Any frequenter of Instagram’s countless beauty communities has probably stumbled on the work of Dr. Andrew Jacono, a dual board-certified facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon practicing on Park Avenue. Boasting over 236,000 followers on his page, where he regularly shares extraordinary before-and-after photos of patients who have undergone a range of impressive procedures, Dr. Jacono has become as close to a household name as a surgeon can, thanks not only to an array of recent high-profile celebrity cases, but also to his arsenal of innovative techniques that are changing the landscape of contemporary cosmetic surgery.
For Dr. Jacono, the journey to become perhaps the best plastic surgeon in the world began in grade school, and in an unlikely place: the school bus.
“There was a girl on my bus route who was born with a cleft lip and palate deformity,” says Jacono. “She had serious trouble speaking and breathing normally, and was unfortunately the victim of a lot of bullying. Nobody would sit next to her, so I decided to try it out. I ended up enjoying her company enough to become her friend, and after a while, I even started to walk her home from her stop.”
Fortunately, the girl underwent surgery, and when she returned to school, the bullying stopped abruptly, as though it had never been happening to begin with.
“It was a turning point for me,” says Jacono. “I finally understood the unfortunate reality that your appearance, whether you like it or not, matters a great deal. At the same time, I realized that surgery is a magical force of good. That’s why I ultimately decided to become a surgeon: to help people feel more comfortable in their own skin.”
Since his training at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, Jacono has performed thousands of surgeries and developed a number of innovative techniques, including the M.A.D.E. (Minimal Access Deep Plane Extended) Lift, which, through a minimally invasive incision, manipulates the deeper muscles of the face, rather than just superficial tissues, to provide natural, long-lasting results. He has also donated much of his time to charitable causes, becoming a senior advisor against domestic violence at the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS) and venturing on medical missions across the world to repair cleft lip and palate deformities pro-bono.
“There’s no greater pleasure than seeing a patient thrilled with the way they look,” Jacono says. “I’m lucky to be able to experience that special, intimate feeling every single day.”
It is with this drive, passion, and empathy that Jacono has built a surgical empire and gone on to treat some of the country’s most beloved and influential people. Among these include Dr. Paul Nassif, a colleague and friend of Dr. Jacono’s, who underwent a deep plane facelift, and most recently Sonja Morgan, star of The Real Housewives of New York, who underwent a deep plane facelift and necklift. These procedures and their results have garnered massive media attention; E! News, Page Six, and hundreds of other outlets have covered Dr. Jacono’s celebrity outreach, and Sonja Morgan’s Instagram reveal alone accumulated over 120,000 likes.
Though Jacono has never been shy about the limelight—he has been consulted as a beauty expert in dozens of magazines and journals, including Harper’s Bazaar and Castle Connolly, and even briefly had his own reality television show, Facing Trauma, which aired on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) in 2011—this newfound attention has proven overwhelming.
“Especially in the last few weeks, my office has been getting hundreds of calls a day,” says Jacono. “It’s wonderful to see that my more high-profile cases are helping to destigmatize plastic surgery, but it can be a lot to handle. Luckily, I have a wonderful staff that helps me tackle these more intense parts of my job.”
One of the best surgeons in America—and also one of the busiest. He now performs dozens of operations a week, sometimes working from as early as 4:00 a.m. to as late as 9:00 p.m. While his schedule is always packed, though, he never sacrifices his precision or bedside manner, virtues to which all of his patients can attest.
“There were a number of things that struck me about him,” says Vivian, a patient of Dr. Jacono’s who underwent a deep plane facelift and a blepharoplasty, a procedure that rejuvenates the eyelids. “His results speak for themselves—he is the best at what he does, without question—but he’s also incredibly kind and relatable. He welcomed me with a smile and a breadth of knowledge and humor, and by the end of the consultation, I felt like I’d gone to high school with him. My surgery was easy, my recovery time was minimal, and I couldn’t be happier with how I look. I look like myself, just ten years younger, and nobody I know, except for my husband, has noticed I’ve had work done.”
The list of patients who can attest to Dr. Jacono’s skill is far too long to list here. The common thread through them all, however, is that his work veers into the territory of sculpture, integrating symmetry and aesthetic balance so as not to make a face look tight, pulled, or overtly “done”. To Jacono, this artistic inclination isn’t a coincidence.
“My grandfather was a master tailor,” he says. “I like to think that I’m carrying on his artistic and technical legacies, but with scalpels and sutures instead of threads and measuring tape. If there’s anything I’ve learned in my twenty years as a surgeon, it’s that having a passion for your profession is integral to delivering the best outcomes.”
Though being in the hands of someone as good as Dr. Jacono can be an incredibly rewarding experience, the world of plastic surgery is often a confusing maze to navigate. That’s why Dr. Jacono has written a book, The Park Avenue Face, to educate patients on the benefits and drawbacks of dozens of cosmetic procedures and treatments, all the while dismantling stigmas and misconceptions about going under the knife.