According to her co-workers, Kristy Ehrmantraut PA-C is an integral part of the phenomenal team at Mountain West Plastic Surgery and Aesthetics. She has over 14 years of experience in plastic and reconstructive surgery and has been on staff at Mountain West since 2015. As a physician assistant she offers care for surgical patients throughout the post-operative process. When she is not assisting the surgeons in the OR she can be found in the office performing Botox and dermal filler injections, laser treatments, and even non-surgical CoolSculpting. She provides diagnosis and treatment of skin cancers, acne and so much more.
Kristy, who grew up in North Dakota, started working in the medical field at age 17. She had a varied career that included EMS, geriatrics, physical therapy, urgent care and more. She was in college when she met her partner Richard. He was also attending school, working on his degree in theater. They had two daughters and the family moved around quite a bit because of his teaching career. In her thirties, Kristy decided to expand her medical career. She attended the surgical physician assistant program at the University of Alabama – Birmingham, graduating Cum Laude.
The first five years of her career were spent in Georgia working with a plastic surgery group. This career, she realized, was her new passion. In 2009, the theatre program at Flathead Valley Community College offered Richard a teaching opportunity that they couldn’t refuse and as a family they moved here in 2010.
At Mountain West Plastic Surgery, Dr. Michelle Spring and Dr. Michael Hromadka offer a plethora of surgical options from face, eyelid, body, breast and reconstruction surgeries. Kristy enjoys working in surgery and especially likes hearing people say things like, “I can’t believe how nervous I was to come in for my initial visit and realize now, how easy it was and how much better I feel!”
Kristy’s aesthetic practice grows organically through word of mouth referrals and patient testimony’s backed by her treatment results. Kristy notes that many people are interested in injectable therapy such as Botox- which can smooth forehead wrinkles and soften fine lines around the eyes and lips. The average age of first-time Botox clients is somewhere between ages 30 and 40, and they quickly realize that Botox is a preventive measure. By opting for preventative Botox therapy, we can effectively defray the effects of intrinsic aging. Kristy is also proud of Mountain West’s varied skin care lines. She explains that they are effective products that target every concern from correcting sun damage, to early signs of aging and they are specifically designed to inhibit both.
On the surgical side of aesthetics practice; breast augmentation, breast lift, or breast reduction surgery can provide patients with positive self-image and in some cases, correct physical discomfort and complications from the size or weight of their breasts. Breast reconstruction surgery is one of the more gratifying surgical treatments. She explains that advancing medical techniques make it possible for surgeons to create a breast, very close in form and appearance to that of a natural breast. In some cases, reconstruction surgery can be done immediately following mastectomy, minimizing the need for additional surgery.
One of the most fulfilling surgeries Kristy has been involved with is cleft lip and palate repair for babies. “It can be life-changing, not only in cosmetic terms but also to correct the corresponding feeding and swallowing issues, ear infections, poor jaw and teeth development, speech problems and low self-esteem that may affect the child as they grow”.
Kristy resides in a 109-year-old historic home on Kalispell’s east side. When she is not working, she enjoys kayaking and camping. She laughingly admits that she is not much of a skier. One of her favorite pastimes is spending time with Richard, and her two daughters, who will often come over and test their culinary skills while cooking dinner together.
Her weakness, admittedly, is for animals. She loves all animals and being able to provide a safe haven for them. There was a brief mention of previously having rescued goats, but her current menagerie includes three cats, a rabbit, and the occasional grand-dog.
Kristy enjoys traveling but after having moved around so much, “we don’t do a lot of it”. Someday traveling will be a priority again. For now, she finds a lot of enjoyment in her daily successes and challenges at work, in her family, and their little piece of heaven here in northwest Montana.
When asked for her best piece of clinical advice? “Use sunscreen!” exclaims Kristy. “And keep in mind that a spray tan is always better than opting for further sun damage.”