Dr. Frank Ryan is Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. He graduated from the University of Michigan in 1982 and from the Ohio State University College of Medicine in 1986. He then completed eight years of post-graduate surgical training at Cedars- Sinai Medical Center, the University of Missouri and UCLA Medical Center. Dr. Ryan has also participated in numerous fellowships, the first of which was a burn reconstruction fellowship at Shriners Hospital for Children. In 1990, he completed a UCLA Division of Plastic Surgery Research Fellowship that focused exclusively on breast augmentation. While at the UCLA Medical Center, Dr. Ryan was chosen for the UCLA Division of Plastic Surgery’s Aesthetic Fellowship. He is one of only three people in the world to have completed this prestigious fellowship. Many people have had questions about Dr. Ryan's fellowships, so he decided to answer some of the most commonly-asked questions:
FELLOWSHIP IN BREAST AUGMENTATION
Q: Dr. Ryan, tell us a little bit about this fellowship.
A: From July 1990 until June 1991, I spent the entire year in a research lab at Harbor/UCLA focusing on breast augmentation. To start the year off, I did a literature review, where I read virtually ever scientific paper ever written on the topic of breast augmentation. There were literally hundreds of publications that I read.
Q: What did you do after the literature review?
A: After the literature review, I sat down in the lab and began looking into the possible causes of scar tissue formation around breast implants, since the phenomenon of capsular contracture was – and is -- one of the most common complications of breast augmentation surgery. Our thinking at the time was that if we could pinpoint a specific cause of capsular contracture, we may be able to find a way to prevent capsular contracture.
Q: What did you find?
A: After a short time, it became apparent that there were many possible causes of capsular contracture, including excess blood around the implant, bacterial contamination and infection.
Q: How did you try to prevent capsular contracture?
A: After completing my literature review on breast augmentation, I conducted a similar literature review on a substance known as fibrin glue. Since fibrin glue was already being used successfully in various fields of medicine to decrease bleeding and help with tissue adhesion, we wondered if fibrin glue could somehow play a role in preventing – or at least minimizing – capsular contracture.
Q: Isn’t fibrin glue being used by some cosmetic surgeons today?
A: Yes, some surgeons routinely use fibrin glue during various plastic surgery procedures like facelifts, because they feel that it decreases bleeding after surgery and helps the healing tissues stick together better, thereby speeding up the healing process.
Q: Did you find that fibrin glue helped to decrease the rate of capsular contracture?
A: After looking at a year’s worth of data, we concluded that fibrin glue may have helped minimize capsular contracture early on in the healing process, but it seemed to offer less and less benefit as the healing process continued. Because the fibrin glue may have minimized bleeding around the implant, a scar capsule didn’t form initially. Eventually, however, a scar capsule began to form around most of the implants. Since the benefits of fibrin glue on long-term capsular contracture were minimal, we could not recommend it be used routinely in breast augmentation surgery.
Q: What was your favorite part of the fellowship?
A: I especially enjoyed the fact that I was able to spend almost every waking hour for an entire year studying and researching the topics of breast augmentation, breast implants and capsular contracture. After that year, I felt that I knew as much about the world’s scientific literature on breast augmentation and capsular contracture as anyone on the planet. It was satisfying to have felt like I mastered the world’s literature on the subject.
Q: How did the fellowship help you in your career?
A: When I began my plastic surgery residency in 1991, I was extremely comfortable with performing breast augmentation surgery from Day One. Then, when I went into private practice in 1994, I was able to build a substantial breast augmentation practice almost immediately.
Q: Do you think you still benefit from the fellowship at this stage of your career?
A: Absolutely. The aesthetic judgment that I developed during that fellowship helps me to this day. The vast majority of my breast augmentation patients want natural results, since my patients include not only actresses, singers and models, but also judges, dentists, doctors and lawyers. These women would be horrified if they woke up from surgery with enormous, artificial-looking implants. I often look back at that year spent focusing on breast augmentation and realize that it was a crucial time in the development of my “eye” for natural breast augmentation
FELLOWSHIP IN BURN RECONSTRUCTION
Q: First if all, Dr. Ryan, tell us a little bit about Shriners Hospital.
A: Shriners Hospital for Children is a 60 bed hospital near downtown Los Angeles that is entirely funded by the Shriners organization. The hospital treats orthopedic and burn reconstruction patients from the U.S., Mexico and Canada free of charge.
Q: What made you decide to do a burn reconstruction fellowship?
