Medical Director of Finesse Plastic Surgery Wants to be Part of Your Transformation
Written By: Alana Aronson Finesse Plastic Surgery
We are familiar with the various aesthetic and reconstructive procedures available in Orange County, but rarely get a closer look at those who perform them. Dr. Justin West of Finesse Plastic Surgery got into his field of work after witnessing the positive emotional impact of reconstructive surgeries. Further than helping a patient look their best, Dr. West intends for his patients to feel their best, too. We had the opportunity to ask him about his start in the industry, what motivates his career, and what patient testimonials stand out the most. We also found out what procedures are most popular this time of year, and when the best time to start preparing our “summer bodies” is.
Q: You spent time researching trauma and cardiac surgery. What made you want to pursue aesthetic and reconstructive surgery after that period in your life?
Dr. Justin West: My father was a trauma surgeon in the early part of his career. As a kid I was fascinated by his stories of saving the lives of people who had been shot, stabbed or injured in terrible accidents. So, when the research opportunity at UCI presented itself I dove right it. During my third year of medical school I happened to spend a month doing a plastic surgery elective. It wasn’t my first choice but it sounded somewhat interesting. My first day on the rotation I assisted in a TRAM flap breast reconstruction in which we use the skin and fat from a patient’s belly to rebuild a breast after a mastectomy. I was compelled by a career which gave me the opportunity to take a patient affected by cancer and make them feel whole and confident again.
Q: What is the most rewarding aspect of your profession?
JW: Far and away the best part of this job is the opportunity we have to have an impact on our patients’ lives. The procedures we perform can transform the way a patient sees themselves and presents themselves to the world. On a regular basis we of receive some of the most touching thank you letters from our patients who tell us how they have been able to approach life more confidently after a procedure we have performed. It’s a very gratifying process to be involved with.
Q: What are the most popular procedures during this time of year? Why do you think that is?
JW: During the winter months we get very busy doing breast and body procedures. Breasts tend to start looking their best about 3-6 months after surgery. So winter surgery makes sense for patients who want to look great in bikinis and summer clothes. We find that our body contouring patients often need 2-3 weeks of recovery time before they go back to work. Many people find it easier to miss work during the winter holidays.
Q: What do you take away from your experience as a mentor and teacher for plastic surgery residents at NYU and Cornell?
JW: One of the things I like to focus on with people I am mentoring is the magnitude of the responsibility we have. Our patients put a tremendous amount of trust us. We have to honor that trust and make sure that we put every effort into making sure each patient gets the best possible outcome.
Q: If you weren’t a plastic surgeon, what profession would you pursue?
JW: My mom is a great cook. I grew up in our kitchen watching her put beautiful dishes together. So I’ve had a love for cooking and eating since I was a young kid. One of my best childhood friends is a professionally trained chef and we’ve talked about opening a restaurant. The odds of that are pretty small, but it’s a fun idea.
Q: Do you have any particularly memorable testimonials that you’d like to share with our readers?
JW: During my first year of practice I had a patient come in to discuss a tummy tuck procedure. She was so nervous she cried when we got to the physical exam portion of her consultation. She said she was embarrassed by the way she looked and never undressed in front of anyone, which was having a major impact on her personal life. She underwent a tummy tuck and liposuction procedure. She came in for her routine postoperative appointments and everything healed well. Three months later I received a three page letter from her in which she told me how transformative the procedure had been for her. She was so excited to fit into clothes the way she had always hoped to, was going out on weekends with her friends instead of staying home, and had started dating again after several years of being too self-conscious. She shared how the procedure had changed her life, and it was beyond flattering to have been a part of that transformation.
Finesse Plastic Surgery
1441 Avocado Ave Ste 301
Newport Beach, CA 92660
Finesse Plastic Surgery’s Dr. West Gives Locale the Scoop
Raised in Orange County, Alana loves all things local: hikes in the canyons and by the coast, runs in Corona Del Mar, and stories from the people who live in Orange County. With an English Literature degree from California State University, Long Beach, she is excited to join LOCALE Magazine and its love for local heartbeats.