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New doctor brings years of experience

Dr. David Teasley believes exciting things are about to happen in the Summit County medical community.

Having practiced for over 20 years as a plastic and reconstructive surgeon in Williamsburg, Virginia, Teasley saw a small, isolated medical community grow into something that was a blessing to residents.

With all of the talent in and around Park City, and a brand new hospital under construction, Teasley believes great things are coming.

"This is a sophisticated community, and it has the potential for a sophisticated medical community," he said.

With everything this area is able to achieve in supporting education, the arts, and recreation, there’s no reason why equal achievements can’t be made in healthcare something so vital to the happiness of a community, he said.

With years of experience on hospital and foundation boards and as a chief of medical staff at a Williamsburg hospital, Teasley is excited about the opportunity to participate in this area’s growth.

"Everyone in Park City wants to be here, that’s unique," he said.

Having opened his practice in June, he has already made himself available to the Heber Valley Medical Center, The Peoples’ Health Clinic and local surgery centers for emergency procedures.

Teasley and his wife Gail moved to Park City after a period of soul searching in which they had decided to retire here. Having had a second home in the area for some years, the Teasleys spent 11 weeks here in 2007.

The turning point came after attending a class reunion of his medical school. Ten classmates had died already, and at age 54, Teasley began fearing he might not have the time ahead of him he had assumed. The couple decided not to wait until retirement and made the move to their favorite place.

There are challenges involved in leaving a huge, established practice and starting over, but Teasley said he wants to spend the last dozen years of his career in a community he’s passionate about.

"I know more and am a better doctor than when I started earlier," he said. "I’m here full time, my practice is here and I’m available seven days a week."

Teasley believes his commitment to participating in the larger medical community is something that, unfortunately, is becoming rare for plastic surgeons.

Medical students leave school with so much debt, they prefer to enter specialized practice. Plastic surgery is such a fun, profitable practice, there is little incentive to make oneself available for outside work, he explained.

Dr. Tod Burg, chief of staff at Heber Valley Medical Center, said Salt Lake and Utah County plastic surgeons are becoming more like dentists and want patients to set appointments to come see them in their offices between 9 a.m. and 4. This has been difficult for emergency rooms.

"My experience in Heber is that (Dr. Teasley) makes himself available," he said. "We’ve had him drive over from Park City several times and used him in our ER."

One reason for Teasley’s position on this is his background. Trained as a general surgeon, Teasley had planned on going into organ transplants. Unfortunately for him, transplant specialists, by necessity, have to spend a great deal of time researching and become academics not something he was interested in.

In the early 1980s, fascinating developments were being made in the field of reconstructive and aesthetic surgery. He saw it as an opportunity to be involved in a pioneering science while still spending the majority of his time with patients.

Plastic surgery gets a bad rap from Hollywood and television, he said. The perception is that they spend all their time with the rich. All in all, cosmetic surgery only occupies about half his time.

Reconstructive surgery is used to fix burns, cleft lips and palates, and repair damage done by traumatic accidents and cancer.

Jennifer Meyer, Teasley’s assistant, said helping women who have had a mastectomy restore what cancer took from them is one of her favorite parts of her job.

And yes, they do a lot of aesthetic work. He spends about three days a week in his office performing minor treatments like hair removal, botox, and dermal fillers (the new procedure for collagen). Two days a week he performs more substantial surgeries.

But cosmetic surgery has appeal in every social and economic group and is an option for anyone who’s interested in it, he said.

One of Teasley’s favorite success stories is a 26-year-old woman he treated years ago whose self-image was seriously damaged by a large nose.

She lived at home with her mother and was a bagger at a grocery store. After the rhinoplasty, she applied her new surge in self-confidence to completing police academy and was married with children soon after.

"It was only a nose job, but it changed her world," he said.

Meyer said she loves seeing the changes that are possible in people.

"I enjoy helping people look better and reaching their goals," she said.

Teasley encourages younger people to wait until they’re fully mature before considering plastic surgery. Children can become self-conscious about their bodies or appearance quite young, but surgery must wait until they are done maturing. For women, that might not be until age 18. In regards to emotional maturity to make such a drastic change, everything must be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Dr. David Teasley, Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

1441 Ute Blvd. 220

647-5911


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