Home Plastic Surgery WC alumna talk dives deep into plastic surgery – The Elm

WC alumna talk dives deep into plastic surgery – The Elm

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By Emma Russell
Student Life Editor

Dr. Sumita Saha ’00 gave a presentation titled “Inside Plastic Surgery” as a part of Washington College’s Pre-Health Program on Tuesday, Feb. 8 via Zoom.

According to an email sent by Coordinator of Pre-Health Professions Programs Phil Ticknor, Dr. Saha was an international student who graduated summa cum laude from the College with a BS in Biology and minors in both Chemistry and Psychology. She went on to earn her MD from Georgetown University. Later completed her plastic surgery residency at The Ohio State University Medical Center.

Dr. Saha is currently employed at Oaklawn Medical Group located in Marshall, Mich. where she has worked for the last 10 years as their first plastic and reconstructive surgeon.

“Let me start by saying, plastic surgery is the best medical specialty there is. If you’re going to be a doctor, then this is what you should be,” Dr. Saha said. “I get to make people beautiful, it’s the best.”

Dr. Saha’s PowerPoint presentation was filled with before and after photos of her patients to display her skills and work as a plastic surgeon.

According to Dr. Saha, plastic surgeons jobs cover a lot of different work, including healing wounds, conducting breast surgery, removing cancer, treating facial trauma, fixing congenital defects, and completing cosmetic surgery.

Dr. Saha said that much of plastic surgery consists of just “moving the skin around,” demonstrated best by the first case she shared.

A patient of Dr. Saha’s came to her after getting cancer removed from her cheek by her dermatologist, which left a large hole in its wake. Dr. Saha was able to fix this by using skin from another area on the same cheek, which was possible because, according to Dr. Saha, cheeks possess a large amount of tissue.

Dr. Saha said that many patients, including the one mentioned above, assumed the skin tissue would be taken from other parts of the body like their butt, but this is not the case. When moving skin tissue, she said it is always best to use skin close by to more closely match the skin color and texture.

The most common surgeries Dr. Saha performs are breast and breast cancer surgeries.

Dr. Saha showed an image of a male patient who suffered from gynecomastia, which is when a person has an enlarged breast on only one side of their chest.

“I made a tiny little incision right around the areola, so you can’t see the scar, and took the tissue out,” she said.

At the end of Dr. Saha’s presentation, the floor was opened for questions and sophomore Megan Somers asked how Dr. Saha figured out that she wanted to be a physician.

According to Dr. Saha, she took a few gap years and spent some time working in different facilities where she quickly grew bored and decided to pursue medical school as a “challenge,” which she doesn’t recommend students do if they are unsure about which direction in the medical field they should pursue.

“The best way to really decide which field to go into is to go to an operating room or go to a hospital and follow these people around. That’s my best advice for figuring it out because there are so many other ways to get into healthcare and you don’t have to be a physician,” Dr. Saha said.

“It’s a very demanding lifestyle, it kind of takes over your life…but it’s truly a privilege to get to do what I do every day.”

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