What is left to hate about yourself when the magic of plastic surgery can make any imperfection history? Dr. Nikolas Chugay, the man with the magic who can lift, tuck and turn back time with liposuction, breast augmentation and even butt implants. He’s a skillful surgeon blessed with the power to transform any flaw into a beautiful work of art.
Dr. Chugay got his start in medicine because of his mother, who insisted he would be a doctor. Her dream for him became reality in 1971 when Nikolas earned the title of Doctor from the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine. Of Russian descent, Dr. Chugay was born in China, grew up in Brazil, was formally educated in the United States and spent many of his early years in San Francisco. After completing his training, Dr. Chugay moved to Southern California to open his practice and he currently resides in Newport Beach.
With more than 40 years of experience in facial plastic, aesthetic, and cosmetic plastic surgery, Chugay has performed over 30,000 surgical procedures, invented several new implants used for muscular augmentation, designed many new procedures and published numerous articles in the medical press. Honored with many awards and accomplishments, as well as numerous appearances on TV, Dr. Chugay is the go-to-guy for any facial improvements or body enhancement procedures.
The Rage Monthly had the opportunity for a one-on-one consultation with Dr. Chugay on his birthday, April 28, regarding his life and career as one of Los Angeles’ premier plastic surgeons.
As a child, did you always dream about doing what you now find yourself practicing?
Well, my mother wanted me to become a doctor, so I was literally brainwashed to become a doctor. When I got into medical school, everything I was learning there I hated. There was nothing I liked until I was in third-year medical school and I was at the University of Miami watching a very well known plastic surgeon, Dr. Ralph Millard. He was really a master and that’s when I knew I was going to become a plastic surgeon.
You state in interviews that you pull inspiration from your travels for new procedures. One of your most successful procedures is the Tongue Patch. How did you come up with the Tongue Patch procedure?
I was traveling in Latin America. An acquaintance of mine brought up the idea that the way to the stomach was through the tongue. So I came back and put together this idea of restricting the amount of food by attaching a device to the tongue (FDA approved, of course). The biggest hurdle was getting a nutritionist to help create an 800-calorie per day diet that was based on primarily a liquid diet. There are really only two proven ways to help someone lose weight. One is caloric restriction, and two is exercise. Out of the 83 people who have done this procedure, 90 percent learned how to take care of themselves better through diet and exercise. Some clients have lost up to 50, 60 and 70 pounds.
How does Tongue Patch compare to the well-known Lap-Band procedure?
Lap-Band is a very dangerous procedure, whereas the Tongue Patch is so much less invasive and safer in that regard. Plus, the patient only needs to wear the Tongue Patch for about four weeks.
What other procedures have you developed from inspiration from your travels?
I was in New York one time at a conference and a reporter working with the conference public relations group reported that I had developed a bicep implant procedure, which of course I hadn’t yet. Well, I could not make him a liar so I created a bicep implant procedure.
What is your favorite place to travel?
Maui, Hawaii, and one that would probably be my number one choice if it weren’t for the distance is Bali, Indonesia.
What are you biggest in-demand procedures for females and males respectively?
For females, really breast enlargement and liposuction. For males it’s liposuction and buttocks augmentation, big-time.
What non-surgical recommendations would you make to reverse the signs of aging?
Retin-A, 0.1% cream, applied daily will really retard the aging process.
What is the best advice you would give to the not so “spring-chicken,” to slow the need for surgical age reversal?
Stay out of the sun, stop smoking and decrease alcohol consumption to one glass of wine a day. Those are all very important, along with the Retin-A cream applied to the face.
When are you not at work, what are some of your favorite pastimes?
I like reading, tennis, I love dancing and I am a fan of classical music.
You have quite the media presence. What are some of you most memorable on-air adventures?
Well, on the RuPaul Show, when I was there, I had several of my before and after patients, and they all looked fabulous. RuPaul said, “From what I understand, you are a cutting-edge plastic surgeon, why is that?” Well I said maybe because I cut. He said, “Well you’re a comedian too!” Another show I was on with Anna Nicole Smith, and the host asked her about her breasts. He asked, “Are those yours?” Anna Nicole responded, “Well of course they’re mine! They’re all paid for!”
For those who might be seeking a career in medicine and plastic surgery, what does it take to be a successful physician?
Basically, a sense for aesthetics. You have to be able to see what the modifications are going to look like in the end before you start a procedure. Hard work. There is no replacement for hard work. Be willing to serve people and to take care of people. Finally, I think humility is very important.
DR. CHUGAY is located in Long Beach, California. For more information on Dr. Chugay and the services provided, please visit him online at DrChugay.com or by calling toll-free 800.660.8507800.660.8507.
As published in the Rage Monthly Magazine in the June 2011 edition, for the PDF version of this article please click here.