Gilbert Lee, MD

Gilbert Lee, MD

Established in 1994 and located in San Diego, Changes Plastic Surgery & Spa is home to Dr. Gilbert Lee, a triple board-certified plastic surgeon and a top plastic surgeon in San Diego. Whether you are looking for cosmetic or reconstructive surgery, Changes Plastic Surgery & Spa in San Diego has become a destination for beauty and refinement. Every cosmetic surgery patient at Changes is cared for individually and is able to collaborate and make decisions with Dr. Lee, who combines Artistry with Precision in every surgery he performs.

Dr. Gilbert Lee is San Diego’s Top Plastic Surgeon as well as an expert Microvascular Surgeon in San Diego. Dr. Lee’s patient’s look and feel refreshed, youthful, and naturally beautiful. Patients choose Dr. Lee for his reputation, expertise and unrivaled ability. With over 23 years of experience, a medical degree from UCSD and surgical training at the birthplace of plastic surgery, Washington University, Dr. Lee are doing what he loves by helping men and women achieve their full potential.

Dr. Gilbert Lee’s high level of commitment to patient satisfaction and professional education has helped him become a top plastic surgeon in San Diego and earned him a peer-voted distinction of “San Diego Top Doctor in Plastic Surgery“ for 13 consecutive years. He is also a member of numerous medical affiliations, including the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the American Medical Association. View his CV, Awards, and Certifications.

Dr. Lee heads Changes Center for Scarless Surgery

Real Self Top DoctorScarless Surgery
Dr. Lee in Scrubs

For those who want to find the best cosmetic surgeon in San Diego, Dr. Lee has earned his excellent reputation with facial and body-sculpting plastic surgery, and his forward-thinking drive him to perfect new procedures and develop new ways of doing traditional surgeries. Dr. Lee and his staff focus on proven treatments that offer patients more comfort, less downtime, and an affordable price. His Changes Rapid Lift is a perfect example of facial rejuvenation performed under local anesthesia, at almost half the cost of a traditional facelift.

A new milestone was achieved by Dr. Lee in 2016 as an innovator, key opinion leader and pioneer of Scarless Surgery using BodyTite and FaceTite radiofrequency assisted lipolysis (RFAL). After a lifetime of performing traditional surgical procedures, Dr. Lee is forging ahead with incisionless options for skin tightening and can now perform a face and neck lift, arm lift, tummy tuck or thigh lift without scars.

Dr. Lee is also on the forefront of new injectable technology and uses long-lasting fillers such as Radiesse ®, Bellafill ®, and the patient’s own fat to create extraordinary results with the Changes Liquid Facelift. Dr. Lee regularly educates physicians on new injection techniques and has been featured on The Doctors television show, where he demonstrated Artefill (now called Bellafill), a permanent filler. He is also a recognized Liquid Face Lift Association (LFLA) expert.

In addition to surgical and injectable techniques, Changes Plastic Surgery & Spa offers various medical lasers such as Fraxel and Total FX (Lumenis), which allow patients with a wide variety of skin conditions to be treated for sun damage and aging.

As the plastic surgery industry continues to evolve, Dr. Lee and Changes Plastic Surgery & Spa remain committed to providing excellent patient care while embracing the best the future has to offer.

Rated Best Plastic Surgeon in
San Diego

San Diego is home to dozens of plastic surgeons, but Dr. Lee stands in a class all his own as perhaps the city’s best cosmetic surgeon. Dr. Lee is a triple board-certified plastic surgeon who has been recognized as a Top Doctor in Plastic Surgery by his peers in the San Diego County Medical Society (top 4%) for 13 consecutive years. Today, Dr. Lee performs cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery and non-surgical rejuvenation procedures at Changes Plastic Surgery & Spa in San Diego. He is a staple of the San Diego community and has built his reputation among the city’s top plastic surgeons based on the principles of artistry, precision, integrity, and individuality.

Let’s not forget about Dr. Lee’s commitment to ongoing plastic surgery improvement and innovation, either. Over the years, Dr. Lee has developed state-of-the-art surgical procedures to help his patients improve their appearance. Dr. Lee remains dedicated to helping his patients achieve successful treatment results. As such, Dr. Lee continues to explore new ways to provide his patients with best-in-class plastic surgery procedures.

What are Patient's saying about Dr. Lee?

