Dr Foad Nahai awarded Honorary Fellowship of Royal College of Surgeons of England

15th December 2016


At our recent scientific meeting, we had the honour of hosting the presentation of an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons of England to Professor Foad Nahai.

Foad NahaiDescribed by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons as 'one of the few true legendary figures in American Plastic Surgery', Professor Nahai studied medicine at Bristol University, gaining his Bachelor of Science with honours in 1966 and his Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery in 1969. He won the Russell Cooper prize for anaesthesia in 1968, and there were high hopes in the University Department of Anaesthesia for his future career in anaesthesia.
However, after house jobs in Bristol, he felt his career path lay in the USA and he left for there with his wife, Shahnaz, in 1969.

Foad was appointed first to a surgical post in Baltimore City Hospitals, Maryland, from where he moved initially to Johns Hopkins Hospital and then on to Grady Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia for his general surgery residency,  becoming Chief Resident in 1974. When Foad arrived at Grady Hospital he met Jack Fisher, a medical student from Chicago, who became his lifelong friend and his English/American translator, helping Foad to adjust to life in a hospital very different from the polite environs of Bristol as Grady Hospital was akin to a military field hospital!

Foad then entered a plastic surgery research fellowship at Emory, Atlanta from where he went on to complete his residency in plastic surgery at Emory in 1978. During this time he continued to build his academic career, becoming an Assistant Professor of plastic surgery in 1978, passing the American Board of Plastic Surgery in 1980, and an Associate Professor in 1983. In 1991 he was appointed Professor of Surgery at Emory, and he is now the Maurice Jurkiewicz Professor in the Division of Plastic Surgery at Emory University School of Medicine.

Early in his career Foad’s research concentrated on the definition, development, and vascular classification of musculocutaneous flaps, and his current interest is centred on safety in outpatient, aesthetic plastic surgery and minimizing preoperative complications such as thromboembolism. He has published well over 200 peer reviewed papers, 47 book chapters and made 16 films. He has authored or edited 10 books including seminal works with Stephen Mathes on reconstructive plastic surgery and on muscle and myocutaneous flaps, and also with John Bostwick and Felmont Eaves on endoscopic plastic surgery. He has been the editor of the Aesthetic Surgery Journal since 2000.
Foad has served in many national and international roles, including being President of the American Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgeons, the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, and the American Association for the Accreditation of Ambulatory Surgical. His lifelong contribution to plastic surgery at every level shows his commitment to education and excellence in the specialty. It was a great loss to British surgery, and not just to plastic surgery, that he felt he had to leave the United Kingdom to pursue his career. There is no doubt he would have been a leading light here, had we managed to keep him

Nigel Mercer


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