Miracle on Lemmon Avenue

Dr. Dauwe: I love plastic surgery. And honestly, it just feel good to give back especially, in this Christmas Season, it's the season of giving. So it's just a wonderful time to think about the patients and give them something that they need. And, it's a perfect opportunity.

Dr. Dauwe: I met Brenda because, she's the mother-in-law of one of my friends that I met on my cycling team. And unfortunately, around the Christmas Holidays, we're all cooking and she'd sustained a pretty significant burn to her leg.

Brenda: We were setting up food and I lit the Sterno can, it fell. The jelly splattered and splattered on my leg. When we were finished it was third degree burns. So, I went to another doctor for a while and then we were referred to Doctor Dauwe.

Dr. Dauwe: So she was initially treated in an in-patient burn center. She's healthy and when you go into a hospital, it's a big institution, there's a lot of nurses and a lot of doctors. And oftentimes, that can be kind of intimidating to patients. When you walk into our office, it's a warm welcoming environment. And reconstructive surgery, especially burn surgery, classically occurs in an in-patient center. But if the patient's healthy enough, we can perform that exact same care, here in our office. Because, we have a fully accredited surgery center, that's focused on the patient. And I mean, the care is just excellent when it's delivered in that kind of manner.

Dr. Dauwe: Plastic and reconstructive surgery is a specialty based in principles. We, as plastic surgeons, are trained to identify certain principles in wound care, in soft tissue reconstruction and it doesn't matter what presents to us, we apply those principles and we get patients through the problem.

Dr. Dauwe: So, Brenda has a wound on her left leg, that has already been treated by the burn center. So, the skin has been removed and right now, she has an open wound that she's doing dressing changes on. We need to reconstruct that wound. So, part of the process is evaluating the wound, making sure that it's healthy. And removing any of the remaining burned skin. Once that occurs and the wound is stable, we reconstruct it with a skin graft. The skin graft is taken from one of her thighs in a place that she's easily able to conceal it with normal clothing. And that skin graft is sewn in onto her leg and wrapped in a sterile dressing and kept on for a few days.

Dr. Dauwe: My training and my skill allows me to have a tremendous impact on my patient's lives. And honestly, it just feels good to give back. Brenda's injury is one that would be typically treated in a burn center, an in-patient setting like a hospital. And the cost associated with that kind of care can get kind of out of hand. So, in an office based O.R. like we have here, we're able to control those costs. We have control of every variable that's associated. And if the patient is healthy enough to have surgery in an ambulatory setting, then it works out well.

Dr. Dauwe: Another aspect of care in a cosmetic surgery center is, I'm with my team and I've got my team here, I've got all the equipment. Everybody knows exactly how I like to operate. And you want your surgeon on his A game. You want him to have his team behind him because, surgery is not an individual sport, this is a team sport that we do.

Dr. Dauwe: When it comes down to it, we're all practicing plastic surgery. But what's important to us is patient care. We're taking care of human beings and we cannot compromise one thing when it comes to taking care of patients.