Dr. Robin Lindsay, a facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon at Mass. Eye and Ear, became interested in medicine at the early age of 15, after her grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer. “I really witnessed the profound impact that physicians can have, not just on a patient’s quality of life, but on an entire family’s quality of life,” Dr. Lindsay recalls. Her decision to specialize in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery came during her surgical rotation in medical school, when she had the opportunity to work with highly-trained plastic surgeons. “I fell in love with the idea of tackling complex reconstructive issues. Since no two faces are exactly the same, every procedure needed to be fine-tuned for each individual patient. I absolutely loved that challenge,” Dr. Lindsay remembers.
A Board-Certified member of Mass. Eye and Ear’s Facial and Cosmetic Surgery Center, Dr. Lindsay sees patients of all ages for both cosmetic and reconstructive issues. “I perform reconstructive surgery for patients suffering from the full spectrum of facial issues and traumatic deformities, such as nasal obstruction, microtia (an underdeveloped ear), vascular abnormalities, and auricular (ear) trauma,” Dr. Lindsay explains. “I also provide a full range of facial cosmetic services such as brow lifts, Botox®, face and neck lifts, fillers, and Otoplasty (surgically re-shaping the outer ear).”
Dr. Lindsay’s background in facial plastics and reconstructive surgery goes beyond her work at Mass. Eye and Ear. Before returning to Mass. Eye and Ear as a member of the Facial and Cosmetic Surgery Center, Dr. Lindsay was on active duty in the navy for twelve years. During that time, she cared for wounded warriors and performed facial reconstruction for those suffering from facial disfigurement. Dr. Lindsay remarks, “I really recognized the human cost of facial disfigurement while I was completing my head and neck residency in the military. Restoring patients’ quality of lives became so much more real during that time.”
She fondly remembers one of her patients who was able to resume a fulfilling and full life after he was seriously injured on active duty. “When I first met this patient, he had been seriously injured with severe facial fractures and was intubated, with a poor prognosis. Thankfully, he gradually recovered, and we were able to correct his disfigurement through a series of reconstructive procedures,” Dr. Lindsay explains. “I still hear from his family and him from time to time. He is enjoying life and able to take part in the activities he loves, such as skydiving and bungee jumping. Being able to restore a patient’s quality of life is such an incredible feeling. It’s why I became a physician in the first place.”
Dr. Lindsay stresses that working in a world-class academic institution like Mass. Eye and Ear truly allows her to provide the highest level of care to her patients. “The wealth of knowledge and level of cross-training that exists at Mass. Eye and Ear is just amazing. I’m able to collaborate with highly specialized physicians in every discipline. This allows me to not only provide the best level of care to patients, but to also help those patients suffering from extremely complicated and complex conditions,” Dr. Lindsay remarks.
Dr. Lindsay’s highly personalized approach allows her to truly connect with each of her patients. She explains, “I think it’s so important to sit down with my patients and discuss their individual goals and expectations. This allows us to really work together as a team, to make sure their goals are met.” This personalized approach has allowed Dr. Lindsay to build strong relationships with her patients. She concludes, “It’s so rewarding to meet new patients who have been referred by family or friends because of a positive experience they had at Mass. Eye and Ear. It really demonstrates the outstanding level of care that our physicians provide day after day.”
Dr. Michael Fattal credits the residents during medical school who, knowing his interest in otolaryngology, involved him in every aspect of patient care as much as possible. Not many medical students have the opportunity to assist in the repair of complex facial lacerations in the emergency room.
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