A: My mother was a pediatric nurse in Toledo Ohio for many years, so I was always around pediatric patients. When I learned of the fellowship that would allow me to work with children with burns, I jumped at the chance.
Q: What is the difference between treating acute burns and doing burn reconstruction?
A: Burn reconstruction focuses on treating the scar tissue that results from the burn. The acute burns are treated at acute care hospitals until they are healed, and then the reconstruction process begins at hospitals like Shriners.
Q: What does the field of burn reconstruction consist of?
A: The surgical techniques that are used in burn reconstruction are at the very core of plastic surgery. Things like skin grafts, tissue flaps and Z-plasties are used constantly in burn reconstruction. These techniques could be called “Plastic Surgery 101”, in that they are the building blocks for all of plastic surgery.
Q: Are these techniques used in cosmetic surgery as well?
A: Daily! These basic techniques must be mastered before moving on to cosmetic surgery. In fact, popular cosmetic surgical procedures such as facelifts and tummy tucks are based almost entirely on the concept of tissue flaps. Many surgeons also incorporate a Z-plasty when stitching behind the ear during a facelift. So, during the fellowship, not only was I able to work with children, but I was also able to master all the essential tools that are needed to perform cosmetic surgery.
Q: What are some of your memories of your fellowship?
A: I have many fantastic memories of helping hundreds of kids try to get back to leading normal lives; but I also have memories of kids that were so badly burned, we could only do so much. I remember a child that was flown to us from Afghanistan. During a war there, the child’s village was raided and the child was accidentally left in the house as his family fled. The soldiers found the baby and poured boiling water on his head, resulting in terrible scars on his scalp. Luckily, we were able to work miracles with him and he went back to Afghanistan a normal, happy boy!
Q: So the skills you learned treating burned children actually help you to this very day?
A: That’s 100% correct. Those building blocks must be firmly in place before attempting more complex surgeries. Performing cosmetic surgery without the basics is like building a house without a proper foundation.
AESTHETIC SURGERY FELLOWSHIP
Q: What exactly was the Aesthetic Surgery Fellowship?
A: The Aesthetic Surgery Fellowship was an intensive, yearlong program that focused exclusively aesthetic (or cosmetic) surgery. After completing seven years of general surgery and plastic surgery residencies, I was thrilled to have been chosen from among hundreds of applicants for the fellowship.
Q: Don’t all doctors do a fellowship?
A: No. A fellowship is purely elective. It is for those doctors who want to specialize even further in one particular area, like cosmetic surgery.
Q: Are there fellowships in other areas of plastic surgery?
A: Yes. There are also fellowships in hand surgery, craniofacial surgery, burn surgery, and microvascular surgery.
Q: What was the main advantage of doing the Aesthetic Surgery Fellowship?
A: For one thing, I spent the entire year focusing exclusively on cosmetic surgery. I participated in literally hundreds of surgeries, including breast surgery, body contouring surgery and facial surgery. In one year’s time, I performed more cosmetic surgery than most surgeons perform during their first several years in practice. Because it takes most young plastic surgeons a few years to build up a cosmetic surgery practice, those first few years in practice are spent doing reconstructive cases, instead of cosmetic surgery cases. In fact, one well-known Beverly Hills plastic surgeon did not do a single facelift for the first seven years of his practice – he was too busy doing reconstructive cases. Through the fellowship, I was able to hone my cosmetic surgery skills in just one year at UCLA, and then I hit the ground running when I entered private practice in Beverly Hills.
Q: Were there other advantages to completing the Fellowship?
A: There were many advantages to doing the fellowship. One was the opportunity to perform basic scientific research in the field of cosmetic surgery. I spent the entire year studying the anatomy of the face, knowledge that is crucial for a surgeon performing complex facial procedures, where every millimeter can make the difference. My thesis, “The Anatomy of the Malar Region and Its Significance in Rhytidectomy”, delved into the complex anatomy of the cheek region, where a complex tangle of muscle, nerves, arteries and veins must be thoroughly understood by any surgeon attempting to perform facial cosmetic surgery. In fact, after completing this research, I became convinced that lifting the cheek, not just the skin, was essential in many patients in order to achieve optimal facelift results. I became an early proponent of the midface lift, which became quite popular in subsequent years. My research into the facial anatomy during the fellowship placed me in a unique position to truly understand the benefits of performing an effective, safe midface lift.
Q: Were there any other research projects?
