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: Emergency Room


4th of July Buzzkill

July 3rd, 2018 — 4:00pm

Seattle Plastic Surgeon and mother of two young adult men is a total buzzkill on the 4th of July.

Shall we limit the fireworks to glow worms this year?

For most people, the 4th of July is a nice holiday filled with family, friends, good food and maybe some good fireworks.  But……..for the plastic surgeon on call for the emergency room, the 4th of July can be a very, very busy day which continues into a very, very busy night.

I’m not on call this 4th of July and I feel kinda sorry for the plastic surgeon who is.  I know he or she will be waiting for that call to come in and treat the kid with the facial burns or a 25 year old computer programmer with a blown off finger.  The plastic surgeon won’t even be able to enjoy a brewski with his/her hamburger and potato salad because more likely than not, he/she will be working.

I love fireworks when supervised by a responsible adult and when lit by individuals who wear eye protection, long sleeves and pants and gloves.  I hate fireworks when lit by teenage boys who are by definition immortal, at least in their minds.  And if the numbers are true, the danger doesn’t end when junior turns 20 or 30 or even 40.  The most injuries occur in men over 36!  Hummmm- something to do with a Y chromosome?

Most people read about these injuries in the newspaper or hear about them on the news but this plastic surgeon and mother sees these injuries and how one lousy M-80 can ruin your musical career if it blows up in your hand or worse if it blows up in your face.

Take a look at theses stats from the Washington State Patrol and keep your eye on those teenage boys of yours.  Oh, and keep an eye on those older dudes too.  I can assure you that the plastic surgeon on call would rather not be seeing them this 4th of July.

Thanks for reading and have a happy and safe 4th of July.  Dr. Lisa Lynn Sowder

Children, Emergency Room, Hand Surgery, Plastic Surgery, Trauma

Tatty – my favorite new word

July 10th, 2012 — 4:35pm

Seattle Plastic Surgeon shares a fun word – “tatty”.

I came upon a fun word last weekend while visiting my mother.  I was out for an early morning walk and stopped to check out the beautiful display gardens in Spokane’s wonderful Manito Park.   I was admiring a lovely stand of Cone Flowers and noted instructions on trimming them back if they become “tatty”.  What a great word!  And it’s a great word for surgery. 

Tatty means shabby or unruly and we surgeons sometimes take something from tatty to tidy by cleaning and trimming.   I had a tatty to tidy moment today when I stitched up a lovely lady who dumped her bike and suffered a cheek laceration.  Her wound was ragged and dirty and looked a mess.  After some local anesthetic, a little washing away and picking out the road dirt and trimming the ragged edged it was nice and tidy and ready for stitches. 

Surgeons speak of “tidy and untidy wounds” but I am going to replace “untidy” with “tatty”,  just for grins. 

Thanks for reading!  The very easily amused (it’s a gift) Dr. Lisa Lynn Sowder.

Emergency Room, Gardening, Now That's Cool, Trauma

Meet the Tooth Fairy’s cousin – the Scab Fairy

December 20th, 2011 — 6:09pm

Seattle Plastic Surgeon tells the story of the Scab Fairy, a story that every parent needs to know.

Seattle Plastic Surgeon's scab fairy
This is the Scab Fairy. She’ll leave you a little something if you put that scabby Band-aid under you pillow.

Last week I had the opportunity to take care of a delightful little boy in the emergency room.  He had a classic childhood injury:  forehead vs coffee table.  The table won (it always does) and he needed a half dozen sutures to sew up the deep, jagged gash in his forehead. 

When he came to my office for suture removal, his suture line was scabby and crusty and this can make it hard to remove the teeny, tiny sutures.  Now little kids do not like having anyone mess with their scabs but once I told him about the Scab Fairy, he became much more enthusiastic about the whole thing.  

 You see, the Scab Fairy visits every night looking for scabby Band-aids that good little children have placed under their pillow.  Usually the Scab Fairy leaves something like a Hershey’s Kiss or even a little money.  Once one of my children scored a Pop Tart!   Once my little patient heard this, he was fine with me gently removing the Band-aid and underlying scab.  I made sure to send this home with him in a little baggie. 

 So,  all of you parents out there with active children:  There will be scabs and you need to make friends with the Scab Fairy.

 Thanks for reading!   Dr. Lisa Lynn Sowder.

Children, Emergency Room, General Health, Now That's a Little Weird, Plastic Surgery, Postoperative Care, Trauma

WHY DO PLASTIC SURGEONS LOVE PUZZLES?

January 3rd, 2011 — 9:54am

Butler, Lawrence (20071221170617328) 20080410101310078I spent New Year’s weekend with my family in a rustic ski hut. When we weren’t skiing or eating or sleeping (three of my very favorite activities) we worked a little on a gazillion piece communal puzzle. Finding that just right piece and having it fall into place is such a great feeling. It is sort of like the feeling I get when I sew up an injured patient like the one on the right. His injury looks like such a big gaping hole but actually, it’s just a puzzle. No pieces are missing; they are just out of position. Finding them and putting them back where they belong and putting in a few stitches to hold it all together can make me look and feel like a real wizard. This particular patient was one of my best emergency room cases because he was injured on the job – playing Santa!!! Ho, ho, ho. No coal for me that Christmas! Happy New Year!

Emergency Room, It's All About Me., Plastic Surgery, Trauma, Uncategorized

Back to top