Dr. Jennifer Walden is an American plastic surgeon who practices in Austin, Texas. She was born there in 1971. Her parents were a dentist and surgical nurse. She got a B.S. in Biology from the University of Texas, and then went to medical school at the University of Texas Medical Branch. Despite originally being put on a waiting list, she graduated as the salutatorian (second-highest) in her class.
After serving a residency at the University of Texas Medical Branch, Walden won a fellowship in aesthetic surgery at the Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital, where she worked under Dr. Sherrell Aston, the department chairman. After completing her fellowship, she remained at the hospital for seven and a half years. During this period, Walden took part in clinical trials that resulted in the reintroduction of silicone breast implants. She and Dr. Aston also worked with several other surgeons on a book, Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, that was published in 2009.
After the birth of her twin sons in November, 2010, Walden returned to Austin and opened up a private practice in Westlake Hills. In 2014, she opened a satellite office in Marble Falls, Texas.
Walden acknowledges that her sex makes her a rarity, as the vast majority of plastic surgeons are men. In a 2012 interview, she noted that of the roughly 8100 board-certified plastic surgeons in the US, only 851—or a little over 10% — were women. Only 180 of those were members of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, the top professional organization of board-certified plastic surgeons.
Despite the challenges of being a woman in such a male-dominated field, Walden believes she enjoys some advantages. Over 90% of her patients are also women, and many of them feel more comfortable talking to another woman about their bodies. Walden’s patients are often women whose bodies have changed after giving birth or nursing babies. Their abdominal wall muscles have spread after pregnancy, or their breasts have started to sag after nursing. As Walden herself has twin sons, she understands exactly what her patients are experiencing. She has even told some patients about the work she has had done on her face. She has had dermal fillers and undergone laser resurfacing.
In that same interview, Walden said she saw no contradiction in a feminist being a plastic surgeon. She believes she is helping women by helping them gain more confidence in their appearance.