On The Cutting Edge

CaloSpa (2 of 15) editedIt’s no secret that Dr. Brad Calobrace – along with the entire team at Calobrace & Mizuguchi Plastic Surgery Center and CaloSpa Rejuvenation Center – has been a leader in plastic surgery in Louisville. His lush East End office is absolutely singular and indeed highly respected throughout the community. The work Calobrace and his team are doing is without question of superior quality, but what so many do not know is how paramount the practice is on a national level – how truly significant it is for the frontier of plastic surgery. Calobrace isn’t only a world-class surgeon but also a man dedicated to education, expansion and wondrous innovation.

Calobrace graduated from Indiana University School of Medicine and completed general surgery and plastic surgery residencies at the University of Southern California. He then completed a cosmetic and breast surgery fellowship at the Institute of Aesthetic and Reconstructive Surgery with Dr. G. Patrick Maxwell. He has been in private practice since 1997 and is now a key opinion leader in breast surgery. He is involved at any major meeting about breast or plastic surgery, usually serving as a speaker or lecturer or performing live surgery.

“I spend a lot of time in leadership in plastic surgery, and I think that adds to the credentials of this practice,” he affirms. “It’s something we don’t talk about a lot, but I think it comes back to the fact that what we do here is authentic and real. We want to be leaders in plastic surgery nationally and locally.”

CaloSpa (18 of 19)Part of how Calobrace achieves that goal is by bringing in other associates who live up to his superbly high standards. Dr. Nana Mizuguchi came on as Dr. Calobrace’s first associate in 2006, and the practice is about to welcome a new addition: Dr. Chet Mays. Similarly ambitious to Calobrace, Mays has high aspirations that include operating on a national level with writing, publishing and educating. Calobrace is particularly excited that Mays, who arrives August 1, will be able to offer some insurance-covered services at the practice. As Lee Ann Tejeda, a patient from Lexington, describes, “Even if you don’t see Dr. Calobrace himself and you see one of the other physicians, you know they’re going to be great because he demands quality and he’s so meticulous. No matter who you’re going to run into there, they’re top-notch in their field.”

Additionally, Calobrace’s eagerness to work non-surgical services into his practice has proven to be exceedingly wise from the very beginning. “One of the things I did right in building this practice was embracing non-surgical ways of rejuvenation,” he insists. “It was in the time of the economic downturn. Plastic surgery surgical services went down 10 percent in that period of time, but what did grow was plastic surgery non-surgical services. I just had this big building – this big investment, and plastic surgery was down. But we got busy here because we had embraced the non-surgical. People couldn’t afford or didn’t want to ask off time for work to have a face-lift, but they could afford a little Botox, a little filler, a little CoolSculpting. So we continued to grow even in the midst of that time.”

CaloSpa (7 of 15)But the practice’s national status is also due to Calobrace’s unwavering dedication to new technology. “I think that’s what the practice is about in a lot of ways – being big enough that we can bring in new technologies and really provide Louisville the latest in technology,” he asserts. “In my physician statement from years ago, one of the ideas in it – because I trained in Los Angeles and was going to Louisville – was to bring the West and East Coasts into the Midwest and to bring the latest technologies here.”

And part of that is sorting out which new technologies the practice can implement permanently and which are extraneous. “We like to be early-adopters,” Calobrace describes, “which means we try to understand if new technology has real merit and then continue to use it – or get rid of it. Because not everything works.”

Something that is working and is just an example of what sorts of things Calobrace is able to accomplish thanks to his drive and work ethic is Cellfina, a new service targeted at treating cellulite. “I used to say all the time that if I could find the cure for stretch marks and cellulite, I could retire because every woman has some level of one of those things,” he maintains. “And we’ve never really had great ways of treating them, so what’s nice about Cellfina is that it’s a technique to go through and obliterate some of those dimples that are cellulite. And it’s done under local, so no anesthesia – it’s really a procedure not a surgery. And it can complement liposuction and some of those other things that we do. But it’s really hitting an area we haven’t had good treatments for in the past, which is really exciting.”

CaloSpa (4 of 15)In addition to Calobrace’s pure dedication, the practice’s ability to be on the forefront of offering services like Cellfina speaks greatly to the company’s national importance and what it is bringing to Louisville and, more broadly, the Midwest. “When I go to national meetings, we absolutely are doing more than most of our colleagues in California and New York,” Calobrace contends. “There’s nothing that they know that we don’t know because we are leading the way. So the concept that you have to go to New York or the West Coast to really get the newest technologies is from the past – it’s not true at all.”

And Calobrace has been able to achieve this magnitude of national importance because, on his deepest personal level, he is a man committed to growth. He never settles and always looks ahead to how he can make something better. “I think just me and my personality – once I’ve accomplished something, I’m looking for something else in front of me that I’m not sure I can do,” he explains. “It’s the doubt of knowing whether I can actually accomplish it mixed with trying to prove to myself that I can. But I must say, when I look at my career now, I sometimes see myself at meetings where everyone sees me as the opinion leader on breast surgery and I think, ‘I wonder how I got here.’”

CaloSpa (5 of 15)This undeniable dedication and commitment is evident in every area of his practice. For example, in the last three years, he has taken only one week of vacation. And that relentless drive is absolutely evident to his patients. Lee Ann Tejeda first had a breast augmentation by Calobrace in 2005, and for the last 11 years has had nothing but positive experiences. “I go to them for other services such as Botox, fillers, those types of things – they’re very professional but yet understanding,” she exudes. “And their bedside manner is great. I can’t say enough good things about them.”

Another patient, asked to remain anonymous, has similarly stellar things to say about her experience with Calobrace and his team. “I had a very bad experience with someone else in my very first venture into plastic surgery in 2011 – one of the worst experiences of my life,” she recounts. “So I went to Dr. Calobrace to ask him what he could do, and he told me he thought he could help. And I explained my situation, what I had gone through. So he knew that I was gun-shy and petrified of someone cutting into me again. But he helped me get through that. I came to a point where I had confidence in him and trusted him. And his staff is extremely on top of things. A doctor can be very, very good, but they also have to have very, very good staff. And everyone I’ve encountered there has been extremely professional, very personable and knowledgeable.”

CaloSpa (14 of 15)What’s fortunate for the future of plastic surgery too is Calobrace’s passion for education – he will hopefully be able to impart his masterful ways onto the next generation. He is a faculty member at both UofL and UK and hosts fellows and residents with significant frequency. Furthermore, his practice often welcomes visitors from out of the country to observe the team in action and witness what goes into the making of a world-renowned plastic surgeon.

Without question, Dr. Brad Calobrace is on the cutting edge of plastic surgery. He is not only incredibly intelligent but also charming and charismatic, the kind of guy you want to sit and talk with. A true passion for his work shines through in every conversation, as does his friendly and amiable spirit. The specific work does not drive Calobrace but rather the ambition – the ambition to be a leader, to be a pioneer, to be the absolute best. And with his practice having situated itself so prominently in the national plastic surgery landscape, Louisville is fortunate to have not only such a remarkable and renowned surgeon in town but also a practice that speaks simultaneously to the knowledge of the present and the splendor of the future. VT

Photos by ZACHARY ERWIN