Dr. Jennifer Walden | Building a Legacy as a 6th Generation Austinite
By Rudy Arispe
“First and foremost, I’m a mother, an entrepreneur, a businesswoman and I’m a plastic surgeon”, Dr. Jennifer Walden says when asked to describe herself.
The Austin native, who has appeared in Texas Monthly, Vogue and on national TV networks, such as NBC, CBS and Fox News, is also the owner of a busy surgical practice, Walden Cosmetic Surgery & Laser Center, along with The MedSpa at Westlake in South Austin and the soon-to-open MedSpa at NW Hills in North Austin.
And despite an eight-year stint working in the Big Apple, it wasn’t long before her heart yearned to return to her Texas roots. “Patients always ask if I’m a native Austinite because they read about it. Then they tell me I’m a rare unicorn”. Descended from pioneers who settled on Bull Creek in the 1850s, Dr. Walden relates her family history in Texas: “On my father’s side of the family, they migrated here in the mid-1800s. We’re sixth-generation Austinites; we bought 160 acres on Bull Creek for $2 an acre and sold it in 1960.” She adds, “I wish they hadn’t have sold it! But who knew Austin would become the boomtown it did?”
Dr. Walden also possesses another skill that surgeons sometimes have that her patients find interesting. “As far as being a surgeon, I’m ambidextrous. I can use both hands interchangeably while I operate,” she said. “I can use a scalpel blade in my right or left to make an incision, and I can throw a suture with my right or left hand as well. So that works out well when changing sides of the table.”
Still, being a single mom to two young boys remains a priority while her career as successful cosmetic plastic surgeon comes in second. “I have a sense of responsibility, and I always want to provide them with a good life,” Dr. Walden said, adding that her mother, who raised five children, has always been her role model. The doctor loves to perform surgery and feels most comfortable in the operating room but confides, “Having a nonsurgical cosmetic medspa practice is also nice and perhaps provides me with an exit strategy as I get older and want to spend time with my sons before they go off to college.”
When she’s not busy with work or raising her twin 7-year-old sons, Dr. Walden also told us about another little-known passion of hers: she likes to ride horses for relaxation and pleasure. “It’s fun. It’s something I did whenever I got a chance to do when I was a youngster,” she said. “Anyone who knew me well when I was a little girl knew I wanted to have horses when I was older.. that was my fairy tale… along with being a surgeon,” she laughs.
Dr. Walden, whose father was a dentist and whose mother was a surgical nurse, received her medical degree from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. After completing her residency, she moved to the Big Apple to complete a one-year, cosmetic surgery fellowship at the Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital, a prestigious institution with a legacy of superstars in the field of aesthetic plastic surgery. After falling in love with the City and practicing nearly eight years in New York, she moved back to the Lone Star State in 2011 and made her mark in as a cosmetic plastic surgeon in Austin with her surgical practice in Westlake and two medspas.
Her second cosmetic medspa, The MedSpa at NW Hills, is scheduled to open late this summer. It will offer the same noninvasive, cosmetic procedures as the one at Westlake, including cosmetic injectables like Botox and soft tissue fillers, noninvasive body contouring, laser hair removal and skin resurfacing, anti-aging and acne treatments, vaginal rejuvenation, among other cosmetic services. “We are also rolling out more along the lines of sexual wellness services such as bio-identical hormone replacement and BioTe pellet insertion in my Westlake practice and plan to extend that to the second medspa location as well”, Dr. Walden adds.
“We really grew our medspa at Westlake in South Austin beyond the bounds of what it could hold,” Dr. Walden explained. “For many of our patients in Austin, traffic is so congested that a drive across town can be long and frustrating. So we decided to open a medspa in the Northwest Hills neighborhood of Austin to better serve our patients who live and work in this area, as well as those in North Austin, Georgetown, Cedar Park and Round Rock.”
In addition, cosmetic injection specialist Kristin Gunn, who is known to many patients at the Westlake locale, will offer Botox and cosmetic fillers at the NW Hills center several times a week. Her laser technicians and aesthetician team will also be there, and of course Dr. Walden herself will frequent the second location often as well.
By the way, the Austin native is no stranger to the Northwest Hills neighborhood. “These are my old stomping grounds,” she said. “I grew up a few houses down on the street where the new MedSpa is going to be located. I’m very comfortable opening in this area, and I know the demographic well with many personal and family friends close by”. Dr. Walden adds, “My family was there so many years ago, there were only one or two businesses located on Far West [the street the medspa will be on]… you should see the old photos!”
Austin, all grown up…and we’re along with Dr. Walden for the ride!
For more information visit drjenniferwalden.com, themedspaaustin.com, or call (512) 328-4100.