An Artist at Work

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at Work

by Lisa Tramontana
Reprinted from
the December, 1987 issue of “Examiner,” a quarterly publication
of East Jefferson General Hospital, Metairie, LA.

ago, before he specialized in plastic/reconstructive surgery,
Dr. Hamid Massiha was attending a seminar in Montreal, Canada,
when he noticed a number of sculptured busts and other works
of art in the meeting area. Fascinated, he examined them
and it occurred to him that a sculpting hobby would probably
aid him in his work.

all, If I can’t shape and form with clay, how can I expect
to do it with the flesh?” he said. “So I bought
a $1.99 howto book on sculpting, bought some clay and made
a face. I worked on it as a hobby in my spare time and now,
after many different projects, I’ve gotten much better. I’ve
been doing it for 17 years.”

Above, Dr. Hamid Massiha says sculpting, like any other creative
activity, gives one a true sense of accomplishment.

Most of his works are inspired by people he has known. This
one (left) took only a few days to complete.

his hobby has enhanced Dr. Massiha’s understanding of plastic
surgery techniques and has given him a certain confidence in
his work. He believes it has made him a better plastic surgeon.
In fact, an eye procedure that he developed, called the combined
skin/muscle flap technique, has brought him national recognition
in recent years.

The skin/muscle
technique is used on the lower eyelid to correct baggy, puffy
or dark-circled eyes, often caused by a loss of elasticity
in the eye muscles. Most plastic surgeons correct the problem
with a procedure called lower lid blepharoplasty, which removes
excess skin and fat from the eyelid, making the eyes appear
more youthful.

Dr. Massiha’s
technique is similar, but with a few very important modifications.
He makes
an incision beneath the lashes of the lower eyelid, removes fat pads
and some muscl