Since 1991, our country has recognized physicians every year on March 30 for their work and contributions to society and their communities. Behind every physician is a story about what inspired him or her to choose the field of medicine or select what specialty to practice. While Eli Howell, MD, knew he wanted to follow in his grandfather’s and father’s footsteps as a physician, he credits getting the measles over Christmas break in college to putting him on the path to becoming a plastic surgeon.
“I got measles my junior year at Tulane and missed the spring semester,” said Dr. Howell. “I got a job at Riley Hospital in Meridian mopping floors in the operating room, turning the rooms over and transporting patients. That opportunity solidified my decision to become a surgeon. Since then, I’ve worked in the OR as a tech, circulating nurse and resident,” he continued.
Dr. Howell went on to earn his doctor of medicine from the University of Mississippi School of Medicine in 1975 where he remained on staff and served as chief of the plastic surgery division in 1982-1983. He currently practices at Mississippi Premier Plastic Surgery in Jackson, and in February, he joined the staff at the Center for Breast Health & Imaging and is practicing with breast health specialists Travis Methvin, DO, Chip Wall, MD, and Dana Brooks, FNP-C. He sees patients at the Center and performs surgeries at OCH the first and third Tuesday of each month.
“Plastic surgery is a specialty we identified as a need in our community a few years ago,” said Dr. Methvin, Center for Breast Health & Imaging Director. “Because we perform mastectomies for our breast cancer patients, we recognized the need for breast reconstructive surgery, as well. After bringing Dr. Wall on staff last year, we felt this was the right time to offer breast reconstructive surgery to improve continuity of care for our patients,” Dr. Methvin continued.
As the region’s only surgeon who is fellowship trained in surgical breast oncology, Dr. Wall will assist Dr. Howell in the breast reconstruction process.
“For our breast cancer patients, adding this new specialty allows them to stay close to home for reconstructive surgery and follow up appointments,” said Dr. Wall. “Before bringing this specialty to Starkville, our patients were traveling at least two hours for breast reconstruction surgery, so not only are we able to now offer this close to home, but we’re also able to follow our patients through the entire process,” continued Dr. Wall.
While Dr. Howell was recruited predominantly to provide breast reconstruction services locally for the Center’s mastectomy patients, he also performs a variety of other reconstructive, elective and cosmetic procedures, including hand reconstruction, breast augmentation, blepharoplasty (eye lid surgery), abdominoplasty (tummy tuck), as well as botox and filler injections.
“From the techs and nurses to the anesthesia team, the surgical staff at OCH has done an excellent job. The first breast reconstruction surgery we did took three hours from start to finish, which is right on par for the length of time for that particular surgery,” explained Dr. Howell.
“By adding Dr. Howell to our team, our medical staff of more than 100 physicians now represents 20different specialties, and that’s something we’re very proud to offer to this community,” said OCH Chief Medical Officer Harry Holliday, MD. “We have doctors who are here because they want to be here. They enjoy working at OCH and serving the people of this community, and that helps us achieve our number one goal, which is to provide the very best care to our patients.”
For an appointment with Dr. Howell or for additional information, call the Center at (662) 615-3800. To find a physicians, click here.