Dr. Lee is a plastic surgeon who is dedicated to his craft. He possesses many years of industry experience and continues to search for innovative ways to treat his patients. Dr. Lee’s devotion to patient satisfaction has helped him become one of the top plastic surgeons in San Diego.

Patients often rave about the care and attention they receive from Dr. Lee. In fact, Dr. Lee boasts a patient satisfaction rating of nearly 94% from Real Patient Ratings (RPR) and has received a score of four stars or better in the following categories:

  • Doctor’s Bedside Manner

  • Medical Support Team

  • Administrative Staff

  • Care & Concern

  • Patient Education

  • Wait Time

  • Value for the Price

  • Likelihood to Recommend

  • Facility & Amenities

Dr. Lee tailors each plastic surgery treatment to the needs of his patient. If a patient requests a plastic surgery consultation, Dr. Lee devotes the necessary time and resources to learn about this individual and his or her treatment goals. Dr. Lee then creates a custom treatment plan to ensure that a patient can safely and effectively achieve the best possible results.

Additionally, Dr. Lee understands that plastic surgery treatment goals often vary from patient to patient. To help each patient get the most out of a plastic surgery procedure, Dr. Lee works directly with a patient. Dr. Lee helps a patient plan for plastic surgery and establish realistic treatment goals. Plus, Dr. Lee collaborates with a patient throughout each stage of a plastic surgery treatment program. He offers full details about what to expect during plastic surgery, as well as information about the postoperative recovery period. And when a patient undergoes plastic surgery, Dr. Lee continues to work with this individual during the recovery cycle to help him or her achieve the optimal results.

Not all San Diego plastic surgeons are created equal, and Dr. Lee represents one of the city’s best plastic surgeons. To learn more about Dr. Lee and his plastic surgery experience, let’s take a look at some of Dr. Lee’s industry accomplishments, along with patient reviews.

Plastic Surgeon Awards

2018

  • Top Doctor in Plastic Surgery. Voted for the 13th year in a row as one of San Diego’s Physicians of Exceptional Excellence by his peers in the San Diego County Medical Society (top 4%).

  • Best of North Coast Readers Poll, Best Cosmetic Surgery

  • City Beat News Spectrum Award 5 Star Rating for providing exceptional service and experiences to their clients and customers.

  • Castle Connolly Regional Top Doctor 2018. Selected as Top Doctor in plastic surgery by Castle Connolly, the leading source consumers rely on to find top physicians in their specialty.

  • Recognized as a Real Self Top Contributor. Top Contributor status is based on high ratings in patient reviews, significant time spent answering consumer questions, and favorable community votes on those answers. Fewer than 10% of medical professionals earn this status.

2017

  • Top Doctor in Plastic Surgery. Voted for the 13th year in a row as one of San Diego’s Physicians of Exceptional Excellence by his peers in the San Diego County Medical Society (top 4%).

  • Best of North Coast Readers Poll, Best Plastic Surgeon

  • Designated as a Key Opinion Leader by InMode Aesthetics for his contribution to revolutionary scarless surgery with BodyTite and FaceTite technology.

  • San Diego A-List Award for Best Medical Spa. Winner Top Five (2nd of 37).

  • San Diego Small Business Excellence Award for outstanding marketing success in Cosmetic Surgery.

  • Selected as Top Doctor in plastic surgery by Castle Connolly, the leading source consumers rely on to find top physicians in their specialty.

  • Selected Top Plastic Surgeon in San Diego by the International Association of HealthCare Professionals (IAHCP) and published in The Leading Physicians of the World.

2016

Changes Plastic Surgery & Spa Eligible for the San Diego Business Hall of Fame

  • Top Doctor in Plastic Surgery. Voted for the 13th year in a row as one of San Diego’s Physicians of Exceptional Excellence by his peers in the San Diego County Medical Society (top 4%).

  • San Diego Magazine Top Doc Award for Plastic Surgery, October.

  • Recognized Real Self Top Doctor

  • Awarded Top 10 Breakout Aesthetic Companies. Awarded by Aesthetic Everything Social Network.

  • San Diego Awards for Best Plastic Surgeon. Awarded 3 years in a row qualifying Changes Plastic Surgery & Spa for the San Diego Business Hall of Fame.

  • Awarded first place Best of North Coast San Diego. Best Cosmetic Surgery Center: Changes Plastic Surgery & Spa, September.

  • Americas Best Physicians. Named as one of America’s Best Physicians, May. Honor being chosen by other health care providers.

