My World in Plastic Surgery

Closeup of surgery knives set isolated

I began my career in plastic surgery at a low point in my life. I had recently married six months prior and was so incredibly happy with my life at home, but professionally I lacked any whisper of fulfillment. I went to work each day with nothing to look forward to other than the weekend on the other side of the long five day stretch.  It was over lunch at a popular salad spot in downtown Austin called Leaf, that I met with my friend/co-worker and her cousin, the office manager of a local plastic surgery practice.

It was a typical 95 degree sunny summer day in Austin, Texas– the beginning of a new week. From the restaurant’s patio, you could watch the professional men and women leisurely strolling to their destined lunch spots. Many took business calls as some hustled back to their offices and others sat on the street benches casually eating in the shade. Downtown Austin was a fun place to be.

Lunch began as usual, we discussed all of our upcoming weekend plans and how everyone’s current day was going. It was then that Josh, the office manager and cousin to my co-worker, asked if we knew of anyone who wanted to be a patient care coordinator at the plastic surgery practice he managed. I thought for a moment, but couldn’t think of anyone I knew. He turned to me and said, “I wish you were interested, you would be perfect!” I joked and responded “of course I would be perfect!” We all laughed and finished up lunch.

It was an hour after lunch when I was starring into my computer screen with disinterest and stress from trying to work hard at something I didn’t excel in that I turned to my friend and co-worker, Crystal and asked, “Do you think I would be good for that job?” With an overwhelming yes, we quickly chatted about what each of us knew about the industry of plastic surgery. I knew I needed to go home, talk with Jared and really contemplate changing courses with my job. I was already familiar with Botox and lip filler, of course… I had grown up with a little sister who was (still is) obsessed with the tv show, Keeping up with the Kardashians (not a true reflection of the aesthetic industry by the way), but other than that, I had to heavily research.

That night I dug deep with the help of Google looking for answers as to whether this would be an opportunity that I really wanted to pursue. I was blown away with what I found. I discovered that lasers could not only provide anti-aging benefits, but they also had the capability of getting rid of undesired sun damage, brown spots, and redness. I learned that fillers were not just for the lips, but they could give youthful volume back to areas in the face that lacked fullness or needed additional lift (smile lines, nasal folds, cheek bones etc.,) I discovered the reason behind why a patient might want to consider a breast lift over a regular breast augmentation and I read that a proper facelift involves the surgeon doing muscle work underneath the skin for a longer-lasting, more natural looking result. I also found out that the tummy tuck typically involves the surgeon creating an internal corset to give a waist and figure back to a patient after childbearing or weight loss. As you can tell, I was instantly captivated by the aesthetic industry and all that it could do for ones self-esteem. I was sold. I called Josh the next day asking for a chance to interview.

Long story short, I was lucky enough to land the job and hard work mixed with passion molded it into a career. I finally found out what it was like to look forward to going to work the next day. I had no idea that was even a thing. 

It wasn’t long after I started that I completely fell in love with the industry. After personally witnessing how so many patients’ lives were drastically changed by their incredible results, I was hooked.  What got me to that point was the experience sitting with nervous women in our consultation room who opened up with me and revealed feelings such like: “This body isn’t me,” “I can’t stand how I look,” “I‘m frustrated because I diet, I exercise, I just want to feel good about myself,” “I don’t let my husband see me undress,” “my grandchildren think I look angry all of the time and people keep asking me what’s wrong when I’m fine.” I’ve also sat with men who felt silly for being in the office to begin with, consulting in an industry they deemed to be reserved for women–feeling completely out of place and unworthy of being there. On the harmonious flip side, I have cheered and celebrated the results that keep this industry thriving and accelerating to new heights year after year.

Botox

It is well-known that there is still much taboo surrounding the cosmetic/plastic surgery world. Often times we may find ourselves getting absorbed by judging someone for how much or how little cosmetic surgery they do. You may have even contemplated doing something yourself and were met with responses from friends and family like, “Why? Are you not confident in who you are?” or “Why would you want to change? You don’t need it.” Those comments are meant to be supportive, but truthfully they are not helpful. What you need to know from someone in the industry is, improving your appearance or enhancing your features is a personal choice. We make those decisions at the time we get braces, color our hair, or select a certain style of clothing. The choice to surgically or non-surgically enhance or alter ones appearance solely rests with the individual’s wants, needs and ultimate desires. Those reasons can be deeply personal or they can be very superficial and neither of those choices is wrong.

Seeing people feel good about themselves is the most inspiring, uplifting and rewarding aspects of working in this career. Whether patients are using filler to give a little volume back to areas where it has been lost, are doing Botox to minimize and reduce the “frown lines,” are receiving laser treatments to revitalize and give life back to dull skin, or have undergone surgery to cosmetically change areas that cause them not to feel their best self, each person has the right to make that decision free from judgement. They also have the right to announce what they do or to keep it private. We are a doctor’s office after all…

I have been privileged to work for two incredible board-certified plastic surgeons. I started my career with Dr. Hall in West Lake, Texas (back when Jared and I lived in Austin) and I now work with Dr. Griffin at Nashville Cosmetic Surgery here in Nashville, Tennessee. The experience at both offices has taught me that in different areas of our country, there are so many people who suffer with the same insecurities and for oftentimes very similar reasons and causes. I’ve seen those same individuals (patients) make decisions to change what they dislike or to enhance what they already love– it takes trust in your surgeon and courage to know that you deserve to make those choices for YOU!

Each patient I have ever met has a piece of me with them– loving their personal story, honoring their treatment decisions and celebrating their results.

If you have questions about specific procedures or are interested in learning more about what treatment options are out there, please feel free to reach out to me.  I would be honored to walk you through your journey!

Xo

Emily

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