Heartland Hand And Plastic Surgery

Heartland Hand And Plastic Surgery – Dr. David Thao, who runs Woodbury Plastic Surgery, says the clinic was built to feel like a spa.

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Heartland Hand And Plastic Surgery

Julie Dickerson remembers how strange it was to walk into Woodbury Plastic Surgery on a Saturday morning to find the room full.

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It was her first appointment in 2017, and there were many patients in the waiting room, some with bandages on their heads. It was even more unusual that the previous evening she had been personally called by Dr. David Thao, the doctor who runs the clinic.

Dickerson, now 47, has just undergone a dramatic personal transformation, losing more than half his body weight in 18 months. She went from 346 pounds to 150 pounds through strict diet and exercise.

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But she wasn’t feeling much better emotionally. Layers of skin scraps hung from her body. “He just fell and hung, and I felt like a Shar Pei dog,” she says.

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Although she was proud of her milestone, Dickerson says that all her excess skin in some ways made her feel more depressed than before. “You would think that someone who has lost weight would feel more confident,” she says.

For a long time she planned and saved money for surgery to remove excess skin. She shopped around and interviewed six different plastic surgeons in Texas, Florida and the upper Midwest. Dickerson decided to choose one of them. Then a friend, whom Thao had just treated with a tummy tuck and breast augmentation, recommended that she contact him.

“I was like, ‘No, it’s Friday,'” Dickerson says. “He’s like, ‘wait.'” He will call me in 10 minutes and ask me to come tomorrow morning.”

When Dickerson finally met with Thao, she described how other plastic surgeons planned to perform a full-body lift: All the excess skin would be removed in one perfect swoop. Dickerson heard another message from Thao.

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“He said, ‘What are they going to do to you?'” he recalls. Thao told her to get up, put on her shirt and assess what needed to be done. What would she remove and what would she look like?

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“If I do the whole body, you won’t remove all the skin you want,” Thao told her. “You’ll look square. You’ll have loose skin here and there because it doesn’t settle properly.”

She opted for Thau’s treatment, which involved several procedures and three surgeries performed over 12 months: one on the upper body, one on the lower body and one on the face. All told, the treatment cost Dickerson about $70,000. But for her, the price was more than worth it. Dickerson says she cried tears of joy the day she saw her new body.

Thao, 48, plays an extremely important role in medicine and in his community. He is the first Hmong doctor in the United States to become a surgeon, and as far as anyone can tell, the first and only Hmong plastic surgeon in the world.

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Today, his clinic is not full of patients in the waiting room. Many patients are making their first visit online instead of following the rules of social distancing and slowing the spread of COVID-19. But Thao continues to operate on patients, with everyone involved in the procedure being tested for COVID-19 three days before surgery.

Located on the second floor of a building that also houses a dentist and real estate office, Woodbury Plastic Surgery feels upscale inside—more like a private spa. Natural light illuminates the office, which is decorated with art. Before Thao examines patients, they can be examined by VISIA’s clinical skin analyzer for an in-depth reading of their pores and wrinkles.

The procedure room contains an operating chair – similar to a dentist’s chair – with two large circular lights attached overhead. Thao performs major procedures, such as breast augmentation and tummy tucks, at a shared ambulatory surgery center nearby. But during minor procedures, such as spot and scar cleaning, patients sit here, surrounded by several windows that offer views of the trees and green areas outside.

David Thao has operated Woodbury Plastic Surgery in this office for eight years and reflects how he sees his work. When Thao and his team designed it, they didn’t want it to feel like a sterile clinic.

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Thao has soft features and a relaxed demeanor that masks the intensity of his training. While the press photographer takes pictures of him, he poses jokingly in front of the camera.

“David always tried to connect us with other people – that we grew up poor, fled war and had a lot of tragedies as human beings, but we were still able to find joy in life.” — Tchao Thao, younger brother of David Thao

Every day, friends and followers can see him on social media moonwalking to Michael Jackson or salting his steak while kissing while Ricky Martin’s blaring tunes play in the background. He is married with four children, ages 9 to 18, and you can imagine that he relates to them as peers.

“He’s the biggest jerk,” says Theresa Thao Kalugden, his sister. “Don’t let his outward profile as a doctor fool you.”

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As bubbly as his personality is, Thao can turn serious just as quickly. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, he has produced several public videos providing important information about the virus in the Hmong language to people who would otherwise miss it. He does so in his role as president of the Hmong Medical Association, an international organization he co-founded two years ago.

Tchao Thao, David Thao’s younger brother, says that David’s personality reflects the sense of responsibility that came with being the oldest sibling in a family of eight children and his close exposure to his parents’ generation who fled at the end of the war in Laos. .

“It put a lot of stress on David and my older cousins,” says Tchao Thao. “David always tried to connect us with other people – that we grew up poor, fled war and had a lot of tragedies as human beings, but we were still able to find joy in life.”

Among his most popular procedures are tummy tucks, breast augmentation and liposuction. She even does a Brazilian butt lift.

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Popular culture both rewards and shames these practices. On the one hand, plastic surgery is one of the most prestigious and highest paying subspecialties in medicine. It requires seven years of training after medical school, in highly competitive residencies and fellowships. Plastic surgeons work long, hard hours – even by medical standards – and often go to great lengths to set themselves apart from the competition. For example, Thao often opens his clinic on Saturdays for patients who cannot come in during the normal work week.

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On the other hand, plastic surgery can also be associated with lousy reality doctors, awkward celebrity makeovers and cheap supermarket tabloids.

It’s just media hype, says Thao. “Every time you hear about plastic surgery, it’s about Hollywood and Kim Kardashian,” she says. “Plastic surgery is about reconstruction. When you do a facelift, you’re reconstructing someone.

The true purpose of plastic surgery is rooted in the name itself: it comes from the Greek word “plastikos”, which means to mold and shape.

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Every day and every patient brings a new challenge. A recent work day, Thao recalls, had patients wanting to fix drooping eyes and remove things like spots, lesions and a bump on their back. Every intervention is different, even the same, because every body is different.

Thao remembers the moment he decided to become a plastic surgeon. It was the mid-nineties and he was still a medical student at the University of Minnesota. At the time, Thao envisioned going into a specialty like family medicine. That is, until he saw a young man from Laos.

Thao’s colleagues got their hands on a video similar to Sally Struthers’ (in)famous commercial about poor children in developing countries. In particular, this video showed a young man from Laos with a tumor on his neck so large that it grew out of his mouth.

The young man needed immediate intervention to survive. The entire medical team, including plastic surgeons, gathered to take him to Minnesota for treatment. One of these doctors was Xoua Thao, David’s uncle.

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At that time, David Thao was not a surgeon and could not operate. But Xoua Thao remembers that David helped in every possible way, spending several days interviewing the man and observing the tumor.

David Thao watched in awe as a team of doctors took on the case pro bono and surgically removed the boy’s massive tumor. Something in him clicked. Surgeons

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