I am delighted to have the opportunity to present a regular column about the latest news in cosmetic and reconstructive surgery. I am very passionate about my chosen field and am always striving to be better, know more, stay current, perfect technique and offer my Coachella Valley patients the newest and best that plastic surgery and age prevention techniques can achieve.
Ever since I was young, I wanted to know how things work. I was always taking things apart and reassembling them. I drove my parents crazy! But part of knowing how things work is developing the knowledge, creativity and intuition to improve on the status quo. I am still like that today (except I try not to drive anyone crazy any more).
My natural fascination with structure and building inspired me to want to follow in my father’s footsteps. You know how people say, ‘he’s no rocket scientist’? Well, my dad was a rocket scientist, and I credit him for the creative intuition that defines my plastic surgery career. However, I was also inspired by my grandfather, a renowned health care professional who practiced both medicine and Ayurveda healing. Thus, I began my studies at the University of California earning a civil engineering degree before following my heart into medicine and graduating cum laude from Boston University School of Medicine. I was trained in general surgery at Cedars Sinai and finished with a residency in Plastic Surgery at Albert Einstein School of Medicine in New York.
Fully trained and ready to work, I was recruited by America’s best-known plastic surgeon, Andrew P. Ordon, M.D. When he told me about his Rancho Mirage practice, I said, “The desert? Really?” I had visited Palm Springs but couldn’t imagine working in the desert, much less living here. But I gave it a go and boy, am I glad I did. Now I love the desert. I love the people, the place, the natural beauty, the recreation….everything. I call Indian Wells home and operate in our surgery center in Rancho Mirage, as well as Eisenhower Medical Center. It’s a blessed life.
I feel fortunate that Dr. Drew Ordon sought me out. Our partnership is exceptional in that we work so very well together and often collaborate on cases. That is very unusual in our field. We are the best of friends, business partners, and co-surgeons. I have even contributed on his television show, The Doctors, as their plastic surgery correspondent. I have performed over a dozen surgeries for television, and many of the most memorable cases have been charitable. We recently reconstructed a young lady who was run over by a lawn mower when she was 3 years old. She’s now sixteen, so you can imagine the impact of a deforming injury on her personality and self-image. Assisting in erasing the physical signs of the accident greatly aided in her recovery from the emotional trauma and was tremendously rewarding for me. That’s why I consider myself so fortunate. I GET to do these types of things and am very grateful for the opportunity.
As medical director of The Plastic Surgery Institute, I try to lead by example. It is by no means a ‘one-man-show’ as I am supported by an exceptionally talented medical staff. But it’s not all about the surgery. Good looks aren’t accidental, it takes work, and I take pride in prescribing preventative measures and quality skin care practices in addition to non-invasive and surgical options. My grandfather was the first to expose me to the benefits of botanical extracts, and I have long been aware of the healing powers found within our natural environment.
Now that you have gotten to know a little about me, I want to know about you. What topics in the field of plastic surgery are of interest to you? I look forward to your input so that I may write about the latest technologies and options available which interest you most. You’ll be surprised and impressed with the newest in breast reconstruction now that the surgery has become more accessible. Laws have been passed that require insurance to cover many procedures. If your insurance covers a medically necessary mastectomy, it now has to cover reconstruction as well.
The latest in the rocketing field of cosmetic fillers and nerve blockers (like Botox) will also amaze you. Innovations in breast implant surgery, liposuction and skin resurfacing with lasers are rapidly unfolding, and no other area of plastic surgery has experienced more evolution than the facelift. When I share what we are doing with our facelifts – and the impact it has on the results and recovery times – you will see why it is the very best time to consider the options.
We have a lot of topics to cover, so I hope you become a regular reader of this column. Tell me what you would like to hear about, and tell your friends to read along with you.
Let us begin.
Dr. Chopra is medical director of The Plastic Surgery Institute in Rancho Mirage and can be reached at (760) 569.2211. Please send your ideas and recommended topics for his new column via email to [email protected].