Dr. Niamtu’s Weblog

….on cosmetic facial surgery

Dr. Niamtu Speaks at Harvard University


fretaAcademically oriented cosmetic surgeons enjoy speaking and lecturing.  I have had the pleasure and honor to have been invited to lecture on six continents to every type of cosmetic surgery specialty.  I generally average a trip each month although I have traveled over 20 weekends in a year, speaking nationally and internationally on cosmetic facial surgery.

Probably every speaker that is in demand wishes, at some time, to be invited to speak at Harvard University.  This is such a famous bastion of learning, speaking there was on my bucket list.  That opportunity was fulfilled in April.  I was invited to lecture to the oculoplastics surgery department at Mass General Hospital by Suzanne Freitag, M.D. professor and director of the ophthalmic plastic surgery service.  My lectures topics included surgical browlifting, facial implants and injectable facial fillers.

Our day began with a tour of the facilities in Boston and a great dinner with the department faculty and residents that evening.  It was a true honor to be asked to give these talks and an enjoyment to see and be around one of the most famous learning institutions in the world.

Our hotel was at Copley Square and as we were leaving to go to the airport we could see the signs of the preparatioin for the Boston Marathon which was coming soon.  Driving across Boyleston street where the permanent finish line resides was bustling with the usual daily activity and unaware of the carnage soon to come.


Joe Niamtu, III DMD

Cosmetic Facial Surgery

Richmond, Virginia


May 20, 2013 Posted by | Academic Cosmetic Surgery | Leave a comment

Niamtu Cosmetic Facial Surgery Course recieves 17.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™

Dr. Niamtu has been training surgeons from multiple specialties with live observational cosmetic facial surgery courses since 2004.  Hundreds of surgeons from the USA and all over the world have come to Richmond, Virginia several times a year for this course.  We are honored to have been accredited through St. Louis University School of Medicine for continuing medical education credits.  This is an honor for our course and now eligible attendees can officially obtain CME credits.  This is truly a milestone for our course and underlines our committment to provide cosmetic facial surgery education to teach contemporary cosmetic facial surgical procedures to enhance patient safety and predictable outcomes.  For more information visit www.cosmeticsurgeryeducation.com

ACCREDITATION:  Saint Louis University School of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. AMERICAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION: Saint Louis University School of Medicine designates this live activity for a maximum of 17.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

To find out more about cosmetic facial surgery in Richmond, Virginia by Dr. Joe Niamtu, III visit www.lovethatface.com

Joe Niamtu, III DMD

Cosmetic Facial Surgery

Richmond, Virginia


February 22, 2012 Posted by | Academic Cosmetic Surgery, Cosmetic Surgery Education | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Dr. Niamtu’s Textbook Published in Spanish


One of the biggest honors of my academic life was being asked by Elsevier Inc. to publish a major textbook on cosmetic facial surgery.  Most textbooks are published by many authors, but I published the text by myself (except for one awesome chapter on nose surgery by Dr. Angelo Cuzalina) which was a nonstop two year project, of course in my “spare” time.

The textbook has done very well and has sold several thousand copies to date which are good numbers for medical textbooks.  I was excited when Amazon.com began offering my book in a Kindle version as that represents another milestone.

I was recently informed by the publishers at Elsevier that the book has now been translated to Spanish, which of course in a great honor.  Cosmetic facial surgery  is very popular in many Spanish speaking countries and it is a great feeling to know my work will contribute to international surgery education.

I have also been told that other translations are pending which of course makes me proud.

