Neil J. Zemmel, MD, FACS * †
Megan J. Goff, PA-C
Rachel M. Duke, NP, CANS
Caitlin M. Roop, LME
Short Pump Office
11934 W Broad Street, Suite 200
Richmond, VA 23233

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In the Media

Richmond Plastic Surgeon Saves Patient After Botched Procedure from Non-Board-Certified Cosmetic Surgeon

Dr. Zemmel Treats Dangerous Complication from Unqualified Doctor

Dr. Neil J. Zemmel saves the life of a local woman after she went into septic shock due to an infection from a tummy tuck performed by an unqualified doctor.

Richmond, VA — In a recent news segment on ABC 13 – WSET, Dr. Neil J. Zemmel, a board-certified plastic surgeon in Richmond, was interviewed about helping a patient who had gone into septic shock due to a surgical complication caused by an unqualified doctor. Dr. Zemmel recounts the experience saying, “She was very sick, she could’ve died.” The patient, Laura Jones, had undergone a tummy tuck from whom she thought was a skilled surgeon but later learned was not board certified. The first sign that she was not in capable hands was during her operation, when she recalls being on the table and hearing, “Oh my God, she woke up…give her something,” before she went back under. The situation only got worse during her recovery, when Laura developed an infection that led to severe sepsis. After arriving at her local Richmond hospital, Laura was promptly treated by Dr. Zemmel.

Although Laura was able to get the emergency care she needed, she reflects on her experience saying, “If that happened to me, it could happen to somebody else, and maybe somebody else couldn’t handle it or get to the hospital in time.” She emphasizes the misleading nature of her original doctor’s qualifications, explaining that there were professional certificates displayed in the office to indicate their expertise.

In Virginia and across the United States, any doctor with a medical license is legally allowed to perform cosmetic surgery, even if they do not specialize in it. This is why Dr. Zemmel urges anyone considering plastic surgery to seek a doctor who is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS). He says this is the one credential that can be trusted, since those with board certification from the ABPS have undergone six years of training in an accredited plastic surgery residency and have passed the rigorous ABPS examination process.

There are currently 230 board-certified plastic surgeons in Virginia, but the number of doctors performing plastic surgery in the area exceeds that. Due to this fact, Dr. Zemmel cautions men and women to be careful when researching and consulting with doctors. He says there are three important questions one should ask to determine if a surgeon is qualified:

  1. Are you board certified in plastic surgery?
  2. Will the procedure be performed in an accredited hospital or surgical facility?
  3. How often do you perform this surgery each year?

Dr. Zemmel makes safety the top priority at his practice, which is why he chooses to perform all surgeries in the hospital setting. He says this ensures optimal care standards are being followed, and in the event of a rare complication, all specialties are available to help.

Laura spent 11 days in the hospital after her scare with septic shock. After undergoing several revisional surgeries, Dr. Zemmel reports that she is healthy again and has since become an advocate for safety in cosmetic surgery. He hopes her story serves as a cautionary tale for those interested in plastic surgery to seek out a board-certified plastic surgeon to make sure they receive safe care from a trusted professional.

About Neil J. Zemmel, MD, FACS

Dr. Zemmel earned his medical degree from the University of Virginia School of Medicine, after which he was selected for a highly competitive, six-year combined plastic and reconstructive surgery program. After completing his training, Dr. Zemmel began practicing plastic surgery in Florida before returning to Richmond, Virginia to establish his private practice. At Richmond Aesthetic Surgery, Dr. Zemmel provides a comprehensive collection of surgical and non-surgical procedures, including breast augmentation, liposuction, facelift surgery, BOTOX® Cosmetic, CoolSculpting®, and much more. In addition to helping patients at his practice, Dr. Zemmel is active in multiple professional associations. He is a member of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, and a Diplomate of the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Dr. Zemmel is available for interview upon request.

