Cosmetic surgery is a rapidly evolving field that’s grown indelibly more accessible in the last decade through technological advancement. That means surgeons around the world are stepping up their game to make sure complicated surgeries made possible by technology are safe. Dr. Sameer Jejurikar is one of those surgeons.
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to make sure operations are safe, especially in plastic surgery where the desires, needs, and bodies of patients vary widely. But that’s hasn’t deterred plastic surgeons around the world who are putting their best, and most innovating feet forward to address some of the longstanding challenges in the field.
Sameer, or Sam, Jejurikar is a Dallas based surgeon whose lead the charge on safety efforts over the past few years. He’s one of the most well-known doctors in Texas and became a member of the Dallas Plastic Surgery Institute after stints at the Baylor Medical Center, Dallas Day Surgery Center, Forrest Park Medical Center and Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas.
He has also gained international recognition for his leadership and public speaking, recently attending the The 97th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Plastic Surgery in Seattle and the 2018 Dallas Cosmetic Surgery and Medicine Meeting. These are some of the largest conferences in the plastic surgery field and Dr. Jejurikar was named an honored guest and invited to present his work on cosmetic safety to other esteemed professionals.
In a recent interview with CEOCFO Magazine, Dr. Jejurikar discussed his goals as a surgeon and his ambition to blend innovation with practicality in his work. “Plastic Surgery truly is a blending of art and science. The science part is obvious. Without a thorough and complete knowledge of human anatomy, no plastic surgeon could do what he does. The artistry really comes out in attention to detail,” Jejurikar said.
“There’s beauty in Beauty in many ways can be broken down into a series of mathematical ratios, whether or not we recognize it. These ratios come into play in facial aesthetic surgery as well as in breast and body contouring surgery, particularly when trying to transform the female body to make it more curvaceous,” he added.
Jejurikar is best known for his push to make safety a priority for gluteal augmentation surgeries, also known as the Brazilian Butt Lift. “I first did the operation more than 10 years ago, before it had gained widespread popularity in this country. The results were good, and soon, I started getting more patients through word of mouth. Once the operation really became popular in this country, I essentially had a head start on everyone else in the community,” Dr. Jejurikar said.
“I’ve stayed busy doing this operation because I’m truly passionate about it. As far as I can tell, this is pretty much the only operation we do that makes fat desirable. With this procedure, I can move fat from unwanted places and put it in a place where people actually like it. As they gain weight, the transplanted fat grows and actually makes their butts look bigger and rounder. This is the only circumstance of which I know when gaining fat actually improves your appearance,” he added.
This surgery can be risky because it requires grafting, which, which is achieved by moving fat from one location on the body to another. On rare occasion, this can create an embolism when fat tissue gets caught in a blood vessel. Although this doesn’t happen often, it can be potentially hazardous to the patient.
If there is a problem during the operation, it could prevent normal oxygen delivery to the lungs. This could cause death in an estimated 1 in 2500-6000 cases, making it more dangerous than any other operation in plastic surgery.
“These deaths are preventable and, with more experience, a surgeon becomes more familiar with safe technique,” Jejurikar said.
Because surgeries like the Brazilian Butt Lift can be precarious, operations require a high level of vigilance and training from doctors. That’s something Dr. Jejurikar is working to highlight in his workshops and trainings like those in Dallas and Seattle earlier this year. The push for safety has been a collaborative effort between Jejurikar and other leading professionals in the field. Many of the top name in the industry have teamed up as part of the Multisociety Gluteal Fat Grafting Task Force.
The group is a powerhouse team of board certified plastic surgeons who have been working hard over the past year to take some of the question marks out of surgeries like the Brazilian Butt Lift. Along with his colleagues, Jejurikar’s discussions help inform doctors working in the field about the risks associated with different surgeries, and how to prevent them. The group has only been formally working together for a short time but they’ve already made major moves to set up workshops around the world.
