Ivo Pitanguy Brazilian plastic surgeon

Ivo Pitanguy: Brazilian doctor, international star

Ivo Pitanguy died at his home in Rio de Janeiro on August 6, at age 93 years, and he was the Brazilian doctor most recognized internationally. He was even more than that. The New York Times says “In the 20th century, perhaps only two Brazilians — Pelé, and Carmen Miranda—were better known internationally than Dr. Pitanguy”.

He was often considered the “world’s best known plastic surgeon”, and many surgeons in the United States and Europe boasted that they had trained with Ivo Pitanguy, since he was considered the best. He treated the rich and famous, but was also known for the extensive work he did for free especially on children with birth defects and on victims of serious burns.

Indeed, Ivo Pitanguy first gained widespread media attention when he provided free care to many children who were extensively burned in the Niteroi circus fire of 1961. At the time, he was one of the few surgeons who possessed the advanced training necessary to deal with these challenging patients.

Ivo Pitanguy: creativity and excellence

After World War II, when Ivo Pitanguy finished medical school and plastic surgery was still in its infancy, he developed techniques that helped many soldiers scarred and deformed during the War. To perfect his knowledge, he sought out the best surgeons in the world to advance his training. He studied in the United States, Britain, and France, and during that time began to develop his worldwide reputation for creativity and excellence.

Beyond his fame for his treatment of burns and deformities, he was known for his groundbreaking techniques in cosmetic surgeries. His methods for breast and for abdominal reduction surgeries became the standard in plastic surgery. He was the one who popularized the “Brazilian butt lift”. He was a master at hiding scars, and Ivo Pitanguy developed methods to hide them below the bikini line.

His 1981 book Aesthetic Plastic Surgery of Head and Body became one of the bibles of plastic surgery. In his introduction to his book, he wrote “After this long period of quiet sedimentation and elaboration, of gradual accumulation of thoughts and ideas, I feel the urge to share with my colleagues, especially the younger surgeons amongst them, the fruits of my experience.”

Ivo Hélcio Jardim de Campos Pitanguy is perhaps the best example of an international hero surgeon. He will be remembered for perfecting the bodies of actresses such as Gina Lollabrigida and Sofia Loren, but as well for his generosity in sharing his knowledge with doctors in training, and his extensive charity work.

He is a reminder as well that the specialty of plastic surgery is much more than aesthetic. Plastic surgeons are the ones called for the technically and emotionally demanding work on children with defects, and those scarred by accidents.

Ivo Pitanguy knew that plastic surgery was more than aesthetics. He said, “I tried to show that it goes deeper than the skin, that it goes inside the soul.”

If you want to find a doctor, of any specialty, anywhere in Brazil, check out our website: www.procuramed.com

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