For more information about Richmond Aesthetic Surgery, visit and


Richmond Aesthetic Surgery
11934 W Broad Street
Suite 200
Richmond, VA 23233
(804) 424-2000

Rosemont Media
(858) 200-0044

Dr. Zemmel Interviewed on ABC 13 WSET

Dr. Neil Zemmel was recently interviewed on ABC 13 WSET as part of a news feature on local women who had doctors who weren’t board-certified in plastic surgery perform their aesthetic procedures. Dr. Zemmel was called into Richmond-area hospital to help a woman who experienced life threatening post-surgical complications related to her tummy tuck surgery performed by a surgeon who was not board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

Click here to learn more about the segment and the potential dangers of non-board certified plastic surgeons performing cosmetic surgery.

Voted as One of the Best, Richmond Plastic Surgeon Earns Series of Awards

Local news sources distinguish Dr. Neil J. Zemmel as one of the top-rated plastic surgeons in the Richmond area.

Richmond, VA — Committed to offering exceptional patient care, Richmond physician Neil J. Zemmel, MD, FAC is honored to have been named a best plastic surgeon by multiple publications in the community. Dr. Zemmel is known for his advanced surgical expertise, compassionate bedside manner, and genuine concern for his patients’ wellbeing. He offers comprehensive cosmetic and reconstructive procedures at Richmond Aesthetic Surgery, where he believes every patient should be treated like family. This philosophy has led to high satisfaction rates and being awarded the top honors in local media outlets. Most recently, Dr. Zemmel was distinguished by three local publications.

  • In its 2018 “Best of Richmond” issue, local news source Style Weekly revealed that Dr. Zemmel was voted Richmond’s “Best Cosmetic Surgeon” by the community. The annual online poll gives readers the opportunity to vote for their favorites in multiple categories, and Dr. Zemmel was awarded first place in the cosmetic surgery section of the Goods and Services category.
  • Richmond Magazine named Dr. Zemmel a “Top Doc” this year in both the Cosmetic Plastic Surgeon and Reconstructive Surgeon categories. To be considered for the publication’s “Top Doc” issue, physicians are nominated and voted on by their peers. Dr. Zemmel earned more votes than any other physician in the Cosmetic Plastic Surgeon category, which he also received the award for in 2014.
  • Dr. Zemmel was also voted a “Best Plastic Surgeon” for 2017 in the Richmond Times-Dispatch—a leading newspaper in Virginia. The winners and finalists of RTD’s annual “The Best” awards are decided by local readers who vote for their favorites.

Having been recognized through votes from both patients and fellow physicians, Dr. Zemmel says he views these distinctions as feedback that he is effectively carrying out his mission of providing high-quality care. He is proud to have been named one of the top cosmetic surgeons in Richmond, and says he will continue helping patients by offering the best care he possibly can.

About Neil J. Zemmel, MD, FACS

Dr. Zemmel received his medical degree from the University of Virginia School of Medicine. He then trained in a competitive six-year program at Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center, completing a combined general and plastic surgery residency. After the completion of his surgical training, Dr. Zemmel spent three years practicing plastic surgery in Florida before returning to Virginia to found his private practice. At Richmond Aesthetic Surgery, Dr. Zemmel performs a wide range of surgical and non-surgical solutions—from breast augmentation and the comprehensive mommy makeover, to minimally invasive options like CoolSculpting® and BOTOX® Cosmetic. In addition to helping patients at his practice, Dr. Zemmel maintains an active role in professional associations, such as being a Diplomate of the American Board of Plastic Surgery, a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, and a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgery and American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. He is available for interview upon request.

For more information about Richmond Aesthetic Surgery, visit


Richmond Aesthetic Surgery
11934 W Broad Street
Suite 200
Richmond, VA 23233
(804) 424-2000

Rosemont Media
(858) 200-0044

Results Are In! Dr. Zemmel Voted Richmond’s “Best Cosmetic Surgeon”

Every year, local newspaper Style Weekly releases its “Best of Richmond” issue, which details the area’s top-rated businesses and attractions—with categories like Goods and Services, Nightlife, People and Places, Food and Drink, and more. The publication recently posted its 2018 list, and our team is excited to announce that Dr. Neil J. Zemmel was awarded first place for “Best Cosmetic Surgeon”!

