Brett Baker, M.D.

Brett Baker, M.D.

Plastic Surgeon

Charlotte, NC,- Southpark and Concord

Dr. Baker grew up in western North Carolina and attended Wake Forest University for both undergraduate and medical school. During this time, he was drawn to the lifesaving interventions of general surgery. With a plan to be a trauma surgeon, he moved to Charlotte to complete his rigorous general surgery residency at CMC, now Atrium Health. During this time, Dr. Baker participated in cancer resection surgeries that ultimately led Dr. Baker to pursue plastic and reconstructive surgery at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, consistently ranked as one of the top hospitals in the country.

At the Cleveland Clinic, Dr. Baker participated in thousands of complex plastic surgeries, including pediatric craniofacial, hand and upper extremities, rigorous microsurgical reconstruction for cancer and traumatic injuries of the head and neck, extremities, and breast. He also trained and participated in extensive cosmetic and aesthetic surgery of the face, breast, and body with some of the country’s most renowned cosmetic surgeons; including Drs. Guyuron, Zins, and Totonchi.

Dr. Brett Baker in a suit with a purple tie

It is truly a privilege to be invited into patients’ lives in such an intimate and impactful way. Creatively exploring personalized surgical and non-surgical options that will achieve best possible outcome makes this work both exciting and fulfilling. It’s an honor. I saw both the physical and psychological improvement that came from restoring natural form and function with plastic and reconstructive surgery after cancer resection or traumatic injury. It was often the psychological improvement that was the most satisfying. It’s not a ‘big ask’ to want to feel like the best version of yourself. Whether it is a rejuvenating procedure such as a face lift, a functional restoration procedure after massive weight loss, or a rhinoplasty on a youthful patient, it is the increase in self-confidence that is the most rewarding as the surgeon.

Training with some of the best plastic surgeons in the country, Dr. Baker gained an appreciation for the technical skill and attention to detail that separated a good from great surgical outcome in cosmetic surgery. Dr. Baker saw the impact that aesthetic procedures can have on a patient’s self-confidence.

When not in the office, Dr. Baker can be found with his wife and three boys as they rambunctiously explore team sports, water sports, fly fishing and the great outdoors.

An Interview With Dr. Baker

I grew up in the small Western North Carolina town of Morganton, NC. 

I went to college and medical school at Wake Forest University in Winston Salem, NC. Go Deacs! I completed general surgery training at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, NC, followed by plastic surgery training at The Cleveland Clinic in Cleveland, OH.

I specialize in procedures of the body, breast, and face. Experiencing life through an aging and aesthetic lens firsthand through my own loved ones makes me realize how important some of these procedures really are for increasing self-confidence. I enjoy rejuvenating facial plastic surgery cases such as facelifts and blepharoplasties. I’m married with three children myself. Women endure a lot in motherhood. I get a front-row view of what women do to try to look and feel their best. There are some things we can control with diet and exercise, but some things are entirely out of our control. I’m really enjoying postpartum procedures such as breast mastopexy and augmentation and abdominoplasty, as well as body contouring after weight loss. 

These are both life and body-changing procedures; they’re not insignificant. They’re a big deal. I need patients to be honest in sharing their desires so that we can explore all surgical or non-surgical options. It’s also important to me that for a patient’s overall success, they aren’t chasing something and that a procedure as serious as surgery isn’t a band-aid for something else. Let’s achieve the best version of his/herself and not someone else. They need to trust me, and I need to trust that we are on the same page. If we have open and honest communication, we’ll achieve great outcomes together. That’s my philosophy. So far, we’re doing it. 

I have done countless internal surgeries with internal stitches you would never see. It is very rewarding, lifesaving work; however, there is something very different between a hernia repair and an abdominoplasty. Choice. Our patients ultimately choose to have these procedures, leading to a different physician/patient dynamic. I was first drawn to plastic surgery because it combined artistic creativity, problem-solving, and attention to detail that each plastic surgery patient requires. I then became a plastic surgeon because interacting with a very motivated and appreciative patient population is rewarding on a daily basis. 

Most of us end up needing medical care at some point, either for ourselves or our family members. I imagine that it is easy to feel lost in the medical system in a patient-physician relationship. Feeling like you don’t have control and that there’s only one way to solve a problem. In plastic surgery, because it is a choice, in many ways, the patient is in the driver’s seat. They know where they want to go; we give them the possible routes to get there, and ultimately, they choose. These conversations can be stimulating and rewarding because there are often multiple ways to address the same concern. I really enjoy this dynamic. 

I don’t know that there are any specific methods or “tips and tricks.” I just never gave up. I also have an incredible support system in my family that kept me focused and supported me through the long and challenging road to becoming a physician. I am surrounded by people that just “get it.” They know it’s hard, and sometimes you have to be selfish in achieving your goals. I’m a lucky guy. I’m also very driven. I’m not sure that my support system would have hung through it all if they didn’t believe in me. Ultimately, I believe I was always there and available to be a helping hand, trustworthy, and teachable yet confident. Still am. 

My wife would say that I like a Saturday lunch and a nap. When not operating, I am spending time with my 3 boys (nearly 9, 6, and 2) and my wife as we experience team sports (soccer and basketball currently), do all the water sports on the lake, or enjoy the outdoors hiking or flyfishing. I’m also pretty proficient at slow-cooking a pork butt, and I’m working on mastering a homemade wood stove pizza. My wife is also super into gardening these days, so I’m often pulled into yard work on a Sunday. 

Ears. I became the ear guy in general surgery residency. Or any time a face laceration or injury to the ears would come in through trauma at Atrium Health, I wanted to be the guy for the job. I found I really enjoyed sewing up facial lacerations because it was like fitting a puzzle back together, with instant gratification. If you’re young and experience a horrible trauma that impacts your face, that’s the first thing each person will see when they engage with you. If you think about it long enough, it could have enormous life ripple effects. Your face and your body matter in life. How you carry yourself and how you wear your scars. If I can help someone carry themselves with a little more confidence and hide their scars, I’m here for the challenge. 

Life tried to stop me from achieving my goals a few times. My wife also almost tried to break up with me one time, 17 years ago. I did not allow it either.  

Determined. Perfectionist. Honest. 

I’ve had many mentors in general surgery who taught me what it is to be a master surgeon who is very technically skilled at surgery, an excellent clinician, and a motivated researcher to advance the practice of surgery. During my plastic surgery training, I learned from more than 30 different plastic surgeons, several of whom I still keep up with on a weekly or monthly basis, discussing difficult patient situations or life. And finally, my fellow physicians at HKB, especially Drs Bharti and Kortesis, I have discussed surgical plans with them often. 

The journey took me through dark corners and spaces in life. It was hard. Ultimately, it made me a better person, husband and father, more focused on what truly matters in life. 

I continue to be humbled and honored by patient reviews and feedback. However, I’m not surprised. We do hard work, the patient and I, to achieve their goals. All the communication that goes in on the front end, the procedure itself, and the post-operative follow-up and recovery. I’m with them every step of the way. I treat patients like they are family, and I have a good family. Results matter. I continue to have (what I believe and what patients share) aesthetically pleasing and natural-looking outcomes. But, if I had to guess, I think patients choose me because they feel heard and they feel safe. In an elective procedure where cost can sometimes impact decision-making, results are what we strive to achieve, but safety is of utmost importance. 

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