To learn more about cosmetic facial surgery visit www.lovethatface.com

Joe Niamtu, III DMD

Cosmetic Facial Surgery

Richmond, Virginia


February 12, 2012 Posted by | Academic Cosmetic Surgery | , , , | 1 Comment

Dr. Charles Hard Townes: I Met The Man That Invented LASERS

Dr. Niamtu and Dr. Townes in 2010 

I have had my picture taken with a lot of people, I guess you could say it is sort of a hobby, like some people collect coins, etc.  I have John Glenn, Neil Armstrong, Steven Spielberg, a President and a VP as well as many celebrities and sports figures.
One of my proudest handshakes was with Dr. Charles Townes.  This guy pretty much invented the LASER.  That includes the one on your key chain, the ones I treat patients with and the ones on our military aircraft.  Talk about a cosmetic surgery super hero!  When we chatted, he talked about Einstein’s  opinion of his project!  He worked with Einstein, I had goose bumps, I felt like I was standing next to Sir Issac Newton! The following is a shortened biography courtesy  of Wikipedia.  Thanks for all you have done Dr. Townes!  The hundreds of people that I have helped with scars and wrinkles with my lasers have you to thank.
Townes was born in Greenville, South Carolina on July 28, 1915 and in 1964 received the Nobel Prize in Physics with N. G. Basov and Aleksandr Prokhorov for contributions to fundamental work in quantum electronics leading to the development of the maser and laser.
Townes completed work for the Master of Arts degree in Physics at Duke University in 1936, and then entered graduate school at the California Institute of Technology, where he received the Ph.D. degree in 1939 with a thesis on isotope separation and nuclear spins.
A member of the technical staff of Bell Telephone Laboratories from 1933 to 1947, Townes worked extensively during World War II in designing radar bombing systems and has a number of patents in related technology. From this he turned his attention to applying the microwave technique of wartime radar research to spectroscopy, which he foresaw as providing a powerful new tool for the study of the structure of atoms and molecules and as a potential new basis for controlling electromagnetic waves.
At Columbia University, where he was appointed to the faculty in 1948, he continued research in microwave physics, particularly studying the interactions between microwaves and molecules, and using microwave spectra for the study of the structure of molecules, atoms, and nuclei. In 1951, Townes conceived the idea of the MASER, and a few months later he and his associates began working on a device using ammonia gas as the active medium. In early 1954, the first amplification and generation of electromagnetic waves by stimulated emission were obtained. Townes and his students coined the word “MASER” for this device, which is an acronym for microwave amplification by stimulated emission of radiation. In 1958, Townes and his brother-in-law, Dr. Arthur Leonard Schawlow, for some time a professor at Stanford University but now deceased, showed theoretically that MASERS could be made to operate in the optical and infrared region and proposed how this could be accomplished in particular systems. This work resulted in their joint paper on optical and infrared MASER, or LASERS (light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation). Other research has been in the fields of nonlinear optics, radio astronomy, and infrared astronomy. He and his assistants detected the first complex molecules in the interstellar medium and first measured the mass of the black hole in the center of our galaxy.
In 1961, Townes was appointed Provost and Professor of Physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T). As Provost he shared with the President responsibility for general supervision of the educational and research programs of the Institute. In 1966, he became Institute Professor at M.I.T., and later in the same year resigned from the position of Provost in order to return to more intensive research, particularly in the fields of quantum electronics and astronomy. He was appointed University Professor at the University of California in 1967. In this position Townes is participating in teaching, research, and other activities on several campuses of the University, although he is located at the Berkeley campus.
In addition to the Nobel Prize, Townes has received the Templeton Prize, for contributions to the understanding of religion, and a number of other prizes as well as 27 honorary degrees from various universities.
To find out more about Dr. Joe Niamtu, III Cosmetic Facial Surgery in Richmond Virginia, visit www.lovethatface.com

Joe Niamtu, III DMD

Cosmetic Facial Surgery

Richmond, Virginia

October 10, 2011 Posted by | Academic Cosmetic Surgery, Laser Resurfacing, New Cosmetic Surgery Technology, Personal, Technology | , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Aesthetic Show Las Vegas 2011

Dr. Niamtu and “The Doctors” host Dr. Andy Ordon were among faculty speaking at The Aesthetic Show in Las Vegas

