A fellow of the American College of Surgeons (F.A.C.S.) and diplomat of the American Board of Plastic Surgery, Dr. Tornambe has built a successful practice for over 20 years. His philosophy and approach are deeply inspired from his belief that he is a physician first and foremost and must follow the oath promising to “first do no harm.”


“To me, less is more when it concerns cosmetic surgery. Success is when others cannot tell what you have had “done”–they only know you look better, not artificially younger or different. An overly aggressive approach usually leads to complications and an obvious alteration which is the opposite of the natural look patients say they want. I am comfortable underselling a procedure if I believe a patient doesn’t need it. My conscience won’t permit it.”


“I have never measured my success by volume. If I did, it would compromise the amount of time I like to spend with patients. Consultations cannot be rushed. It’s the golden opportunity to get to know the patient, their physical and emotional health, desires and expectations. Only after truly engaging with a prospective patient can I give an honest recommendation. It’s also important to give the patient time to know me. There has to be a connection made on a deeper level than can be reached in 10 minutes. I’ve been described as honest and low key and diligent. I like that because it shows I am a caregiver and educator, not a salesman. I usually recommend a second consultation for clarity. Maybe they have seen other doctors and they have more questions. This is not a time to be vague—it’s not like getting your hair done. We have to be a team with trust and the proper expectations. Follow up after the procedure deserves just as much time. That is when a patient is feeling the most vulnerable and needs undivided attention. I am there before, during and after their procedure.”


“One of my favorite patients is actually one I never operated on. She was just breaking into modeling and felt her prominent, big eyes were keeping her from being chosen for assignments she was so desperately seeking. She asked me to alter her eyes. I refused. Her eyes were so extraordinary, so different, they struck me as her distinct “look”–not like the other girls. I was sincere in telling her this perceived flaw should be part of all the aspects that celebrated who she was. I said, “I am here to build on your beauty, not subtract from what you have.” She listened. Six months later she was on the cover of Cosmo.”


“The subject of cosmetic enhancement is widely popular in the media. Much of the information available to the public is not entirely accurate and driven more by hype than fact. Beware of anyone promising surgery without scars or downtime; liposuction as a weight loss strategy; breast augmentation as a substitute for a breast lift; dramatic changes in appearance without anesthesia or surgery; no discomfort; and miracle machines. Patients may be more educated but not necessarily better educated. That is why they need to see me to understand what is really possible for them. If I am guilty of anything, it is turning my back on standing out from the crowd using gimmicks.”


“When I was younger I thought that being right out of training meant I was on the top of my game. Didn’t think the “older guys” could compete. Now, I really appreciate my experience. There is no substitute because you have a lifetime of learning from your errors–particularly those involving judgment. Today, staying up to date is a never ending marathon. I am constantly challenging myself to stay fresh. I never want to be the surgeon that does everything the same way all day with every patient. With experience comes confidence. Sometimes you run into trouble but you handle it. Aesthetically, you balance what you know works and refine other areas. If you are good, you never stop learning and one thing you come to understand is technical expertise is accompanied by an eye for beauty and common sense. The challenge is checking out new technology and research and doing the homework that is worthwhile to serve patients.”


“Looking back, throughout the years, I have been a complete plastic surgeon and complete doctor. My attention is focused on the entire patient, not just the procedure. I choose my patients carefully because I am looking for a long term relationship with each one of them.”