Photo Credit: beautyinthebag.com
Dr. Donn R. Chatham is witty and wonderful facial plastic surgeon with offices in Louisville, Kentucky and New Albany, Indiana. A native of Kentucky, Dr. Chatham received his undergraduate education from Georgetown College and his medical training at the University of Louisville School of Medicine.
From 2008-2009, Dr. Chatham served as President of the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. He currently participates in the FACE TO FACE program, the AAFPRS National Domestic Violence Project, and has traveled to Croatia, St Vincent’s Island, Guatemala, Borneo and Ecuador to provide volunteer medical services.
Dr. Chatham has always had an interest in fine visual arts, and enjoys taking painting, drawing, and sculpting courses as well as studying fine art at museums and galleries. The practice of facial plastic surgery is a combination of art, sculpture, beauty and science as well as psychology. Cosmetic and reconstructive surgery is a natural application of these interests and talents.
BITB spoke with Dr. Chatham about his illustrious career as a facial plastic surgeon and the trends and treatments he is most excited about in his practice.
1. Who/what inspired you to become a facial plastic surgeon?
My father practiced family medicine in our small town for almost 40 years, so I was introduced to the life of the physician from an early age. Compassion and sincere listening were two of his skills as a family physician, and this impressed on me the importance of treating patients like people first and patients second. I was always drawing, crafting, and creating and during undergrad college, I earned a minor in art. From medical school into residency, I learned I was good with my hands and better in the operating room than I was trying to make exotic medical diagnoses. Plus I was a bit impatient to learn the outcome of my physician skills. Surgery brings fairly quick results. So plastic surgery was a natural progression of my interests and skills.
2. What are the most popular procedures you recommend to your clients and why?
Our philosophy is to listen to our patients’ goals and help them select the least invasive, least traumatic and most cost-efficient option. Following with skin care (since all of our patients have skin) we discuss the pros and cons of the neurotoxins, fillers and laser treatments. HAs, calcium and PLLA fillers are used, and favorite lasers include the Iridex Varilite and Sandstone fractional, as well as our ol’ standby Prolite IPL. The most common surgical procedure is septorhinoplasty, and our nasal patients appreciate the dual advantage of a good nasal airway housed in an aesthetically pleasing nose. Aging face procedures of blepharoplasty and rhytidectomy naturally are discussed when appropriate. We emphasize a ‘natural’ appearance, understated and timeless. This reassures our patients that they need not fear the “dreaded Hollywood look!”
3. What are some of the trends and treatments you are most excited about in aesthetics and why?
We are excited about engaging our patients as joint partners. First, we ask them to do their best to adhere to as healthy a lifestyle as possible, and this includes dietary choices, sun protection and cigarette avoidance. Next, we will evaluate 3 primary areas: skin health, volume needs and tissue laxity. When patients learn that they cannot ignore any of these three, and have valuable options for improving all three, this engages them into partnering with me in achieving optimal health and appearance of their faces. The more educated they are, the more collaborative our decisions and gratifying the results.