Meet a Specialist: Linda N. Lee, M.D.
Dr. Linda Lee, a Board-Certified member of Mass. Eye and Ear’s Facial and Cosmetic Surgery Center, began her career as a chemical engineer, before realizing that helping patients was her true passion in life. “I enjoyed my work as an engineer, but when I made the decision to pursue medicine, I felt so passionate about working with patients,” Dr. Lee recalls. “My decision to attend medical school was one of the best choices I have ever made.”
Choosing to focus on facial plastic and reconstructive surgery occurred later, during a rotation in her otolaryngology residency program at Harvard Medical School. “After witnessing the breadth of reconstructive and cosmetic services available, I became interested in pursuing facial plastics,” Dr. Lee notes. “Observing the dramatic improvement in a patient’s quality of life, as a result of minor reconstructive and cosmetic procedures, was just amazing. I knew I wanted to devote my career to restoring patients’ quality of lives.” Dr. Lee specializes in cosmetic procedures including facial fillers and Botox®, facelifts and rhinoplasty, as well as functional procedures including repair of skin cancer defects, treatment of trauma patients, and functional nasal surgery to improve nasal obstruction.
After completing a fellowship at Johns Hopkins University of Medicine in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery, Dr. Lee expanded her portfolio of services to include hair restoration surgery. As a member of the Mass. Eye and Ear team, she devotes much of her time to treating men and women suffering from hair loss. Dr. Lee explains, “Men and women suffering from hair loss often spend much of their lives thinking about how to hide their condition. They might spend a significantly increased amount of time styling their hair to hide bald spots or even avoid places like the beach, where water contact could make hair loss more obvious. My number one goal is to help patients not have to spend excess energy on their hair, as well as recover their self-esteem and be able to focus on other things in their daily lives.” She continues, “Hair restoration surgery techniques have advanced significantly in recent years, and relatively simple procedures to treat this condition are now available.”
To treat patients with hair loss, Dr. Lee first schedules a complimentary consultation with the patient. At the consultation, she explores the patient’s type of hair loss (including whether the condition has stabilized or is expected to worsen with time), treatments he or she has tried in the past, family history, expectations and goals, and what the patient can expect during and after hair transplant surgery. “Every prospective patient I meet is not necessarily a candidate for surgery. For example, if someone has significant scarring, hair transplant surgery could make the condition much worse,” Dr. Lee explains. “I try to help patients determine if they are the right candidate for surgery, and I try to help them make an informed, educated decision. At Mass. Eye and Ear, we’re focused on providing the best care possible to patients.”
If a patient is, in fact, a candidate for hair restoration surgery, the next step involves scheduling the outpatient procedure. “On the day of surgery, we make the patient experience as pleasant as possible,” Dr. Lee says. “Patients are able to watch television or DVD’s throughout the entire procedure, and breakfast and lunch are provided.” During the initial part of the procedure, Dr. Lee removes a donor strip from the back of the patient’s head, which is separated into individual hair follicles that are transplanted to the areas of hair loss. A suture line or scar is not visible, even immediately after this initial part of the procedure. After the hair is separated into individual hair follicles, Dr. Lee creates tiny slits on the patient’s scalp where hair is desired. The final part of the procedure involves placing each individual hair into the patient’s slits on his or her scalp. “After the procedure is complete, my patients walk out of Mass. Eye and Ear with no dressings or bandages. Patients return one week later to remove their sutures, and about two weeks later, no sign of surgery is visible. They generally see hair growth about six months to a year after surgery. I make sure my patients understand that the results occur gradually, and that the hair will grow naturally, over time. It’s a very subtle process,” Dr. Lee explains.
Dr. Lee explains that one of Mass Eye and Ear’s greatest advantages in performing hair transplant and other cosmetic procedures is the esteemed reputation of the Harvard institution and the safety of having procedures performed in a hospital setting. “Mass. Eye and Ear is a respected, world-class medical institution. Patients feel confident undergoing procedures here, because they understand that our goal is to provide the best possible treatment for them. Once a patient has had a great experience, he or she is more inclined to tell friends and family. This has resulted in a large percentage of our patient referrals.”
Dr. Lee concludes, “Our goal at Mass. Eye and Ear is to continue helping patients live rich, fulfilling lives. There is no greater feeling than knowing you have really made a difference in a person’s quality of life.”
Contact Dr. Lee’s office at 617-573-4105.
View Dr. Lee’s online bio for more information.
Request an appointment.