Blog — Notes of a Plastic Surgeon

Welcome to my blog. I am a plastic surgeon in Seattle and have been in private practice since 1991. I've seen more than a few interesting faces and cases through my years spent in the exam room, the operating room and the emergency room. And I have an opinion on just about everything relating to plastic surgery (and a lot of unrelated stuff). If you like my blog, let me know. Thanks for reading! Lisa

Category: It’s All About Me.

Mother’s Day is almost here.

May 7th, 2014 — 3:59pm

Seattle Plastic Surgeon and mother of three teenagers (!) has a gift suggestion for Mother’s Day.  She hopes her husband and children read this blog.

This robe is as soft as a kitten.

This robe is as soft as a kitten.

I recently  had to spend the better part of a day at SeaTac, Seattle’s airport, while waiting for my delayed flight to San Franscisco to attend the annual meeting of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.   Fortunately, SeaTac has a really nice terminal with lots of shops and restaurants to while away the hours and whittle away your wallet while waiting.  I happened upon this wonderful robe at a gift shop called Fireworks Gallery.  It is as light and soft and cuddly as a kitten.  I almost expected it to start purring.  This robe is at the top of my list for this Mother’s Day.

If you are interested in this robe for a wonderful mom in your life, Seattle has several Firework Galleries and it’s also available online from the manufacturer’s website :   And if the mother on your list already has a nice collections of robes, Tourance also carries a Wild Hyena Faux Fur Throw with Chocolate Rosebuds.  Sounds fun, huh?

Happy Mother’s day to all.   I’m looking forward to breakfast in bed this Sunday.  Thanks for reading!  Dr. Lisa Lynn Sowder


It's All About Me., Mommy Makeover, Stuff I love, Wardrobe Observations

Spring cleaning – why not get a head start?

March 17th, 2014 — 10:28am

Seattle Plastic Surgeon shares a clothes closet de-cluttering algorithm.

I have set aside  this coming weekend to de-clutter my clothing closet.  Since I did not spring clean last year or the year before,  this is going to be rather challenging.  Fortunately, I came across this algorithm which will help me with the process.   I will try to be strong.  Wish me luck or better yet, why don’t you de-clutter your clothes closet and we can compare notes!

Thanks for reading!  Dr. Lisa Lynn Sowder

This is from O: The Oprah Magazine, De-Clutter Your Life, March, 2014.

This is from O: The Oprah Magazine, De-Clutter Your Life, March, 2014.


It's All About Me., Wardrobe Observations

Merry Christmas!

December 23rd, 2013 — 3:29pm

Seattle Plastic Surgeon wishes everyone a Very Merry Christmas.

Seattle Plastic Surgeon wishes Merry ChirstmasThe Christmas season is always super busy in my practice.  It seems crazy to have surgery around the holidays but it is the choice of many, many patients.  They already have time off of work or school for recovery.

In my 22 years of practice, I have only taken time off around Christmas twice; once to take care of my newborn daughter and once to have surgery myself.

So Merry Christmas to everyone.  I’ll be in the operating room every day except for Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Years Eve and New Years!  It’s a good thing that I love my work!

Thanks for reading and stay tuned for some upcoming New Year’s Resolutions.

Dr. Lisa Lynn Sowder

It's All About Me.

Oh my aching back.

October 5th, 2012 — 2:50pm

Seattle Plastic Surgeon on the perils of sewing day and night for several weeks.

I’ve had a several busy in surgery which means I’ve been hunching over the operating table and putting in stitch after stitch after stitch.  Then I’ve been going home and hunching over my sewing machine hour after hour after hour.  And my back is killing me.

I’ve been working like a maniac on my daughter’s Irish Step Dancing Solo Dress.  It’s her very first Solo Dress and in state of temporary insanity, I decided to design and make it myself. 

I’ve been sewing since grade school and there was a time when I made most of my clothing.  But this dress is the most challenging project I have ever taken on.  Solo Dresses are designed to make a dancer stand out on stage.  They need to be fitted to flatter the dancer but also move a certain way with the various jumps and leaps and twirls that make up Irish Step Dancing.     And they need to sparkle and shine. 

