Peruvian Boy's Face Saved by Surgical Serendipity

Beverly Hills plastic surgeon was simply "at the right place at the right time"

Aug 06, 2012, 20:00 ET from Dr. Payam Jarrah-Nejad

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Dr. Payam Jarrah-Nejad was recently in Peru on a volunteering trek where he found many faces, hands and bodies in need of reconstructive surgery they'd likely never be able to afford. It's a common enough use of some plastic surgeons' time: going abroad to volunteer with children and adults in poverty who might not otherwise receive this type of care. But for one very young boy this past week, Dr. J's presence at a hospital in the Peruvian town of Ayacucho was an unexpected blessing and a comfort in a time of terrible tragedy.

"In Ayacucho, dogs are running around everywhere you go," says Dr. Jarrah-Nejad, or Dr. J, as he's affectionately known to his patients. "Most of the time they're harmless, but you never know why a dog might attack." The toddler was pounced upon by one such stray, completely unprovoked, leaving his face badly injured. The local hospital had stabilized him, and it was clear that he would survive, but in normal circumstances, he would have been disfigured for life.

"I was finishing a reconstructive operation on a patient with burn scars when the director of the hospital asked me if I could help this little boy an hour after the attack had happened," Dr. J explains. "Their normal procedure would be to ensure that that bleeding was stopped, and then patch the child up without putting muscle and nerve tissue back in its place." Dr. J on the other hand is well versed in Beverly Hills plastic surgery along with reconstruction of faces and hands, and this situation was very much in his wheelhouse. "There's a small window of time in which you can save a person's facial expressions after an injury, and this was right for it. I wouldn't say the kid was lucky, but I'll grant you he was less unlucky than he would have been."

Local TV was on hand to find meaning and inspiration in the events as they unfolded. The parents, shocked as they were by the brutal attack on their child, expressed gratitude that the tragedy would be mitigated by one of the best plastic surgeons in The Americas.

Now Dr. J is back in his hometown of Beverly Hills. "The concerns of a patient seeking breast augmentation in Beverly Hills are different from a dog attack victim, yes," he says, "but that doesn't mean I'd approach the cases any differently. A person should rightfully be worried about being disfigurement by a bad surgery, and even more so if I ever approached one as though it was trivial. So I take every operation seriously." Patient testimonials on his website bear that out.

Find out about what Dr. J's patients have to say about incredibly fast breast augmentation recovery and more of his signature operations at

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SOURCE Dr. Payam Jarrah-Nejad