I lecture at an average of 20 meetings a year, all over the world, and enjoy them all.  I am writing this blog post from a truly phenomenal meeting; The Aesthetic Show which is at the Aria Hotel in Las Vegas.  What makes this meeting so special?  Many reasons.  Number one, the meeting’s leader and originator, Michael Morretti knows how to throw a great party.  Not just the fun party, but an educational party as well.  Michael has been able to combine the thought leaders of cosmetic surgery and aesthetic medicine all in one place, and a fun place at that.
The landscape of cosmetic surgery and medicine has changed many ways over the past 20 years.  The boom in the popularity of cosmetic surgery and medicine is largely a result of the numerous specialties that have become involved in this arena.  Whereas 30 years ago, cosmetic surgery and medicine was controlled by a small number of specialties, contemporary cosmetic surgery and medicine is inclusive almost all specialties.  All of these specialties (dermatology, plastic surgery, ENT, oral & maxillofacial surgery, ophthalmology, Ob/Gyn, and many others) have brought advances from their own specialties to the collective table of cosmetic surgery and medicine.  It creates synergy where the total is greater than the sum of the parts.  All of this input, research, and publication has advanced the field.
I was truly honored to share the podium with cosmetic superstars from numerous specialties.  Dr. Andy Ordon who co-hosts the TV series “The Doctors” was the keynote speaker and is really a great guy!  He is as down to earth as they come.
My lecture topics were “Marketing the Cosmetic Surgery Practice” and “Contemporary Laser Skin Resurfacing”.  I also enjoyed Dr. Angelo Cuzalina’s lectures on cosmetic body surgery, Dr. Steve Mulholland’s lecture on fractional laser, Dr. Dore Gilbert’s (on his 60th birthday, he enlisted and will be manning a US Army hospital in Kabul!) talk on laser hair removal.  Dr. Michael Gold chaired this session and presented in the way only he can. Dermatologist par excellence Dr. Phil Wershler  served as program chair and assembled a truly ecumenical  all star cast.  The well known players were too numerous to name but they added so much to the event.
There were so many other great lectures and the exhibit hall was abuzz with new and cool products for cosmetic surgery and medicine.  Walking around this meeting and meeting so many docs and staff, all coming together to share information on cosmetic surgery and medicine, is truly exhilarating.  One of  the best meetings I have attended in a long time.  Way to go Michael Morretti, his wife Leah, Jennifer Pantele and staff.  I hope I am invited back in the future to speak at such a well orchestrated event.
To find out more about cosmetic facial surgery by Dr. Joe Niamtu, III in Richmond, Virginia, visit www.lovethatface.com

Joe Niamtu, III DMD.

June 4, 2011 Posted by | Academic Cosmetic Surgery, Cosmetic Surgery Education, New Cosmetic Surgery Technology, Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

Please Don’t Call Me a Plastic Surgeon

The field of cosmetic surgery has increased at an exponential rate over the past several decades.  Many paradigm shifts have occurred and this has changed the entire landscape of aesthetic surgery.  If a practitioner that performed aesthetic surgery procedures 40 years ago were to spend a day in my office they would be amazed by the new changes and technology.  Botox, lasers, endoscopic surgery, injectable fillers are just a few of the changes that have improved the profession.

Also among the changes is the fact that numerous specialties include aesthetic surgery in their core curriculum.  These procedures are taught in most residency programs to ophthalmologists, dermatologists, ENT docs, plastic surgeons, oral and maxillofacial surgeons and gynecologists to name a few.  In most of these specialties, cosmetic surgery procedures are part of the resident’s training, they are part of the board exams for those specialties and they are covered under the malpractice policies for those specialties.  Contemporary educators will freely admit that aesthetic surgery is well within the accepted scope of numerous specialties.  No single specialty owns the body or the face and each of these specialties have brought advancements to the collective table of aesthetic surgery.  For instance, dermatologists pioneered laser surgery and invented tumescent liposuction.  The current American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons were originally founded by oral surgeons and physicians and was called the American Society of Oral Surgeons until 1931. Oral and maxillofacial surgeons also made significant advanced in aesthetic skeletal surgery and facial implants.  Ophthalmologists have contributed many techniques for cosmetic eyelid surgery and gynecologists have introduced or improved cosmetic vaginal surgery.  ENT physicians have advanced the field of cosmetic nose surgery on a continual basis. The list goes on and anyone that disagrees with the fact that contemporary aesthetic surgery is a multispecialty realm simply has their head in the sand or has intentions of secondary gain, such as limiting the competition, turf battles, and the desire to control patients and dollars.