A: I also participated in various research projects with many members of the UCLA faculty. One project was helping a colleague write a book on rhinoplasty. It focused my attention on the nose – the anatomy of the nose, the function of the nose, the notion of what makes a “perfect” nose, the effects excessive surgery on the nose – and helped me better understand what most surgeons agree is the most challenging procedure in the entire field of cosmetic surgery (i.e., rhinoplasty).
Q: What else did the fellowship consist of?
A: I was fortunate to be able to do what few plastic surgeons will ever have the opportunity to do: I was able to observe dozens of top Los Angeles plastic surgeons in the operating room and I was able to glean from them their best techniques and combine them into a surgical technique that I could call my own. Those UCLA surgeons who participated in the fellowship and who opened their doors to me could not have been more generous and helpful. Observing them “in action” was really a huge part of the fellowship.
Q: Are these cosmetic fellowships common?
A: No. There are many informal arrangements that are referred to as “fellowships”, but these are not academic, university-based year long intensive fellowships. Many of these arrangements involve the “fellow” watching another surgeon perform surgery for a few months – not exactly rigorous training. The only other fellowship that is comparable to UCLA’s is the aesthetic fellowship at NYU. The UCLA Aesthetic Surgery Fellowship was simply one-of-a-kind. For a young surgeon to have the opportunity to participate in hundreds of cosmetic cases, perform research projects in cosmetic surgery and observe dozens of Beverly Hills’ finest surgeons in the operating room – it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience!
ACTUAL PATIENT TESTIMONIALS
• "Dr. Ryan is wonderful. He made my cosmetic experience pleasurable and hassle free. His staff is caring and professional. I felt very confident in his care."
R.S. - Beverly Hills, Ca.
• "Dear Dr. Ryan
You are truly the best. One of the most caring and wonderful doctors that I have ever seen. You are gentle and kind with lots of love for your patients and it truly shows in you work. May god always bless doctors like you so more people can feel love and beauty."
H.H. - Encino, Ca.
• "Dr. Ryan has a creative eye for beauty and the skill to match. He also is an incredibly kind doctor with a lovely personality unlike most plastic surgeons who are full of themselves. He needs only to perform his skill in his friendly sensitive manor to exceed any other doctor of his kind."
J.R. - Oceanside, Ca.
• “Few years ago as I was aging I started to think about the possibility of a face- lift. I started to look around and check women that I know went through the procedure. I was very disappointed from the results around me till I saw my friend I.E. who had done the surgery with Dr. Ryan. My reaction was “that’s it” and called Dr. Ryan shortly thereafter. I told Dr. Ryan that I want my face lift to be as natural as can be done. During my initial visit with Dr. Ryan I liked the fact that when he looked at my face he was also examining the way used my face muscles to plan how he should design my face lift. For me being in the art world he was a sculptor and the best one I could find.”
S.B. - Pacific Palisades, Ca.
• “There is the old saying, “That beauty is only skin deep”; maybe in the land of fairytales, but for those of us that live in the real world that’s not reality. So what do we do when our fairy godmother is on vacation, call a plastic surgeon.
There is where the problem starts, how do you choose the RIGHT surgeon? Here is how I found mine and what my experience was when I found the right one, Yes, just like in the fairy tales I kissed a few frogs before I found my prince.
I had a Lumpectomy at a very young age. I had breast implant reconstruction. My surgeon agreed to use saline implants, but years later when they ruptured; I found out that he used silicone instead. The silicone leakage meant that both of my implants had to be removed, replaced and the tissue excised. My new surgeon was an even bigger frog than th.e last. After charging $15,000 to my insurance company, he used implants that rippled badly, removed way more breast tissue than what was required or needed for the sake of saving time in surgery, and to make matters worse stapled my incisions close instead of taking the time to use stitches or adhesive, This left me with breast that looked like a folded paper fan from the rippling and I had large ugly scars under both breast. My once gorgeous breast now even made me cringe when I looked at them. Here is where the nightmare stopped and the happily ever after began. My prince in this story goes by the name Dr. Frank H. Ryan.
Dr. Ryan, to my amazement, reconstructed my breast even more beautiful than I remembered them being before this trauma started, Not only are they “eye-poppingly perfect” to look at, but also they feel natural. One other thing that I happily discovered is that when I lie down, my breast don’t stand at attention like Mount Everest, but gently separate to the sides, just as natural breast should. I no longer have horrendous scars under my breast, and with continued Photo Laser treatments, I may not have scars at all.
In the beginning I ask how do you choose the right surgeon, well you look for the most qualified, artistic, ethical, doctor you can find.