They work in collaboration with the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons and the International Federation for Adipose Therapeutics and Science. The task force is focused on protecting patients by training professionals to protect against complications.
Those meetings included hands on activities for doctors, including a cadaver lab for attendees to learn about new techniques and see first-hand how they should be put in to practice. Jejurikar was invited as an honored guest and spoke to other plastic surgeons as well as otolaryngologists, oculoplastic surgeons, dermatologists, residents, nurses and nurse practitioners working in the field.
Safety in these procedures is becoming especially important as plastic surgery becomes more popular with more doctors starting to practice certain procedures. In cosmetic surgery, specialties from other fields have started to offer services that used to be reserved solely for plastic surgeons, resulting in more cosmetic surgeons who aren’t always directly trained on how certain operations should be done.
“With more experience, a surgeon becomes more familiar with safe technique…. We’ve had a lot of productive dialogue and very soon will be able to offer some specific guidelines to surgeons throughout the world, which hopefully will limit preventable deaths moving forward,” Jejurikar said.
“We’ve had a lot of productive dialogue and very soon will be able to offer some specific guidelines to surgeons throughout the world, which hopefully will limit preventable deaths moving forward.
Fat grafting procedures are among the surgeries growing quickly in popularity, making specific training for these types of procedures especially important. Augmentation procedures like the Brazilian butt lift as well as breast augmentation with fat, or facial rejuvenation often require stem cell injections.
“By adding that fat to the buttocks and outer thighs, I can generate volume and curves. The combination of waist cinching and fat addition to the buttock and thighs can create a curvy body shape that patients previously could only dream about. We can transform a patient with a boxy or square shaped frame into one with an hourglass silhouette,” Jejurikar told CEOCFO.
Augmentation is often seen as a more beneficial alternative to implants because fat is rich in adult stem cells, giving it restorative and regenerative properties. However, if injections with fat are not done properly, those benefits can turn in to scary health risks. One of the specific skills Jejurikar and his colleagues teach in their trainings is the proper way to do these injections to prevent medical risks.
Although it’s becoming more popular, Jejurikar also wants to make sure people have a realistic understanding about what the procedure can accomplish and what it can’t.
“In my opinion, there are two big misconceptions with Brazilian Butt Lifts. The first is achieving realistic results with the procedure. Patients often come to me with wish pictures of celebrities or other people from the Internet. So often, the patients are overweight whereas the people in the wish pictures are thin. Often, the desired results are super tiny waists and massive buttocks. For patients that are obese, this is not achievable. Liposuction, which is a big part of Brazilian Butt Lifts, is great for sculpting areas of problem fat; it can’t make someone skinny. If a patient is overweight and wants to be smaller, great results only come from losing weight first and then having liposuction,” he said.
Along with educating patients about the risks of the procedure, Jejurikar also wants to help them make informed decisions about their health and their body. That goes hand in hand with education for doctors to mare they can clearly explain to their patients how the procedure works. Jejurikar and his team in the task force hope that making doctors in the field more informed about these specific details of augmentation procedures can better prepare doctors who are entering the field.
Because plastic surgery has become so popular, it’s an incredibly competitive field for new doctors, pushing some to attempt procedures that they are not prepared to do. Beyond high caliber medical schools and residencies, these kinds of procedures require a careful understanding for specific tools and tricks of the trade, which aren’t always taught in unspecialized programs.
“Some of them undoubtedly do good work, the training required to become a cosmetic surgeon is not nearly as rigorous as to become a plastic surgeon. Unfortunately, most people in the public do not recognize the difference between the two specialties,” Jejurikar said.
For Jejurikar and the task force, training is one way to present a realistic view of the technical skills and specialization required to be an expert completing these complicated surgeries.
“I am proud to be one of the members representing the ASPS. Our goal is to come up with specific recommendations to guide surgeons to perform this procedure effectively and safely. In addition to making preliminary recommendations, the aim of the committee is to perform anatomic studies to help guide surgeons select appropriate access incisions for fat injection, as well as appropriate angles of injection and planes of injection,” Jejurikar said.
