An Interview with a Plastic Surgeon


00;01: “I had this vision for what I wanted for my career and the type of practice I wanted to have and I truly just wanted to focus on pediatric and craniofacial surgery and they let me do that.”


00;10: “My primary special interest inside of plastic surgery is pediatric plastic surgery in addition to craniofacial reconstruction, which includes facial trauma such as facial fractures, orbital fractures, mandible fractures, in addition to cleft lip and palate.”


00;24: “My special interest in plastic surgery is primarily pediatric plastic surgery in addition to craniofacial surgery. Craniofacial surgery encompasses surgery that involves the craniofacial skeleton which are the bones of the face and the skull, as well as the soft tissue surrounding the face.”


00;38: “I think that in our specialty, I think you develop a very intimate relationship with the patient more so, I think, than in many other surgical specialties because, at least in what I do, I meet most of my patients right after they’re born, and then I often take care of them until they’re teenagers and thereafter.”


00;46: “It’s very important to parents that I dedicate my career to this and to children. If you see my office, you’ll see that the entire place is just filled with toys and it’s very children friendly.”


00;50: “I see the majority of my patients in my office setting.”


01;00: “I’m able to work with my partners. They do a lot of elective rhinoplasty procedures. And all of this is applicable to craniofacial reconstruction as well.”


01;09: “Oftentimes they ask me to help them with certain procedures and I ask them and we give each other a hand. So it’s just a wonderful environment to work in.”


01;21: “I think when you’re around young people and you’re training them, it forces you to stay current with all of the techniques and there’s a wonderful family environment or camaraderie amongst the partners, as well as with the residents and fellows.”


01;47: “Cleft lip and palate is one of the most common birth defects or birth deformities that occur. And it’s a misconception that these are deformities that occur in just Third World countries. It’s extremely common in this country and the reason why people think that this only happens in Third World countries — and it’s that picture that people see on the side of a bus — is because we take care of these things very early in life.”


01;51: “I think the bread and butter of my practice is the cleft lip and palate surgery.”


02;12: “I think there are many facets to a physician, or to a surgeon in my situation. It’s not only that you had good training, it’s not only that you keep yourself updated on the most recent literature and that you go to the national meetings and you contribute to your field by presenting your work, writing your work, traveling all over the world, seeing what else is out there, I think by doing all those things, by continuing to teach and continuing to learn over the years.”


02;28: “You’re bringing the most to the table to taking care of the patient. I think that exposing yourself to criticism, meeting with colleagues, staying up to date, I think that your patients deserve that.”


02;31: “Our goal is to help return that child’s life.”


02;48: “One of the most common misconceptions made with children that have birth defects is that — or birth deformities — is that they also have a mental disability and that’s just untrue. I think in the majority of cases, these are normal children, normal intellect, and they just need a few surgeries.”


03;02: “Life is challenging enough. Life just brings with it its everyday challenges to begin with, and my goal is to allow these children or to help these children enter the world with no more challenges than everybody else has.”


03;34: “I realized that the cases I looked forward to the next day and loved being in the operating room performing, liked reading about, liked studying, was this, was craniofacial surgery. So I paid attention to that as the years went by and the months went by. This is, you know — if I’m going to spend all of the rest of my life doing something, I want to love it and I want to love every case I do. I want to look forward to the cases that I do the next day. So that’s why I chose it because it was really distinct to me. I mean, I had colleagues that liked everything and therefore their practices are general practices where they perform all kinds of surgery. I wanted to be more focused. That’s my personality. And I think to really — I think it’s an area of plastic surgery that I feel you need to do a lot of to be very good at it. I don’t think it’s something you can dabble in. I don’t think it’s appropriate to do one cleft palate a year. I think it’s something you need to really dedicate your life to and to really make a difference and really to take the best care of kids.”



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