It seems a stretch to go from the Army Medical Corp to owner of a plastic surgery clinic, but that was the path Larry Blevins chose. After a 20 year career he left the Army as a medical officer and started the Mesos Plastic Surgery Center in Lady Lake and Clermont.

“I originally started out with learning the art of reconstructive and cosmetic techniques trying to restore soldiers back to, or as close to normal as possible where those visual signs of what they went through were gone,” Blevins said. “I really put my heart into treating injured soldiers.”

Blevins joined the Army in 1991 in the Physician Assistant Program. He acquired his medical training at the University of Nebraska and became part of the Army Medical Corp. In early 2003 he was sent to Iraq as a medical officer for the 101st Airborne Division and on his second tour in 2005-2006 with the 801st Forward Surgical Team.

“During the time of the mosque bombings in 2005, we sometimes saw as many as 200 severely wounded people each day,” Blevins said. “I would literally walk down a row of wounded and maimed men, women and children and have to determine who could be helped and who couldn’t. It wasn’t easy to look into the face of an Iraqi mother whose child is lying there with a missing limb and determine if a soldier with a broken arm should be taken into surgery first.”

Blevins said in 2002-2004 he was exposed to cutting edge technology with lasers for scar rejuvenation for scars or burns.

During his two tours of duty in Iraq, Blevins received two Bronze Stars and the Order of St. Barbara medallion.

While Mesos started as a liposuction and weight loss clinic while Blevins awaited his release from the Army, in 2010 he went full time and focused on plastic surgery, laser procedures and injectables.

“I fell in love with the cosmetic world,” he said. I now work with an aging population in The Villages and I constantly hear women and men tell me they don’t like the disconnect with how young they feel on the inside with how they look on the outside. I love being in a career that bridges the gap between medicine and art.”