Dr. Roberto Garcia, FACS, is the founder and principal of Contoura Facial Plastic Surgery serving the Jacksonville area. His main plastic surgery practice is in Ponte Vedra Beach.
Can you please tell us about your background?
I graduated locally from The Bolles School and went on to graduate magna cum laude from Jacksonville University. I studied medicine at Medical College of Wisconsin (Marquette University), and then went on to complete a five-year intensive training in otolaryngology/head and neck surgery at Syracuse University. As plastic surgery of the face had always been my passion, I sought a highly competitive one-year subspecialty training in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery, and was one of 38 nationally to graduate within this specialty.
What distinguishes your practice from others?
I have always strived to set myself apart, not only with my commitment to my patients but with my attention to detail. Being a plastic surgeon of the face allows me to really dig into the details and the nuances of facial aesthetic and reconstructive surgery. We are the only specialty that focuses solely on the face. Our staff is above and beyond and the most dedicated, friendly group of committed individuals you will ever meet. I have been with my staff for nearly 13 years and can tell you that our success is entirely because of their efforts. I am honored to work with such a team of professionals every day.
What makes you so passionate about what you do?
My passion is driven by wanting to be better and never complacent with the status quo. Our specialty has an ever-evolving groundwork and as a principal in the development of new techniques, I take personal responsibility for our specialty’s growth. I feel that the people of North Florida are really beginning to realize that a better sub-specialty exists solely dedicated to issues of the face, and I am overjoyed to see that our city is catching on to the national trends of our specialty.
We understand you also work to help children. What’s the story there?
Years ago, we developed a 501(C) (3) nonprofit organization called F.A.C.E, which afforded us the ability to travel to less fortunate countries and perform pro bono surgery on underprivileged children. Due to varying changes in political climates in these countries, we have been forced to utilize our efforts here with less fortunate children within our borders. F.A.C.E has been the most grounding thing we have done and has been a constant reminder to our team how fortunate we are to live in a country like ours where we can share our talents in the aid of those with less.
What are some of the challenges facing the plastic surgery industry today?
I can only speak for plastic surgery of the face, but I can tell you that on one hand, it brings me joy that these services are becoming more accessible to the average person and not just for the wealthy. But on the other hand, because of the draw of our specialty, it is beginning to get diluted. I believe that we need to have stricter guidelines on who is performing said procedures of the face, as if done incorrectly, can yield fairly harmful long-term effects. I have always been a strong advocate of our patients doing their due diligence and really researching who they choose to work on their face. I have written several books intended for patients so that they might become better educated on the subject and have some light shed on these challenging decisions. One final challenge that our specialty has is trying to keep up with technological advances. As an advocate for patients, it is very important to first look at any technology and consider what real benefit it will serve for that patient and potential improvements to the quality of care.
What do you enjoy most about living on the First Coast?
I was raised here, so this has always been home. I love the weather, the schools, the outdoor hobbies and most of all the people. Jacksonville and the surrounding areas now have a potpourri of different people from around the country, which makes my job very exciting to get to meet new people every day.
What do you like to do in your free time?
I have three young children and a wonderful wife with many hobbies and activities of their own. Most weekends are spent watching them play a variety of sports and activities. I am very blessed to have the family and career that I have.