This does not mean that you pick your doctor by who is the latest doctor on Reality TV. The network or Cable TV executives don’t care if the doctor is the best, In fact, Dr. Ryan turned them down more than once because he didn’t need to build his practice. Some of the Doctors on these shows are NOT EVEN BOARD CERTIFIED!!!
They were doing “Budget Booby Jobs” or “Porn Boobs”, not because that was their dream when they went to Med school or because they are such nice guys they want to give you a break, but because that was the only clientèle they could attract, and all they could charge because they JUST AREN’T THAT GOOD. Being on TV doesn’t magically make them any Better!
Dr. Frank H. Ryan, is not only Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, he also completed eight years of postgraduate surgical training at Cedars Sinai Medical Center, the University of Missouri and UCLA Medical Center where he was chosen for the UCLA Division: of Plastic Surgery’s Aesthetic Fellowship. Dr. Ryan is one of only three people to have completed this prestigious one-year fellowship. Besides these impressive accomplishments he is also a member of many Professional Societies, This may seem like “over kill” to you but I ask you, don’t you want only the very best operating on you? You are asking a doctor to not only take your life in his hands when he operates on you, but you are asking him to put you back together BETTER than when he started. I think of it like this; my body and face are similar to a famous one of a kind Master Piece that cannot be replaced. It is no less important than a Michael Angelo or Van Gogh Painting. If one of these Master Pieces needs to be restored they don’t call a house painter, but a Master Restorer. They are both painters, and yes the house painter would cost a great deal less, but money sometimes CAN NOT BE THE DECIDING FACTOR.
Even if you do choose to go with a doctor because you think it will be cheaper, most of the time you end up spending even more than the fee that the better doctor would have charged you. The reason for this is many times you end up having to do the surgery over, once, twice or even more to try to repair the botched up jobs that these “budget doctors” do, What most people don’t understand is that Even if you go to the BEST DOCTOR to repair one of these botch jobs, he will not be able to give you as good of a result as he could have accomplished had you gone to him in the first place. So what have you really saved with a “Budget Doctor” anyway?
Artisanship is another factor to consider when looking for a Plastic Surgeon. Like a sculptor that has the artistic gift to turn hard cold stone into soft sensuous curves of a goddess that leaves the viewer with the feeling of passion or mesmerized from the sheer beauty of being in the presents of such art, you want that same talent applied to your face or body.
Even a so-called simple procedure such as the use of injectibles like Restylane, Radiesse or Botox® has to be applied with an artistic touch.
If not you will come away with lips that resemble a duck, nasal labial folds that have ridges or nodules protruding outward from using too much and not being smoothed out, or eyes that hang like a hound dog. Yes, I have used these products to soften lines and wrinkles, with great results. Dr. Ryan has performed these procedures on me several times with the skill of a virtuoso.
So if you decide that you want or need the skills of a Plastic Surgeon, there is NO ONE that I would recommend more than Dr. Frank H. Ryan.”
Good Luck and God Bless,
P.G. - Los Angeles, Ca.
• “I am glad that I chose Dr. Ryan as my surgeon. The results are great and if I had to do it all over again, I would. Dr. Ryan’s expertise and caring manner, along with the staff’s friendly and helpful attitudes are unprecedented!”
D.L. - Arcadia, CA.
• “I looked like I had had very obvious, bad “plastic surgery.” I came to Dr. Ryan in total crisis after having had gone to the wrong plastic surgeon the previous year. Dr. Ryan restored me to an even better looking old self. I am so grateful to Dr. Ryan. He saved my self-esteem. He is a very talented, trustworthy doctor who is a doll to work with …”
D.B. - Los Gatos, CA.
• “Dear Dr. Ryan,
Thank you so much for taking such good care of me. You did an impeccable job. I truly can not say thank you enough for your extraordinary work. I am beyond thrilled with the results … it has changed my life!Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!”
A.H. - Beverly Hills, CA.
• “Frank is the best at erasing years in seconds!”
M.L. - Santa Monica, CA.
• “I had interviewed several other well known surgeons, but after seeing Dr. Ryan’s work and meeting with him, there was no question to whom I would choose to perform my surgery. He is not only an extremely talented surgeon but he is caring and understanding, and he is interested in you and your needs as an individual. His staff is also friendly and caring and I am so pleased with my results!”
C.K. - Marina Del Rey, CA.