My daughter’s dress has a midnight teal velvet bodice and a drop waist with a three layer ruffled white satin skirt with a matching cape.  Did I mention about a billion metalic seed beads and rhinestones.  Oh, and there is the lining and the underlining.  And I think I need counseling after struggling with horrors of the “invisible”  zipper. 

Mu daughter and I are traveling to Portland, Oregon tomorrow for her first competition in her new Solo Dress.  I know exactly where I will be until the wee hours tonight.  I’ll be hunched over this dress, putting on the final touches of this magnificent garment which I expect my daughter to outgrow within 3 or 4 months.   Then……I get to start making the next one!

Thanks for reading and wish my daughter (and her dress) lots of luck.  Dr. Lisa Lynn Sowder

Irish Step Dancing, It's All About Me.

July 1st is a important day for young doctors.

June 29th, 2012 — 1:33pm

Seattle Plastic Surgery explains the importance of July 1st.

If you end up in the hospital this upcoming Sunday, you may notice that some of the doctors look young, really young.  That’s because this Sunday is July 1st and that is the first day of internship for all the doctors who finished medical school in June. 

I’ll never forget my first day of internship.  I was 27 years old but looked about 15.  I was assigned to the “Blue Team” at the University Hospital in Salt Lake City.  My chief resident (that’s a resident in their last year of training) was Dr. Karen Cartwright (now a pediatric surgeon in Arizona)  and the second year resident was Dr. Richard Barton (now a surgical critical care specialist in Utah).  We also had a couple of third year medical students on the team.  We were supervised by 4 attending surgeons. 

Despite all the great training in medical school at the University of Washington with a lot of “hands on” experience, I was terrified that first day of really being a doctor.  I remember introducing myself the “Blue Team” patients and having many of them tell me that I could not possibly be old enough to be a doctor (or at least their doctor).  I remember Karen Cartwright being so kind and helpful and Dr. Richard Barton showing me ropes of “scut work”  which includes things like drawing blood, starting IVs, changing dressings, taking out stitches, etc.   And I remember that first night on call when I  ordered some Mylanta for a patient with an upset stomach.  I was so afraid that the patient would have a violent adverse reaction to this over-the-counter medication. Both the patient and I survived my first night of call.

So – if you are in the hospital on July 1st and a child in a white coat and stethascope introduces him or herself as your doctor, be assured that they have been training for years for this day and please don’t tell them how young they look.  It will just make them nervous.

Thanks for reading!  Dr. Lisa Lynn Sowder

General Health, It's All About Me.

My New Year’s Resolution

January 1st, 2012 — 9:37pm

Seattle Plastic Surgeon acknowledges that there is a bit of room for improvement.

This year I am going to keep it simple.  Not easy, but simple.

Our family does a fair amount of camping.   Those of you who also enjoy and/or endure the chaos of camping are familiar with the camping ethos of : LEAVE THE CAMPSITE BETTER THAN YOU FOUND IT.

So there it is:  I, Lisa, will leave the campsite, car interior, desk top (what a mess that always is), kitchen sink, closet, dog’s food and water bowls,  junk drawer, bread box,  garden shed, and whatever innanimate objects are subject to the forces of entropy, atrophy, apathy, inertia, and so forth, in a better condition than in which I found them.

Wish me luck, HAPPY NEW YEAR and thanks for reading.   Dr. Lisa Lynn Sowder

It's All About Me., Uncategorized

My nose knows and loves it’s Neti pot.

October 21st, 2011 — 9:50pm

Seattle Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Lisa Lynn Sowder loves her Neti Pot.

I will try really hard not to over share but …….. these dark, moist days of Seattle’s autumn bring out the worst in my nose and sinuses.   I’m allergic to just about everything a person can be allergic to (even my beloved cat, Angelo) but sometimes I think it is fall and winter I am allergic to the very most.  Prior to discovering the glorious Neti Pot and ridding our home of all carpet and the 20 bajillion dust mites it contained, I was one sneezing, coughing, pathetic and miserable sinus infection from October until May.   Just ask my husband and kids and Angelo.

