October 2, 1986
Dr. Jeffrey Rosenthal, a plastic surgeon in Fairfield, has combined his medical career with his love of sculpting.
“Surgery is a combination of science and art. The technique used in both is very similar. The hands must take over the process evolving in the mind during the time of reconstruction or construction.”
“But there are differences. Sculpting involves carving, using angles and slopes when working in three dimensions. Plastic surgery is shaping and contouring the face or body by delicately manipulating various tissues of the body.”
“Extensive knowledge of the human anatomy is essential in reconstructive surgery as well as in clay or wood,” Rosenthal explains.
“Every cut I make”, he says, “every stitch that I put in place means something to me. The initial incision of the skin or the chiseling of the first chip of wood has been diligently planned; the result of my very first move is evident immediately. It is there for everyone to see; it is forever. The successful surgical repair of a severely traumatized hand, for example, will depend on the intricate re-approximation of the many minute nerves and vital tendons involved. Obtaining perfect results with full function of the hand is extremely necessary for the patient, but it is also most rewarding for the surgeon who has spent many tedious hours in the operating room reconstructing the hand.”
Dr. Rosenthal served a five year surgical residency at Bridgeport Hospital in addition to a two year residency in plastic surgery at five Nassau County hospitals in Long Island. While there, he worked with the largest group of plastic surgeons in the world. He has also undergone extensive training in surgery involving; trauma, burns, congenital abnormalities or birth defects, cancer, hand and cosmetic surgery.
Dr. Rosenthal is also interested in the arts of pen and pencil drawing and water color painting. Many of his paintings and caricatures are displayed on the walls of his home and office. Also included in this artistic atmosphere are glossy photographs in which he candidly captures the beauties of life.
“Photography is a significant factor in my practice,” Rosenthal says.
“The patients,” he says, “are astonished and even more pleased with their results when they compare their before and after photos. Many patients cannot even recall the way they looked before; thus the photo is important in this situation.”
Aside from sculpting the human form, clay and wood the doctor also sculpts words.
“Since my work is for the most part all visual,” he says, “I appreciate the diversion of writing poetry. Every day is a reward and if I encounter an inspirational moment such as the brilliance of a sunset or a fascinating instant of a butterfly at rest, I’ll capture that moment with my pen. Later on when I want to recall those unique moments it suddenly becomes alive again vividly; in a focused image of words.”
Speaking of his outlook on life, Rosenthal reveals himself as a man of science and art.
“I view the body as a temple. If you worship it faithfully it will reward you as time goes on; if you don’t you will be punished.
“I personally partake in some form of physical activity daily such as swimming, bicycling or a workout on a nautilus machine. I also feel maintaining a proper diet is important. You wouldn’t deny your car a tune up or having it checked when necessary. It works the same way for the human body.”
“Life is precious and in order to enjoy it to its fullest, keeping in shape internally and externally are essential.”