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Dr. Romanelli

Dr. Romanelli

A board-certified plastic surgeon on Long Island, Dr. James N. Romanelli — together with the staff at Romanelli Cosmetic Surgery — bring the expertise and innovative spirit normally found in cities such as New York to their warm, caring, and comfortable Huntington office. Patients can expect a dedication to excellence in his care and a transformative surgical outcome.

If you're looking for a plastic surgeon and would like to find out more about Dr. Romanelli and his practice, request a consultation online, or call his office directly at (631) 424-3600 to schedule an appointment.

Dr. Romanelli's Training & Experience

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Dr. Romanelli's Journey

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Encouraged by his parents to find a career he would pursue with passion, Dr. James Romanelli recognized his calling and dedicated himself to becoming one of the leading plastic surgeons on Long Island. He established a premier plastic surgery practice, Romanelli Cosmetic Surgery, more than 20 years ago. His journey took him from his hometown of Cold Spring Harbor to college at Notre Dame in Indiana and surgical training in Texas before returning to Long Island.

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A Candid Q&A With Dr. Romanelli

Tell us about your background.

I grew up on the North Shore of Long Island with 4 siblings — 2 brothers and 2 sisters. I enjoyed school, both academically and the extracurricular activities. I really liked photography and sculpture. I'm actually the first physician in my immediate family. We were really encouraged to find our own way and our own interests. My parents were always supportive of that.

You earned your undergrad degree at the University of Notre Dame. How did that experience shape your studies at medical school?

I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Notre Dame. In addition to all the science courses that are essential preparation for medical school, the curriculum there provided excellent exposure to a well-rounded, interesting education. Reading the "Great Books," widely in philosophy and psychology, helped keep me open to the art portion of the science and art of plastic surgery.

After completing a residency in general surgery, you elected to specialize in plastic surgery. What inspired your decision?

One of the great things about medical school and a general surgery residency is having the opportunity to scrub in (assist) on operations of virtually all surgical specialties. I actually assisted on a heart transplant. Of all the surgeries, I simply just loved plastic surgery the most. It's meticulous work, it's challenging and interesting to create a beautiful result. There's no question I enjoy the immediate payoff of being able to see my results right away. On top of that, the patients are so gratified with the results, so there's tremendous positive feedback."

After attending medical school in New York, you completed your plastic surgery residency in Texas at the Baylor College of Medicine. What led you there?

The Baylor College of Medicine is literally a world-class institution. I had the opportunity to train with the 2 doctors who invented the silicone breast implant – Dr. Thomas Cronin and Dr. Frank Gerow. I had a great experience training in breast reconstruction, including microsurgery training. It also provided great exposure to cosmetic surgery, including being able to operate on our own patients. And, personally, I believe it's always worthwhile to spend some of your time in training, and in life and work, in another part of the country. Texas was a lot of fun, but New York is home, and that's why we came back.

How are you different now than when you began as a plastic surgeon?

On a lot of levels I'm still the same person I was at the outset of my career — engaged and motivated and enjoying seeing and taking care of my patients. I often say my vision today is better than it was when I started this in 1990. Not literally, of course, but over time there's no question that as a plastic surgeon you develop a more and more refined sense of symmetry and a better eye for minor imperfections that you can correct. I'm thousands of cases past where I was when I began. There's very little I see today that is new to me. That experience allows me to perform at a higher level.

What are some of the bigger changes you've noticed in plastic surgery?

When I was in training and patients had a breast reduction or abdominoplasty, they were in a hospital for 2 to 4 days. Now, everything that we do anesthetically, surgically, and technically is focused on rapid recovery. Patients who are having breast augmentation can be back to work or school in a day or 2. Patients who have tummy tucks can spend one night in our office's overnight stay suite, instead of 3 or 4 days of being hospitalized. A patient getting a breast reduction goes home the same day. This doesn't represent taking something away from the patient. In fact, it represents a higher level of care, again because of the advances in anesthesia and techniques.

The other big change is that incisions and scars are much smaller. An incision we use to insert a silicone gel breast implant is 40% shorter than it used to be. Our facelift incisions are shorter. So recovery and the final results are better than they've ever been.

What procedures do you most enjoy?

On the cosmetic side, breast augmentation and tummy tucks — a mommy makeover — and facelifts. One of things I love about facelifts is that women are coming in earlier because the incisions are shorter and the recovery is faster. People aren't waiting until they're 65. They may be in their 40s. Starting at an earlier age results in a less dramatic change, and it's a very natural and refreshing change, rather than a dramatic makeover.

Breast reconstruction after mastectomy is very satisfying, especially direct-to-implant procedures or microsurgery to use a patient's lower abdominal tissue to recreate the breast.

What are your interests outside of work?

I enjoy music of all kinds, from contemporary and alternative to classical to opera. I really love movies, and photography's a lot of fun. Reading keeps me busy, and I follow politics as my favorite sport. Oh, and I spend some time on the golf course — that's a good way to phrase it.

I should also mention that apart from my private practice, I'm the Chief of Staff at Huntington Hospital. I'm very involved in looking after the medical care of all the patients at our hospital and the programs associated with that, including surgical and medical. That's a responsibility that takes much of my time after work.

What about family?

I am blessed to have a wonderful and large extended family. My 4 children are now married and some have children of their own. Fortunately, all of my children and grandchildren live in the New York area.

What's in store for Romanelli Cosmetic Surgery?

I plan to keep the practice thriving and look to grow by adding great surgeons and additional great staff. Plus, I'll continue to stay abreast of surgical advances. One of the great benefits of plastic surgery, is that there's always something new, some new technique or new operation to better serve our patients.

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