Meet Steven J. Bates, MD

Dr. Steven J. Bates

Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr. Steven J. Bates knew he found his calling in medical school with the first plastic surgery case he encountered. The delicate balance of precision and creativity attracted Dr. Bates to the specialty. He is now often a top choice for women and men looking for the best plastic surgeon in San Jose and the greater Bay Area to perform their procedures.

Request a consultation with Dr. Bates or call (408) 356-4241 to schedule.

Education & Training

After earning a bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from the University of California, Davis, Dr. Bates graduated in 2000, first in his class of 190 students from Chicago Medical School as a member of the prestigious Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. He then completed 6 years of rigorous plastic surgery training at Stanford University that included award-winning research in wound healing, multiple international medical missions, and thousands of hours caring for plastic surgery patients and performing surgical procedures. Dr. Bates spent a 7th year at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) as a clinical instructor in Hand and Microsurgery before accepting what he considered a “dream job” at Palo Alto Medical Foundation.

“Plastic surgery is all about balance. It’s about finding the perfect space between precision and creativity: knowing when to color within the lines and when to think outside the box. This delicate balance is what makes my specialty such a challenging and rewarding career, one that few are willing or able to pursue.”

Dr. Steven J. Bates

Professional Experience

Dr. Bates worked as a plastic surgeon from 2007 to 2020 at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, which he considers one of the best medical groups in the country. During his 13 years at PAMF, Dr. Bates honed his craft as a surgeon and provided the highest quality of care to his patients. As Chief of the Department of Plastic Surgery, however, he found himself spending more time on administrative duties and less time with patients. That led to Dr. Bates choosing to pursue private practice and focusing on the passion he has for plastic surgery and changing patients’ lives. 

Professional Merits

  • American Medical Association—1997-1998
  • Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society—1999-Present
  • American Society of Plastic Surgery
  • Stanford Plastic Surgery Chief Resident— 2005-2006
  • UCLA Plastic Surgery Fellowship— 2006-2007
  • Plastic Surgery Department Chief, Palo Alto Medical Foundation— 2010-2019

Family & Personal Interests

Dr. Bates and his wife, Celeste, live in Palo Alto with their two children, Parker and Charlie. They enjoy traveling and look forward to annual ski trips in the winter and following their children’s sports teams to various destinations in the summer.  After long days of work and family obligations, they enjoy date nights at local restaurants, binge-watching Netflix series, and faithfully walking their two Labrador retrievers, Buster and Wilson.  

To meet with Dr. Bates, request your complimentary cosmetic consultation using our online form or call the office at  (408) 356-4241 to schedule an appointment. We will reserve this time for you free of charge. We request that you keep your appointment or cancel with ample notice.