Special Reports

Plastic surgery in C.O.: A want -- and a need

Bend woman says it changed her life

How plastic surgery changed a Bend woman's life

BEND, Ore. - More people in Central Oregon are turning to plastic surgery, with cosmetic facial procedures on the rise. But doctors say although some people may do it for beauty, others do it for their health.

A total of 21 surgeries later, and Cait Boyce says she feels like a different woman.

"To be afforded the chance to have reconstruction -- I look in the mirror, and I don't see cancer any more," Boyce said recently.

After a complete mastectomy in San Francisco, Boyce had several medical complications. When she moved to Central Oregon in the early 2000s, she had a complete reconstruction of her breasts.

"It was painful, and it was one of those kinds of things where you cry yourself to sleep at night because it hurts so bad, and you know you'll have to go through more surgery," said Boyce.

For her big surgery, Boyce went to Dr. Linda Leffel, the second plastic surgeon on the High Desert, who started her practice here in 1993.

"Initially, with plastic surgery, I think people thought that it was unnecessary surgery," Leffel said. "But that has really changed."

Leffel works with her husband and physician's assistant, Richard Lindsay. They say changing men's and women's bodies for the better is rewarding, day after day.

"Having that ability to give people a more youthful look or appearance is a very satisfying aspect, and part of the reason why we do what we do," said Lindsay.

While they do help with medical issues, they also offer what some might call "superficial" plastic surgery. Botox, fillers and skin care procedures have been increasing in their office over the years.

"It really is nice to remodel your body, and again, we're living longer, so it's just part of maintaining it," Leffel said. "Plastic surgery and cosmetic surgery is widely accepted."

For Boyce, who has experienced both medical and cosmetic surgery, including Botox, she says it's all about being happy, for whatever reason.

"You need to be happy with who you are," said Boyce. "If you look in the mirror and you're unhappy every single day, and some little surgical procedure will help change that, why wouldn't you?"

Currently, there are five plastic surgeons in Bend -- and as the population grows, Leffel believes more will move in.

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