“Hi, my name is Naveed Nosrati. I’m a board certified plastic surgeon on California central coast in San Luis Obispo, specializing in hand surgery. I began training in Houston at the University of Texas, the world’s largest medical center. I then went to Indiana University for plastic surgery in one of only 104 spots in the country. I completed my training by specializing in hand surgery at UCLA. As a son of two engineers, I was always fascinated by the way things work. From an early age, I was encouraged to explore, imagine and analyze. When things would break, I would spend hours taking them apart, trying to figure out what went wrong and how to fix it. I would often dissemble perfectly good computers and watches just to learn how they were made. Understanding the world in which we live in has always intrigued me.
I chose plastic surgery because it always presents new challenges. Most people are familiar with the cosmetic side of plastic surgery. This is absolutely important part of our field, but just a small piece of what we do. In the medical world, our main role is as reconstructive surgeons. When a woman loses a breast to cancer, we reconstruct new breasts for her to help make her feel whole again. When a patient suffers severe burns, we employ skin graphs and tissue transfers to restore their appearance. Within plastic surgery, I found a passion for hand surgery. It combines many different types of surgery into one field. An orthopedic surgeon when fixing broken bones, and a neurosurgeon repairing cut nerves, and a microvascular surgeon when I’m sewing together tiny arteries in a finger that has been cut off. And I’m a plastic surgeon by putting together a hand that may have been holding a firework. Hand surgery also brought the engineer side of me. Our hands are able to perfectly place our fingertips on the strings of a violin to create the beautiful symphonies that we hear, and then go lift hundreds of pounds in a weightlifting competition. The mechanisms that help make this happen are incredibly complex and they continue to fascinate me to this day. Most of all, though, our hands are our identity, they’re what make us human. And I’m surely privileged when I had the chance to restore that function for someone that may have lost it.”