Kim Lewis had thought about plastic surgery for years. She even Googled “breast reduction surgery” on WebMD looking for answers. “It’s not one of those things you talk about with your girlfriends over coffee,” she says.
Although Lewis had experienced a lifetime of back pain and self-consciousness, she always felt an internal struggle when the idea of plastic surgery came up. “I grew up in a religious home and was nervous about altering the body God gave me,” she says.
Finally, with the support of her husband, Lewis began consulting plastic surgeons, and she decided to get breast reduction surgery at age 52 after meeting Dr. Mahsa Moghaddam.
“Plastic surgery is for the average person—not just for Hollywood stars,” says Moghaddam, a plastic surgeon who lives in Eden Prairie and works in Wayzata. “Folks think it’s not an option for them or that it’s just for vain people. In fact, it’s far more common and accessible than people think it is.”
Moghaddam believes if you are thinking about plastic surgery, you might be a good candidate for it. “Is there something about your physical appearance bothering you enough that you want to change it? Is it hurting your quality of life?” Moghaddam says if you answer yes, you should consider speaking with a plastic surgeon.
According to Moghaddam, the ideal patient is in a stable place in life with a good support system, is a non-smoker within 10 pounds of his or her goal weight and—most importantly—is well-informed. Open communication between patient and surgeon is vital, says Moghaddam. “My job is to educate you about your options,” she says. “Ultimately, an informed patient is more likely to be a happy patient because he or she has chosen that procedure understanding all the facts, and will be more likely to be invested in it in recovery.”
Moghaddam suggests consulting with three different surgeons to benefit from multiple perspectives. Since plastic surgery is a creative specialty, every surgeon has a different aesthetic and system of beliefs. Whatever procedure you are considering, when meeting with a surgeon, “ask about all of your options,” she says. “Talk through exactly where incisions will go, what kind of aesthetic you have in mind, what the recovery will look like, how much time you will need to take off work, how the surgery will fit into your life based on your unique social schedule, what the most significant benefits and risks are, and ask about any potential complications.”
She also recommends looking at photographs to get an idea of a surgeon’s style and work history. Moghaddam says to think about the financial, but also the emotional, investment; avoid surgery during or following major stresses in your life or shortly preceding a vacation.
“Be very confident in the surgeon you select, and remember—no question is a foolish question,” says Cheryl Kiecker, a breast cancer survivor and patient of Moghaddam’s who underwent fat grafting surgery after a mastectomy. Kiecker has one more surgery to complete and says she is thrilled with her current status.
After her positive experience, Lewis has become a believer. “I would encourage anyone who is concerned about a part or parts of his or her body to seek out a plastic surgeon,” Lewis says. “These surgeons really demonstrate a combination of medical and artistic skill. At the end of the day, you should feel like you’re a work of art. After all, you’re your best asset.”
Dr. Mahsa Moghaddam
Bashioum Cosmetic Surgery Center
445 Lake St. E. Suite 210, Wayzata