An Interview With
Dr. Sharon Giese

Improving Looks—And Outlooks

By Patricia Canole | Photography by Neil J Tandy

Forget everything you thought you knew about aesthetic enhancement—appearance-improving options are being invented at a laser-quick pace. Are you troubled by wrinkles? A doctor can inject them with novel fillers or remove them with light. Want a little fat removed from your jawline? You can get it melted. Even a classic facelift has evolved from a primary nip and tuck to a more customized blend of boosting and volumizing.

Of course, consumer demand has driven this innovation: In a decade, more surgical and nonsurgical cosmetic procedures have been performed in the U.S. Still, while exciting, the plethora of beauty-enhancing options is also confusing and overwhelming. Your safest strategy: Go with doctors at the top of their fields. 

One such plastic surgeon is New York’s Dr. Sharon Giese, who employs a comprehensive approach to patient care in her private townhouse office steps from Park Avenue. This board-certified physician understands how improving body image positively affects the psyche. She reminded us that “cosmetic surgery is a way of respecting yourself and your body. It is not superficial thinking; it’s powerful thinking.

A fourth-generation surgeon, she is trained as a biochemist who is credited with groundbreaking research on the effects of large-volume liposuction to improve cardiometabolic risk factors and weight loss. Research is most definitely a passion. This and her art, medicine, and psychology background provide customized treatments for each patient. “Selecting a surgeon is very important and sometimes daunting,” she says. Giese is involved with every step of the process, and you will see her and her staff’s professionalism. Her patients all want the same—to be better versions of themselves, from celebrities to soccer moms.  

This recognized plastic surgeon prides herself on being a top leader in her field. Consistently sought out for her expertise, Giese is determined to provide the best possible care and outcome for each client so that everyone can achieve a red-carpet look. 

Her practice has the perfect procedural package for you regardless of your life stage. As a female plastic surgeon, she recognizes the aesthetic value women place on their bodies. Her practice offers a variety of cosmetic and nonsurgical procedures to treat your specific needs, from breast enhancement and facial rejuvenation to dermal fillers. Whether you want to lift sagging skin, enhance curves, smooth wrinkles, or improve symmetry, she can help transform your body—and life. 

Giese is best known for her Natural Lift, a minimally invasive alternative to a facelift that melts away neck and jowl fat. She says the procedure can buy patients an extra five years before they might need traditional surgery. When women come to her and tell her they want to look younger, one of Giese’s first recommendations is an upper-eyelid lift, which can be performed in less than half an hour and requires only local anesthesia.  

We recently met up with Dr. Sharon Giese, who sheds more light on the art of cosmetic surgery and her popular in-demand procedures, Body Sculpting, and Elective Weight Loss: The No Diet Diet. 

Why did you decide to get into the field of plastic surgery?
Plastic surgery is the ultimate culmination of my skills and hobbies, combining the human element, health and empowerment. I studied classical piano (and taught) for 13 years and still enjoy playing today. I designed and sewed clothes for my Grandma and myself. I absolutely love fine fabrics and linens! I have always enjoyed gardening, flower arranging, and cooking. I am a student of art history and painting. Plastic surgery combined my creative and artistic skills and pleasure with manual dexterity. I am grateful for my unique, accomplished patients. Since I am doing what I love, I don’t feel like I’m going to work.

Who most influenced your career choice and training?
My father, an obstetric surgeon, was the first person to influence my career. Once I decided to become a physician, he knew I had a surgeon’s personality and perseverance. He thought I would like plastic, oculoplastic, or hand surgery.

This led me to my first mentor in plastic surgery, Peter McKinney, at Northwestern University Medical School. He was the top aesthetic surgeon in Chicago, had authored six books and more than 100 publications, and was the past president of the Aesthetic Society. He was a gentleman and the ultimate example of how to be highbrow in an arena that can trend the other way. I am extremely fortunate for this early experience.  

