News & Press: Academy News

Meet Brett Kotlus, MD, MS

Thursday, July 28, 2016  
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Dr. Brett Kotlus, AACS Fellow and Cosmetic and Oculoplastic Surgeon in New York City, is the AACS featured member of the month. Get to know how his fellowship experience set the course for the rest of his career in cosmetic surgery below.


Describe your career so far as a cosmetic surgeon. Are you just starting out or have you been practicing for a while?
After my fellowship, I practiced in a large cosmetic practice in the Midwest for 8 years. In 2014, I moved to NYC where I’m originally from to start my own practice.


What about cosmetic surgery interested you initially and what excites you about the field today?
Before my fellowship, I never expected my practice to be mostly cosmetic, but my oculoplastic fellowship preceptor also offered a 2-year General Cosmetic Surgery Fellowship. Early on, I was drawn to the creative problem solving, technical aspects, and artistry of cosmetic surgery. Those still fascinate me, but I’m now most grateful for the lasting relationships I’ve gained with my patients and colleagues.


Why did you become a member of AACS?
I started my membership as a Fellow and I continued because it’s been a valuable educational resource and a great professional network.


Best piece of advice you have received in your professional career?
One of my mentors who was in the process of retiring told me that your first instinct should be to say yes, but it’s important to be able to say no.


What piece of advice would you give to someone just starting out in cosmetic surgery?
Learn to be a listener.


Who has been your greatest mentor thus far in your career?
It sounds cliché, but my father was my greatest role model. He was a CPA for small businesses and he was always kind, thoughtful, gentle, and was serious about his work without taking himself too seriously. I hope I’m like him.


What do you like to do outside of work?
I spend time with my wife and son and I play guitar.


Anything else you think your colleagues would like to know about you?
I have a cosmetic surgery podcast ( where I sit down with other surgeons and experts to talk about the most important ways to look and feel young.


I developed a patented process to make 3D printed custom implants. I’ve also used metal 3D printers to design surgical tools that hadn’t existed. 3D printing hasn’t dramatically impacted cosmetic surgery, but it will within the next 10 years because it’s so accessible and intuitive. As the technology gets better, we will be able to print anything we can think of in any material.

Want to submit a member to be featured? Send your suggestion(s) to with the subject line Member Spotlight.