Papers and Abstracts

Dr. Fairbanks' papers and abstracts

'The Fine Art of Plastic Surgery'

Considered to be the Father of Plastic Surgery, Gaspare Tagliacozzi (1545-1599), eloquently stated that “We restore, rebuild, and make whole those parts which nature hath given, but which fortune has taken away. Not so much that it may delight the eye, but that it might buoy up the spirit, and help the mind of the afflicted.” The Plastic Surgeon is a Surgical Sculptor. Both cosmetic and reconstructive patients rely on the artistic skills of their surgeon.

As one of the oldest of the healing arts, some plastic surgical procedures date back as far as 600 B.C. by ancient Indian physicians. Self-improvement in appearance has been sought for centuries. The term “Plastic Surgery” originates from the Greek word Plastikos meaning to form or to mold.

 When Dr. Grant A. Fairbanks, consults with a patient, he will draw diagrams to help the patient better understand proportions, the anatomy to be addressed and the concepts of the procedure to be performed.  This is tremendously valuable as the patient develops a visual concept of their treatment plan. There is an extra level of confidence that their plastic surgeon is an artist.

Dr. Fairbanks received his Medical Degree from Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, Virginia. He served in the U.S. Military at William Beaumont Army Medical Center in El Paso, Texas, and Raymond W. Bliss Army Community Hospital at Fort Huachuca, Arizona. His General Surgery and Plastic Surgery training was at Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown, Pennsylvania, affiliated with Penn State University. His Craniofacial Surgery fellowship training was completed at Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University in Indianapolis, Indiana. He is in private practice and serves as an adjunct assistant professor of surgery at the University of Utah. He is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

Dr. Fairbanks is the past president of the Utah Plastic Surgery Society and the Salt Lake Surgical Society. His professional affiliations also include the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association, and the International Society for Auricular Reconstruction.

Dr. Fairbanks has had broad training in Plastic Surgery. He is highly trained in cosmetic surgical procedures of the face and torso. His work with fat grafting for both cosmetic and reconstructive procedures has produced impressive results. His special interest in congenital deformities include surgery of the ear (microtia), prominent ear, cleft lip and cleft palate.

Dr. Fairbanks has a long history of interest in the Arts. This began with his great-grandfather, John B. Fairbanks, born of Utah pioneers. He was a painter in the 19th Century who studied in Paris and became an instructor in Art at the Brigham Young Academy, now Brigham Young University.

Avard Tennyson Fairbanks, grandfather of Dr. Grant A. Fairbanks, was recognized at an early age for his extraordinary talent. Avard T. Fairbanks was the professor of sculpture at the University of Michigan. The thesis for his PhD was on Anatomical Design, having studied human anatomy as did Michelangelo and Leonardo DaVinci. While at Michigan, he provided the idea and the original hood ornament for the Dodge Ram. When he moved back to Utah he became Dean and founder of the School of Fine Arts at the University of Utah in 1947. He created great monuments from Hawaii to the Utah State Capitol to the National Capitol in Washington, DC. His statuary includes the UofU Ute Indian, the BYU cougar, and many Utah high school mascots.  His work adorns many Latter-Day Saint historic sites and Temples.

Avard T. Fairbanks taught important lessons to include strength in a foundation or framework, and principles of rhythm and balance. He demonstrated accuracy with anatomic proportions. As a young boy, Grant A. Fairbanks traveled to Italy with his grandfather to learn about carving marble and sculpting monuments. This influence and his love of the arts encouraged further studies in high school and college. In fact, the first career choice of young Grant was to be an artist like his Grandfather.

Grant A. Fairbanks was ultimately influenced by his father, Grant R. Fairbanks, MD, plastic surgeon and sculptor of the Eagle atop Eagle Gate in Salt Lake City. The combination of Art and Medicine in the form of Plastic Surgery lead Grant A. Fairbanks to start his own legacy.

Dr. Grant A. Fairbanks continues his artwork to the benefit of his cosmetic and reconstructive patients. He serves as an instructor in a Medical Life Drawing and Sculpture Course, at an annual national professional society meeting.  Dr. Grant A. Fairbanks combines Art and Medicine in the form of Plastic Surgery. He believes that Plastic Surgery is the finest of the Fine Arts.