What do you feel attracts patients to your practice?
I am very hands-on and personal. People come to me to help navigate the myriad choices out there. They don’t want to be a Google or TikTok doc to themselves. My job is to satisfy their desires. Many times, patients don’t know what they want or what their realistic choices are. This is where I can help them find options in their recovery timeline and budget. 

What is the most common misconception the public has about your specialty?
Having plastic surgery is superficial. The massive presence of physical alteration—real or Photoshop—forces people to choose to do it. I respect both sides because it is an active decision. It empowers and enables some, whereas others have no need for it in their life. No one ever knows if you partook when it is done right. I never want someone to advertise that they had “plastic surgery,” Fillers or Botox.

Why should patients seek out board-certified plastic surgeons?
That is an absolute first-pass eliminator. Being a board-certified plastic surgeon means that person completed an accredited plastic surgery program, met the continued medical education requirements, the re-certification testing, and most likely is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgery has high ethical standards and serves to self-police its members. Essentially, that will weed out the “wannabes.” Unfortunately, it is a buyer beware market. Physician assistants often market themselves as ‘cosmetic surgeon.’ 

Describe the Natural Lift that is unique to your practice.
The Natural Lift addresses the first signs of aging—a sagging neck and jowls. Excess fat in either of those areas drags down the face, making it look saggy, sad, older, and heavy.

How the fat sits is genetic. It will not change with age but only get worse. It is also minimally affected by weight loss. Removing a little bit of neck and jowl fat removes the heaviness and naturally highlights the upper face, which appears lifted. It mimics what a facelift does, but non-surgically.  

It is also amazing for younger people who genetically have a full lower face or an obscured jawline. It’s great for people in their 20s to shift how they will age in the future, take away a double chin, and make them look 10 pounds lighter. 

How do you help to ensure your patients have realistic
expectations regarding their

I use and love before-after photos. I have a 20-year-old digital library of examples. I can almost always find someone with a similar problem that was corrected.

I analyze real-time digital photos of a patient with them. Together, we decide what they want to improve and what is realistically possible. I learn a lot from this engagement, and expectations are set better than with digital manipulation of their face or body.

What is best for a surgeon like yourself to deal with a patient’s unrealistic expectations?
If my staff or I think a patient will be reasonable and realistic, I will not treat them. Instead, I gently explain that I am not the surgeon for them.

Another innovative procedure you provide is the No Diet Diet. Tell us more.
I love this addition to my practice. Elective Weight Loss (EWL™) has made hundreds of people happy and healthier. Adults young and old should stay closer to their lower weight as they age. It is healthier and will keep cardiometabolic risk factors lower for life. I primarily help non-obese patients who are overweight relative to themselves. They have yet to be successful at reaching their target weight.

A few years ago, the power of natural appetite suppression was realized with semaglutide, the active ingredient of Ozempic® and Wegovy®. Ads and marketing tempt many people to eat more than they need to. There is an undue emphasis on food, particularly in NYC, because going to a bar or restaurant is a large part of socializing. This peptide helps to curb the desire to eat in excess naturally. It helps people stay on a calorie-restricted diet without feeling deprived. It diminishes ‘food noise.’ It prompts behavioral changes.  

As a society, we are so lucky to have this tool, particularly given the obesity epidemic in America and worldwide today.  

I have a large ongoing study showing its effectiveness for weight loss and weight maintenance, with the goal of getting off the medication. This refers to my early

fat research in plastic surgery, which showed large volume liposuction could effectively be integrated into a weight loss program and have health benefits.

Describe a case in which you changed a patient’s overall quality of life through surgery.
Wow, there are so many! At one point, I thought I had a fertility clinic. So many of my body liposuction patients were getting pregnant. I viewed this as a testament to them feeling more confident and engaged with their partners. Similarly, with semaglutide, I have a number of gals who are using it to help them get back to their normal weight and have a healthier pregnancy. There are also the more mature men and women who want to stay competitive in the work market. That applies equally to my TV, Broadway, or social media star patients. I have many moms who have become happier, healthier, and more productive for their families.

Every day, I see empowerment in every aspect of their lives. That is what makes me happy.

For more information on Dr. Sharon Giese, visit