Bala physician breaks new ground in plastic surgery

87655257This story was especially interesting to me on a personal level, as my Mother and sister are breast cancer survivors.

My sister Jill had the same type of surgery that Dr. Pollard performs. Her oncologist and plastic surgeon participated in a two-tiered procedure that ensured the only thing missing when she awoke was cancer cells.

Dr. Pollard, rare as a female, African American plastic surgeon, says she can understand where her patients are coming from when they want to subtly enhance their natural curves or undergo a breast reconstruction following a mastectomy or other procedure. And this means the world to her patients, who are mostly women.

Nicola Foggie had to have her cancerous breast removed in 1998. She was only 38.459645697

“Being a woman in America, your breasts are everything to you,” Foggie said. Fortunately, she found a skillful surgeon and a sympathetic ear in Dr. Emily Pollard of Bala Cynwyd.

Today, Foggie is enthusiastic about her transition from breast cancer patient to breast cancer survivor.

“She really, really cares about her patients,” she said of Pollard. “It was a very emotional time.” Pollard’s ability to “perform it so expertly meant the world to me.”

[pullquote align=”left|center|right” textalign=”left|center|right” width=”30%”]Pollard said her gender gives her a sympathetic perspective.[/pullquote]

According to Pollard, “every day people are having plastic surgery and discussing it “more openly.” But her “reality-based” plastic surgery won’t make you look plastic. Or put you in the poorhouse. These are two of the biggest myths about her craft, she explained.
“We’re not into ‘extreme’ plastic surgery,” she said of herself  and her associates at Philadelphia Plastic Surgeons, PC. “We can make you look better in and out of your clothing” and “improve your contour.”

Board-certified in general and plastic surgery, Pollard concentrates on plastic surgery because she can achieve tangible results. “After a while in surgery,” she said, “I wanted that next step.”

Breast surgery constitutes the bulk of her practice. Procedures range from $3,000 to $6,000 and, with the exception of augmentations, are increasingly covered by health insurance companies.

Ironically, the client base is  almost entirely female, and m101141243ost surgeons are male. Pollard said her gender gives her a sympathetic perspective.

“I can empathize with them when they’re having trouble with their hips or their tummy,” Pollard said.

She’s also a rarity as an African-American female surgeon. Pollard estimated there are “probably less than 30 board-certified African American women” plastic surgeons in the U.S.

Foggie said her initial visit was reassuring because of Pollard’s patience in answering her and her mother’s questions and her professionalism. Reassuring photographs of past reconstructions convinced Foggie to procee178756821d with the surgery.

Pollard and her breast surgeon, Dr. Diane Gillum, collaborated in a 7-1/2 hour procedure. Foggie never had to wake up without a breast.

With a $5 co-pay and the support of Aetna U.S. Healthcare, she received a new breast and a simultaneous “tummy tuck.” The tissue Pollard used to reconstruct her breast, she explained, was taken from her abdominal area. Read more…200288381-001

Reprinted with permission from Main Line Life.