Meet Dr. Blagg

Few board-certified plastic surgeons in Austin, Texas, have the varied background, impressive credentials, and genuine compassion that Dr. Ross Blagg brings to Synergy Plastic Surgery and our patients. He is a member of both the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) and The Aesthetic Society (formerly ASAPS) and has specialized training in cosmetic procedures, reconstructive surgery, and body contouring after massive weight loss. Dr. Blagg’s passion is helping patients like you on their surgical journeys.

To see for yourself what sets Dr. Blagg apart from other Austin plastic surgeons, or to simply learn more about what we offer at Synergy, request a consultation online or call our offices at (512) 244-1439.

Diverse Training

The ability to merge art and function is what drove Dr. Blagg to pursue a career in plastic surgery. After graduating medical school with honors, Dr. Blagg completed his combined surgery and plastic surgery residency at The University of Utah. Here, he focused much of his training on cosmetic procedures including body contouring after massive weight loss.

After residency, Dr. Blagg completed a 1-year facial plastic surgery fellowship program while also continuing his plastic surgery practice at The University of Utah Hospital and the Veteran’s Administration hospital in Salt Lake City. During this time, he worked with both plastic surgery residents and medical students and gained wide exposure in pediatric plastic and reconstructive surgery, as well as craniofacial surgery.

For Dr. Blagg’s complete credentials, view his CV.

A Passion for Improving Lives

Dr. Blagg enjoys working with a wide variety of plastic surgery patients, including those seeking cosmetic enhancements, people who have undergone massive weight loss, transgender patients, and pediatric patients. He loves playing such an active role in his patients’ journeys to a better quality of life.

Dr. Blagg has traveled extensively and has performed surgical missions in both Haiti and Guatemala. In 2013, he founded Humanitarian Plastic Surgery, an organization that works to coordinate reconstructive surgical procedures for those in need who live in countries where care is limited.

Dr. Blagg enjoys listening to patients and developing plans based on their needs. He understands that beauty is subjective, and he enjoys helping patients live more fulfilling lives on their own terms. His patients frequently comment on his kind bedside manner as well as his attention to surgical detail.

Outside of the office, Dr. Blagg is an avid adventure traveler and shark conservationist. He enjoys any activities that bring him to the mountains or the ocean.

An Interview With Dr. Blagg

At what point did you start thinking about going to medical school?

I had open heart surgery as an infant so growing up with medical visits made me want to be a doctor from an early age. When I was around 14, my dad’s friend, a general surgeon, let me ‘scrub in’ with him to hold retractors. (Growing up in a small town has its advantages!) That surgeon was actually the first to suggest that I might like plastic surgery. I loved surgery and loved to paint. He pointed out that plastic surgery is especially unique in combining science and art.

What led you to ultimately choose plastic surgery as a specialty?

The summer between my first and second year of medical school, I moved to Louisville to participate in a research project regarding face transplant surgery. This was before the first face transplant was performed in the U.S., so it was exciting. That project and the people I worked with expanded my view of plastic surgery even further. It is such an exciting field because the possibilities to reconstruct and enhance patients’ lives continually evolve.

Is there a procedure or procedures that you enjoy performing the most?

Variety is one of plastic surgery’s joys and there isn’t any single procedure that remains a favorite. Each procedure is like a little puzzle that is similar—but different—from any previous puzzle you’ve solved! My favorite procedures are those that have had the biggest impact on patient lives. When I know that a procedure has really changed a person’s life for the better, that one is typically my favorite for that week!

Is it that life-changing aspect that motivates you to do humanitarian work?

Definitely. When I was last in Guatemala, I met a 3-year-old boy from El Salvador. His mother had been to 2 other countries trying to have her child’s cleft lip repaired before finding our organization. I couldn’t believe it. It’s unheard of in the U.S. for a 3-year-old to still have a cleft lip. After seeing that mother’s response to her child having his cleft repaired, I had fuel to continue doing what I do for years to come. People often think that doing “humanitarian” work is purely altruistic, but I have to say that I get so much more out of anything I ever give.

I went into medicine because I wanted to help people. I’m fortunate to get to do that in my everyday life, but there is something uniquely rewarding in performing reconstruction for people with so much less—to feel that you have enhanced a life that is afflicted daily with lack of basic resources, such as food and shelter, that we take for granted daily, is truly a privilege.

What do you think sets Synergy Plastic Surgery apart from other practices?

At Synergy, we really try and give an authentic experience to each patient. This starts with most patients meeting their surgeon very early on in the consultation process. All the surgeons in the practice have known each other for years, and each person truly enjoys plastic surgery. Personally, one of my favorite parts of this job is that I get to meet patients from all walks of life and get to go along for their transformational journey. It’s really an honor for someone to choose me to be part of his/her life in that way.

What can a patient expect during a surgical consultation with you?

I think it’s important to establish a rapport with patients, so I spend some time with them before the physical exam. Even though I have consults daily, this is usually the first time for patients. My priority is for patients to feel they are in a comfortable, welcoming environment that’s free of judgment.

During our conversation, we go over their medical history and any medical issues or concerns they have. Then we discuss what procedure they’re interested in. I’ll usually discuss their options and even draw some of those options as I describe them because I’m a visual person. Then there’s time for questions before having them go to an exam room.

You’ve earned numerous awards. Is there one that you’re most proud of?

Awards are great, but I honestly can’t even tell you what awards are on my resume! When I think about the wall of my home office, one thing comes to mind, and that is a crayon drawing that one of my patients in Guatemala made me after I repaired his cleft palate. That’s the award I’m most proud of.

You seem to be passionate about the ocean. Did you grow up near the water?

I was a long way from the ocean! I grew up near a lake in the Ozarks of Arkansas. I started SCUBA diving when I was 13 so that I could spearfish in the lakes. I first dived in the ocean on a family vacation when I was 16 and was hooked! I’ve spent lots of time chasing sharks ever since.

What is involved in being a shark conservationist?

Well, there are many ways to be a “conservationist.” The younger version of me did it by holding up signs during protests about things like the shark finning. Also, when I lived in Australia, I worked with an organization called “Reef Check” where we dived along the Great Barrier Reef to monitor ocean temperatures and the condition of coral reefs. Now, most of my shark conservation activities involve supporting organizations like Shark Stewards and making sure that when I book a shark diving experience, that it’s with a company that supports such efforts. And, of course, I tell everyone to watch “Shark Week”!

When you’re not on an adventure or at the office, what do you enjoy doing around Austin?

I live near Lady Bird Lake, so I frequently bike or run or hop on my paddleboard to watch bats fly out from Congress bridge at sunset. I’m also always down for trying any of the hundreds of workout classes offered in Austin. The weirder the better. I’m also a sucker for any new restaurant opening.

Bonus question: How did you end up doing yoga with a goat on your back?

Like I said, the weirder the workout the better! My mom was in town visiting, and I was looking for something fun for us to do. She loves working out, and who doesn’t love pygmy goats?! My favorite was the one dressed in a taco shell. He may have had a given name, but I still just refer to him as “Taco.”