Meet Dr. Suzie Chang, owner of Katy Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery
We absolutely love our Meet A Mom features. Our goal with this weekly feature is to put a spotlight on the mamas kicking ass and taking names in Katy, whether they’re running a business while raising a family or choose to stay home full time and focus in on being there for their babies, we think all moms deserve some love and recognition. We also just love introducing moms to other moms and continuing to build this awesome community.
We’re always seeking out new mamas to introduce you to, but it’s always such a pleasure when the moms find us first!
Dr. Chang is one mama who found us in the very early stages of KMN and her early support has meant the world to us.
Dr. Chang also has a commitment to helping mothers who experience changes in their body after pregnancy and child birth. Whether they come in for aesthetic or reconstructive reasons, it’s all about aiming for a positive change for that patient and focusing on personalized care.
We got to chat with the warm, inviting, hilarious, intelligent, inspiring Dr. Chang and talk all things Katy, motherhood and balancing it all, her goals for her practice, and how even with all her accolades and accomplishments why being wife and mom are what she’s proud of most.
Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in Katy?
Our family moved to Katy 2.5 years ago! We came by way of Dallas, TX and so we root for a mix of Houston/Dallas sports teams! Go Cowboys! Go Astros!
Child(ren) and Age(s)?
We are so blessed to be parents of our spunky 4-year old daughter, Sophia, and our confident 2-year old son, Ian. They are both the source of my gray hairs and all of my LOL moments!
Additionally, they are both rainbow babies.
Getting pregnant, giving birth, and surviving the infant stage of child-rearing has been, hands down, the most difficult challenges in my life so far. (and I’ve been through some difficult times during medical education and training…) Even surviving arguably the toughest (& best) plastic surgery residency was nothing compared to the challenge of pregnancy and afterwards. And this is why, I feel passionate about supporting the Katy Moms Network and the mom community.
One thing people would be surprised to know about you…
Our immediate family hails from England, Denmark, China, and South Korea. It makes for an interesting Thanksgiving table – both in conversation topics and cuisine! But one thing is for certain, our kids are born and raised Texans! They know the bluebonnets, the Deep in the Heart of Texas songs, and have owned cowboy boots since they could walk!
Favorite local things to do in Katy?
As mundane as it may sound, I LOVE how many grocery store options I have – all within a few miles from our house. We have HEB, Kroger, Sprouts, 99 Ranch Market, soon-to-be H-Mart, Trader Joe’s, Harvest Market, and Whole Foods! Our family really enjoys exploring new food options! We get really excited when our kids attempt to enjoy a new food – last night it was steamed asparagus with sea salt and EVOO!
What’s your favorite thing about Katy and why did you choose to raise your family here?
There are so many benefits and advantages to living in Katy that it is hard to say just one thing. Katy is the perfect mix of Texas, international diversity, small-town, big-city, family-friendly, and superb education opportunities for the kids. If I had to say one thing, I would say that my favorite thing about Katy is its diversity. Especially with our multicultural background, our children will grow up with all of the advantages of this diversity and not feel out-of-place or marginalized.
Do you have a favorite family friendly restaurant in the area?
If you ask my children, it would be Deli’s Café – this tiny drive-thru hole-in-the-wall Venezuelan place inside the Exxon on Mason and Cinco Ranch. They LOVE the tequenos! (Who doesn’t love fried cheese?!?) And based on its patronage, it is very authentic!
But if you ask the adults in the family, it would have to be Dish Society in La Centerra… it’s perfect because they have “Kids-Eat-Free” on Tuesdays, there’s delicious and healthy adult fare, and there’s always the big green expanse in front filled with other kids in play.
What is your go-to activity for yourself for pampering or for fun in Katy?
Mani – Pedi, although most times I do not elect to get a colored polish, as I work with my hands a lot.
I happen to know most of the major nail salons around town – and there are many!
Funniest shortcut/routine for helping you through parenthood?
I don’t know if this qualifies as an answer… but I missed a good 5 years or more of excellent cinematic and televised programming during the most recent pregnancy/infancy/toddlerhood stages. One of the best things now is that all of these movies/TV series are complete and available for binge-watching sessions! I don’t have to wait for the next episode or the next season to know how the story ends!
Best mom hack that makes your life easier?
HEB’s Premier Extra Fine Chopped Spinach. It comes frozen into small pellets that you can defrost little portions from easily in the microwave. The spinach is so finely chopped that the kids cannot pick them out. I throw a little bit of that in places to give some extra vitamin K and vitamin A to the kids. In scrambled eggs… in boxed mac n cheese… they can’t pick it out and the flavor is hardly noticeable. Mommy win.
