Dr. Penelope Treece is a North Carolina native where she began her career as an artist in early childhood. Well, ok, her grandmother was the first to purchase a painting, but she went on to be accepted to the School of Math and Science and attend College and Medical School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Although she did research in Dermatology and Radiology, her artistic roots and interest in Anatomy resulted in the unavoidable attraction to the Surgical Specialties. Thus was her path to New Orleans to complete her internship and residency at Louisiana State University Department of Surgery, Charity Hospital. Before Hurricane Katrina destroyed Charity, it was one of the oldest and largest hospitals in America and was known for its extensive Trauma training and ‘if you don’t see it at Charity, it does not exist’. The extensive patient load from Charity Hospital allowed her to publish research in the ground breaking and innovative technique for Breast Reconstruction, the DIEP Flap. “I am so sad to see Charity gone and it remains to be seen if the new healthcare system in Louisiana can provide the plethora of patients and training previously experienced at this somewhat infamous institution. “We didn’t have high technology (one CT scanner and no MRI) and we sometimes ran out of OR supplies. But, you know what, we improvised and got the job done.” After additional training at the Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, she was in private practice for three years in Atlanta. Ultimately, the love of New Orleans and all it encompasses: the dining, the architecture, the history, the great mix of interesting people and cultures- called her ‘home’.
In New Orleans she limits her practice to Breast Cancer Detection and Treatment and Aesthetic Surgery. She is Board Certified and a member of The American Board of Surgery, The American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery, The American Society of Breast Surgeons, The Southeastern Surgical Congress, The Louisiana State Medical Society, and the Orleans and Jefferson Parish Medical Societies, to name a few. On staff at numerous South and Northshore Hospitals, she retains patients as far as Australia and Malaysia. Not to‘limit her “practice”, she still paints and sculpts as displayed in local galleries and her office, although now her ‘artistry’ is beautifully displayed on many of the locals. Taking the ‘plastic’ out of Plastic Surgery is her ultimate goal. Whether you are concerned about a breast mass or wrinkles, Dr. Treece and her staff are committed to addressing the problem and getting results.
The greatest gifts her training has afforded her? “I get to save lives, improve lives and be ‘an artist of the human condition’. That’s the enjoyable part- all those years in surgical training at Charity gave me an encompassing capability which has brought me this far.” Just when her practice was all recovered from Hurricane Katrina, Isaac removed the roof. State Farm recommended inadequate roof repairs and her entire building suffered water damage within a year. “I owe a great thanks to many other physicians, businesses and, most of all my patients, for helping me through the Isaac ordeal. Patients’ helping the doctor-what an irony. But all who live in these parts know an insurance company can be your greatest disaster. We are a people of formidable capability. “I like to paraphrase Scarlet O’Hara: ‘tomorrow is another day, even if you have to wear your curtains’.”