David Lickstein’s new digs on PGA Boulevard.
“Sorry about the mess,” Lickstein says. “We still are moving in.”
The Palm Beach Gardens plastic surgeon opened his private practice in March. Prior to that, he partnered with Dr. Mark Pinsky, also a Palm Beach Gardens plastic surgeon.
“We each decided to go the other way, and this was my seize-the-moment,” Lickstein says. “I kind of had this vision of how I wanted to do things.”
His vision includes offering a “one-stop shop” where patients can “grow up with us.” It also includes a holistic approach to treatment, whether it be Botox, breast reconstruction or beyond.
“I wanted to offer complete personal care in a welcoming atmosphere,” Lickstein says. “I wanted to establish relationships that last a lifetime.”
In his 16th year as a professional, the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine graduate does everything from arm lifts to neck lifts, otoplasty to rhinoplasty, and surgeries on those with skin cancer. He has operated on a 6-month-old girl whose fingers were fused together at birth and a 100-year-old man with melanoma. Three generations of family members—daughters, fathers and grandmothers—have sought his services.
“You get to be part of your community for awhile,” Lickstein says. “That’s the most fulfilling part.”
The 49-year-old grew fond of the field in junior high school while working on a science project about microsurgery. He connected with a plastic surgeon who helped him complete it.
“I liked the idea of making people better,” Lickstein says. “I liked that you can treat people of all ages. I liked that there’s no one right answer. It was a natural fit.”
He entered five years of general surgery residency at Tufts University School of Medicine and two years of plastic surgery residency at Albany Medical College. He then completed a one-year fellowship in hand surgery at Harvard Medical School. He describes his work as detailed, logical, neat and passionate.
“I always believe you are a physician first and foremost,” Lickstein says. “I think one of the most important things is being able to communicate with people. It’s not just a case. It’s someone’s life.”
The husband and father of three provides several nonsurgical procedures, as well as eyelash extensions, HydraFacials and laser treatments. He also has a CoolSculpting machine.
“Not everyone wants an operation,” Lickstein says. “We can do the little things with no downtime, to keep them looking good.”
All of his schooling, residencies and hands-on work learning the craft have taught him there is an art behind the science.
“The whole allure of plastic surgery is that there’s judgment,” Lickstein says. “You have to have an artistic sense of what looks right.”
He also has learned everyone bears his or her own brand of beauty and it is better to build on that brand than bend it.
“Plastic surgery used to be something that we all kept secret,” Lickstein says. “Now, we’ve swung in the other direction. The more we talk about it, the less surprises there are, because we’re in this together.”