About Dr. Han
What made you decide to become a doctor?
For me, medicine is about helping people not only through science and technology, but also through humanity and the personal touch.
I like to work with my hands, which is why I became a surgeon. I’m passionate about both art and medicine, and that naturally led me to the field of facial plastic and reconstructive surgery. I approach surgery conservatively, and my goal is to improve both form and function.
How did you choose your specialty?
In college, I studied art at the School of the Art Institute here in Chicago and also at the Parsons School of Design in New York while I was completing a dual degree in biology and art and design at the University of Chicago. Going into facial plastic and reconstructive surgery allowed me to align those two interests.
After completing my residency in otolaryngology, head and neck surgery, I pursued specialized fellowship training in facial plastic surgery. I am double board certified and specialize in plastic surgery exclusively involving the face and neck region.
What are your clinical interests?
My clinical interests include nasal surgery: specifically rhinoplasty to change the external form of the nose, septoplasty for nasal breathing, internal nasal valve repair (for those who are using Breathe Right strips a lot), and endoscopic sinus surgery for chronic sinusitis and nasal polyps. In terms of facial plastic surgery, I really enjoy performing eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty), facelifts, and reconstruction of skin cancer defects (Mohs repair). I also treat patients with general otolaryngology health problems.
How does your interest in art inform your surgical practice?
The art of medicine is certainly relevant in the operating room. The origin of the word, “plastic”, is the Greek word, “plastikos”, meaning “to mold, or give form.” Facial plastic surgery does require artistic vision, and I thrive on the challenge of finding creative solutions in each individual case. Reconstruction is like a puzzle, because you’re navigating such complex surfaces. It’s very artistic to me, the contours and the angles.
How do you approach patient care?
The end goal is for my patients to be healthy and happy with their care, and educating patients is very important to that end. Especially when it comes to plastic surgery, I don't want patients just to jump in. It is important to know realistically what a procedure can and cannot do for you.
I also like to have fun with my patients, to bring some humor to the relationship. Good dialogue is so important. Although medicine itself is by nature somewhat repetitive in terms of the illness we treat, the individual is always unique. The relationships and the interactions I have with my patients are what make my job really interesting and rewarding.
What is a typical visit like for patients?
It really depends on what the patient is seeing me for, but the first step is always to have a discussion to narrow down the patient’s symptoms and needs. If the visit is successful, the patient understands what’s going on, all his questions have been answered, and she’s comfortable and clear on what she needs to do going forward.
I’m one of two physicians in my office, and so we have a very close-knit connection with our patients. Some of them I see for years. It’s a holistic approach: If I’m talking to patients and getting to know them on a medical as well as on a personal level, I’m more knowledgeable about how to help them best.
What do you like to do outside of work?
In my spare time, I like to take photographs, paint, and travel. I like exploring different cultures and particularly like going to places where the food is really good. I am a native Chicagoan.
Education & Credentials
- University of Chicago, Chicago, IL
- Medical School
- University of Chicago, Chicago, IL
- Northwestern University, Chicago, IL
- Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, E. Gaylon McCollough, MD, Gulf Shores, AL
- Board Certifications
- American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
- American Board of Otolaryngology
- Years in Practice