Dear Doctor: Lara Devgan


The plastic surgeon and mom of five with an artistic eye for perfection

We visited Dr. Devgan at her new Upper East Side office, impeccably decorated with gorgeous modern art and furnishings. Dr. Devgan is widely recognized for her impeccable work in plastic and reconstructive surgery, and her tremendous talent is matched by her warm and kind demeanor and dedication to her work and her patients.

We chatted about what the perfect patient experience means to her, how she manages to get it all done as both a medical professional and mother of five, as well as the importance of always learning. Enjoy!

I wanted to work in a field where I could have a significant impact on people’s lives. I was drawn to plastic surgery because I loved the combination of art and science involved. I have an background in art, specifically in classical drawing and painting. I also love that my field is so detail oriented; we’re looking at margins in the millimeters and these subtle changes can make a big difference.

I enjoy both cosmetic and reconstructive procedures. It’s fulfilling to make someone feel a lot better about themselves and build self-esteem, which is true for both types of procedures. They’re actually more similar than you’d think! Both are centered around making someone feel whole again, whether they are getting breast reconstruction after a mastectomy or have just had children and want to feel better about their body.

On Patient Experience

I want people to walk into my office and feel confident that they are in the right place. So many things contribute to this, from the physical ambiance, to my staff, to the location, to me. Everything from the artistic details around the office to the compassion of the staff to the thoroughness of the meeting with me is designed to help my patients feel that everyone here cares about their wellbeing, happiness, and health.

Everyone who works for me is a reflection of me. My team is compassionate, committed, smart, and willing to go the extra mile. If I’m at the end of of a really long surgery and one stitch doesn’t look right, I’ll take it out. My team takes the same approach. If it’s 5:01 and the phone rings, or someone forgot their sunglasses in the office, or an out of town patient needs a local hotel recommendation, we’re all here to go the extra mile.

The most important thing to me is to listen to the patient. It’s important to be an active listener. People want to feel like they’re being heard.

I also rely on adjunctive ways to communicate. I’ll ask people to send me inspiration photos, since the words “natural” or “full” can mean different things to different people!

On Technology

I’m a real tech person. I love being modern and current in every aspect of life, from learning about the latest injectables and skincare to staying up to date in my personal life. I’m pretty active on social media, and always available on either my computer, cell phone, or Bluetooth.

I do a lot of digital analysis of photographs. Every single patient who sees me is measured both physically and we take final measurements in person.

I love photography. I take photos of my patients at every visit. They also serve as a great visual record of the visit and something to refer back to over time to document progress and changes.

On Balance and Self-Improvement

It’s not always easy to juggle it all, but I always wanted to be a top plastic surgeon and have a family. There’s definitely a balance, and I’ve missed a party here and there, but the way I get it all done is with a lot of help and hard work. I wake up early, stay up late, and have a “get it done” mentality.

I like the quote, “You can have it all, but not all at the same time.” I try to make the most of all the little interactions with my kids, like doing homework and reading books.

My advice for younger people in medicine or in any field is that it’s very important to identify mentors early on. Even if they are not people you meet with regularly, it’s great to have people to look up to that keep you aiming high.

I like to make sure I’m always learning something new. I read a lot, attend and present at conferences and meetings, and try to stay informed on other industries, because advances in other fields might help me think about my work in a different way.

You learn something from every teacher you have. Stay humble and continue to look for learning experiences throughout your career. Because once you stagnate, it’s over!

Lightning Round

I love what I do because…there’s nothing else I could imagine doing!

I’m inspired by…great work people around me people are doing in the community. Those who stand up and get involved.

I feel looked after by…my husband, who makes me a cup of coffee every morning.


NYC neighborhood: Upper East Side

Hobby: I love art and have had work exhibited in a number galleries. I also like to spend time with my husband and five children.

Season: I love everything about fall: the weather, the colors, the fashion, Halloween…and pumpkin muffins!

App: Instagram

Relax ritual: I’m very good about skincare and I use my own products. Every night and morning I use the best medical grade products to take care of my skin.

You can find more information about Dr. Devgan here .

Know a great female doctor in NYC? We’d love to meet her, introduce us here!

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