January 24, 2015 is Moebius Awareness Day. Moebius Syndrome is a rare neurological disorder causing facial paralysis. I have treated many children and adults with this syndrome through smile reconstruction surgery. The “Many Faces of Moebius Syndrome” support group highlights that “people of this condition have normal intelligence, although their lack of facial expression is often… Read more »


I became a pediatric plastic surgeon for many reasons. The specialty choices available to bright-eyed medical students are so vast, it can make your head spin. So, how can an impressionable young man or woman make such a lofty decision regarding his or her career at a point in the educational process when experience is… Read more »

L0015452 A bedside demonstration of the collective stethoscope.

Ten years ago, ABC’s “Grey’s Anatomy” was beginning its first season as a fictional TV show based on the day-to-day lives of surgical residents. I also happened to be a surgical resident at the time in Los Angeles. Many people don’t know that during those early years, I consulted on the show and was paid to… Read more »


Winter has definitely arrived. We are seeing negative temperatures all around the country. Some people with certain medical conditions will find that cold, damp weather or temperatures can aggravate their symptoms. I hear firsthand accounts from my patients on how the cold affects them: Temporary facial paralysis (Bell’s Palsy): While this condition is typically caused by a… Read more »


The appearance of a blotch or a mark on a newborn’s skin can be troubling for new parents. However, not all birthmarks should be cause for concern, as 1 in 10 newborns every day are born with it in various sizes, color, and shape. Half of these children will not require any treatment at all. A well-informed decision… Read more »


Dealing with kids so frequently in my practice, and having kids of my own, I often struggle when describing physical differences to parents. “Dr. Panossian, please try not to use the term ‘deformity’ by itself,” my patient liaison requested after a team meeting. She has an 8-year-old son with several birth deformities and provides me valuable… Read more »

2009-11-09_14-21-35Op_Smile_Hanoi_Vietnam-1 copy

  I have a personal goal of performing 1-2 surgical missions per year, usually to very poor and underserved parts of the world. Helping children get the life-altering surgeries they wouldn’t otherwise have access to is an incredible feeling. It’s actually one of the reasons I went into pediatric plastic surgery. I have performed a variety… Read more »


  As a rare condition, Parkes Weber syndrome (PWS) is poorly understood. Lack of available knowledge about the condition makes it more difficult and challenging for family members whose little ones are diagnosed with it. Although our practice focuses on the treatment aspect of children born with deformities, we also make it a point to… Read more »


If there’s one adjective that is almost always used to describe melanoma, it would have to be scary. Although melanoma is a potentially serious type of skin cancer, the good news is that it is also highly treatable when caught early! So, what can you do to catch it early on? When it comes to… Read more »


The English essayist John Addison once wrote that “what sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity.” There may be thousands of languages around the world but a smile universally conveys the same message. Unfortunately, individuals afflicted with facial paralysis have lost the ability to express this simplest of emotions–genuine joy and delight. Moreover, recent… Read more »