How Plastic Surgeon Dr. John Fasano Finds His Inspiration In The Arts

by Wendy Dwyer Dec 2016 Also on Digital Edition

With not only medical integrity, but also a passion for the arts, Dr. John Fasano brings an invaluable service to Martin County as a renowned plastic surgeon who treats his patients with the same care and creativity as a canvas.

Dr. John Fasano took to art as a child. It started mainly with line drawing, which morphed into political cartoons for his school and college newspapers. Eventually, Fasano’s media of choice became oils and scalpels, and his canvas now alternates between linen and the human body. The world-renowned, Stuart-based plastic surgeon understands that plastic surgery is not simply a technical exercise but an opportunity to utilize scientific expertise and artistic finesse to reflect inner beauty on the outer canvas of the body.

Not only has Fasano studied under the masters of medicine at Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, and trained in New York City and at the University of Florida at Shands, but he has also studied with world-famous surgeons throughout Europe and has become known for his artistry in the same way that masters like Monet, Michelangelo and da Vinci have.

There is no such thing as a “routine surgery” for Fasano, who constantly updates his skills and techniques. “I think doctors, especially plastic surgeons, need to be innovators, always looking for a way to change and improve everything they do,” Fasano says. “Artists are always looking for a new technique. I have done that in my painting as well. I have gone to different countries to work with different surgeons to learn new techniques in the same way that artists hang out in groups and pick each other’s brains with the same philosophy of improvement.”

Fasano describes his work as a surgeon in much the way he works as an artist. “I guess it’s similar,” he admits. “First you need to speak with a patient and make a plan. And while you go into the operation knowing that you have to follow certain procedures and guidelines just as you do as an artist, you always have a plan B, and you adjust how you feel and what might work better based on what you find at the time when you’re creating. It’s a bit like doing [a] sculpture because you are creating a certain end product, but everyone is a little different.”

Fasano says that one of the most important aspects of his artistry is being a good listener and being honest and realistic with his patients. When it comes to dealing with breast cancer patients, Fasano is known for his understanding through a complicated process. “I see a patient before a mastectomy and am part of the entire process, often seeing a patient more often than a [general] surgeon because the reconstruction process is much more complicated and involves many more steps,” he says. This often creates a strong bond between Fasano and the patient.

While he is known for his remarkable skills as a surgeon, Fasano is equally recognized for his charitable heart—something he attributes to his wife, Catherine. In addition to providing surgical consultations and treatment for dozens of breast cancer survivors in the community, the couple has also shared their time, talent and treasure with the Lyric Theatre, Atlantic Classical Orchestra, Volunteers in Medicine, Women in Philanthropy, Friends in Pink, American Cancer Society, Children’s Museum of the Treasure Coast, CASTLE, Hibiscus Children’s Center, Toys for Tots, Martin Health Foundation and a number of local high school sporting teams.

For Fasano, art doesn’t imitate life, nor does life imitate art. Instead, the two are woven together in a beautiful masterpiece, which the talented doctor and artist is able to live every day. And the patients he serves, along with the causes with which he and his wife invest, are all the better and more beautiful thanks to his efforts.


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