January 2017

Smith Plastic Surgery: Putting the Patient First

Author: Lynnie Leavenworth | Photographer: Krisztian Lonyai

According to plastic surgeon Brendan E. Smith, M.D., plastic surgery provides more options than most patients realize. During his decades-long career, he said, “A lot of times the view of plastic surgery is just an aesthetic view. Patients will say, ‘I really didn’t realize you did all that.’” Today, so much can be accomplished with less-invasive procedures than ever before, meaning smaller incisions, along with newer approaches that may reduce pain or shorten recovery times.

It all begins with a consultation with Dr. Smith and appointment with his team at Smith Plastic Surgery in Okatie. “We take time with patients, putting the patients first and putting their desires first. I think we do that better than anyone around,” he said. During the initial consultation, the patient will first talk with his staff to find out what procedure(s) he or she is interested in. “I will come in and talk about their concerns and will take time with the patient so as to ascertain what their desires are. Once that is accomplished, through creativity and science, I determine how to achieve the desired outcome, whether that be surgical or non-surgical.” Dr. Smith said a healthy patient with realistic expectations and a body shape that suits the procedure are the first criteria for determining if a patient is a good candidate for a particular operation or treatment.

During the consultation phase of selecting a plastic surgeon, asking about the surgeon’s credentials and experience is critical to achieving a successful outcome. The American Board of Plastic Surgery recommends first, selecting a board-certified physician; and second, choosing a surgeon who has a great deal of experience doing the procedure to be performed. Smith is certified with the American Board of Surgery and the American Board of Plastic Surgery; he is also affiliated with the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the American Medical Association, the South Carolina Medical Association, and the South Carolina Society of Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeons.

Born in his mother’s native Australia, Dr. Smith calls Charleston, South Carolina home, where he spent much of his youth and where he studied at College of Charleston. Building experience and growing his skill at various universities and hospitals across the United States, he returned to the Lowcountry in 2000 with his wife Linda, a local banker, and brought with him a career-long passion for plastic surgery.

It was during his third year of medical school that Dr. Smith realized he liked plastics, and it was in his fourth year during a month-long rotation at Emory University that he connected with a group of plastic surgeons who became his first mentors in the specialty. “There are a lot of ways to fix a problem. Plastic surgery provides relatively instant gratification; you can see a problem and you can figure out how to fix the problem,” he said. “At that time, they were doing a procedure called a TRAM [transverse rectus abdominus myocutaneous] Flap, a type of reconstructive breast surgery that’s not done a whole lot now, but it really got me interested in breast reconstruction.”

Dr. Smith said that during his general surgery training in Charlotte, Dr. Kevin Smith and Dr. Paul Watterson provided guidance and encouragement as he embarked on his surgical path. In time, while doing a plastic surgery fellowship at the University of Utah, plastic surgeons Renato Saltz, M.D., and Leland Chick, M.D. taught him a great deal about the specialty, eventually leading to the opening of Smith Plastic Surgery, where Dr. Smith and his team specialize in cosmetic, reconstructive, and laser surgery.

Providing the latest procedures and treatments is part of Smith Plastic Surgery’s commitment to putting the patient first. “We’re evolving how we’re doing [breast] reconstruction,” Dr. Smith said. “In addition to doing the construction underneath the muscle; we’re also doing it above the muscle. It is less painful for the patient.”

“Another change is in fillers; what are becoming more commonly called liquid facelifts with Restylane®, RADIESSE®, and other types of fillers to get additional volume in the face; and we’re doing some fat transfers. The original fillers were collagen, and we didn’t do a lot of fat transfers; we’re doing more of that now.

Additionally Botox has expanded plastic surgery. “We do a fair amount of breast surgery, whether it is reduction, reconstruction, augmentation, or a breast lift. Breast implants have changed a lot. They used to start with just using saline, then silicone. Even the type of silicone has now changed considerably; it’s a better silicone material. That’s one of the other big changes.”

The Lowcountry, where Smith enjoys being near the water, has been the perfect place to build a plastic surgery practice, and putting the patient first is his primary focus. He and Linda support several local causes including Ducks Unlimited and the American Cancer Society, attending fundraisers and providing sponsorships throughout the year. One of the best things about getting to know Dr. Smith and his team at Smith Plastic Surgery is being able to say, “I really didn’t realize you did all that.” 

Smith Plastic Surgery is located at 16 Okatie Center Boulevard, Suite 101, Okatie. For more information, please call (843) 705-8940 or visit www.smithplasticsurgerysc.com.

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