Captain Plastic Fantastic!

Mark Warfel was always a swimmer. As a child, his parents owned hotels in Florida on the Gulf of Mexico, and Mark and his brothers were always in the water. Later, he was on the high-school swim team in Huntington Beach, Calif.

One day while doing laps, he looked up and saw an older man climbing out of the pool.

“It must have left an impression because I’m still talking about it,” the doctor said, leaning back in his chair behind his desk at the Warfel Institute for Rejuvenation on West 16th Street. “But yes, I saw this man, and it struck me—great body, youthful body, old face.”

Dr. Mark, as friends and clients call him, was wearing a white button-down shirt, unbuttoned to expose a hint of ample pectorals, black slacks with fashionable pocket flaps and black shoes. His sandy blond hair was nice and floppy up top.

“We do a lot of models here, lots of times just because a model will walk in the door,” he said. “It was in Page Six that Petra [Nemcova] had walked in here. Well, I can’t say what she had done. But I can say that a lot of models come here just to take care of their skin.

“I always wanted to have a multi-disciplinary clinic where we’d specialize in anti-aging,” he said. Four years ago, after outgrowing a clinic on the Upper West Side, he got the space on 16th Street. It’s modern, lots of metal, a silver and baby blue color scheme. Various provocative photographs—a lip, a breast, Naomi Campbell’s bikinied torso—adorn the walls.

Mr. Warfel has his own face-lift technique that fills the malar section of the face—he says it makes things less stretched, more natural.

“I use some of the tissue that we sometimes take away from the muscles inside the cheek and put it into the malar area, which is often a little sunken,” he said. (The malar area is right next to your nose.) “So with lateral SMAStectomy technique, what you do in most cases remove a little strip of tissue, and what I do a little differently is I take the tissue, which is attached like a little tail, and I make a little tunnel and I put that tail there and it does do a good job of filling up this area, so you’re getting some volumizing as well as tightening.” Got it!

He mostly does breast augs—$8,500 to $10,000—and facial surgery. He also does lipo and butt implants.

“I don’t know how I got into butt implants,” he said. “But I started doing them, and now apparently I do a lot of butt implants. Mostly women, but some guys, too. Flat buttocks is equal opportunity!”

He said he’s done about one hundred butt implants on men;  the procedure costs about $10K. He wedged a rubbery half-sphere down my jeans and showed me to the mirror. “See that,” he said, indicating the added perkiness. Sign me up!

I told him a young woman I know has been fending off relentless advances from a talk show host. She says the main reason she won’t go near him is because she imagines his equipment will look saggy and this frightens her.

“You’re talking about low-hanging balls?” he said. “Well, I don’t know of an operation for that.”

Mr. Warfel gets frustrated with the market-driven mood of plastic surgery these days. “People want the maximum result with no downtime, with no scars, they want to go right back to work,” he said. “That’s  what they’re told they can have. That you can have a lunchtime lipo, the mini face-lift. A lot of people think they can have their scars lasered away. That’s just not true.”

Captain Plastic Fantastic!