Get to Know Dr. Joyce Aycock

Welcome to my new practice!  I am so excited to invite you to our gorgeous Cherry Creek Office.  I am looking forward to providing all of my patients a more personal touch, and the time and attention they deserve.  I think it is really important to get to know my patients, so it seems only fair that they should get to know me as well.  Kicking off this blog with the top five questions patients have asked me over the past ten years:

How did you decide to become a plastic surgeon?

It was really a case of being in the right place at the right time!  I always had a special place in my heart for plastic surgeons since I had several trigger fingers as a young child and my doctor who fixed them was a plastic surgeon.  However, I never encountered any plastic surgeons during my third year of medical school, when most students select which specialty they will pursue.  I actually had plans to become a cardiologist and I took a year off to do cardiology research in Rome (bellissimo!). Our medical school dean insisted I take the board exam before I left school.  This gave me two summer months to do electives.  I spent one month in the cardiac ICU, and the second month I selected a rotation in plastic surgery at a rural hospital in upstate New York mainly because it was August and I had plans to swim in the lovely lake nearby.  Little did I know it would change the rest of my life. 

The two plastic surgeons I worked with did it all- they fixed facial fractures in a girl who had a deer go through her windshield, treated babies with cleft lips, did all manner of hand surgery, sewed up dog bites and lacerations, performed breast cancer reconstruction, removed skin cancer, and even did cosmetic procedures like tummy tucks and blepharoplasty.  I was completely hooked and the rest is history.

What is your favorite operation?

Honestly, I don’t think I can choose a favorite.  One of the things I love about plastic surgery is that we get to operate all over the body and each operation is a bit different from the last.  I love puzzles (I do the Sunday NY Times crossword almost every week) and for me the interesting part of each operation is figuring out how I will solve each person’s unique situation.  So I would say that my favorite operation is any procedure that results in a patient who is happy with her results.

You do so much drawing on people- are you an artist?

Although I will probably stick to my day job, I love art!  In college I studied photography (back in the days when we still printed out photos by hand in the darkroom), and in medical school I took figure drawing classes at the Art Students League of New York.  I spent my last maternity leave doing a series of paintings of Colorado flora to decorate our home.  I’m a huge fan of the Denver Art Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver.  I always sign up for the Octopus Initiative lottery where you can borrow one of the MCA paintings for a year, although I haven’t won yet. 

How do you have time to be a surgeon and a mom?

Well- this is definitely a challenge!  “All things have their season” and so I have learned to pay attention to whatever is truly important at the time.  So when I’m wearing my surgeon hat I’m totally engaged in being the best surgeon I can be, and as a mom I try to be fully present for my daughters.  And I have an amazing husband and super responsible and independent children.  Plus I have learned to let the little things go, which is tough because I’m a total perfectionist.   But now, if I volunteer to bring cookies to the holiday party, sorry kids, those cookies are from King Soopers.  

Are you a good surgeon?

 Yes I am!  I bring a lot of experience to the table- six years of plastic surgery training and eleven years in practice after that so I have done thousands of cases.  I am extremely meticulous and I absolutely hate complications so I do everything possible to prevent avoidable issues.  I also spent many years as a residency director teaching others to become plastic surgeons so I have spent a lot of time thinking about best practices in plastic surgery.  And the residents’ nickname for me was “The breast whisperer.”  I also feel that along with strong technical skills I try to really pay attention to what my patients are telling me because they are always the experts on themselves.

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