Dr. Harry Marshak with a patient.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY ETHAN KAMINSKY
After earning his board certification in ophthalmic surgery, Cornell University Medical College and University of Southern California graduate Dr. Harry Marshak pursued further studies in oculoplastic surgery at USC’s Doheny Eye Institute. It’s a very rare specialty.
“There are only 600 of us in the country,” says the Los Angeles native, adding that he’s one of two such experts in the entire Coachella Valley. As such, while part of his practice — established on El Paseo in Palm Desert in 2010 — involves skincare and facial procedures such as brow lifts and facelifts, plus Botox, chemical skin peels, and facial fillers, he’s specially trained to operate (for both reconstruction and cosmetic purposes) on all structures surrounding the eye. That includes the tear ducts, eye sockets, and bones around the eyes. But what he’s become best known for is his work with eyelids. “I love it because it’s creative. I individualize my treatment and my surgeries to each patient. I don’t want everyone to look the same. I approach a man’s face differently than I do a woman’s. My goal is always to have them look rejuvenated but natural — so that nobody knows they’ve had surgery.”
Harry Marshak, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Equally adept at upper and lower blepharoplasty — the removal of excess skin, fat, and muscle from the eyelids — Dr. Marshak is particularly proud of his skills in the latter. “We used to just cut out the fat in the lower lids, but people tended to look hollow,” he says. “I preserve the fat and reposition it so the lids look smooth and contour well with the cheek. This technique is new, only a few years old. It’s more challenging but gives a much better result.”
When asked what else he feels sets him apart from his contemporaries, Dr. Marshak says, “I really listen to my patients when they come in for that initial consultation. We look in the mirror together. I ask what’s bothering them, and then I address that as opposed to telling them what I think. Of course, if they ask for my professional opinion, I’ll happily give it. But I don’t want to fix something that’s not a problem. I want us on the same page, so I give them all the options, and we decide together.”