Posted: Friday, March 4, 2016 – 4:25 PM
Plastic surgeon Dr. Ben Talei balances a thriving cosmetic practice at The Beverly Hills Center for Plastic & Laser Surgery with a committed schedule of pro bono and charity work for causes he believes in.
In his year and a half in Beverly Hills, Talei’s become the go-to surgeon for facelifts that are “extremely natural, but not so subtle that you don’t notice a difference.” Patients have friends and relatives compliment them; but they can’t tell what the client’s had done.
He’s one of fewer than a handful of surgeons using the AuraLyft procedure. “It’s completely different and the best type to do on anybody,” says Talei, and the same technique he uses for reconstruction with cancer patients.
“Without the need for fat grafting or fillers it gives the maximum that any surgery can give you in terms of rejuvenation of the face and neck while also providing the absolute most natural outcome from the top of the brow to the bottom of the neck,” says Talei. The proof is in the many before-and-after photos on his website, (http://www.beverlyhillscenter.com) which he designed.
The results are so refined, “that nobody, no matter how close they are to the patient, knows they’ve had surgery,” says Talei. He had a mother and daughter-in-law daughter who had no idea they’d both seen him.
“The thing that makes me different is how I see things,” says Talei. “I see things other doctors don’t see. I look at a face and understand skin type, shadow, features, harmony and balance.”
He completed his residency training in head and neck surgery at Columbia University and Cornell University Medical Centers. Following his residency training, Dr. Talei became one of the few surgeons in the country to complete two separate fellowships in facial plastic & reconstructive surgery, first at the New York Center for Facial Plastic & Laser Surgery, while simultaneously serving as voluntary staff and teacher for residents at the Albert Einstein School of Medicine. He then furthered his training at the Vascular Birthmark Institute of New York.
“My training gives me the ability to do more than other doctors can and keep things more natural; and that’s difficult to do for the face,” says Talei. “Everyone knows how bad plastic surgery can look. Nobody knows with my patients.”
He’s also known for rhinoplasty, and his skills with Botox and fillers. “A lot of models and actresses come because I do the most natural filler and Botox in a way that’s extremely consistent and has very little downtime,” says Talei. “This office is a referral center for poorly performed Botox and filler they’ve had somewhere else,” Talei said. (He’s also a sought-after teacher of advanced Botox and filler techniques to nurses and other doctors.)
His philanthropic work includes serving on the Cosmetic and Reconstructive Surgery (CRS) Program for the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV).
A car- and boat-racing enthusiast, Talei has organized track days and events at the marina (he keeps his cigarette boat at Marina del Rey) where attendees commit donations to the NCADV. An avid cook, he’s also hosted lunches and dinners where guests donate online.
“I like to give; and I think ‘why not do all this charity stuff?’” is how Talei sums up his giving philosophy. And it’s part of his life that’s grown. His initial involvement with the NCADV grew from treating domestic-violence victims and then a desire to do more.
His most ambitious and attention-getting awareness-raiser was the Drive Against Domestic Violence, across 23 states from New York to California in a “charity Mini-Cooper.” “We had fund raisers in all the big cities as we traveled,” Talei reports.
He’s a member of the Beverly Hills Health and Wellness Committee and on the board of Children Uniting Nations—which supports orphaned children with mentoring and resources. The involvement supports Talei’s passion for mentoring, one that began in high school and while a student at UCLA and member of COPE (Community Outreach for Prevention and Education).
Through HUGS (Help Us Give Smiles) and Healing the Children, Talei has taken part in international surgical missions to Vietnam, Guatemala, Honduras and Ecuador to perform ear, lip and facial reconstruction operations on children and adults. On the 10-day trips, Talei may see 120 patients and operate on 60 to 90 patients treating crushed lip and palate, burn scars and disfiguring birth marks.
As one of two California specialists in vascular birthmarks, he runs the Beverly Hills Center for Hemangiomas and Vascular Birthmarks, and does pro bono work in that area as well.
His numerous other creative and artistic pursuits include being a a piano teacher and composer, upholstering, sewing Victorian lampshades, some of which are on display in his office; carpentry and stone sculpting. He even makes his own scrub caps, often from fabric, such as scarves, patients give him.