Dr. Jejurikar has earned his chops in the field over time, working extensively in the Dallas-Plano area and around the country. He started becoming interested in medicine in an early age which later lead him to pursue a dual undergraduate/ graduate degree at the University of Michigan, one of the top 25 medical schools in the country. Jejurikar went on to complete his residency in plastic surgery after spending time specializing in aesthetic surgery at the Manhattan Ear, Nose and Throat hospital.
“I knew in medical school that I wanted to be a plastic surgeon because, early on, I recognized that, as a plastic surgeon, I could bring ideas to life every single day. I have the amazing opportunity to discuss with people, on a daily basis, the things they most want to change about their appearance. It may be a woman wanting a smaller tummy after pregnancy, an older man wanting to look more youthful, or a patient wishing to have a bigger butt. Regardless of their complaint, I get to help that patient figure out a plan that will correct what’s bothering them, whether it’s a tummy tuck, Botox or a Brazilian Butt Lift. I then get to perform a procedure on that patient and, over the ensuing weeks, I get to see our surgical plans come to fruition. It’s really a magical thing and I get to experience it every day,” Jejurikar said.
Dr. Jejurikar is professionally trained in cosmetic surgery on the face, body and breasts as well as gluteal augmentation. He’s consistently been recognized extensively through his 21 years in the field for the quality of his work in Texas. He has received awarded for his compassion and client satisfaction, as well as quality in his surgical procedures and published work.
“It’s exhilarating to make a positive change in someone’s life, regardless of whether its through an act of kindness or through performing surgery. It makes you feel as though you’ve truly made the world a better place,” Jejurikar said.
His research has been published by the Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, the Aesthetic Surgery Journal, Annals of Plastic Surgery, the Journal of Surgical Research, and Microsurgery. He is a member of the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Dallas Society of Plastic Surgeons, American Board of Plastic Surgery, American Medical Association and Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Society.
When he’s not working in Dallas or organizing workshops around the country, Jejurikar is often volunteering his medical expertise on medical trips abroad. Earlier this year, he went on a mission trip to Bangladesh through the nonprofit Smile Bangladesh that’s focused on providing services to people with cleft lip deformations in the developing world.
Cleft lip and cleft palate are birth defects that affect the formation of a baby’s mouth and lips. These deformations often result from a mother’s malnutrition during pregnancy. They can affect a child’s ability to eat, speak and regularly attend school. There are an estimated 30,000 children with these deformations born in Bangladesh each year. Jejurikar has made numerous trips with the organization which often goes to Bangladesh and Sri Lanka to help those who can’t afford surgeries on their own.
This all adds up to a lot of long hours for Jejurikar, but that’s made him one of the most recognizable names in cosmetic surgery. His personal philosophy follows the 10,000 hours rule of Malcolm Gladwell – the idea that practice makes perfect through years of work. Through this, he’s become an authoritative voice on safety and is making major advances in a field where it’s not always easy to know the right answer. Jejurikar has long heralded customer satisfaction as his main game and he’s proven that through his holistic desire to make plastic surgery safe for everyone.
Dr. Jejurikar fruitful career is only complemented by his success as a husband and father, living in Dallas where he and his family have solidly put down roots. Some of his favorite Dallas spots include the Arboretum, Perot Museum of Nature and Science, and the Texas State Fair.
Being a surgeon and a family man is a balancing act but one Jejurikar said brings him great joy. It means knowing when to call it a day at the office and be fully engaged as a father and husband. He often takes trips to New York City with his kids and took his wife on a birthday trip to Paris.
He’s been able to keep his family, two teenagers and a toddler, a priority through his philosophy of balance and perspective that build a happy life. He often travels for leisure with his family and enjoys his life in Dallas where he has lived and worked for the past nine years.