Dr. Michael Hoops: The joy of improving appearances
May 18, 2011 | 3803 views | 0 0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend | print
DR. MICHAEL HOOPS, a board certified plastic surgeon who specializes in cosmetic surgery, recently visited Belgium to get a closer look at the technique of world renowned plastic surgeon Dr. Alexis M. Verpaele, an assistant clinical professor from the department of plastic surgery at Gent University Hospital in Belgium. Hoops met with Verpaele, who helped develop the European MACS lift, and uses the technique in his thriving profession. Photo by WILLIAM WRIGHT
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An increasing number of people in Bradley County are enjoying a more youthful and healthier look thanks to Dr. Michael L. Hoops, a local plastic surgeon with a purpose and the skills to make cosmetic dreams come true.

Hoops, a board certified plastic surgeon rated among the best, has been practicing in Cleveland for 16 years and raising awareness that people want to feel good about themselves both inside and outside.

“I love my job,” said the former chief resident at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine’s Department of Plastic Surgery. “My objective is if I can take off 10 years — I’m happy! That’s perfect. If I can take a 60-year-old woman and make her look 50 — that’s lovely!”

Common cosmetic procedures include reshaping the nose, making the breasts larger or smaller and removing pockets of fat from specific spots on the body, called liposuction.

Research has shown those who have undergone cosmetic surgery acquired a more positive outlook in life, enjoyed more self-esteem and appreciated the smallest of things often taken for granted.

“I had a guy in recently who had surgery because he had C cup breasts and was self-conscious,” Hoops said. “The man said, ‘Doc, thanks! I have never swam with my children. I went swimming this weekend!’

“You can argue that he didn’t need that done — that it was vanity — but his self-image is so much better now. And what did it cost him? It cost him about an hour in the operating room. It’s a great job.”

Hoops, who is also recognized on HealthGrades’ honor roll, the leading independent health care ratings organization in the country, said the physical result of plastic surgery often produces a healthier, younger look. People who undergo cosmetic surgery see this change in their appearance affect their entire lifestyle.

“I started my plastic surgery residency 21 years ago and things have really changed since then,” Hoops said. “One of the main things that changed is cosmetic surgery to the face. It was a big operation. You had to go to the hospital, be put to sleep and be out of work for two to three weeks.”

This changed dramatically with the European Minimal Access Cranial Suspension technique, also called the European MACS facelift.

Hoops said he has been practicing the revolutionary procedure after hearing its inventor, world renowned physician Alexis M. Verpaele, M.D., speak and learning his technique. Verpaele developed the MACS lift with Patrick L. Tonnard, M.D.

“I started doing it about eight years ago,” Hoops said. “This past spring (Verpaele) was doing this procedure live in Barcelona. So I went to Spain a few months ago and it was a great opportunity.

“I met Dr. Verpaele. He was the nicest guy in the world! I had lunch with him and got some good tips that you don’t get from reading his book. You get these from watching him do it. He did it with a little microphone in place and an ear pad so you could talk to him while he worked. It’s really helped my practice.”

According to Hoops, the MACS facelift was designed as a simple way of lifting the lower two-thirds of the face with minimal inconvenience for the patient. The only sign of the procedure is an inconspicuous scar in the ear-fold.

Compared to standard facelifts techniques, the MACS lift is quicker to perform, has a shorter incision, a much shorter recovery period and may be repeated multiple times without sacrificing its excellent natural-looking results, which last more than 5 years.

“It’s a far smaller dissection,” he said. “Instead of being in a hospital setting we do it here in the office and you don’t have to be asleep and the risks are far lower and you’re back to work in a week. It’s a short-scar face life.

“It makes a huge difference in, not only what I do, but how the patient gets better. It allows you to come into the office, not the hospital — so you don’t have to pay for hospital. We use local anesthesia to make it numb so you don’t have to pay an anesthesiologist. So we can do it with far less risk at a far lesser price.”

Hoops insist it is never wrong to seek improvement in appearance, because it allows people to finally feel like they fit in, instead of sticking out because of the shape of their body or distracting facial features. The result allows people to look like they feel they should look.

The Chicago native said he sees lots of women who are small in the chest and timid in demeanor but whose confidence and composure changes dramatically with breast augmentation.

“It is such a change up here (point to the brain),” he said. “I’m operating on the chest but really I’m operating on the self-image. You can see people sit up taller and feel good about themselves. If you feel good about yourself, you’re a happier person.”

Experts say plastic surgery can open new doors to people who had previously lived in fear to take on activities like swimming or aerobics because they felt self-conscious about their flaws.

With much shorter recovery periods, Hoops said people can get the procedure they want without being so obvious.

“I tell women, who make up 85 percent of my business, the day before surgery dye your hair a different color. So when people see you they’ll notice something different but not exactly what it is,” he said. “They’ll say, ‘Hey, I love your hair!’

“You want them focused on something else. I tell men to grow a mustache. If you can change something else at a similar time, people focus on that. They only know you look better.”

Sometimes Hoops will say “no” to a certain cosmetic procedure if he does not believe it is in the best interest of his patient which speaks volumes about the surgeon’s integrity.

“My patients come to me, almost always, because I made someone else happy,” said Hoops. “If I worked on someone and they were happy I might see two of their friends. The majority of my business is word-of-mouth, especially in a small town. You have to treat people like you want to be treated.”

Although many people find they are more outgoing and confident after altering a part of their body they were not satisfied with, Hoops admits, “Plastic surgery is not for everyone and it never will be. But for some people it’s a great option. There’s no doubt that it is far more popular than it used to be. It’s far more accepted, but there are people who are still worried about what others will think.”

Because “the biggest impact by far is in the mind,” according to Hoops, the transformation in self-esteem, due to plastic surgery, is a lift that happens both inside and outside of a person, and those benefits can last a lifetime.

Hoops, 46, lives in Cleveland with his wife, Carol, and two children, Samuel Lee, 17 and Madeline Claire, 13.

The Plastic Surgery Clinic of Cleveland is located at 597 Church St. N.E. For further information, call 423-472-1996 or visit www.hoopsplasticsurgery.com.