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Meet Dr. Erika Sato of Houston Plastic Craniofacial & Sinus Surgery

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dr. Erika Sato.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I knew from a very early age that I had a passion for medicine. Not only did I want to be a doctor, but I specifically wanted to be a plastic surgeon. This was the perfect answer to combine my artistic talent and love for science and math. I attended the University of Missouri-Columbia for college where I majored in Biology Pre-Med and graduated Cum Laude from the Honor’s College. I also obtained my Medical Doctorate from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 2006. Residency brought me to Houston, TX where I completed five years of General Surgery residency at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston and then an additional three years of Plastic Surgery residency at the same institution. I guess you could say after eight years here, I felt like Houston was home. I chose to stay here permanently and joined Dr. Sean Boutros at HPCS almost three years ago when I finished my training. Since that time our practice has grown from two plastic surgeons to a total of eight surgeons; four plastic surgeons, two ENT trained facial plastic surgeons, and two ENT surgeons who specialize in sinus surgery. We now have three locations: TMC, Spring Valley, and The Woodlands. HPCS now stands for “Houston Plastic Craniofacial & Sinus Surgery”. I had a once in a lifetime opportunity to appear as a main cast member on the Bravo reality TV show Married to Medicine which aired in November 2016. My practice now specifically focuses on cosmetic surgery of the face and body.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
My journey to becoming a plastic surgeon was definitely not easy. I did not have financial help from my family for undergrad or medical school which meant relying on academic scholarships, part time jobs, and loans to pay for school. At the time that I finished my eight years of residency, my loans were a whopping $223,000, and I had $44,000 in credit card debt. During college I worked as a phlebotomist from 4:30am-8:30am before going to class and waited tables at Applebee’s (where I worked for 10 years) on the weekends and over holiday and summer breaks. I also tutored math and science for the University.

Houston Plastic Craniofacial & Sinus Surgery – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
HPCS is a multi-specialty private practice group that offers cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery of the face and body including free flap breast reconstruction and ENT (Ear, Nose & Throat) including advanced sinus surgery. I am one of eight surgeons in my practice which was founded by Dr. Sean Boutros. I am a double board certified cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgeon, and I specialize in aesthetic plastic surgery of the face and body. I guess you could say that I am known for body contouring. I do a lot of Mommy Makeovers and 360 liposuction with fat transfer to the booty, hips and breasts. When the fat is transferred to the booty and hips this is known as a “Brazilian Butt Lift”. At my practice I am known as the “Brazilian Butt Lift Queen”.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
I set a goal to become a plastic surgeon 25 years ago as a young girl. At that time, I had no idea really how much time, hard work and dedication it was going to take to reach that goal. Each milestone along my 16 year journey I felt SUCCESS; graduating from high school #16/402 with a full academic scholarship to the University of Missouri-Columbia, graduating Cum Laude from the Honor’s College at Mizzou, getting accepted to medical school, graduating in the top 25% of my medical school class and matching as a categorical general surgery resident, finishing five years of general surgery residency, matching into plastic surgery residency (one of the most competitive fields of medicine to get into) and finally creating a successful cosmetic plastic surgery practice. My definition of success is ever changing. I have to continue to raise the bar as I reach each one of these milestones. To look back it is crazy because I wasn’t sure I would reach the first one let alone be where I am today. I am a true testament of hard work paying off. I am approached fairly frequently by young kids interested in medicine, and I tell each and every one of them that anything is possible if you are willing to put the work in.

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