For board-certified plastic surgeon Joshua Fosnot, MD, cosmetic surgery goes beyond skin deep. Dr. Fosnot works to bring greater aesthetic balance to each of his patients, striving to give them a more natural look through overall harmony, instead of focusing on a cosmetic ideal in one specific area of the body.
His goal: to make people feel more youthful and confident.
“Cosmetic surgery is about creating a feeling, contributing to how a person feels when they get up to start their day,” Dr. Fosnot says.
Restoring people's bodies—and lives
Dr. Fosnot has practiced at Penn Medicine for the past five years, but has been at the University of Pennsylvania since 1999—first as a medical student, then resident, and finally as a fellow. During that time, he has seen the results that various approaches to cosmetic surgery can create. However, he says he sees the greatest value in not being able to tell that a person has undergone cosmetic surgery at all.
The majority of Dr. Fosnot’s patients come to him for reconstructive surgery, following procedures such as mastectomy for breast cancer treatment. He also operates on cosmetic surgery patients, often for breast augmentation, mommy makeovers and male breast reductions.
Some of his patients are in the prime of their lives with young children. After facing a serious medical challenge, such as breast cancer, they want to embark on a new aspect of their lives. That may involve a face lift or body contouring. These patients’ renewed energy for life inspires Dr. Fosnot and often reminds him why he went into medicine in the first place.
“Mainly, I recognized that I loved helping people in need, mixed with a strong interest in science and how the body works,” he says of pursuing the path to become a surgeon. “I liked that plastic surgery enabled me to identify a problem, and have a set of tools in order to create change and help in a very concrete way.”
The surgical world empowers Dr. Fosnot to put things back together every day. And the results of his work are visible—for himself and his patients.
“I have a strong feeling that what I’m doing every day helps,” he says.
The working life
Not only does Dr. Fosnot enjoy his work—from the straightforward to the complex cases—but he also values the “incredibly talented” people with whom he works. He loves research and teaching, too. As assistant professor of surgery and residency program director, he makes an impact on the next generation of surgeons, guiding them in discovering new ways to help people.
Even outside of work, Dr. Fosnot’s interests keep him actively engaged in his health and his work. He leads an active life, hiking outdoors or attending soccer matches with his wife and sons.
“I like leading an active life, treating your body as it’s meant to be treated,” he says.
View Dr. Fosnot's clinical profile