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Musings on the Beautiful Life

By September 7, 2022No Comments

Gisele Bundchen then and now

by Deborah Ekstrom, MD

Plastic surgeons usually come in two guises: engineers and artists (or sometimes a sprinkling of one with the other predominating). I have always been on the artist side of things although I have a streak of the engineer in that I can “fix things”. (My office staff call me Macgyver.) Yet, appreciation of all aspects of the beautiful has always been an important aspect of my life.

And while I really enjoy working with male patients, I especially enjoy making women more successful. Since science shows that persons who feel confident in their bodies have better relationships, and achieve more in their personal and professional lives, therein lies the satisfaction for me as a plastic surgeon.

I feel like every time I facilitate a woman to feel more comfortable in her skin, I have succeeded in changing her little slice of the world.

We are not talking about vanity here—–vanity is shallow, something where all of a person’s self esteem is wrapped around physical appearance.

We are not talking about pursuit of perfection either. Pursuit of perfection is about not feeling “good enough”. Plastic surgery is not in support of pursuing the unattainable ideal of “perfection”, especially since we are all already “good enough” the moment we are born. Instead, with adjusting physical appearance, I describe it as taking out that sour note from your favorite song, so you can enjoy it to its fullest. That is the goal of altering a disharmony of the body—- to create harmony.

As plastic surgeons, I think our patients would like us to best understand this desire for body harmony as just one factor in a much larger context of a woman’s life. How this all fits together is a subject that I constantly explore.

Gisele Bundchen, the supermodel, a woman sometimes objectified for her beauty and statuesque build, never aspired to be a model. She wanted to be a professional volley ball player (she was a really good athlete), or a veterinarian. The opportunity for a modeling career happened more by chance, which she then stepped into and took, leaving her home to work at age 14 because she wanted to help support her 5 sisters and parents in their little town in Brazil and because she felt challenged by the opportunity.

While Gisele is naturally beautiful, she never let it go to her head. In fact she separated her identity as a supermodel (where she often felt she was denied her voice and treated like a collection of body parts), from her true identity as a person.

Always a student of life, she transcends her work as a supermodel to describe her foundation of success based on 4 principles:
#1 Clarity–Gisele believes everything starts with a dream. Clarity provides the “direction and inner fire that gives you motivation”. She describes that “the power behind clarity is to define and understand what you want”.
#2 Focus–Gisele describes focus as saying “yes” to consistent and concentrated work effort and then taking the small action steps that carry you forward.
#3 Dedication–Gisele describes dedication as a commitment to consistently performing with excellence and saying “no” to distractions. She reports always being on time, did what was necessary and what was asked of her, even if it was modeling on an iceberg in extreme cold. She describes her dedication as giving 100% to what she was doing.
#4 Humility–Gisele does not believe that success makes you better—-or worse—than anyone else. She does not believe that she, or anyone else, deserves special treatment as a result of achieving success.

I find Gisele Bundchen to be a remarkable woman. Her approach to life inspires me to refine my focus and clarity and celebrate dedication to my work and my own principles. Above all I like her humility.

She makes me proud to be a woman.

So whether we are adjusting a disharmony of our body to feel more confident and more capable of delivering on the work and process we were put on this planet to advance, or are a naturally beautiful super model like Gisele Bundchen, we can embrace the powerful principles she has distilled from her own life to influence ours.

Gisele describes somewhat casually, but which I think is no small measure of her depth and character, how she lives and has lived always, with appreciation and gratitude for all she has been given. She is an artist and creator of her own life by guiding and managing the thoughts and appreciations that make a life rich and well lived.

So I, too, remain an artist—-an artist with a mission—-to help craft lives that stretch our potential and deliver on our destiny—–to create beautiful lives.

As we strive to attain our best selves, physically, emotionally, spiritually, and professionally, may we all live, for ourselves and others, just the same.

Love and blessings upon you all.

Spotlight on Plastic Surgery – What is Microneedling?

by John Compoginis, M.D., F.A.C.S.

Before and after of 2 microneedling sessions (actual patient of OCPS)

If you have heard the term “microneedling” it is becoming increasing popular, but has been around for some time. It is a cosmetic, minimally invasive procedure in which small diameter sterile needles are introduced throughout the top layer of skin and into the deeper layers at varying depths. The procedure can be a little uncomfortable, however at OCPS we always use a numbing cream on the skin to be treated prior to the procedure.

The small needles create small wounds on the skin which stimulate your own bodies healing cells to enter the area. The healing cells create new collagen and elastin in the area which improves skin elasticity and tone. Collagen and elastin are critical to youthful appearing skin. The top layer of epidermis is also sometimes sloughed off similar to a chemical peel which can lessen fine lines. Microneedling has been proven to improve acne scarring, burn scars some wrinkles and fine lines and most recently has been shown to improve surgical scars if treated in the first 2 months.

Expect a downtime of several days after the procedure due to, inflammation, redness and small abrasions which are normal after the procedure. Direct sunlight, and makeup should be avoided for 1-2 days after the procedure. Results are likely to last for 2-6 months after. Call us today to schedule a microneedling package!

If you want to see if you can have any part of your body improved, contact us for a consultation:

For CA, please call 949-888-9700 or visit
Or for MA location, call 508-755-4825 or visit
You can write to
Dr. Compoginis at
Dr. Bunkis at
or Dr. Ekstrom at