So…what is “plastic surgery” and how does it differ from “aesthetic surgery” or “cosmetic surgery”?   A Plastic Surgeon is a noun (or could be an adjective) that describes a surgical specialty of medicine.  When used as to describe a type of surgery it has a much broader definition.  Any surgery that is intended to improve form, replace or restore missing or damaged tissue can also be called “plastic surgery”.  So, having said that, if one calls them self a plastic surgeon, it should indicate that they performed a general surgery residency and then a plastic surgery residency and they would be considered a plastic surgeon.  There are, however, exceptions.  Otolaryngologists (ENT’s) changed the name of their specialty to “facial plastic surgery” and ophthalmologists developed a specialty designation of “oculoplastic surgery”.  These practitioners often refer to themselves as “plastic surgeons”.  Other specialties will surely follow this lead in the future to represent their contemporary scope.

In my situation, I am a board certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon.  I am very proud of my unique qualifications to provide aesthetic facial surgery.  My early dental training (I never practiced general dentistry, but had to have a dental degree to enter a maxillofacial surgery residency) gave me excellent dexterity and artistic perspective as well as four years of studying facial anatomy.  My oral and maxillofacial surgery residency provided me not only with medical and surgical training, but also with an unparalleled level of head and neck anatomy and expertise in that region.  I feel that my specialty has an intense level of head and neck training (if not more) than any specialty.  As with any specialty, a surgeon can decide to focus on specific areas that he or she likes to do or excels in.  My true love is cosmetic facial surgery and over the years it became a bigger and bigger part of my practice and in 2004, I limited my practice to only cosmetic facial surgery.  If a doctor does nothing but cosmetic facial surgery then I believe it is practical to refer to them as a cosmetic facial surgeon. 

One huge misconception is that “plastic surgery” is synonymous with cosmetic surgery.  This could not be further from the truth.  Some plastic surgeons have excellent cosmetic surgery training and do a lot of cosmetic surgery.  Others have very little cosmetic surgery training and do very little cosmetic surgery.  Remember, plastic surgery is not necessarily cosmetic surgery.   I have some plastic surgery friends that are excellent at cosmetic procedures and do a bunch and others that are not so proficient and do more reconstructive and wound surgery instead of cosmetic procedures

 In reality, it is not about the specialty, it is about one’s training and expertise in what they do.  A poor cosmetic surgeon does not stay in business long regardless of the specialty.

Why don’t I want to be referred to as a plastic surgeon?  The reason is simple.  Number one, that is not my specialty and I have no need to feign credentials.  Number two and most important, I limit my practice to cosmetic facial surgery and “plastic surgery” is not necessarily cosmetic surgery, so if I did attempt to call myself a plastic surgeon, it would be detrimental to my practice as it would indicate that I do not spend 100% of my time doing cosmetic facial surgery.  The third reason that I do not want to be called a plastic surgeon is that I have many plastic surgery friends on a local, national and international level and it would be an affront to them and their training.  Most plastic surgeons are pretty sharp people and do some amazing reconstructive procedures all over the body, but having that specialty designation does not automatically imply proficiency in aesthetic surgery.

The real bottom line is that numerous specialties perform competent and safe cosmetic surgery.  That can’t be disputed.  Some competitive practitioners who are still fighting the worn out turf battles will attempt to say that other specialties have more complications, but again, the people that usually are saying this are the ones with the most complications.

So, I am not a plastic surgeon, but no one can dispute that my practice is limited exclusively to cosmetic plastic surgery procedures of the head and neck.

I am quite happy and secure being a board certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon and a DMD that only does cosmetic facial surgery.  It is very difficult for any practitioner of any specialty to limit their practice solely to cosmetic surgery and very few ever get to that point.  It is even more difficult to limit a practice to cosmetic procedures of the face and neck because not doing body surgery significantly reduces available surgical options.  I am proud to be one of the few surgeons of any specialty in my state to have a practice limited to cosmetic facial surgery, as well as one of the busiest.  I am also proud to be a fellow of the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery and the American Society of Laser Medicine and Surgery.  I am proud to have published and lectured on cosmetic surgery more in the last decade than most of my naysayers will in their lifetime.  I am proud of my most recent textbook, which has set sales records and has sold well to all the recognized cosmetic specialties.  Cosmetic facial surgery is my passion, my life’s work, my job and my hobby.    I teach cosmetic facial surgery (to all specialties including plastic surgeons) at over 20 venues a year.  This sounds like bragging, but it isn’t; instead it is passion. I love cosmetic surgery, I love going to work, I love the patients and I love operating. Finally, this is how I feed my family and take care of the numerous expenses required by being the father of two severely handicapped children.  This I take the most seriously.

