Meet Dr. Crawford

The stamina and work ethic required to become a board-certified plastic surgeon in Austin, Texas, come naturally to Dr. Lauren Crawford. She trained and competed as a long-distance runner for Texas A&M University throughout college, providing a unique perspective on the rigorous demands for becoming a surgeon.

“Long operative days are a breeze compared to logging mile after mile preparing for a cross-country meet,” says Dr. Crawford. That dedication and commitment now benefit her plastic surgery patients at Synergy.

Driven to Succeed

Even as she ran for the track and cross-country teams, Dr. Crawford managed to graduate from Texas A&M with a zoology degree after only 3 years. She then attended the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, where she earned her medical degree and was accepted into the prestigious Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society.

After medical school, Dr. Crawford completed a 6-year integrated plastic surgery residency program at the University of Missouri. After completing the residency, the Houston native returned to Texas and settled in Austin, where she’s been in private practice since 2010.

Community Involvement

Since returning to Austin as a plastic surgeon, Dr. Crawford has frequently volunteered her surgical skills and time. She served from 2017-2019 as a board member for Austin Smiles, an organization that helps send plastic surgeons to Central America to treat children with cleft lips and palates. As one of the few female plastic surgeons in Austin (along with Dr. Aisha White), she started a networking group for women physicians called Lady Docs of Austin.

Dr. Crawford is a member of the highly respected American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) and very active with local professional organizations, having served as president of the Austin Society of Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeons in 2018.

A Hobbyist at Heart

Dr. Crawford refers to herself as a “chronic hobbyist” with an array of interests ranging from reading and rock music to running and hiking with family. She enjoys writing, plays a few instruments, cooks, fly fishes, and is an amateur photographer.

“My family and I are often out and about enjoying every wonderful thing that Austin has to offer.”

An Interview With Dr. Crawford

Did you plan to become a doctor before heading to Texas A&M?

Yes! I was on the pre-med track from day one at Texas A&M. I knew I wanted to be a physician by the end of high school.

Did you have a mentor, or someone not involved in medicine, who influenced your career?

My mother taught high school and college level chemistry for over 35 years. She really influenced my interest in the sciences and inspired me to be an independent learner. I caught her teaching bug to an extent. I love to teach what I know to aspiring surgeons!

What was it about plastic surgery that attracted you?

I love the versatility of the field. We are operating all over the body and tailoring surgical needs to those best suited for our patients. There is no other specialty in medicine quite like that. We also get immediate gratification from our work. We plan a surgery, execute it, and get to see results almost immediately. It makes our work satisfying in so many ways.

What’s it like to be part of a multi-surgeon practice?

I have true friendships with some of the best surgeons in Austin and it is a privilege to operate and see patients alongside them. It makes me proud to be a part of this group who has served patients in such a consistently great and safe manner for so many years. I love working as part of a team environment and this is the best “dream team” I could imagine being a part of.

You’re one of only a few women practicing plastic surgeons in Austin, including your colleague at Synergy. Do you find the perspective of a woman in your role has some inherent advantages?

The vast majority of my patients are female and often mothers themselves. I find that being a female helps me instantly connect to their stories and develop an easy empathy for concerns regarding the contouring of the female form. As a mother of two, I also carry a deep understanding of the body changes associated with pregnancy. Shared experiences always help in forming that initial bond and trust with my patients. I treasure that.

Do you have a procedure that you enjoy performing most of all?

All the surgeries I perform are important and enjoyable to me. I suppose I really love restoring a mother’s body after the stresses of pregnancy are behind her. I can help that patient achieve a confidence she can’t find in dieting and working out.

What would the ideal patient review say about you?

My ideal patient review would say the entire care experience was excellent, from the initial consult to the surgical results to the aftercare and follow-up. I want to take care of the whole patient and nothing makes me feel better to hear that my patients feel well informed, that expectations of surgery are well managed, and that their experience with recovery and follow-up is very positive. This is all in addition to being very happy with the surgical outcome.

If you weren’t a plastic surgeon, what would you be doing?

That’s a tough one. I’ve been in training or working as a plastic surgeon since 2004 so it’s difficult to imagine a different career. I’d likely still be connected to medicine and the sciences in some way, perhaps in the form of teaching. I also love music and writing. Perhaps I could be a part-time anatomy professor who does some music journalism and short stories on the side? That sounds a bit unlikely. I better stick to my day job!

It sounds like you’re a big music fan. You must love Austin. Do you see many concerts?

I love Austin for many reasons but the active music scene here is amazing. I belong to a group called Black Fret which is dedicated to keeping the local artists thriving. There is a lot of group information sharing about local musicians and events and lots of opportunities to see live shows. I frequent concerts on both large and small scales here in Austin.

What’s your ideal day outside the office?

An ideal day starts off with a trail run followed quickly by breakfast and coffee. On weekends, I really love planning outside adventures for my family and exploring bits of our lovely home here in Central Texas. If we don’t have soccer games to go to, we might hike or find an outdoor festival or park to visit. Then, we find ourselves some tacos and, if lucky, a bit of live music to listen to. If we are joined by our friends or families, even better. That’s a great day in my book.

You lead a very healthy lifestyle. Do you offer advice to patients who come in for plastic surgery?

My love of running and other avenues for fitness has never gone away, but I’ve become smarter at maintaining some fitness with limited time. And, I love to get outside with my kids and hike. I do not want my patients to feel judged in any way when they meet me. There is so much that happens in life that prevents us from being our healthiest selves. If I can offer some gentle advice to help people get on track to better health, I love being part of that aspect of their care too. I don’t believe in fitness and diet extremes. Achieving the ‘perfect weight’ does not always get people there. Realistic goals with sustainable eating and fitness practices is what we should all shoot for.