Why did you choose to study in plastic surgery?
When I was in High School, I loved the sciences, but didn’t really know the path that I wanted to take with my career. After I married and had my first child, I spent a lot of time at the Hospital because my first child was born 3 months pre-mature. I was very drawn to medicine at that time, and decided that I wanted to go to Medical School to become a Pediatrician. During Medical School, all students rotate through the various specialties. When I rotated through Pediatrics, I found that I had a hard time when I would come home at night thinking about the severely ill children that we were caring for. I questioned if I had made the right choice of going into Medicine. But it wasn’t until the first day that I was rotating through General Surgery, and entered the Operating Room for the first time, that I realized that this was where I was meant to be. I elected to take an elective rotation in Plastic Surgery rather than take my vacation so I could familiarize myself with that surgical sub-specialty. I am so glad that I did! It was during that rotation that I knew that was my life’s calling. I especially loved the fact that Plastic Surgeons operate on all areas of the body. Helping to give a newborn with a cleft lip a perfect smile was the most rewarding feeling I had ever had. Helping a construction worker who had a severe hand injury that crushed bones, cut through nerves and blood vessels, heal and go back to work was equally rewarding. Just as is helping women attain the results that they long to achieve in beautifying their bodies- because this also helps our souls. I have loved every minute of my decision, and feel so fortunate that I have been given this opportunity and challenge for my career.
What is your favorite part of being a plastic surgeon?
I love having the trust of each patient that I will provide them with the best results of what they are looking for. I feel honored that I have been given the opportunity to use my surgical skills to enhance a persons life. I also love the actual surgical setting and performing the technical aspects of each procedure. Many of my patients have been coming to me for more than 15 years, and I have been able to provide them the care and treatments that they are looking for, and many of them have become like members of our extended family!
If you could give potential patients one piece of advice while they are searching for a surgeon, what would it be?
Be sure that you research your surgeon, and that he/she is Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgeons. Additionally, if you are having a cosmetic procedure, check to see if he/she is a member of The Aesthetic Society of Plastic Surgeon. The Aesthetic Society has very specific requirements regarding number of cosmetic cases performed that must be met to be considered for membership, as well as other Aesthetic Society members who are willing to sponsor you before you are accepted for membership. When you meet with surgeon, I would recommend having a check list of questions that you want answered, so that nothing is missed. Be sure to look at a lot of before and after photos, as a picture speaks 1,000 words. Comfort with the surgeon is important, but results are most important. That is why I feel it is especially important to feel comfortable that the surgeon understands the results that you are looking for, and that his/her photos reflect their ability to deliver those results. Always remember that the first operation gives you the best chance of getting your optimal results.