Phillip Khan, M.D., stands out in plastic surgery and in style in Brunswick County.
“I always knew I was going to be a surgeon,” says Dr. Phillip Khan from his office at Novant Health Coastal Plastic Surgery in Southport. The custom-made gray suit and black leather cowboy boots project his signature style. With elbows resting on the chair’s arms, hands resting in his lap, he’s open to discussing his parents, plastic surgery and partiality toward Brunswick County.
“I want to be able to honor the legacy of my dad and my mom,” he says, and recounts how his late father, Dr. Mushtaq Khan, a native of India, settled in North Carolina. “The story is he was on a plane [in the 1960s] going to New York, and a lady on the plane was from a little town called Wilmington, North Carolina.” After further medical training, marriage to Martha, military service at Shaw Air Force Base in Sumter, South Carolina, where Phillip was born, the family came to Holden Beach.
Mushtaq, a general surgeon and general practitioner, was on staff at Brunswick Community Hospital. Martha, a registered nurse, was her husband’s office manager for the nearly three dozen years he practiced. She continues to work weekends at Brunswick Cove Living Center in Leland.
Dr. Khan, 42, spent 20 years to accomplish his goal of being a board-certified plastic surgeon. He received his bachelor of science degree at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill then proceeded to Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina, for his doctor of medicine degree. Internship at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, residencies at Spartanburg, South Carolina, Regional Medical Center and Baylor Scott and White Medical Center in Temple, Texas, followed. A fellowship at Hunstad Kortesis Center for Cosmetic Surgery in Huntersville/Charlotte completed his formal training. He returned to the area five years ago and believes he must follow his parents’ lead by serving the community where he grew up. “I was ingrained in this culture,” he says.
People tell him he doesn’t look like, sound like or present himself like a Brunswick County native. “I like people to know I kind of like being the guy who stands out,” he says. “I wear cowboy boots and a custom-made suit every day. I like being able to look a little different.”
Dr. Khan, who practices at Novant Health Brunswick Medical Center in Bolivia, is passionate about his chosen career. “Plastic surgery stimulates my mind,” he says. “I love every aspect of it. It’s really so creative.” He especially likes reconstructive surgery, primarily breast reconstruction. “You can really make a big, big change in patients’ lives.”
Although plastic surgery includes Botox, breast implants and fillers, which he offers, “It’s so much more,” Dr. Khan says. “We provide cosmetic plastic surgery, reconstructive surgery and treatment of conditions like skin cancer.”
He performs 600 to 700 major and minor procedures each year and says every week he lives his dream operation. “I would have to say it is a breast reconstruction that allows a woman to feel whole again.”
Teresa Hill, a patient care coordinator at Dr. Khan’s office, says she likes the community atmosphere and the closeness the doctor and the staff have with the patients. “Dr. Khan is very compassionate and encouraging,” she says. “I’ve worked in several capacities in the medical profession, and this is my favorite.”
Dr. Khan explains that he only needs two or three hours of sleep each night so he gets up around 2:30 am. “I’ve always been like that,” he says, adding that it frustrated his mother when he was growing up. “I didn’t like to sleep because it was a waste of time. There were so many other things I could be doing.”
He begins his day with exercise. He’s an avid runner, logging around 60 miles a week, and enjoys lifting weights. He’s at his office around 6:30 am, sees patients from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm and stays at work until about 10 pm. “[Plastic surgery] is something I can never get out of my mind,” he says. “I’m always thinking about how I can improve.”
Dr. Khan does have side interests, though. He’s a fan of American Muscle cars and NASCAR and would like to get a diesel truck “that I could customize a bit and take to the race track.” His dream job, if he ever retires, “would be a pit crew member for a NASCAR team,” he says. “I know nothing about it.”
He admits to being regimented and says that he will eat the same meal for two years and not realize it. “Like eggs and oatmeal,” he says. “Two years later I’ll realize, ‘Oh my gosh. I’ve eaten the exact same thing every single day for the last two years.’”
“He has his set diet that he likes to stick to,” says his office supervisor, Nancy Ashmore. On the other hand, his practice is full of variety. “I’m always learning new things. The different procedures Dr. Khan performs bring a wide variety of patients. I admire the depth and breadth of his knowledge.”
Dr. Khan believes his greatest success is “coming to a community like this and being able to provide care that normally would not be available,” he says. “I came back from a standpoint of service.”
He sees Novant as a hotbed of young physicians providing excellent care, and he wants to broaden that base and actively advocate for healthcare in Brunswick County. “I want to be able to promote the entire community because I see it as one of the best places in the country to live,” he says. “My distinctive role is to help it from a healthcare standpoint. I’d like to provide the best care that this part of the state can get.” He pauses. “You really have to give back. If I could just make a small difference … .”
Dr. Phillip Khan
Novant Health Coastal Plastic Surgery
1456 N. Howe Street Suite 201