By Edmond Ortiz
Dr. Vijay Bindingnavele has a love for art. In his days in school, he drew just for the fun of it. But more than that, he has a passion for being creative and recreative. Dr. Bindingnavele also appreciates form—something that, being a plastic surgeon, he knows a lot about. “I’m drawn to form. Plastic surgery marries art and form,” he adds.
Dr. Bindingnavele has been practicing plastic surgery for more than eight years. He currently practices at the Corpus Christi Institute of Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery. He is able to provide procedures, such as body contouring, and surgery to the breast, face, elbow, hand and wrist. His practice also provides non-surgical procedures, such as dermal fillers and skin rejuvenation.
Prior to entering private practice, Dr. Bindingnavele served as a United States Air Force surgeon for 10 years. He earned bachelor and medical degrees as part of a program at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York, where he graduated summa cum laude. He was also a member of the Alpha Omega Alpha honor society.
“I love seeing the looks of joy on their faces in response to the results they get.” – Dr. Vijay Bindingnavele
Dr. Bindingnavele entered the U.S. Air Force, where he finished his internship and residency training in general surgery at David Grant USAF Medical Center at Travis Air Force Base in California. Afterwards he was a general surgeon at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany. He also was chief of surgery at 379 Expeditionary Medical Support Hospital in Qatar. Serving as an Air Force major and being an instructor for health-related courses worldwide, Dr. Bindingnavele has received several honors, including the Air Force Expeditionary Service Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, Air Force Achievement Award, and Air Force Commendation Medal.
“I liked the immediacy of general surgery,” Dr. Bindingnavele recalls, having treated whatever cases came before him, such as gunshot wounds.
But as Dr. Bindingnavele explains it, general surgery treats function, not form, and he wanted to address that.
Following his departure from the military, Dr. Bindingnavele completed a plastic surgery residency at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. He is currently board-certified in general surgery and plastic surgery. He holds membership with the American College of Surgeons and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Dr. Bindingnavele has long had a passion for helping people improve their physical appearance and boost their self-confidence. Plastic surgery patients have a certain idea of what they wish to look like physically. But that desire also affects their perception of self.
“I’m drawn to form. Plastic surgery marries art and form.” – Dr. Vijay Bindingnavele
“Our job is to have the person looking back at them from the mirror match the ideal of the person looking into the mirror,” he says.
Treating every patient that comes into his practice like a family member is critical to a successful outcome, Dr. Bindingnavele says, regardless of whether that person winds up receiving surgery.
“Everybody has a choice about whether to get surgery,” he says. “They are able to trust me because I treat them like they’re part of my family.” Dr. Bindingnavele says this level of mutual trust is important especially when the patient is considering reconstructive surgery following a traumatic event or a bout with breast or facial cancer. The conversations prior to any such procedure are filled with equal levels of information and empathy.
“I love seeing the looks of joy on their faces in response to the results they get,” he says.
In his line of work, Dr. Bindingnavele has seen an uptick in body contouring which typically involves any of the following: brachioplasty (arm-lift surgery), buttock augmentation (lift), liposuction, fat transfer thigh lift, or tummy tuck. So-called “mommy makeovers” are another type of procedure that Dr. Bindingnavele gets to offer in his practice. Dr. Bindingnavele takes particular pride in conducting “mommy makeovers.” In some cases, mommy makeovers involve a combination of liposuction, abdominoplasty and other enhancements, such as breast augmentation.
“We are returning (her body) to the appearance of a younger lady, before she had kids,” he says. “A patient can feel more youthful, athletic–sexier. It evokes very good feelings.”
Additionally, Dr. Bindingnavele emphasizes the importance of preventative care to boost and maintain one’s physical appearance. “The basic cornerstone of prevention is better maintenance,” he says. “Prevention is the way to go to try to fight off every illness.” While breast cancer may not be prevented, Dr. Bindingnavele says a good diet, exercising and maintaining an adequate weight can help to reduce the cancer risk. Protecting one’s skin in the sunlight, as well as limiting exposure to more polluted areas also can help lower the risk of developing skin cancer. “Until we change our nature, we have to optimize how we live,” he says.
“Our job is to have the person looking back at them from the mirror match the ideal of the person looking into the mirror.”- Dr. Vijay Bindingnavele
Having a generally positive outlook on life and keeping stress at bay can also benefit one’s physical appearance. Dr. Bindingnavele recalls how he gave yoga lessons to pilots while serving in the Air Force. This kind of professionalism, compassion and attention have won Dr. Bindingnavele many accolades in recent years. The organization Corpus Christi Under 40 named him one of the “40 Under 40” leaders in the community in 2011. The following year, the same program named him Person of the Year.
Dr. Bindingnavele has also served as president of the Nueces County Medical Society. Actively involved with the medical society, he has been on several committees. In addition, Dr. Bindingnavele donates his services to area organizations.
He and his wife, Pooja, have four daughters, ranging in age from six to twelve. He has nothing but pride in his practice and his chosen profession. “The reason we are here is for the patients who walk through the door. I enjoy matching their external image with their desired self-image,” he adds.
To schedule a consultation with Dr. Bindingnavele please contact (361) 888-7417 or visit corpusplasticsurgery.com. Corpus Christi Institute of Cosmetic and Plastic Surgery is located at 5826 Esplanade Dr. Ste 101 Corpus Christi, TX 78414.