Friday, April 16th, 2021

Shopper Client Stories


For Dr. J. Byers Bowen, plastic surgery is an art form that improves lives

by Rob Lauer

Dr. J. Byers Bowen of Galardi/Rosenblum Plastic Surgery

Dr. J. Byers Bowen of Galardi/Rosenblum Plastic Surgery

Dr. J. Byers Bowen always knew that he wanted to be a physician.

"Medicine was a passion of mine since junior high school," he recalls. "I always wanted to be a surgeon but wasn't sure what type. It wasn't until my general surgery residency that I became fully aware of the many uses for plastic surgery. Like a lot of people, I had always thought of it in connection with cosmetics. Then, when I learned how reconstructive plastic surgery is used to better the lives of those recovering from an accident, cancer or some other disfiguring disease, I decided to become a plastic surgeon."

Since making that decision years ago, this newest member of the Galardi/Rosenblum Plastic Surgery team has come to appreciate the artistry inherent in this branch of medicine.

"Plastic surgery is an art form," Dr. Bowen says proudly. "While a particular reconstructive and cosmetic procedure will always apply the same principles, no two patients are the same. Each is physically different in countless ways. So even when performing the same procedure on two people, I have to pay close attention to the details of those differences. Each procedure is different from every other one. Each presents a variety of unique challenges and possibilities."

A native of Charlotte, NC, Dr. Bowen attended Davidson College, where he received his Bachelor of Science in Chemistry. While at Davidson, he was a Division-I athlete, playing four years of football. He then went on to earn his Doctor of Medicine degree from The University of South Florida Morsani College of Medicine in Tampa. Completing his residency in General Surgery at Eastern Virginia Medical School, Dr. Bowen received multiple recognitions. These included Intern of the Year and the L.D. Britt Resident Award for Excellence in Education and Mentorship. Dr. Bowen was selected to complete his fellowship in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and The James Comprehensive Cancer Center, one of the preeminent Plastic Surgery training programs in the nation. During his three years of Plastic Surgery fellowship, Dr. Bowen trained alongside the country's leading Reconstructive and Cosmetic surgeons. At Ohio State, Dr. Bowen conducted innovative research in nerve transfer for treatment of pain in amputee patients, known as targeted muscle reinnervation (TMR), and presented his findings at prestigious conferences across the United States and in Europe. Dr. Bowen has been published in Journal of the American College of Surgeons and Journal of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. He was recently featured in The Wall Street Journal.

Dr. Bowen now lives in Norfolk with his wife, Ann, and their twins. "We moved back to Hampton Roads in 2018," he explains. "My wife is from Richmond, our children had been born here, and our church home was here."

In  2018, Dr. Bowen joined the practice of the late Dr. Craig Merrell.

"Our partnership had a huge impact on me," Dr. Bowen recalls. "Dr. Merrell was a highly-esteemed plastic surgeon with solid connections to the community and 36 years of experience. Working with him was such a valuable experience. He and I were cut from the same cloth. We both related to our patients in the same way: we were concerned for them as if they were members of our family. Since his unexpected passing last year, I am dedicated to continuing to care for his patients."

In May 2019, Dr. Bowen joined Galardi/Rosenblum and now sees patients in their Harborview-area office.

"Plastic surgery is an art form.
Each procedure is different from every other one.
Each presents a variety of unique challenges
and possibilities."

                         - Dr. J. Byers Bowen

The surgeon concedes that the general public still has many misconceptions about plastic surgery. "People tend to only think about cosmetic procedures. But plastic surgery also involves reconstruction after skin or breast cancer. It involves body contouring after massive weight loss or an accident. It can involve such things as abdominal wall reconstruction, complex hernia repair, and migraine headache surgery. Cosmetic improvements are secondary benefits of such reconstructive surgeries. Most reconstructive procedures following disease or cancer are covered by insurance."

"Of course, cosmetic procedures are also available and used by a growing number of people- men as well as women," Dr. Bowen continues. "Many times, people think that cosmetic plastic surgery is only available to the rich and famous. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Many of the people who come to me inquiring about cosmetic procedures think that they look older than they feel. How we think we look influences how we feel about things generally and how we approach life. At Galardi/Rosenblum Plastic Surgery, we have a saying: "Life really does Look Better When You Do." My approach is geared to give my patients a more youthful, rested, healthy, natural appearance."

"There are multiple operations as well as less invasive procedures that can be used to make people look as young as they feel," the doctor emphasizes. "For instance, if one's face has begun to hollow in places, creating an older appearance, injectables can be used to help restore a more youthful look. Botox is another way that the effects of facial aging can be addressed before the need for surgery."

Plastic surgery is not only the domain of those middle-aged and older. "Procedures like breast augmentation and abdominal reconstruction- as well as Botox and filler injections- are often performed for patients who are in their 20s and early 30s," Dr. Bowen points out. "Plastic surgery is an ever-evolving field of medicine- with new procedures and treatments geared toward improving outcomes, controlling any pain or discomfort, and ensuring much shorter recovery periods."

If people are considering the possibility of plastic surgery, Dr. Bowen suggests that they visit the Galardi and Rosenblum website. "Then call the office and make an appointment to come talk to me," he concludes. "I want to emphasize that when people come to my office, they talk to me personally- not a nurse practitioner or doctor assistant. It's important to me to treat each and every patient as I would want a member of my family to be treated."

Magee-Rosenblum Plastic Surgery

300 Medical Parkway
Chesapeake, VA 23320


2829 Shore Drive
Suite #200
Virginia Beach, VA 23451