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I became a plastic surgeon due to wood shop class and too much television. I more-or-less randomly enrolled in a woodworking class in junior high school–and fell in love with it. By high school, I was turning jars, carving bowls, and making furniture. When I was 15, I watched a PBS NOVA special on TV featuring a plastic surgeon, Burt Brent, M.D., who had pioneered ear reconstruction by carving rib cartilage–with woodworking tools. I thought to myself, “I bet I could do that.” With my parents’ permission, I traveled to Stanford to watch Dr. Brent operate for a couple days. I had found my calling.
Ronald M. Friedman, M.D., a respected plastic surgeon based in Plano, Texas, has been consulted repeatedly by abcnews.com for his plastic surgery expertise. A board-certified plastic surgeon in private practice, Dr. Friedman is the Former Chief of Plastic Surgery at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas.
Dan Childs, the medical correspondent for ABC News Medical Unit, utilizes Dr. Friedman as a resource for breaking plastic surgery stories ranging from breast implants and liposuction to stem cell research:
Apr. 21, 2008
With regard to a recent ban on teenage plastic surgery in Australia, Dr. Friedman commented, “I agree with the concept of limiting cosmetic surgery in teenagers; however, I believe that the proposed ban is too restrictive.” But Friedman added, “Although I believe that the Australian ban is overly restrictive, it has already provided benefits: it has stimulated much-needed public discussion about teen cosmetic surgery in the United States.”
Jan. 9, 2007
Following the November 2006 approval of silicone gel breast implants by the FDA, ABC News consulted plastic surgeons from Los Angeles to New York. Dr. Friedman was quoted extensively:
“Many women are excited by the lifting of restrictions on silicone gel, but many more remain concerned about the safety of silicone gel,” Friedman says. “After $3 billion of lawsuits and a 14-year federally-mandated moratorium, it is no surprise that silicone gel remains controversial. I think that we may be sending out mixed messages by putting in silicone gel implants in the 1980s, taking them out in the 1990s, and putting them in again in the 2000s.” He went on to say, “I think that sales of silicone gel implants, while partly revived by the FDA approval, will continue to lag behind sales of saline implants for several years. There is certainly a role for silicone gel implants,” Friedman says. “However, there are definite disadvantages relative to saline.” He says that since silicone implants are pre-filled—unlike their saline counterparts, which are “pumped up” only once they are in the body—the surgeon must make a longer incision to put them in. He also voiced concern regarding the FDA’s proposed MRI surveillance of silicone gel implants: “Who will pay for this $1000-or-more test?” Friedman asks. “Certainly not the FDA, the implant manufacturers, the plastic surgeons or the patients’ insurance companies. Ultimately this expense will fall upon the patients, most of whom will simply decline to undergo MRI.”
Dec. 25, 2006
“Although the concept of adjusting up or down by a cup size sounds great, it isn’t practical. Implants are designed for a specific, narrow range of filling volumes,” said Friedman. “If implant volume is reduced to below the manufacturer’s recommended volume, the risk of deflation increases. If implant volume is significantly increased, the implant will become unnaturally firm.” “Few of my patients would be accepting of a filling port placed just beneath the skin. These ports are quite hard—think metal and rubber—and are sometimes uncomfortable.” With adjustable breast implants, “the increased risk of implant deflation due to valve failure, and dysfunction of the filling port must be considered.” The story closes: “There is no substitute for a candid discussion about desired breast implant size prior to surgery. Your first shot is your best shot,” said Friedman.
Nov 22, 2006
“Stem-cell research appears promising for medicine and particularly for plastic surgery,” said Dr. Ronald Friedman, Director of the West Plano Plastic Surgery Center and a board-certified plastic surgeon practicing in Plano, Texas.
Nov. 6, 2006
A Texas plastic surgeon performed liposuction and tummy tuck on Brooke Bates, a 12 year-old girl who weighed 220 pounds. Abcnews.com consulted seven experts for this story, including nationally-recognized plastic surgeons at UCLA, USC, the University of Pittsburgh, as well as the Former President of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.
Ronald Friedman, M.D. Director, West Plano Plastic Surgery Center. “In my practice, I rarely perform liposuction on any patient under the age of 18. I would not even consider a tummy tuck on a patient under 18. I am concerned that children and young teenagers are not emotionally prepared to make a decision of this magnitude. Any surgical scar is irreversible, and tummy tuck scars are very large. I do not perform liposuction on patients who are actively gaining weight. Although liposuction permanently removes fat cells, overeating can certainly cause the remaining fat cells to enlarge, negating the beneficial effects of the procedure.”Back To Top