• “I am a three-time repeat patient who is very pleased with the work of Dr. Frank Ryan. Before making a major purchase, I research the product’s reliability, durability, safety, and cost benefit. When selecting a physician to perform elective procedures, it is important to select the right physician because an uninformed decision could cause unsatisfactory results—or worse Thus! I conducted considerable research to assure that I made the right decision.
Dr. Frank Ryan was among the three plastic surgeons 1 considered to perform my surgery. I checked the credentials of all three carefully (surgical certifications, hospital privileges, standing with the American and State governing boards, etc.). What differentiated Dr. Ryan from the other physicians was that Dr Ryan listened to my concerns and wants. I was particularly impressed when he suggested that I consider postponing a possibly unnecessary procedure rather than immediately performing the procedure, which would have benefited his bottom line.
Daring my initial consultation with Dr. Ryan, I wanted an abdominoplasty along with lipo suction. He advised that I should consider postponing the abdominoplasty. He said this procedure may not be necessary if my skin retracted. Since I was not blessed with skin elasticity, I returned to Dr. Ryan’s office a year later for an abdominoplasty.
I received a body sculpture with the liposuction when I was age 41. The results from the liposuction were better than I expected. The abdominal procedure returned my physique back to that of a woman in her 20s. I am now wearing size 4, and all the curves are in the “right places” of my physique. With continuing exercise and balance diet as mentioned below.
I weighed about 165 pounds and wore size 12 clothing (going on size 14) when I opted for surgery. I had battled my weight for almost 10 years. In addition, I came down with Graves Disease (also known as Hyper Thyroid); one of the side effects was weight gain. Limited daily caloric intake and exercise could only maintain my weight; I didn’t seem to be able to lose weight.
Now, 3.5 years after these surgeries, I have not gained back the weight. urthermore, the excess weight is off. The exercise regime I now use (strength and resistance training and cardio exercises) is easier.
My desire of having brow lifts and rhino plasconfity were to enhance my appearance without looking like my face had been surgically altered. I had seen cosmetic surgery television shows in which the patients’ before and after pictures appeared to be two different people. I did not want any such change on me to be that noticeable.
I communicated these concerns to Dr. Ryan. He listened and took them into consideration when he performed these procedures. I was very pleased with the results. The true test came two weeks after my surgeries. I returned to my office. My secretary commented that I looked well rested. Friends and bankers said I looked younger and better. I received many compliments from ladies saying that I had beautiful eyes. I could not be any happier with the outcome of my nose.
I will be 45 years young this year. I have been “noticed” by more men than before, many of them much younger than I. During my relocation to California this year, I thought it would be difficult for me secure employment. On the contrary, I received several job offers; the decision was mine to choose.
I have been taught that education, competency, and experience are the road map to professional advancement. Youth and appearance were left out of this equation. Based on my observation, potential employers perceive youthful appearance to represent a progressive thinker and technological savvy individual who is easily adaptable to new environments.
I respect Dr. Ryan’s professional judgments and have confidence in his surgical skills. There many quality physicians in Texas and Orange County CA. I was willing to forgo any inconveniences; and travel from Texas to California annually to have the elective procedures performed Dr. Ryan while I lived in Texas. Likewise, I travel from Orange County to Beverly Hills, California for Juvederm procedures. I am a very private person. I do not want my friends, colleagues, and clients to see my likeness on Cyber space. His office staff respects my privacy. My likeness would not be used without consulting me.After seeing the results on myself, I would not consider any other physicians to perform any of my procedures if I desire to have any procedures in the future.”
J. M. - Texas
• “On September 2006, 1 had an upper and lower eyelid procedure performed and I am very pleased with the results. The surgery turned out to be more than what I expected. Dr. Ryan and his experienced and cordial staff prepared me very well for the pre and post surgery in order for my surgery to be successful. Thank you Dr. Ryan for restoring me with the foundation of youth.”
L. K. - Hawaii
• “Ryan has changed my life! I love him! He gave me youth and beauty, I had lost, back to me again and again. I get so excited to see him. We are all blessed to have him, I adore him and my husband is jealous. Ryan is the best! What’s not to love?!”
Thank you Ryan. Your biggest fan,
A. L. - Alaska
American Board of Plastic Surgery (ABPS)
American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS)
American College of Surgeons (FACS)
American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS)
California Medical Association (CMA)
California Society of Plastic Surgeons (CSPS)
Los Angeles Country Medical Association (LACMA)
Los Angeles Society of Plastic Surgeons (LASPS)
Southern California Chapter American Medical Association (AMA)
UCLA Plastic Surgery Society