The annual Style Weekly issue is voted on by readers through an online poll. Once the voting period has concluded, the results are tabulated and finalized by the publication’s editorial staff. Among the collection of winners this year, we are thrilled to see our very own plastic surgeon chosen as the readers’ pick for 2018. Dr. Zemmel takes pride in knowing his commitment to helping patients is making a difference in the community. He says the people he meets every day are what make his work so rewarding.

For all of you who voted for Dr. Zemmel, or have ever trusted our team with your cosmetic surgery needs, thank you! We look forward to continuing our mission of providing exceptional surgical care to those coming from Richmond and beyond.

Dr. Zemmel Named “Top Doc” for 2018

Our board-certified plastic surgeon, Dr. Neil J. Zemmel, has been recognized by Richmond Magazine as a “Top Doc” in Richmond, VA. Each year, Richmond Magazine publishes a list of local physicians who have been peer-nominated as the best doctors in their respective fields. For 2018, Dr. Zemmel earned the title of “Top Doc” for both Reconstructive Plastic Surgery and Cosmetic Plastic Surgery—the latter of which he received the highest number of votes of any professional within the category. Dr. Zemmel has previously been awarded this “Top Doc” honor from Richmond Magazine in 2014.

To begin the nomination process for the yearly “Top Docs” issue, Richmond Magazine contacts licensed professionals working in the medical field who are listed in the Virginia Department of Health Professions. After analyzing the results of an online survey, the magazine publishes the top nominated physicians for the benefit of the residents of Richmond and the surrounding areas.

Dr. Zemmel is proud to be included among such esteemed professionals in this year’s list of “Top Docs.” He believes that publications such as Richmond Magazine can serve as a valuable resource for prospective patients who are researching the best plastic surgeon for their needs. Ultimately, choosing the right plastic surgeon can significantly impact the patients’ satisfaction with their results.

To read more about Dr. Zemmel’s latest achievements, take a look at our latest press release.

Richmond Physician Named “Best Plastic Surgeon” by Local Community

Dr. Zemmel Named Best Plastic Surgeon in Richmond

Dr. Neil J. Zemmel has been honored by publications like the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Vitals, RateMDs, and Richmond Magazine for his dedication to providing high quality care in plastic surgery.

Richmond, VA — Since opening Richmond Aesthetic Surgery, board-certified plastic surgeon Neil J. Zemmel, MD, FACS has witnessed the positive impact cosmetic enhancement can have on a person’s life. He says that his passion for helping people look and feel their best translates into every aspect of his practice. With a commitment to providing excellent patient care, Dr. Zemmel feels honored to have been recognized by various publications in his mission to be the best plastic surgeon in Richmond, Virginia and beyond.

One of the most recent awards Dr. Zemmel received was being named a “Best Plastic Surgeon” in 2017 by the Richmond Times-Dispatch, one of Virginia’s premier daily newspapers. He was also ranked number one on the list of “Best Plastic/Cosmetic Surgeons, Physicians in Richmond, VA” by RateMDs, a leading online source for doctor ratings and reviews from patients. This distinction highlights Dr. Zemmel as being exceptionally helpful, knowledgeable, and punctual, as well as having an outstanding staff. In addition to receiving votes from his patients, Dr. Zemmel has been nominated by fellow physicians in the area for Richmond Magazine’s yearly “Top Doc” issue. He received the 2018 title for both Cosmetic Plastic Surgeon and Reconstructive Surgeon categories.

Another publication that has recognized Dr. Zemmel’s dedication to patient care is Vitals®, an online resource designed to educate the public on health care decisions. This site has highlighted Dr. Zemmel several years in a row. His most notable awards include receiving the “Patients’ Choice 5th Anniversary Award”—an honor only 1% of doctors in the U.S. receive—as well as the ”Compassionate Doctor Award – 5 Year Honoree,” which is given to the doctors with the highest bedside manner ratings for five consecutive years.

