Meet Dr. Richard Backstein

Richard BacksteinDr. Richard Backstein is a Royal College-certified plastic surgeon who grew up in midtown Toronto, Ontario. He completed a 5-year plastic surgery residency at the University of Toronto, a fellowship in general plastic surgery, and a second fellowship in hand and microsurgery.

Dr. Backstein formed a partnership with his brother Robert to establish the Centre for Minor Surgery (CFMS) to provide exceptional minor surgery results while being efficient and accessible to the community.

Learn more about the doctor’s background, training, and motivations in this question-and-answer session:

Who were your influences growing up?

My parents have always been huge influences in my life as well as my three older siblings.

When did you decide to become a plastic surgeon?

I decided I wanted to be a plastic surgeon about halfway through medical school. I wanted to become a surgeon quite early on and became really enamoured with the breadth and scope of plastic surgery.

Why did you decide to focus on minor surgery?

I decided to focus on minor surgery because I felt there was a real lack of efficiency in the way these conditions are treated in our community. I quickly noticed that patients were often waiting months and sometimes years for simple and fast procedures that have a profound impact on their quality of life; this was unacceptable to me. I also enjoyed the almost immediate positive impact I can make on people’s lives doing these procedures and the fact that because patients are not asleep during these procedures, I can get to know them and have interesting discussions.

What are some of your most frequently performed procedures?

Women and men come to us to remove common skin concerns such as unsightly moles, skin cysts, and lipomas without worrying about pain and noticeable scars.

Why did you decide to go into practice with your brother?

My brother Robert and I have always gotten along very well and in many ways are very similar. He is older than I am and has been a mentor to me both professionally and personally. I trust him implicitly and couldn’t ask for a better friend and business partner.

What is it about your work that you enjoy?

I find the wide range of people and personalities I meet doing this work very rewarding and interesting. These types of conditions do not affect just a single demographic. I also find the fact that we are in some ways breaking new ground in our community—creating a centre devoted to treating these types of problems exclusively—very exciting.

Patients often think these procedures will be a major ordeal when in fact, most often it is an easier experience than a brief visit with the dentist. They are often surprised by how little pain is involved, as well as how little downtime.

What are the advantages of choosing CFMS over a dermatologist or general surgeon?

As plastic surgeons, we have spent years focusing on performing surgery to achieve both an optimal functional and cosmetic outcome, which is typically not a focus of these other specialties. We have been schooled in all the techniques that allow optimal aesthetic results and because we have such a narrow focus of practice, we have already seen and dealt with almost any challenge in the area of skin surgery.

How do you enjoy spending time outside of work?

I really enjoy reading, especially history and biographies. I am an avid sports fan, particularly of baseball and basketball. Both my wife Jessica and I are big foodies and love dining out. We also love to travel.

What do you enjoy about living in Toronto?

I love the multicultural nature of Toronto and how safe it is generally. The dining scene is excellent and continuing to improve. We are a great sports town. We are truly a world-class city where you can indulge your interests, no matter what they may be.

How do I get started?

To meet with one of the plastic surgeons at The Centre for Minor Surgery in Toronto, book a consultation using our online form or by calling (416) 663-9649.
No referral is needed.


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