Welcome to another edition of the Doctor’s Note where we talk about what’s on our minds when it comes to your health.  

Common Sense. One of the main reasons I wanted to have my own podcast is so I could connect with likeminded people who do the research and take control of their own health. Whether they be a colleague, patient, friend, or a friend of a friend, those are the people I enjoy talking “common sense” with.

This week’s guest was a special colleague/friend and one of East Tennessee’s renowned plastic surgeons, Dr. Jim Brantner. Jim is 78 years young, works like he’s 50, and is proud to say he loves his job. Jim is an example of longevity both professionally and personally, and is very quick to share the secret, “Never slow down. Find what you like to do and keep doing it!” Bravo! I feel exactly the same. 

In this video/podcast, Dr. Brantner talks openly about the state of plastic surgery, his contributions to the field, and a few side notes about healthy aging. Always an encouragement to hear fellow docs share their story. 


On Surgery

  • Dr. Brantner’s favorite procedure is a breast reduction. With most surgical procedures, you’re better off before than you are afterwards. Breast reduction is different. You’re almost immediately better off afterwards (in terms of ailments like back pain). Breast reductions might seem cosmetic, but these procedures are life altering, often easing chronic pain.  
  • In Dr. Brantner’s practice, he does a lot more breast reductions than breast enhancements. Nearly 3:1.  
  • When someone has lost a tremendous amount of weight (150-200 pounds), typically they have a large abdominal overhang, which can cause a low back problem. This type of surgery (panniculectomy) has become a problem recently. See podcast for detailed explanation. 

On Healthy Aging 

  • Keep a positive attitude. Dr. Brantner is not the first person to say this to me. I’ve heard this numerous times from healthy people in their eighties and nineties. Keeping a positive attitude is a health hack!
  • We talked about the idea of retiring at the end of the conversation. He has no plans to retire, and neither do I! I don’t believe retirement is a bad thing, as long as you have other things to put your energy towards. Having a focus is so important! 
  • Dr. Brantner is also an avid golfer. To this day, he plays golf a couple of times a week. This is another thing I’m noticing about people who are aging well. They have other interests. Golf is great because it’s a sport you can improve at, plus it gets you outdoors! It’s also mentally stimulating. For me, I take guitar lessons every week and play pickleball

Even though Dr. Brantner is not a “longevity doctor”, he is truly living as one. His common sense approach both personally and professionally is encouraging and inspiring. A great doctor. A great man. 

Here is the conversation with Dr. Jim Brantner on YouTube. Here it is on Apple Podcasts.

Stay educated. Stay healthy.

Till next week.