Widely recognized for his surgical expertise, Dr. Zemmel is often interviewed for his professional opinion and knowledge regarding various procedures. This has included being on The Doctors daytime television show for his work with a young man’s post-major weight loss contouring. Dr. Zemmel has also been quoted in an article by The New York Times regarding the virtual consultation platform Zwivel™, and interviewed by a reporter from CNN London.

Dr. Zemmel is pleased to regularly be featured in such esteemed publications, and attributes his high patient satisfaction to his practice’s focus on patients’ well-being. By prioritizing patients’ health and happiness, he believes he is able to create the most beneficial treatment plans that align with their goals. In response to his recent honors, Dr. Zemmel says he is proud to be recognized by his patients and peers for the high level of care his team strives to provide.

About Neil J. Zemmel, MD, FACS

After earning his medical degree from the University of Virginia School of Medicine, Dr. Zemmel continued to the Virginia Commonwealth University Medical Center to train in his general and plastic surgery residency. He then entered private practice in Florida before returning to Virginia to found Richmond Aesthetic Surgery. Dr. Zemmel offers a comprehensive array of plastic surgery procedures at his practice—from surgical procedures like breast augmentation and tummy tuck surgery, to non-surgical treatments like BOTOX® Cosmetic. He is also involved with several medical associations, including being a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and a member of the the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, American Society of Plastic Surgery, and Medical Society of Virginia. Dr. Zemmel is available for interview upon request.

For more information about Richmond Aesthetic Surgery, visit


Richmond Aesthetic Surgery
11934 W Broad Street
Suite 200
Richmond, VA 23233
(804) 424-2000

Rosemont Media
(858) 200-0044

NBC 12 Features Dr. Zemmel for Patient’s Gender Reassignment Surgery

In a recent segment on NBC 12 News, Dr. Zemmel was featured for his work with a married couple on their journey through gender reassignment surgery. Beginning at a young age, Nic and Ryan felt out of place in their female bodies. They first met in high school and have since been transitioning together into their true gender identities. Dr. Zemmel had the privilege of performing Ryan’s female to male top surgery.

In the news segment, Dr. Zemmel discusses Ryan’s procedure, detailing the process of creating a more masculine chest by reducing and repositioning the breast tissue. Although Ryan is still recovering from his FTM top surgery, he reports that his new body allows him to be his true self for the first time, no longer having to “be an actor all the time.” Both Nic and Ryan say they feel happier and more confident as they continue to transition.

To view the NBC 12 News segment, “Trapped in the wrong body: How gender reassignment surgery helped a Richmond couple,” watch the video below:

If you have any questions about FTM top surgery and how Dr. Zemmel can help you on your journey, please contact us to schedule your consultation.

Watch Us This Thursday on NBC 12 – 11PM

Dr. Zemmel and Richmond Aesthetic Surgery will be featured on NBC 12 News at 11PM on Thursday, October 26th. News anchor Curt Autry is detailing Nic and Ryan’s journey through gender reassignment surgery and how Dr. Zemmel played a part in their journey.

We hope you can tune in to watch! A link to the segment will be available shortly after the airing.

Richmond Aesthetic Surgery and Dermlounge featured on CBS 6 Virginia This Morning

We are excited to be featured on CBS 6 ‘Virginia This Morning’. Below you will find 3 episodes that highlight the individualized care that Dr. Zemmel, Megan Goff, Rachel Duke and our entire staff offer to each and every patient.

Segment 1 – Dr. Zemmel and Megan Goff discuss the new Short Pump office and the consultation process.

Segment 2 – Rachel Duke NP, CANS discusses injectable filler treatments including BOTOX®

Segment 3 – Dr. Zemmel and Rachel Duke discuss the new location and treatments offered at both Richmond Aesthetic Surgery and Dermlounge

Dr. Zemmel Discusses Transgender Surgery with Newsradio 1140 WRVA

In an interview with Newsradio 1140 WRVA, Dr. Zemmel discusses the increase in demand for transgender surgeries and why Richmond, VA is a destination to have these procedures done. Dr Zemmel explains, “My job as a physician is to assist these patients in becoming the people that they want to be” and “to give them safe, reliable operations.” Listen to the full interview below.

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