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Dr. Berkowitz was voted Metro’s Best Plastic Surgeon 2013

“No matter one’s reason for seeking plastic surgery, Dr. Berkowitz makes his patients feel at ease. His sensitive bedside manner, straightforward explanations of procedures and helpful staff combine to ensure any procedure is as painless as possible, be it liposuction, breast augmentation or a laser treatment. Dr. Berkowitz has practiced in the South Bay for 30 years and Metro’s readers respect his experience, voting him runner-up in 2012 and tops in his field for 2013.”


Deciding to make a change in your appearance should be a positive experience. Whether you are seeking aesthetic or reconstructive surgery, the results will not begin and end with your reflection in the mirror. They are far-reaching and influence not only how other see you, but how you see yourself.

It is critically important that, above all, your plastic surgeon is a good physician, who gives attention to both your physical and psychological needs.

You. With extra confidence.

You. More youthful.

You. Only better.©

About Dr. Berkowitz – San Jose Plastic Surgeon

When R. Laurence Berkowitz was a young boy, his father, a Rabbi took his son’s hands in his own and declared, “These are the hands of a surgeon.” And a doctor was born.

Dr. Berkowitz is no less thrilled by his calling than the first day he witnessed a cleft palate repair on a child. “It was magic—almost indescribable. To change someone’s life in a matter of hours? I had to learn how to do that.” Dr. Berkowitz describes plastic surgery as a serious yet highly satisfying endeavor where “only the obsessive/compulsive need apply.”

A Passion for His Craft

The years have only served to strengthen the bonds of the wonder and enthusiasm Dr. Berkowitz felt that first day. He insists that when you carry that type of heritage into an aesthetic practice—it is different. 30 years ago, Dr. Berkowitz established his practice on the tenets of trust, humility and constant improvement. Although he continues to perform a broad range of both reconstructive and aesthetic procedures, he does not feel a distinction between the two. “In my mind, the difference between reconstructive and cosmetic surgery is an artificial line set by our society declared ‘necessary versus elective.’ To the patient it is always necessary. People don’t subject themselves to surgery unless they have considered it carefully and have a strong need to change something.”

You. Only Better. ©

Dr. Berkowitz feels aesthetic surgery fills an important role. “My patients have full lives but look to me to augment their appearance to feel better and keep functioning on a high level.” Because of carefully individualized surgical plans, there are really no standard procedures but rather, broad categories within which there are an infinite number of variations. Dr. Berkowitz relies on his critical judgment to stay true to his promise of You. Only better. © “Rarely does someone want to look like someone else. They want to be recognizable by family and peers and told they look great. To be asked, ‘What’s different?’ is not a compliment.” A testimony to R. Laurence Berkowitz, M.D.’ results lie in the fact that a considerable part of his practice is dedicated to secondary, revisional procedures and challenging cases referred to him by his peers.

Doctor/Patient Relationship

Preserving the sanctity of the relationship between physician and patient is paramount. His philosophy is that he should be available at all times—no middleman. “I have a superbly trained staff that help me and facilitate what I do, but ultimately I am there for the patient.” Dr. Berkowitz gives his patients absolute access to reach him and firmly believes that any physician who is going to delegate a patient to an answering service in the immediate post-operative period cannot be trusted. According to Dr. Berkowitz, cosmetic surgery is not the commodity some would have us believe. The experience and training required for safe outcomes and beautiful results is not a part time pursuit. “A plastic surgeon’s core training in medicine, general surgery, reconstructive surgery and aesthetic nuances should not be taken for granted because they are essential in handling a patient properly. Physicians in other core specialties who are eager to practice cosmetic surgery do not share our discipline, network or tradition. There are no short cuts.”

Safety is a Priority

Dr. Berkowitz willingly invests in a safe operating room by providing a facility that’s certified by the Institute of Medical Quality, a board certified anesthesiologist and top ranked staff. “My practice is my sanctuary and my operating room is my temple. If there is a better instrument, we will get it. If there is an upgrade that will bring value to a patient,we will adopt it. Patients are never touched by anyone who is not licensed. It is expensive to do things right, but such peace of mind is never a waste of resources.”

Personal Consultations

During consultations Dr. Berkowitz understands that everyone arrives with some fear and anxiety. He takes his time to get beyond the shield and reach the person beneath the trepidation. “I have a very intimate bond with each patient. The consultation, the diagnosis, the options and final recommendation cannot be abdicated—not even to a nurse. I feel my results are directly proportional to the time I spend with each patient.”

At the entrance to his surgical facility Dr. Berkowitz has a plaque with a quote from the pioneer of modern architecture, Mies Van Der Rohe: “The structure is the whole, from top to bottom, to the last detail, with the same ideas.”

Dr. Berkowitz says, “Where others see our specialty as art, I consider myself an architect. The liberties or whims associated with art are a luxury we cannot afford to follow. By contrast, an architect must follow the rules of man and nature. We are intrinsically tied to the laws of structure.”

In the spirit of constant improvement R. Laurence Berkowitz, M.D. strives to make every procedure better than the last. “I don’t believe I have reached my peak. It is always in front of me. And that is the glory of making a living at doing something you love.”

Dr. Berkowitz is on staff at Good Samaritan Hospital and is a former Assistant Professor with the Department of Surgery at Stanford University.