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About Us

Welcome to Plastic Surgery Bellingham. At Plastic Surgery Bellingham, we are dedicated to providing our patients with close personal attention, superb customer service and advanced technology in order to meet each individual’s unique needs and desires. We are proud to offer an array of cosmetic and reconstructive procedures performed by solidly trained and experienced surgeons. For your comfort, safety and best possible results, our support staff is composed entirely of registered nurses and we perform all surgical procedures at our accredited facilities.

At Plastic Surgery Bellingham we take the time to thoroughly consult with all our patients. We listen to your desires, evaluate your current physical attributes, and educate you on the possibilities and limitations of the procedures you are considering. We want you to make an informed decision and to have realistic expectations about the results before undergoing surgery. That is why we work with you to create a treatment plan based on your goals and individual physical features.


Our Staff

While cosmetic surgery, performed to enhance your appearance and self-esteem, is usually not covered by insurance, reconstructive surgery often is. Reconstructive surgery is performed to correct abnormal bodily structures caused by congenital defects, trauma, infection, etc., in order to improve function. There are some situations in which a procedure fulfills both a cosmetic and a reconstructive purpose, and an insurance carrier will consider contributing to the costs.  Again, we are dedicated to working with you to meet your needs.

For your convenience, we are located just off Interstate 5 next to Cornwall Park and St. Joseph Hospital.

Please contact us today to set up a consultation.

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About the Doctors

James Howell Blackburn II, M.D.

Medical Degree and Medical Licenses

Dr. James Howell Blackburn II earned his medical degree from the Louisiana State University School of Medicine, New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1991. Shortly after his graduation, he was awarded his Pennsylvania medical license. In 1998, Dr. Blackburn was issued a medical license in Kentucky, and in 1999 he received a medical license from the State of Washington. He became Board Certified with the American Board of Plastic Surgeons in 2006 and was accepted as a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons (FACS) in October of 2008

Post-Doctoral Training

During his medical career, Dr. Blackburn has held several internships, residencies, and fellowships with the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center at Pennsylvania State University in Hershey, Pennsylvania. From 1991 to 1992, Dr. Blackburn held an internship in general surgery with the Department of Surgery; from 1992 to 1994, Dr. Blackburn held a clinical and research fellow in pediatric surgery; from 1994 to 1996, he held a residency in general surgery; and from 1996 to 1998, Dr. Blackburn held a residency in plastic and reconstructive surgery.

In March of 1998, Dr. Blackburn was a Visiting Fellow with Hand and Microsurgery at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne, Australia. In April of that same year, Dr. Blackburn was a Visiting Fellow with Hand and Microsurgery at St. Luke’s Hospital in Sydney, Australia. From 1998 to 1999, Dr. Blackburn was a Clinical Fellow in Hand and Microsurgery with the University of Louisville Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky.

Hospital Appointments

In 2004, Dr. Blackburn was appointed as Chair of the Department of Surgery at St. Joseph Hospital in Bellingham, Washington and will hold the appointment through 2006. Additional St. Joseph Hospital appointments include: Chairman of the Committee on Surgical Privileges, Vice Chair of the Department of Surgery from 2003 to 2007, and a staff appointment in 1999.

Awards and Honors

Dr. Blackburn was awarded a Ballantine Research Fellow in Pediatric Surgery from 1992 to 1994 and a Louisiana State University Board of Supervisors Scholarship from 1990 to 1991.

Professional Organizations

Dr. Blackburn is a member of the Northwest Society of Plastic Surgery, the Whatcom County Medical Society, the Washington State Medical Society, and the Washington Society of Plastic Surgery.

Undergraduate Degree and Additional Information

Dr. Blackburn received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. Dr. Blackburn served his country in the military for several years and received many honors, including a National Defense Medal in 1991.

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Helen A. James, M.D.

Medical Degrees and Medical Licenses and Certifications

Dr. James received her medical degree and bachelor of surgery from the University of Otago, New Zealand, in 1964. In 1973, Dr. James was awarded a Fellow from the Royal College of Surgeons in England. Dr. James became board certified in plastic surgery by the American Board of Plastic Surgery in 1986.

Dr. James currently holds an active medical license in the state of Washington, and inactive licenses in Florida and North Carolina.

Post-Doctoral Training

Dr. James has held several internships, residencies, and fellowships in the United States and abroad. Her post-doctorate training in the United States includes a Fellowship in Plastic Surgery at Mount Sinai Medical Center, Miami Beach, Florida from 1977 to 1979, and a residency in plastic surgery with North Carolina Memorial Hospital, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, from 1979 to 1981.

Post-doctorate training abroad includes serving as house surgeon with Palmerston North Hospital in New Zealand from 1965 to 1966; a cardiothoracic surgery registrar with Wellington Public Hospital in New Zealand in 1967; and a philosophy demonstrator with the University of Otago Medical School in New Zealand in 1968. In 1969, Dr. James served as a neurosurgery and general surgery registrar with New Zealand’s Dunedin Public Hospital.

