In Ottawa

By Dr. Howard Silverman

Dear faithful readers,

It has been a long time since my last communique! I have been very busy these past months, and that brings me to my topic today. What has kept me so busy?

I am very excited to announce the much-anticipated upcoming opening of my freestanding full-service Surgery Centre at Ottawa Plastic Surgery (OPS)! Opening my own facility has been a dream of mine for most of my career, but the timing and circumstances never seemed to line up. The Covid-19 pandemic was the push that I needed, as it became clear to me that the hospitals that I have operated in for the past 24 years were becoming very overburdened with shut-downs and surgical wait lists, and that I could no longer count on them to reliably support my private cosmetic surgical practice. Doug Ford’s recent announcement to form alliances with private surgical facilities would imply that the government agrees. As such, I made the decision to obtain a building at 1750 Bank Street in Ottawa’s east end two and a half years ago, and have been working very hard to build a state-of-the-art surgical facility that will offer a comprehensive surgical experience, including two shiny new well-equipped operating rooms that can offer general anesthesia, a large recovery room to accommodate and care for our patients, and even free parking! This means that you will be able to have a consultation, plan your surgery, receive your surgical procedure, recover, and attend all of your follow-up visits and aesthetic treatments in one beautiful spot!

This proved to be a huge undertaking. I had no idea how complex operating room construction would be and was truly stunned by the technical expertise and coordination that was required to plan, design, build, and supply such a project! Two years later, it seems that we are approaching the finish line. I am eternally grateful to my amazing team that has worked tirelessly to approach our anticipated opening at the end of March this year. Among many, many others, I wish to thank Sam Firestone of Marcus & Millichap real estate, who helped me find my dream building, Samantha Schneider, Paul Chartrand, James Hawley, and the fantastic team at Simmonds Architecture, all of the talented engineers at Cleland Jardine and Vanderwesten & Rutherford, Bryan Bolger, James Michener and Kyle Stryker from Steris (surgical systems), and Sean Lundy, Jeremy Montgomery and Gabriel Brown and the whole team from Lundy Construction, as well as their incredible and diverse team of gifted subcontractors who transformed an old car wash/auto parts store into the unbelievable facility that will be a fixture in Ottawa for years to come. As well, I offer the greatest thanks to my truly extraordinary team at Ottawa Plastic Surgery who, as always, have made it possible for me to keep all the balls in the air and still manage my busy surgical practice, making the impossible possible. Last but far from least I must also thank my wife, Evelyn, who supported me through all of the difficult decisions we faced to even embark on this endeavour, and to tolerate my second full-time job in pushing this project through to the finish line. Thanks to all, I truly could not have accomplished any of this without you!

Having said all of this, why a private surgical facility? Why not just keep doing what you’ve done so successfully for the past 20+ years? As mentioned, I foresaw the future of health care in Ontario to be moving into a combination of public and private systems, and that if I wished to continue to offer private cosmetic surgery, I needed to have a locale to perform this work without detracting from the increasingly scarce and much needed public resources in the region. As well, having a private facility will afford me more control to provide the expert care that I wish to deliver. Throughout my practice, I have been very fortunate to work with highly skilled and dedicated doctors, nurses, and support staff at the hospitals and clinics where I have operated, and I will now be able to consolidate all these talents under one roof, with a team that is solely focused on the delivery of the very highest quality plastic surgery. This will also allow my team at OPS to have the freedom to get my patients the access to surgery that they need when they want and need it. As well, we will be able to expand our services by welcoming several new surgeons who will be joining us in the coming months. Currently, we wish to welcome the very skilled and talented Dr. Simon Frank who will join Dr. Boyd and myself and has practiced highly challenging and diverse tertiary care plastic surgery at the Ottawa Hospital for the past seven years. He is an expert in body contouring after substantial weight loss, all aspects of breast surgery including complex secondary breast surgeries and corrections and contouring of the male chest among many other procedures. We also anticipate the arrival of one of our recent Ottawa Plastic Surgical graduates who is currently completing a fellowship in San Francisco, California, and will offer facial and rhinoplasty surgery, and gender-affirming surgery. Additionally, our non-surgical services will be expanded, offering all of the great care that you have enjoyed in the past, plus more!

Our practice at OPS is proudly associated with the division of Plastic Surgery at the Ottawa Hospital and the University of Ottawa and its plastic surgical residency program, pursuing academic and educational excellence, and training and teaching the next generation of superior plastic surgeons. All our surgeons hold faculty positions, boasting two plastic surgery residency program directors, the directorship of the chief resident aesthetic surgery program, several professorships, and national profiles in plastic surgery throughout Canada. Our educational and training backgrounds are diverse and include fellowships and degrees from some of the top programs across Canada and the US, bringing an incredible concentration of expertise and support to our patients, all in one location.

As you can see, there is a lot going on at Ottawa Plastic Surgery and I really believe that if you are not moving forward, then you are moving backward. We at OPS are so excited to enter the next phase of the practice’s growth and know that the new facility at OPS will continue to offer great surgical and aesthetic care moving into the future. We look forward to welcoming you to our new site, see you there!

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