Face Time With Dr. Vartan Mardirossian

Face Time With Dr. Vartan Mardirossian

JUPITER, FL – January 5, 2017 – A career based in compassion – from the trauma of the Boston Bombing to reconstructive procedures in Jupiter, one local doctor doesn’t just practice “plastic surgery,” he specializes in “Surgeries for the Soul.”

“In April of 2013, I was finishing up as a clinical instructor at Boston University Medical Center, specializing in otolaryngology and facial plastic surgery. On the day of the Boston Marathon, we were following the news as we went about our rounds. Suddenly, we were in the midst of a trauma situation and I was on call at Boston Medical Center.”

In his Jupiter office at Mardirossian Facial Aesthetics, Dr. Vartan Mardirossian, M.D., F.A.C.S. is a long way from that fateful day when terror erupted during the Boston Marathon. It remains, however, as a defining moment in a career combining compassion and cutting-edge techniques.

A graduate of the University of Padua’s School of Medicine and a Research Fellow in head and neck cancer at Boston’s MIT, Madirossian has clinical interests in head and neck plastic surgery, facial plastic surgery, facial injuries, Mohs surgery reconstructions, rhinoplasty, face- and neck-lifts, eye and midface rejuvenations, and minimally invasive techniques for facial rejuvenation. On that terrible day in April, he was finishing his fellowship in Boston, lecturing at Boston University Medical Center and working at Boston Medical Center.

As Dr. Mardirossian sets the scene, he recounts that Boston Medical Center is not unfamiliar with violence. The doctors and nurses there treat gunshot victims and those suffering from violent trauma on a routine basis. But on April 15, 2013, as homemade bombs detonated, spewing nails, bolts, and twisted metal into the Marathon-watching crowd, the “regular” violence escalated. The “normal” trauma suddenly more closely resembled actual battlefield wounds and amputations, and every available doctor in the area was called into action.


“A father and son were running the race together. The young man had just finished and had returned to the finish line to wait for his father to complete the race,” Dr. Mardirossian says. “Suddenly, the bomb went off and he was hit. The father ran up moments later. He saw his wounded son. He picked him up in his arms and ran off, literally carrying him to the emergency room at Boston Medical Center. He never stopped running.”

Dr. Mardirossian was called in to help with this case because his specialty is head and neck surgery and, in addition to wounds in his temple, the young man’s ear was severely damaged. “I entered the operating room and a neurosurgical team was addressing the wounds in his temple. I was able to reattach his ear. When he woke up, he was so happy to be alive that he started crying. But that’s when we noticed that his forehead was not moving,” says Dr. Mardirossian recalling the moment he realized that this case was not quite what it had seemed. “So I ran the tests to determine if the nerves were traumatized or if they had been cut. If they were traumatized, they would eventually come back to life – like when your foot falls asleep. If they were cut, we had 72 hours to fix them before they died and could not be repaired.”

The tests proved that the injury was the worst-case scenario. The nerves in the young man’s forehead had indeed been severed. This meant that the clock was ticking.

“When I told my colleagues on staff that I had discovered that my patient had a transection of the facial nerve, and that I proposed reattaching the nerve ends, there was opposition. One of the main Chairmen on staff said, ‘No,’ and then went and told the patient and his family that it was an unnecessary procedure.”


But Mardirossian was convinced that the procedure could work. He also had the latest scientific research studies to back up his claims. He took the test results, and the studies, to his Chairman, and presented the case. “I argued that we should at least try the surgery. Even if it didn’t work, it wouldn’t hurt anything.” His Chairman agreed. Mardirossian, however, still had to convince his patient and the patient’s family that the procedure was worth a try. “Here I was, the young guy on staff, trying to do something new, and contradicting what they’d been told by senior staff.”

Fortunately, the family agreed with Mardirossian’s cutting-edge philosophy. They agreed to allow him to perform the nerve re-attachment surgery. “The surgery was successfully performed, but then I had to leave town as my fellowship was up,” he explains. Although he did not get to see his patient’s daily recovery process, for his quick-thinking service during the trauma, Dr. Mardirossian was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation from Boston Medical Center and the City of Boston.


Fast-forward three years. Dr. Mardirossian now has his own successful practice in Jupiter, Florida. Here, he practices what he terms, “Surgery for the Soul,” including reconstructive work for cancer survivors, as well as for those who have lost extreme amounts of weight. He also specializes in facial feminization procedures, designed to increase confidence – especially among those in the midst of gender transition. In fact, Mardirossian is one of a handful of plastic surgeons to understand and practice this specialty.

“Facial feminization surgery (FFS) isn’t just for the Transgender Community,” Mardirossian points out. “It also helps women with facial features they are not happy with, or men with too strong features. It allows everyone to find their true identity.” When you find your true self, the rest will follow. The FFS process is newly emerging within the field of plastic surgery, so once again, Dr. Mardirossian is on the cutting-edge of technology and medical science.

Sought after for his skills in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery, he has established a devoted clientele not only in Jupiter, he also has patients from out of state seek his services because of his compassion and dedication to innovative techniques. He has remained true to the ideals that he championed in the days following the Boston Marathon Bombing. But what became of his young patient?

“I recently had the opportunity to get back in touch with him,” Mardirossian says. “He told me that his forehead is now working properly. I consider that this is the greatest compliment that I have ever received.”

For more information about Dr. Vartan Mardirossian, visit www.palmbeachplastics.com. •

By: InJupiter Staff Writer on Jan 17, 2017
Tags: Issue, January/February 2017, Health & Medical, Plastic Surgery, Facial Surgery, Palm Beach Plastics
Issue: Jan/Feb 2017
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