Reza Nabavian MD: Plastic Surgeon Santa Monica California

The Academy for Peace and Justice Opens New Wing of Classrooms USC Professor Dr. Reza Nabavian Brings Health and Education to Haiti

The Academy for Peace and Justice Opens New Wing of Classrooms: USC Professor Dr. Reza NabavianBrings Health and Education to Haiti


On Friday, November 18, 2011, Artists for Peace and Justice (APJ) celebrates the opening of a beautiful new wing of classrooms at Haiti’s first free secondary school, The Academy for Peace and Justice.

7th and 8th grades are in action for this academic year, set in the new school building. The next phase of construction of the school will start in the spring.

“This is why we fight for Haiti. We are now educating nearly 800 secondary students,” said APJ board member Dr. Reza Nabavian.

Another APJ board member, Paul Haggis, was in Haiti with the organization to mark this benchmark in the ongoing efforts to rebuild Haiti.

APJ continues to support the medical relief projects at St. Damien hospital.

“We are having a series of donor trips to Haiti over the next few months to attract new support for our ever-expanding projects,” says Dr. Nabavian

No Schools for the Masses

“APJ’s main project is to deliver free education because so many kids have no access to school.” In Haiti, education is not free – and as one of the world’s poorest countries, many Haitians simply can’t afford to educate their children. “We created a free middle and high school for kids in the slums. We are building campuses to provide free education.” The curriculum includes music, art, film, community service and computer, leadership and vocational training. “APJ could take up 200% of my time, if I could give it. There’s just so much need down there.”

“I’ve worked on some high profile people, making them look better. But there is a higher level of personal fulfillment when you realize that what you have learned can make such a huge impact on people that have so much need.”

“I’ve always seen myself as a doctor first and a plastic surgeon second,” says Dr. Reza Nabavian, Los Angeles plastic surgeon and USC professor.

Passion to Rebuild Haiti

Dr. Nabavian’s time is in high demand. As a private practicing plastic surgeon, Dr. Nabavian has some pretty high profile clients. And as the Director of Aesthetic Surgery Education at USC, his expertise is a critical component of the university’s residency program. As if serving on multiple panels and maintaining two full time jobs weren’t enough, Dr Nabavian is on the Artists for Peace and Justice Board of Directors. He shares the board with Paul Haggis, Ben Stiller, Olivia Wilde and Dr. Bob Arnot.

Artists for Peace and Justice is a star studded charity that focuses primarily on providing schools for Haitians and secondarily for delivering medical aid. Since the 2008 earthquake, Dr. Nabavian has gone to Haiti over a dozen times to lend a medical hand, “There are two components to our efforts: general and medical relief. I go there to perform surgeries, support hospitals and rehab centers and to help kids with prosthetics.”

Stem Cell Face Lifts

Stem Cells

Stem Cell Face Lifts:
The Future of Plastic Surgery
Dr. Reza Nabavian Studies the Regenerative Effects of Using Stem Cells in Fat Transfers.

Fat transfers are already common procedures in plastic surgery, where fat is extracted from one place in a patient’s body and then injected into another to create natural looking, youthful fullness and to rejuvenate the general appearance of the area.

Yet researchers like Dr. Reza Nabavian, Clinical Assistant Professor of Plastic Surgery at USC’s Keck School of Medicine, are finding that some improvements may be due to the natural presence of stem cells in fat transfers.

“Stem cell research has pointed to the use of stem cells to repair and even to become bone, cartilage, muscle, blood vessels, nerves and skin,” says Dr. Nabavian. “We are conducting studies to understand how stem cells behave in grafted fat tissue.”

Dr. Nabavian is taking part in research at USC where his team isolates stem cells from fat and studies their behavior in living tissue. He is researching a way to deliver a patient’s extracted fat with their own stem cells. These stem cells are harvested from (often unwanted) fat that is removed a patient’s body. These harvested stem cells are then placed back into a portion of that extracted fat. When this stem cell enriched fat is then injected back into the body, the results appear to have remarkable regenerative effects.

“Stem cells may cause a transient release of growth factors that increase the activity of native cells such as fibroblasts, which then increases the production of important skin components.
Specifically, stem cells may be themselves activated in their new niche to become new skin components such as fat, dermis, blood vessels, etc.”

About Fat Transfers:

Fat transfer procedures help rejuvenate and contour the face and prevent or target signs of aging in younger patients. Where older patients are concerned, fat transfers may complement a facelift, as the addition of fat contributes to more natural results.

Fat transfers help contour the body where fat from unwanted areas like the hips or back can be transferred to more desirable areas like the buttocks. Fat transfers are also being used in breast reconstruction and small breast augmentation.
Grafted fat exhibits many of qualities of an ideal filler. It is completely biocompatible and in most patients, available in sufficient quantities. Fat grafts naturally integrate into the host tissues, are removable if necessary, and, by all indications, are potentially permanent.

Because of these characteristics, in the last decade fat grafting has become increasingly popular in aesthetic and reconstructive surgery as a primary or adjunct procedure.

Dr. Nabavian currently advises his patients to avoid fat/stem cells injection to the breasts for the purpose of augmentation.

There are two main concerns that have not been adequately addressed by the proponents of this procedure:

1) It is possible that calcifications may form in the areas of injected fat/stem cells. These may be interpreted as possible breast cancer and may lead to multiple unnecessary biopsies and anxiety. There is also the possibility that growth factors may help promote cancer cells.

2) Most women seeking breast augmentation choose to have volumes of 200-300 cc’s per side. It would be very unlikely to get this augmentation volume efficiently using fat.

Therefore, it is not logical to use a procedure that not only has a questionable safety profile, but also fails to provide adequate augmentation.

Fat/stem cells injection is a great tool for facial rejuvenation and body contouring. It may also be used in breast reconstruction, where the breast tissue is removed and there is no cancer-related concern. But I would advise against using it for primary breast augmentation.