Nowadays, I worship my hardwood floors, my fake down bedding and make sure to commune with my Neti Pot every morning.  And if you think having a sinus infection is miserable in itself, think how miserable it is if you have to wear a surgeon’s mask for many hours at a time!  Oh, woe was me.

If you are a fellow sufferer, don’t be a victim of your sinuses.  Get (and use) a Neti Pot.

Thanks for reading and happy breathing!  Dr. Lisa Lynn Sowder

General Health, It's All About Me., Plastic Surgery

What do plastic surgeons do for rest and relaxation?

October 18th, 2011 — 4:41pm

Seattle plastic surgeon reveals her relaxation secret:  embroidery!

I can’t really speak for all plastic surgeons, but I find taking up a needle and thread to be very, very relaxing.  And lately, I’ve been relaxing a lot.

My daughter is an Irish step dancer (think Riverdance) and her school has hand embroidered dresses for their performances and competitions.  Three years ago, I did her first dress and made sure that I made the side seams really wide so I could “let it out” as she grew.  To my surprise, she has stayed her 8- year-old width but now the dress barely covers her dance shorts so it’s time for another dress.

I was thinking that the timing was really bad with her likely headed into a major growth spurt but then again, each time I make a dress, it’s just more relaxation for me.  Last night I got to listen to Sister Sweetly, my favorite Big Head Todd and the Monsters C.D. all the way through – twice – while I power chain stitched.   Now that made for a great evening.

Thanks for reading!  Dr. Lisa Lynn Sowder

It's All About Me.

Happy sesquincentennial to the University of Washington!

October 13th, 2011 — 6:16pm

Seattle Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Lisa Lynn Sowder wishes her Alma Mater a happy 150th birthday (sesquincentennial).

The University of Washington is celebrating its 150 birthday this year.   I drive or bike by the campus frequently and always feel a pang of nostalgia for the more simple times of my college and medical school years, all spent at the UW.

During my undergraduate years, I spent my time on “upper campus” shown in this photo.  The UW has one of the most beautiful campuses in the universe, thanks to some lovely old buildings, great landscape design and our mild, maritime climate that leaves most of the campus green even in the dark days of our northern winter.  Traipsing from German class to chemistry lab was just felt like a lovely 1/2 mile walk in the garden most days.

The medical school is located on “south campus” which is a collection of modern buildings that look like they were designed by Stalin or Mao Zedong.  I always felt I should be wearing a Chairman Mao hat and calling my med school buddies “comrade”.  The saving grace of the “south campus” is the fact that it is right on the shores of Lake Union.  There’s nothing like sitting by the lake to get a little mental clarity after 2 hours in the neuroanatomy lab trying to find then memorize the location the 12 cranial nerves.

So happy birthday University of Washington.  The times were great, the tuition cheap (really, it was) and the education was outstanding!

Thanks for reading!  Dr. Lisa Lynn Sowder

Gardening, It's All About Me.

It’s time for the cowgirlfriends roundup.

September 17th, 2011 — 12:10am

Seattle Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Lisa Lynn Sowder blogs about her annual cowgirlfriends round up at Montana’s Chico Hot Springs.

This weekend, I get to fly to Montana to spend a few days with my girlfriends from high school.  We call it the Cowgirl Roundup.   I am the only one of us that does not ride horses (never have, never will) but I have the coolest cowboy boots.  We spend our days hiking and soaking in the gigantic pool and our evenings marveling at the Montana night sky and catching up with each others’ crazy,  busy lives.

All five of us have gone into the health care field (we all liked chemistry!).   Patty’s a veterinarian, Stacey is an R.N., Ginny is a nutritionist and Janice runs an ultrasound department.  Crazy, huh?    It’s really fun to compare notes about our careers (and all the other stuff) but what’s really fun is to remember all those fun times we together before we became responsible health care professionals.  I am so grateful to have these great pals to unwind with once a year.  I hope all of you are so lucky.

Thanks for reading.  Dr. Lisa Lynn Sowder

It's All About Me., Uncategorized

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