I do what I do well.  It is not a problem to call me a cosmetic facial surgeon because all I do, all day; every day is cosmetic facial surgery.  But please don’t call me a plastic surgeon.  It does not accurately describe a practice that exclusively performs cosmetic surgery.

To find out more about cosmetic facial surgery by Dr. Joe Niamtu in Richmond, Virginia visit http://www.lovethatface.com


Joe Niamtu, III DMD

March 18, 2011 Posted by | Academic Cosmetic Surgery, Choosing A Cosmetic Surgeon, Cosmetic Surgery Around the World, Cosmetic Surgery Education, Doctors Badmouthing Other Doctors, New Cosmetic Surgery Technology, Only Use A Board Certified Plastic Surgeon? | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

My New Textbook: the first 90 days

I have written several blog posts about the task of writing a comprehensive cosmetic facial surgery textbook.  The first post was written as I was mid way into the project


and the second entry was written after it was finished and I realized what I did.


Again, writing a sole author text of 17 chapters for the best known medical publishing house (Elsevier)  is a task of awesome proportions.  I did get help with a single chapter where my friend Angelo Cuzalina, M.D. wrote the rhinoplasty chapter, but I wrote the other 17 chapters.

So after all this hard work of writing, taking and editing 3,300 images, proofing your won work, fighting the editor and publisher about content and then after 2 years finally signing off on the book……what happens?  Well, for a long time nothing happens as a 1,000 page text with 3,300 images is sent out to another country to print.  So, the data has to get there, get printed and get shipped back to the U.S.  All of this took many months and finally in September of this year, I got my hands on an advanced copy.  It was a very strange but rewarding sensation to finally see a physical copy of something that has been only seen on a computer screen for the last several years.  It was decided by the publisher that the book would retail for $269 but Amazon introduced a pre release special that was discounted.

The book has done unbelievably well as it has sold over 1,000 copies in the first 90 days.  I am told by the publisher that this is exceptional for a large book with a large price tag.  The book has sold well in numerous specialties including plastic surgery, facial plastic surgery, ENT, oral and maxillofacial surgery, ophthalmology, oculoplastic surgery, dermatology and even at some dental meetings.  Obviously this makes me proud as this book is a representation of my 30 years of doing and teaching facial surgery.  I feel that it is a true accomplishment and although it took several years to produce, I am so glad I did it as many surgeons vow to publish a comprehensive text but few pull it off.

I am told that the book will be reprinted and that this is an honor as the company obviously feels it will continue to sell.  Many books only make it through a single printing because they simply don’t sell.  Again, I am very humbled by the entire experience.  I have done book signings at several medical meetings and it is a true honor, although I sometimes feel embarrassed, but truly humbled when a doc purchases the book and requests a signature.

We will most likely write a second edition in the future and I have begun documenting new procedures or material that was not in the first printing as I know that  this daunting task will rear its head in several years.  It is amazing how fast technology changes where you write the latest material and by the time the book gets to the market, some things have changed.  I would hate to write computer books!  Interestingly we have only found 3 mistakes so far and I am sure more will surface.  These too will be corrected in the second edition.

Finally I was pleased to find out from the publisher that the book is selling well on the international market as well.  In this sour economy it has done well here and abroad.  Although I have written several smaller texts and over 20 textbooks chapters in other author’s books, this one was special and I won’t be able to top this academically in my lifetime, but again, that was my goal.

To find out more about cosmetic facial surgery by Dr. Joe Niamtu, III in Richmond, Virginia visit http://www.lovethatface.com

Joe Niamtu, III

December 12, 2010 Posted by | Academic Cosmetic Surgery, Technology | , , , , | Leave a comment