David J. Gray, MD

Mercy Clinic Plastic Surgery


Many assume the terms “plastic surgery” and “cosmetic surgery” are

interchangeable, but that isn’t the case.

Dr. David J. Gray at Mercy Joplin is a board-certified plastic surgeon

whose training and expertise are more varied than that required for

cosmetic procedures alone.

“The main difference between plastic surgery and cosmetic surgery

is patients needing reconstructive services versus choosing to have

a cosmetic procedure done,” Dr. Gray said. “The procedures a plastic

surgeon can do run the gamut.”

Plastic surgeons have rigorous training, including an approved

fellowship and board certification. Dr. Gray advises patients to look

for a plastic surgeon who is certified by the American Board of Plastic


Dr. Gray uses his expertise to provide compassionate care as he assists

patients on the road to recovery. A large portion of his practice is

post-mastectomy breast reconstruction. Dr. Gray is also highly trained

in reconstruction following melanoma treatment, wound care, and

full head and neck reconstruction.

He has a personal interest in post-bariatric body contouring, or the

removal of loose skin after massive weight loss.

“I have four family members who have had bariatric surgery,

so this part of my practice is especially close to my heart,” he

said. “It’s very fulfilling to be able to help patients achieve

their goals after a life-changing bariatric surgery.”

Dr. Gray noted more and more insurance companies are covering

post-bariatric body contouring because of the health benefits the

surgery provides as excess skin can begin to break down over time,

develop sores or infections and affect someone’s ability to move.

It’s not uncommon for Dr. Gray to work in tandem with a number

of other physicians at Mercy Joplin. In the case of post-bariatric

body contouring, he works closely with Dr. Danny Liu, a specialist in

bariatric surgery. Dr. Gray and Dr. Liu are both Fellows of the American

College of Surgeons.

“There’s a huge advantage to having a clinic across from the general

surgeons’ clinic,” he said. “Whether it’s bariatrics, breast cancer or a

cancer case like melanoma, it’s very nice to have that ability to walk

across the hall and have that communication.”