I have always approached my medical practice by treating my patients as if they were my family. This approach has helped me in making decisions about appropriate surgery planning. When I worked at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and faced a tough decision about if, and when, to proceed with a surgery on an infant or child, I would mentally place one of my children in that situation, and it always helped me proceed in the right manner. Similarly, in my recent practice where adults are contemplating elective surgery, I always ask myself “Would I proceed this way on my wife or parent?” My philosophy on patient care has always been to treat patients as family, and that is why it is difficult for me to write this letter - as I care about each one of you.
It is after a long period of contemplation and with many mixed emotions that I am writing to inform you that I am taking a medical leave of absence. Many of you already know that I have had four spine surgeries over the past five years. Unfortunately, the outcome of those surgeries has left me with the need to discontinue my practice. One of my goals was to prepare so that in the event of this current situation, our patients would still be provided excellent care.
One of the blessings in this current situation is my associate, Dr. Max Lehfeldt.
I've know Dr Max for almost 20 years and he is a well trained, skilled and safe surgeon. The first six years were at USC when he was a resident in the Plastic Surgery program. During that time I was full-time faculty at USC, Chief of Plastic Surgery at LAC+USC, and the director of aesthetic surgery education. I spent a lot of time with Max, and saw first-hand what an excellent physician and surgeon he was. So much so, that I, along with other faculty, encouraged him to take a junior faculty position at USC. Max decided to go into private practice in Pasadena, and during his seven years in private practice in the same community I was practicing in, it was easy to follow Max's practice and his patient care.
Dr. Max has developed a very successful practice and surgery center, Teleos, built on excellent patient care and great surgical outcomes. It is for all of these reasons that I trust Max and highly recommend that you continue care with him and his team. With your permission, he will have access to your medical records and photos, so that this transition can be seamless.
Dr. Max has several areas of expertise. He handles aesthetic breast surgery as well as breast reconstructive and difficult revision cases. Because of the breadth of his training and his skill he does excellent minimally invasive as well as surgical options for facial rejuvenation. He also has significant experience in body contouring and management of massive weight loss patients. He is a visionary and an innovator in the use of new biomaterials. He lectures and teaches all across the country and internationally.
I would trust Max to operate on any member of my family, and I've been in the OR with him on hundreds of cases. I’ve reviewed many of his cases and seen the excellent outcomes. I am confident you will be in good hands. It has been a great pleasure getting to know each of you and having you as part of our practice family. Should you have any questions, please feel free to email.
John E. Gross, MD, FACS
Max R. Lehfeldt, MD, FACS
836 S Arroyo Parkway, Pasadena, CA 91105