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Historical Highlights

Dr. Fernando Ortiz-Monasterio

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Dr. Fernando Ortiz-Monasterio was a world-renowned Craniofacial plastic surgeon from Mexico. He trained in Mexico and in the United States, at the University of University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. He was a pioneer in bringing facial surgeries to Mexico, where previously craniofacial abnormalities would be left untreated. He spent his life dedicated to helping children have access to cleft lip and palate surgeries.

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Dr. Amado Ruiz-Razura

Dr. Amado Ruiz-Razura (1954-2008), a Mexican plastic surgeon, was born in Guadalajara, Mexico and worked as a craniofacial plastic surgeon in Houston, TX. He worked on increasing safety in liposuction and body contouring procedures as well as introducing new concepts and ideas into the field of plastic surgery. He worked was the co-director of Operation San Jose to organize mission trips to serve children with facial deformities including cleft lip and palate repairs. Dr. Ruiz-Razura was an important founding member and past president of the Society for Latin American Plastic Surgeons in the US and Canada and helped carry on the society's vision. 

He developed the Ruiz-Cohen round arterial expander at Christus St. Joseph Hospital in 1988 to help in the repair or reconstruction of a forearm injury, where radial or ulnar arteries are lacerated. This expander served as an alternative to the interpositional vein grafting, allowing for longitudinal elongation for direct repair of the injured vessel with one anastomosis, without an interpositional vein graft.

Dr. Raj Sawh-Martinez

Dr. Raj Sawh-Martinez is a Yale trained craniofacial and aesthetic surgeon practicing in Orlando, Florida. He is the Chair of Pediatric Plastic Surgery at AdventHealth, where he sees patients of all ages—including children with cleft lip, cleft palate, and craniosynostosis. He also specializes in aesthetic surgery and melanoma. 

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Dr. Ivo Pitanguy

"Ivo Pitanguy, MD, was born in 1926 in Minais Gerais, Brazil. The son of a general surgeon, Pitanguy followed in his father’s footsteps. He studied under JJ Longacre, MD, of Cincinnati; Marc Iselin, MD, of Paris; and Sir Archibald McIndoe and his cousin, Sir Harold Gillies, in the United Kingdom. Upon his return to Brazil, Pitanguy set up the first hand-surgery service in Latin America at the 19th Infirmary at the Santa Casa General Hospital in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He also became the head of the Department of Burns and Plastic Surgery at Souza Aguiar Hospital in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In 1960, Pitanguy opened the 38th Infirmary Santa Casa de Misericórdia Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery in Rio de Janeiro. The 38th Infirmary, in conjunction with the Clinica Ivo Pitanguy, became a centre of excellence for the training of international plastic surgeons. Truly ahead of his time, Pitanguy pioneered innovative techniques in plastic surgery and founded a formal residency programme to disseminate and share his vast knowledge. At the 38th Infirmary Pitanguy and his residents frequently dealt with disfigurements among the poor, for example treating the surviving victims of a fire at a circus near Rio in 1961 that claimed the lives of over 500 people. Pitanguy believed that aesthetic surgery is not separate from reconstructive surgery and that even the poor had a right to treatment. At the 38th Infirmary, aesthetic surgery was formally taught and given equal importance to other reconstructive work such as burns, congenital defects and hand surgery. Many surgeries were heavily subsidised and even free for patients unable to afford payment. By the 1970s Pitanguy had made Rio a mecca for plastic surgery." PMFA Journal - By Lee Seng Khoo and Vasco Senna-Fernandes
There is much to read about his incredible work. He authored over 2000 publications. He popularized the Brazilian Butt lift. He did 8788 face lifts in his practice. He was multifaceted.

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Dr. Miguel Orticochea

Dr. Miguel Orticochea was born on 1928 in Uruguay. He moved to Bogotá, Colombia and became a professor at the Javeriana and National Universities. He published techniques from head to toe in plastic surgery including describing musculocutaneous flaps.
This figure is from his paper first describing the Oricochea flap. Like peeling a banana! For large scalp defects (>50cm^2), this technique which was later modified to have three large flaps is an important option within our armamentarium as plastic surgeons.

Antonio Victoria

“In 1965, 13 year-old Antonio Victoria arrived at Stanford University Medical Center from his home in Mexicali, Mexico, where his cleft lip and palate had made him a social pariah. He had no education and no chance for social advancement, but was otherwise normal. Dr. Robert Chase was able to restore the boy’s appearance with a mere three operations – a gift that allowed him to continue in life as a happy, productive member of society where once he had been shunned. As Dr. Donald Laub witnessed Antonio’s dramatic physical and emotional transformation at the hands of a craftsman surgeon, his own career path underwent a similar metamorphosis, from Physician Researcher to Physician Educator; he would dedicate his life to healing the Antonios of the world, and to teaching others how to do the same. Thus, the seed for Interplast [now Replast] germinated."

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