  • San Diego A-List Award for Best Medical Spa. Winner Top Five (4th of 41).

  • Vitals Top 10 Doctors – Top 10 Doctors are chosen by the millions of patients who visit Vitals each year. Vitals awards Top 10 Doctor honors to those physicians within a certain specialty and geographic area who are consistently given top ratings by their patients.

  • America’s Best Physicians. Named as one of America’s Best Physicians – May

  • San Diego A-List Award for Best Medical Spa. Winner Top Five

  • Vitals 5 Year Honoree – A recognition granted only to those doctors whose ratings have reflected excellence in care for five years in a row. Only 1% of all doctors in the United States are bestowed this honor by their patients.

  • Vitals Patients’ Choice Award recognition reflects the difference a particular physician has made in the lives of his/her patients. The honor is bestowed to physicians who have received near perfect scores, as voted by patients.

  • Liquid Face Lift Specialist awarded for expertise in injectable applications.

2015

  • Top Doctor in Plastic Surgery. Voted as one of San Diego’s Physicians of Exceptional Excellence by his peers in the San Diego County Medical Society (top 4%) for the 13th year running.

  • American Institute of Plastic Surgeons. Nominated “Best 10” Plastic Surgeons for California based on attaining the highest degree of professional achievement in his practice and maintaining an impeccable Patient Satisfaction Rating.

  • Readers’ Choice: Bronze Award Best Plastic Surgery Practice in San Diego. Voted by patients and readers of the Rancho Sante Fe Review, Del Mar Times, Carmel Valley News, and Solana Beach Sun.

  • Voted Best Cosmetic Surgeon and Best Doctor by the readers of the Mission Valley News

  • Vitals.com Top 10 Doctor Award Top 10 Doctor honors to those physicians within a certain specialty and geographic area who are consistently given top ratings by their patients.

  • San Diego Small Business Award for excellence in service to both customers and the community.

  • Liquid Face Lift Specialist awarded for expertise in injectable applications.

  • Real Self Top Doctor. Real Self is an online forum where patients and physicians exchange questions and professional recommendations.

2014

  • Top Doctor in Plastic Surgery. Voted as one of San Diego’s Physicians of Exceptional Excellence by his peers in the San Diego County Medical Society (top 4%) for the 13th year running.

  • San Diego Small Business Award for excellence in service to both customers and the community.

  • Liquid Face Lift Specialist awarded for expertise in injectable applications.

  • Real Self Top Doctor. Real Self is an online forum for patients and, cosmetic dentists and plastic surgeons.

2013

  • Top Doctor in Plastic Surgery. Voted as one of San Diego’s Physicians of Exceptional Excellence by his peers in the San Diego County Medical Society (top 4%) for the 13th year running.

  • San Diego Mojo Award: #1 Cosmetic Surgeon

  • Real Self Top Doctor Award

2012

  • Top Doctor in Plastic Surgery. Voted as one of San Diego’s Physicians of Exceptional Excellence by his peers in the San Diego County Medical Society (top 4%), July, 2012

  • Readers’ Choice: Best Plastic Surgery Practice in San Diego. Voted Best by patients and readers of the Rancho Sante Fe Review, Del Mar Times, Carmel Valley News, and Solana Beach Sun June, 2012.

2011

  • Top Doctor in Plastic Surgery. Voted as one of San Diego’s Physicians of Exceptional Excellence by his peers in the San Diego County Medical Society (top 4%), July, 2011

  • San Diego’s Top Doctors & Dentists from Top Doc San Diego

  • Readers’ Choice: Best Plastic Surgery Practice in San Diego; Voted Best by patients and readers of the Rancho Sante Fe Review, Del Mar Times, Carmel Valley News, and Solana Beach Sun June, 2011.

2010

  • Top Doctor in Plastic Surgery. Voted as one of San Diego’s Physicians of Exceptional Excellence by his peers in the San Diego County Medical Society (top 4%), August, 2010

  • San Diego Magazine Top Doc Award for Plastic Surgery October, 2010

  • Readers’ Choice: Best Plastic Surgery Practice in San Diego; Voted Best by patients and readers of the Rancho Sante Fe Review, Del Mar Times, Carmel Valley News, and Solana Beach Sun June 22, 2010.

