Behind the Scenes of TLC’s Skin Tight with Dr. BekanichPosted on January 22, 2016 | by Austin Plastic Surgery Boutique
We recently sat down with Dr. Bekanich to get all the deets on TLC’s latest show, Skin Tight. On the show, we get to see Dr. Bekanich in action as she helps patients who have lost a massive amount of weight get rid of the excess skin that’s been holding them back. But what’s going on behind the scenes? Keep reading to find out!
How did you get involved with Skin Tight?
The producers of Skin Tight contacted me because of my reputation and results. Because of my extensive training in cosmetic surgery and work with renowned world leaders in cosmetic plastic surgery in Miami, they were excited to have me join their team. The producers felt that my commitment to being realistic and my focus on developing a positive interpersonal relationship with patients was something they really wanted for their patients, as this journey can be very challenging.
When you became a plastic surgeon, did you ever think you’d also play one on TV?
Never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine being on television! This was not something I was looking for or thought I would be interested in. However, when I was approached by the producers, I was really captivated by the stories of these wonderful patients. I truly felt that taking part in this type of project would be an incredibly rewarding experience that could potentially help others who are struggling with similar issues. This kind of television series can show people that they are not alone out there and that they too can reach whatever potential they set for themselves.
What were you most excited about?
I was most excited over the opportunity to work with such a great cast of patients. Each and every one of the patients has an amazing story that is sure to bring a tear or two to your eye. I loved learning about their history, fears, and accomplishments. It was really inspiring.
What were you most nervous about?
There were a couple of things I was nervous about that made me pause before moving forward with the show. First and foremost, I was concerned about how they would portray the patients and their experiences. Not necessarily the medical side, but rather their emotional side. This is a very personal look at each and every one of them. Before agreeing, I met extensively with the producers and clarified their intent of the theme of the show to ensure that I would be a part of something I could be proud of. My experience with the production crew and company has been really wonderful. I feel that they tried their best to be respectful of the patients and their privacy. That was a top priority for me.
On a more personal side, I was very nervous about being on television. I have no experience with acting or being on screen. The crew I worked with really set those fears aside once we started. They were very encouraging and supportive.
Any funny stories from behind the scenes that you can share?
Nothing that sticks out right now, except for when we were asked to repeat things over and over—which inevitably led to us falling into laughing spells and trying to get our composure back. Also, I was always trying to put the robes back on patients to cover them up—I felt bad they had to stand there undressed so much. But we just had to keep taking them off.
One laughing fit revolved around having to say the word nipple during Tim’s portion of the show. “Where are Tim’s nipples?” It felt like we were saying the word nipple so much and, for some reason, it was just incredibly funny at the time. Dr. Kerr had to train himself not to move his eyes a certain way every time he answered a question, and I had to train myself not to start every sentence with the word “so.” Little things like that were ridiculously difficult. I found learning all the lingo really fun too—OTF, sound speed, speeding, etc.
What might we find surprising about the experience?
Despite all the nerves, it was surprising how easy it was to “act” in that environment. The reality is that it truly was all about the patient, and we were committed to doing what was safe and in the patient’s best interests. Keeping that at the forefront of our minds, it was easy to have the camera rolling or to answer questions about what was happening.
Do you work with many patients in similar situations in your private practice?
Patient interest in skin removal after massive weight loss is increasing. While moms looking for mommy makeovers are still a more prominent feature of my private practice, weight loss patients requiring skin removal are becoming more and more common. In some ways, the differences are not as divergent as one might think. The skin removal is just on a grander scale for patients who have lost a significant amount of weight.
What is the most rewarding aspect of working with patients after significant weight loss?
The most rewarding aspect of working with patients after significant weight loss is to be given the gift of helping someone who truly cannot reach this final goal without someone like myself. Patients can lose weight through a variety of paths, but if left with loose skin after the weight comes off, there is no amount of exercise, lasers, or vitamins that will fix it. I really can make a meaningful difference in their lives.
Would you do it again?
Yes, for sure! This was an incredibly fun and positive experience. I have known and worked with Dr. Kerr for over 15 years—and I’m thrilled to collaborate with him on more complex cases even though we have our own, separate private practices. Both socially and professionally, we are great friends and have a lot of fun together. From a patient perspective, it was very rewarding to help these patients realize their goals and to hopefully encourage other people out there to strive to be the person they want to be, both inside and out.