Every father should remember that one day his son will follow his example instead of his advice. Charles F. Kettering, engineer-inventor
Walking in a fathers shadow ranges from being a challenge to being a prince. The latter is the case of Dr. Farzad Nahai, who relished the path of dad Dr. Foad Nahai, a well-respected professor and practitioner. Learn how their paths unfolded, one working with Navajo Indians and landing as the sole plastic surgeon in a dermatology group, the other a sought after worldwide plastic surgeon, author and speaker who has wielded a scalpel for 44 years.
All-American son Farzad Nahai graduated from the Westminster Schools. Math and science came easily to him, which put him on the path to medical school. He recalled, Dad was my hero. Back then, there were no computers, so at home I looked at his medical slides and over his shoulder in the operating room. Good thing was that I was not bothered by blood! During the summers, I was a scrub tech. He eventually sought out plastic surgery as an opportunity to be thoughtful, creative and solution-oriented.
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Father and son practiced together for eight years, before the junior Nahai joined another specialty practice, MetroDerm, P.C., as the only plastic surgeon among 10 dermatologists.
Dr. Farzad Nahai enjoys following in his fathers footsteps.
About 70 percent of his practice is elective versus procedures such as skin cancer reconstruction. I practice the full spectrum of plastic surgery: faces, breasts, full bodies, and injectables. I also have fond memories of walking the hall with Dad discussing different surgeries and What should we do about that nose?
Earlier in his training, Farzad did something very unique. During medical school, he answered a random letter from the government to help Native Americans in Montana. I loved giving back and would do it all over again. Then the year between his general residency and specialization, he packed up for Shiprock, N.M., for a full year helping Navajos by performing general surgery, lumps and bumps and concurrently getting meaningful experience.
For whats new on the horizon, Farzad said, Theres a push for innovation in less invasive procedures in the filler category. Some of the newer ones are ultrasonic therapy, microneedling, and ThermiTight. PRP (platelet-rich plasma) are injections that can repair aged skin and stimulate hair growth (in the case of hair loss) and are becoming more common.
A lot of my patients are women in their 50s, 60s and even 70s who want to look refreshed. They want the outside to match the inside.
His father, Foad, was born in Tehran, where his family was in the insurance business. He later grew up in England. After medical school at the University of Bristol in the U.K., he came in 1970 to the United States and never left. He is known as one of the most respected fathers of plastic surgery and a prominent lecturer at medical schools and symposia, and is now publishing his third edition of the reference-textbook The Art of Aesthetic Surgery while serving as Jurkiewicz Chair in Plastic Surgery and professor at Emory University School of Medicine. In total, he has authored 14 books and is currently editor-inchief of Aesthetic Surgery Journal.
Among his current contributions to scientific advances is the reduction of the length of post-surgical scarring using endoscopy.
Dr. Foad Nahai is a prolific author and Emory University medical school professor.
Foads practice now is primarily elective surgery.
His earlier career included reattaching limbs for replantation instead of transplantation. He noted, Forty years ago the rejection medications were not reliable like they are today.
Starting from a baseline, one might ask, Do I need a facelift?
Foads response: Its not a matter of age. One 50-year-old might look 65, another 50-year-old may appear to be 40. Part of this is genetics. The other part is a healthy lifestyle, not smoking, limited exposure to the sun. Those with a healthy lifestyle tend to age more slowly. It might be surprising to note that patients as young as 40 come to Dr. Nahai for this determination. Injectables (fillers, Botox, etc.) are safe and appropriate for those not yet candidates for surgery. But in the long run, surgery will produce better results and be more cost-effective.
When asked what gives him the most pride, he touts his 50-year marriage and raising skilled and caring children. Professionally, I have trained over 100 surgeons who are both ethical and competent. So I would say training others to do well is the best reward.
Sentimentally I was always secretly hoping that Farzad would choose to follow me in a medical career, but I did not push him. I am lucky; it just came naturally to him.