When potty training, I have a list of must-haves:
- Big box of disposable plastic gloves on hand
- 20+ pairs of underwear that you won’t be sad throwing away quickly
- M&M rewards stashed near every potty.
- Making the toddler bed with triple-decker bedding: mattress protector pad – fitted sheet, mattress protector pad – fitted sheet, mattress protector pad – fitted sheet. It makes for a quick change in the middle of the night, where all parties involved can go back to bed quickly
When did you know you wanted to be a doctor and why plastic and reconstructive surgery?
I had the privilege in college to explore many areas of study before settling into medicine. I explored fine arts, business, diplomacy, theology, and more. While I enjoyed many of these fields, I quickly realized that medicine was both a forte and a passion.
It wasn’t until my 3rd year of medical school that I realized that plastic & reconstructive surgery was the specialty for me. It has technical challenges, cerebral challenges, and an abundance of altruism. Above all that, plastic & reconstructive surgery treats from head-to-toe, pediatrics to geriatrics, the horrible deformities to incredible beauty, and the ailments of the physical as well as the psychological. Today’s medicine is far from perfect and most diseases we have no definitive cure. I love how my field can sometimes provide far more patient satisfaction and improved quality of life than other fields can.
We love your holistic approach and how you lead with being a mother first, tell us more about your goal for your patients.
One of the founding principles of my medical school, is “Cura Personalis.” This concept is Latin for “care of the whole person.” We were trained to be physicians that embrace “cura personalis” in whatever field of medicine we chose. While most people might not think that plastic & reconstructive surgery is quite holistic as other fields of medicine, I would argue differently.
It is often the hour-long conversation during our initial consultations that end without a single incision or injection that delivers the best medicine to many of my patients. Just having an expert reassure them that it is ok can be the best medicine – ok to be just as you are… OR… ok to want to look different. It is very rewarding to be on this journey with each patient.
How has this community been instrumental in getting you to where you are now?
When I first arrived in Katy, I had never been a full-time stay-at-home mom. It was incredibly intimidating to be side-by-side to all of the suburban mommy-pros just dominating in the playground and at preschool. But the Katy community has so many supportive activities that helped me develop as a new mommy during that time. I utilized the informal mom-networks that I formed during Kindermusik, Little Gym, and preschool dates and formed support systems in other moms. We helped each other realize in our own different strengths and weaknesses and in each of our different babies developmental journeys that we (mommies) weren’t that bad and were doing a decent job! If you are isolated, you do not have a point of reference to say what’s good and what’s bad. The Katy community brought me out of new-mommy isolation and I think that Katy Moms Network is another example of this neighborhood’s support and community.
What is the best advice for juggling mommyhood and running a business?
The word on the street these days is that “work-life balance” is out and “work-life integration is in.
Often times you can’t turn off “work” when you’re at home. Rather than “separate” the two, try to “integrate” the two.
For example, I have a voice-over-IP phone system that allows me to make calls from the office phone but physically using my cell phone. This allows me to blend the “work” and “life” in ways that are advantageous to me.
I also have many of my business operations specifically cloud-based, so that I can access business from any computer terminal – whether it is in the office, at home, or on the go over smartphone.
Here’s another great example of “work-life integration” – KATY MOMS NETWORK! This is an example of two mommies integrating their life’s content and work content into a functional and supportive business.
Best advice for working mothers and handling ‘mom guilt’?
When we moved from Dallas, I went from being a full-time working plastic surgery clinician at a leading academic hospital with administrative responsibilities to becoming a full-time pregnant stay-at-home mom with a 2-year-old toddler in check. So, I’ve experienced mom-guilt from all directions! When I was working, I felt guilty for not being there for every diaper change and bottle feed and all the “firsts” in development. When I was at home, I felt guilty for not contributing financially yet having to maintain expensive credentialing and also for not being that amazing Pinterest mom that cooked gluten-free-veggie-filled-healthy-yet-yummy cuisine that my kids would actually eat.
My personal revelation from this is that “mom guilt” is everywhere and inescapable. Often times, we are our own worst critic. Every now and then, I just tell myself “I am doing my best. My children feel loved, safe, and fed.” And when my children tell me they love me, I feel like I must be doing some things well.
When parenting gets tough, what’s something you tell yourself that keeps you going?
It’s a marathon and not a sprint! So take it easy and do not burn out prematurely!
What would you tell the old “You” before you had kids?
Girl, you are skinny! Damn those jeans look good on you! “snap-snap-snap”
Read more about Dr. Chang and her practice by visiting their website.