Jessica Walker, M.D.

Jessica Walker, M.D.

Board Certified Plastic Surgeon

Knoxville, TN

We are excited to welcome Dr. Jessica Vavra Walker to H/K/B. A highly trained surgeon, Dr. Walker is double Board Certified in plastic and reconstructive surgery and in general surgery. For those who feel more comfortable with a female plastic surgeon in Knoxville, TN, we’ve got you covered.

The needs of her patients are at the heart of her commitment to plastic surgery procedures. She genuinely enjoys breast and body surgeries, PLUS, she performs blepharoplasty & browlift procedures and is devoted to providing the same level of care and concern our patients have come to expect from us. Her surgical training is top-notch.

Dr. Walker is originally from Ohio, and graduated summa cum laude from the Williams Honors College at The University of Akron. She then traveled to her neighbor to the north and completed her medical training at Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit, MI. Dr. Walker completed a rigorous and competitive residency in general surgery in Detroit, where she served as chief resident in her final year.

I think everyone has insecurities to some degree and something they would want to change about themselves. But I have learned not to let them dictate my life, and I have learned to teach my patients to do the same, which I think they truly appreciate. 

Dr. Walker fell in love with the intricacy of reconstructive surgery during her general surgery residency. With her interest piqued, Dr. Walker pursued more extensive plastic and reconstructive surgery training with a plastic surgery fellowship at the University of Louisville. There, she honed her skills in complex surgeries, including microsurgery, facial trauma, burns, complex breast surgery, and aesthetics, and she was moved by how these procedures transformed her patients’ lives.

During her medical and surgical training, she has been involved in research and has presented at national and regional medical meetings.

A Crafty, Country Girl at Heart

In her free time, Dr. Walker loves crafting, quilting, crocheting, Peloton cycling, and Dolly Parton. She and her husband, a dentist in Kingston, are active outdoors and love exploring East Tennessee and the Smokies. They have a German shepherd named Crockett, who can often be seen wearing the bandanas and bowties Dr. Walker makes for him. And be sure to look for Dr. Walker’s one-of-a-kind, homemade scrub caps.

An Interview With Dr. Walker

I am from a very small town in Ohio called St. Clairsville, which is about an hour from Pittsburgh. 

I completed my undergraduate degree at the University of Akron; go Zips! I then relocated to Detroit, where I completed medical school at Wayne State University School of Medicine, followed by five years of General Surgery training. It was during this time I decided to become a plastic surgeon and completed my Plastic  Surgery Fellowship training at The University of Louisville in Kentucky. This is when I met my husband, who is from Knoxville, Tennessee. I followed this with one final year of super fellowship training at the University of Kentucky in  Lexington. Now I am working in Knoxville, where I live with my husband and  amazing German Shepherd, Crockett. 

My practice is mainly dedicated to mommy makeover hours and post-bariatric and weight loss body contouring.

My philosophy is a personalized approach to your desires. I think every patient is different, including their shape and skin quality. They are goals and  expectations, and you can not treat everyone cookie-cutter. 

I decided to be a plastic surgeon because I feel that the plastic surgery patient population is a specialty population that actually wants to take care of themselves and make themselves better,  on top of what I can do for them. I am going to be able to restore them to their goal body that they had prior to having children or losing weight. 

I greatly enjoyed the comradery with colleagues with whom I have trained and kept in touch. I also appreciate that there is more than one way to do every procedure and every patient. 

I think the number one thing in healthcare that we have lost today is communication. I am very dedicated to my patients. I spent a significant amount of time with them before surgery, answering all their questions and ensuring they were comfortable with me as their surgeon. There is no greater privilege than having somebody trust you enough to care for them while they are vulnerable and asleep and to help them reach their goals.  

Most of my time outside work is spent with my husband, Josh, and my German Shepherd, Crockett. I am also very into baking and crafting, which I have done my whole life. I learned a lot of from scratch recipes from my mom and my grandma, who also taught me how to crochet.  I also eventually taught myself how to quilt. Besides that, my husband is a graduate of the University of Tennessee, so we are very big volunteer fans; go Vols! And being from outside of Pittsburgh, my heart will always be Black and Yellow. 

With my grafting background and using my hands to do a lot of that work, I realized I love reshaping and putting things together like a puzzle. I love being able to look at the body, visualize the patient’s end goal, and watch them transform to get to that goal. 

big setback that I still see in health care is being a female physician, let alone a female surgeon. Only about 38% of general surgeons are female, and in plastic surgery, less than 20% of surgeons are female. This is a big advantage to being female as we have a significant female population, and we understand what they have gone through with weight changes and childbearing. Unfortunately, it is still a male-dominated field, which can make it difficult to shine. 

Outgoing, compassionate, real 

I have had several mentors throughout my life. One being my high school science teacher, Mr. Vitlip. Within health care and plastic surgery, I think many of my mentors are actually my peers. I love being a cheerleader for them and supporting them. They are successes, and I learn from them as we have all done different training and learned different technique. It has been very collegial. And since joining the H/K/B team, Drs. Kortesis and Bharti have been nothing but amazing and showing me how to become a better aesthetic surgeon. 

I can relate to my patients as I also have internal insecurities. I think everyone has insecurities to some degree and something they would want to change about themselves. But I have learned not to let them dictate my life, and I have learned to teach my patients to do the same, which I think they truly appreciate. 

I think one thing that sets me apart is the amount of time that I spend with my patients. I have had family members who have been sick, and I felt that their healthcare providers did not spend enough time with them explaining to them their disease processes and treatment options. I do not want to set that precedent with any of my patients. I am always open with my patients; they all have my cell phone number, and they are always able to reach me at any time. I am also very truthful with my patients and try to speak to them and describe things so they understand. My goal is for them to have no questions by the end of their consult!

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