  • Presidential Who’s Who Among Business and Professional Achievers

2009

  • Top Doctor in Plastic Surgery. Voted as one of San Diego’s Physicians of Exceptional Excellence by his peers in the San Diego County Medical Society (top 4%), July, 2009

  • San Diego Magazine Top Doc Award for Plastic Surgery October, 2009

  • Patients Choice Award – National Recognition Award based on patient reviews

2008

  • Top Doctor in Plastic Surgery. Voted as one of San Diego’s Physicians of Exceptional Excellence by his peers in the San Diego County Medical Society (top 4%), August, 2008

  • San Diego Magazine Top Doc Award for Plastic Surgery October, 2008

  • Patients Choice Award – National Recognition Award based on patient reviews

2007

  • Top Doctor in Plastic Surgery. Voted as one of San Diego’s Physicians of Exceptional Excellence by his peers in the San Diego County Medical Society (top 4%), August, 2007

  • San Diego Magazine Top Doc Award for Plastic Surgery October, 2007

  • Teacher of the Year/ Meritorious Service Award, University of California, San Diego, Plastic Surgery. 1999-2000

Gilbert W. Lee, MD

Curriculum Vitae

Dr. Gilbert W. Lee

Academic Title/Office Held

  • Assistant Clinical Professor of Plastic and Reconstructive
    Surgery, non-salaried, U.C San Diego,

  • President, San Diego Plastic Surgery Society
    2008

  • Vice President, San Diego Plastic Surgery Society
    2007

  • Treasurer/Secretary San Diego Plastic Surgery Society
    2006

  • Chief of Plastic Surgery, Sharp Memorial Hospital, San Diego, CA

Board Certification

  • Diplomate, American Board of Plastic Surgery, November, 1996

  • Diplomate, American Board of Surgery, June 2, 1992 #37336

  • Certificate of Added Qualification in Surgery of the Hand, American
    Board of Surgery, August 19, 1996 #212

  • Diplomate, National Board of Medical Examiners, July 1, 1987 #321560

Academic Background


Washington University Medical Center, St. Louis, MO

  • Plastic Surgery Residency
    July 1, 1991, to June 30, 1993
    Training Director: Dr. Paul M. Weeks

  • Plastic Surgery Administrative Chief Resident
    July 1, 1992, to June 30, 1993

  • Fellowship in Hand, Microvascular, and Peripheral Nerve Surgery:
    July 1, 1993, to June 30, 1994

  • Traveling Fellowship to UCLA and Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taiwan


​​​​​​​University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, NY

  • General Surgery Chief Resident
    July 1, 1990, to June 30, 1991

  • General Surgery Residency Training Director: Dr. Seymour I. Schwartz
    July 1, 1986, to June 30, 1991


​​​​​​​University of California, San Diego School of Medicine

  • Degree: Doctor of Medicine, June, 1986. Graduated with Highest Honors.

  • Medical School
    September 1982 to June 1986

  • Traveling Clerkships at University of London, University of Edinburgh, UCSF, Stanford University


​​​​​​​University of California, Davis

  • Degree: Bachelor of Arts in Biochemistry
    June 1982

  • Undergraduate Studies
    September 1978 to June 1982

  • U.C. Davis Regents Scholarship (Highest scholarship awarded by University)

  • Graduated with Highest Honors

  • Dean’s Honor Roll

  • Member of PHI KAPPA PHI Honor Society

  • Awarded American Heart Association Cardiovascular Research Fellowship

  • Member U.C.D. Men’s’ Volleyball Team

Certification/Membership

  • Member, American Society of Plastic Surgeons

  • Fellow of the American College of Surgeons

  • Member, American Medical Association

  • Member, California Medical Association

  • Member, California Society of Plastic Surgeons

  • Member, San Diego County Medical Association

  • Member, San Diego Plastic Surgery Society

  • Member, American Society for Peripheral Nerve

  • Member, American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery

  • Ultrasound Assisted Liposuction Certified, April 19, 1997

  • Endoscopic Plastic Surgery Certified, 1996

  • LASER Certification: CO² Laser, Erbium, Ruby Hair Removal Laser, KTP Laser, Nd: Yag
    Laser, Fraxel, FX CO2.

  • California State Medical License #G63907

Hospital Affiliations

  • Scripps Memorial Hospital, La Jolla, CA

  • Sharp Memorial Hospital, San Diego, CA

  • Sharp Mary Birch Hospital, San Diego, CA

  • UCSD Medical Center, San Diego, CA

  • Thornton Hospital, La Jolla, CA