Christine Petti, MD, FACS
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Aesthetic Plastic Surgery
Dr. Christine Petti is a board-certified plastic, aesthetic and reconstructive surgeon and is known for her compassionate, creative and customized plastic surgical care. In 1993, she founded and served as Medical Director of one of the first certified and state-licensed on-site ambulatory plastic surgery facilities and office-based medical day spas in California. In 2020, she joined California Skin Institute, California’s largest and most prestigious private practice plastic surgery and dermatology group. As a trendsetter in the field, she prides herself on providing a one-stop beauty milieu and offering state of the art surgical and non-surgical aesthetic services to all of her patients. Dr. Petti is a plastic surgery media expert having 4 appearances on The Doctors television series, as well as ABC 20/20, NBC Inside Edition, Discovery Channel’s Discovery Health, The Plastic Surgery Channel and Aesthetic TV.
One of the most influential people to Dr. Petti’s career trajectory was her mother. In a steel-mill town outside of Pittsburgh, PA, her mother used their home as a “beauty shop,” where she worked as a cosmetologist. She taught Dr. Petti from a young age that looking good is essential to a person’s well-being. It is no surprise that Dr. Petti has continued to be inspired by beauty—the science of beauty—as a plastic and aesthetic surgeon.
Dr. Petti is passionate about maintaining and enhancing the unique attractiveness of people and things all around her. “I am obsessed with beauty—natural and enhanced,” she says. “You deserve to be preserved.” Dr. Petti loves to encourage her patients with her compassionate aphorism, “Stay forever young!”
Specialized Skills in Cutting-Edge Laser Technology and Treatments
With respect to body sculpting, Dr. Petti is an expert in laser-assisted liposuction known as “Smartlipo TriPlex®” and 25-minute, non-surgical body fat reduction with SculpSure® “Warmsculpting®”. After attending one of Harvard’s earliest conference on lasers in medicine in 1993, she fell in love with laser technology. Because of this, she was one of the first plastic surgeons in the country to incorporate lasers in her plastic and aesthetic surgery practice. To gain expertise early on, she sought out one-on-one personalized training with Richard Fitzpatrick, MD, an international laser expert. Dr. Fitzpatrick inspired her to develop an expertise in laser resurfacing, laser aesthetic surgery and laser liposuction.
Further contributing to advancements in the field, Dr. Petti has published multiple manuscripts in academic journals including the Journal of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the Aesthetic Surgery Journal, the Journal of Lasers in Surgery and Medicine, the American Society of Reconstructive Microsurgeons, and the Journal of Hand Surgery. Her work has been presented at both national and international plastic and aesthetic meetings. Additionally, she has served as a Key Opinion Leader and Consultant for Cynosure Lasers, Inc, and Cartessa Aesthetics, LLC.
Dr. Petti was on the multicenter task force of evaluation the laser treatment of cellulite and she and her colleagues’ work contributed to the FDA clearance of Cellulaze®, a minimally invasive laser-assisted cellulite treatment that can be done under local anesthesia.
In addition to her research and leadership involving Cellulaze®, she has been an expert laser trainer for Smartlipo TriPlex® laser-assisted liposuction, PrecisionTX® minimally invasive laser neck lift, Cellulaze® laser-assisted cellulite reduction, SmartSkin® fractional CO2 laser skin resurfacing, SculpSure Warmsculpting light-based nonsurgical fat reduction, Vivace fractional radiofrequency microneedling and SmartXide no downtime CO2 laser Cool Peel and advanced CO2 laser skin peel using the Tetra CO2 laser mode. Many of the companies use her before and after patient results for their patient education media. For years, Dr. Petti’s practice has been a site for advanced laser physician technical training to allow practitioners to produce predictable, safe and aesthetically appealing patient outcomes.
Involvement in Medical and Scientific Community
The Medical Board of California values Dr. Petti’s medical expertise. The Medical Board of California consults Dr. Petti when an expert opinion is needed for plastic surgery cases needing medical review.
Dr. Petti volunteers her time at combined scientific and beauty industry meetings, such as The Aesthetic Show, The Aesthetic Academy, The Medical Spa Meeting by American MedSpa and Los Angeles Mulit-Specialty Cosmetic Academy. She has presented innovating laser technologies on behalf of both Cynosure and Cartessa Aesthetics, serving as an expert on Smartlipo TriPlex® laser liposuction, PrecisionTX®, laser face and neck skin tightening, laser neck lift, laser cellulite treatment and SculpSure WarmSculpting 25-minute nonsurgical laser light-based fat reduction. She has a special talent and expertise for both primary and revisional breast augmentation and breast reconstruction with Allergan Natrelle® highly cohesive “gummy bear” breast implants and has presented her unique, customized experience and outcomes at The Aesthetic Show and Academy.
Origins in Plastic Surgery and Academic Achievements
Dr. Petti attended Saint Mary’s College of Notre Dame. There she majored in Biology, minored in Chemistry and graduated summa cum laude. Not only did she gain entrance into the very prestigious Pharmacology Ph.D. program at Georgetown University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, but she also received a National Institute of Health (NIH) grant and stipend to study there. In the Pharmacology Ph.D. program, she took her first year of courses at the Georgetown School of Medicine and completed her Doctor of Medicine degree in 1981 at the Medical College of Pennsylvania, Drexel School of Medicine.
Dr. Petti decided to enter the field of General Surgery for a 5-year residency program at the Medical College of Pennsylvania, Drexel School of Medicine which she completed in 1986, graduating with the honor of Best Surgical Resident. During her general surgery residency, she became inspired by the field of plastic and reconstructive surgery after she did an independent plastic surgery rotation at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine and a specialized breast oncology rotation at the University of California, San Diego. She decided to enter the specialty of plastic and reconstructive surgery after observing innovative flap and microsurgical procedures to immediately reconstruct the breast following radical mastectomy operations. Her plastic and reconstructive surgery was performed at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine, training under a world famous, voraciously published, innovative and enigmatic Professor and Chief of the Section of Plastic Surgery, Chief of the Department of Surgery and Dean of the School of Medicine, Thomas J. Krizek, M.D., F.A.C.S. Dr. Petti completed her plastic and reconstructive surgery residency at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine in 1988. To this very day, Dr. Petti is immensely influenced by and grateful for that fact that at the University of Chicago, she was surrounded by amazing talent, discipline and creativity. She cherishes all her professors and co-residents that she shared during her plastic and reconstructive surgery training at the University of Chicago.
Dr. Petti obtained board certification with The American Board of Surgery in 1988. She became double-board certified when she completed her board certification with The American Board of Plastic Surgery in 1990. As part of her continued efforts to remain at the top of her field, she takes an annual comprehensive plastic, reconstructive and cosmetic surgery examination to maintain her continuing medical education.
Dr. Petti is an active member of The American Society of Plastic Surgeons, The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, The International Society of Aesthetic Surgeons. She is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons since 1992.
Dr. Petti has been Clinical Assistant Professor of Plastic Surgery on the faculty of the University of Southern California for the early part of her career. She remains active giving presentations at her professional society meetings and is an honorary speaker for Cynosure Lasers and Cartessa Aesthetics. She voluntarily teaches high school students, college students and medical students who shadow her during her days at the practice and operating room, so that they can experience the demanding and fascinating field of plastic surgery.