In 1970, Dr. James traveled to Quinhon, Vietnam, where she was a surgeon with the New Zealand Surgical Team. From 1972 to 1973, Dr. James served as a general surgery registrar with the South London Hospital in London, England. In 1973, she relocated to Perthshire, Scotland, where she practiced plastic surgery. From 1974 to 1975, Dr. James was a plastic surgery senior house officer with Wexham Park Hospital, Slough, Bucks, United Kingdom. Dr. James served as a registrar of plastic surgery with St. Luke’s Hospital in Bradford, England, from 1975 to 1977.

Hospital Appointments and Private Practice

Dr. James has held an appointment with St. Joseph’s Hospital in Bellingham, Washington, since 1982. From 1982 through 1989, she held an appointment with St. Luke’s Hospital in Bellingham, Washington. Dr. James also held an appointment with Mt. Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach, Florida from 1981 to 1982.

Dr. James has been in private practice in Bellingham, Washington, since 1982. Prior to relocating to Washington, Dr. James was engaged in private practice in Miami Beach, Florida.

Professional Organizations

Dr. James is currently a member of several professional organizations including the American Medical Association, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, and the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. She is also a member of the Washington State Medical Society, the Washington Society of Plastic Surgeons, the Northwest Society of Plastic Surgery and the Whatcom County Medical Society.

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Timothy M. Whitney, M.D.

Medical Degree and Medical Licenses and Certifications

Dr. Whitney received his medical degree cum laude in 1984 from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and his Massachusetts medical license in 1993. Dr. Whitney was board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery in 1996 and by the American Board of Surgery from 1992 to 2003.

Post-Doctoral Training

Dr. Whitney has had extensive post-doctoral surgery training. From 1984 to 1987, Dr. Whitney had an internship and residency in general surgery with the University of California, San Francisco. He served as a hand and microsurgery clinical research fellow with the Department of Microsurgical Replantation and Transplantation at the Davies Medical Center, San Francisco, California, from 1987 to 1989. Dr. Whitney held a senior and chief residency in general surgery with the University of California, San Francisco, from 1989 to 1991. From 1991 to 1993, Dr. Whitney was a resident in plastic and reconstructive surgery with the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in Pennsylvania.

Hospital Appointments

Dr. Whitney is currently appointed to the provisional staff of St. Joseph Hospital in Bellingham, Washington. Prior to this appointment, Dr. Whitney served as a senior staff member of the Lahey Clinic in Burlington, Massachusetts, from 1993 to 2003, and as a courtesy staff member with The Children’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts, from 1994 to 2003. Dr. Whitney also served as a staff surgeon with Symmes Medical Center in Arlington, Massachusetts, from 1997 to 1999.

Academic Appointments and Teaching Experience

Dr. Whitney has held several academic appointments at many prestigious hospitals. From 1993 to 2003, Dr. Whitney was an attending surgeon with the Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and attending hand surgeon with the Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Special Section for Hand Surgery, at the Lahey Clinic in Burlington, Massachusetts.

From 1995 to 2003, Dr. Whitney was an instructor in surgery with the Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts. He also served as an Assistant Clinical Professor of Surgery with Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston from 1996 to 2003.

Dr. Whitney’s teaching experience with the Lahey Clinic in Burlington, Massachusetts, includes serving as Curriculum Coordinator for the Core Lecture Series in Anatomy from 1993 to 2003, as the Microsurgical Center’s Microsurgical Course Director from 1995 to 2003, and as the Program Director for the Plastic Surgery Residency Program from 1999 to 2003.

Awards and Honors

Dr. Whitney’s many awards and honors include a National Honor Society Scholarship in 1975 and a Commonwealth Scholar Honors Program honor with the University of Amherst, Massachusetts, from 1978 to 1979.

From 1982 to 1984, Dr. Whitney served as class president for the 1984 class of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. In 1983, he was a member of Alpha Omega Alpha and in 1984, he received a Lange Publications Achievement Award. In 1993, Dr. Whitney was awarded a Dana Foundation Research Grant.

In 2003, Dr. Whitney was selected as one of Boston’s “Top Doctors” by Boston Magazine and is listed in the 2003 edition of the Consumers Checkbook Center for the Study of Services Guide to Top Doctors.

Undergraduate Degree, Research Interests, and Additional Information

Dr. Whitney received his Bachelor of Science degree Summa Cum Laude from the University of Massachusetts in 1979. He was a member of the Buncke Microsurgical Society in 1989, the Howard J. Nafziger Surgical Society in 1991, and the International Telemedicine Society in 1995. In 2000, Dr. Whitney was a guest manuscript reviewer for the publication Regulatory Peptides. At the Lahey Clinic in Burlington, Massachusetts, Dr. Whitney served on many committees, including the Task Force-Ambulatory Care Center from 1997 to 1999, the Tissue and Trauma Committees from 1996 to 1999, the Antibiotics Subcommittee of Infectious Diseases from 1994 to 2000, the Urgent Care Committee from 1994 to 1996, and the Medical Dictation Committee from 1993 to 1994.

Dr. Whitney’s research interests include hand and microsurgery, stroke treatments involving the cytokine influences on reperfusion injury, and the applications of virtual reality and interactive technology in anatomy and reconstructive surgery.

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About the Esthetician

Brenda Valandry

Brenda Valandry graduated in December of 1991 from Whatcom School of Cosmetology. Brenda practiced skin care at Resort Semiahmoo Spa and then later worked for Escape Day and Medical Spa in Bellingham. Brenda is known and appreciated for her waxing skills.