The Facial Paralysis Institute Team
Multidisciplinary Team Approach
The most important treatment objective for individuals with facial paralysis is prevention of unwanted eye complications, reconstruction of facial movement, restoration of a dynamic smile, and improvement of facial aesthetics. At the Facial Paralysis Institute, Dr. Azizzadeh and his team of facial plastic surgeons, otolaryngologists, neuro-otologists, neurosurgeons, head & neck surgeons, ophthalmologists and physical therapists utilize a systematic approach to reach these objectives. Each patient will be initially consulted by Dr. Azizzadeh who will then utilize different members of the team to obtain the best possible outcome. A true multidisciplinary approach is necessary in the treatment of facial paralysis.
Babak Azizzadeh, MD, FACS is the founder and Director of The Facial Paralysis Institute. He is a board-certified Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgeon who strives to provide cutting-edge treatment to patients with facial paralysis and Bell’s palsy. Also certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology- Head & Neck Surgery, Dr. Azizzadeh has a unique expertise in the field that has made him one of the most renowned surgeons in the world.
Dr. Azizzadeh is a graduate of the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and he completed a 6-year residency in Head & Neck Surgery/Facial Plastic Surgery at the UCLA Center for Health Sciences. He went on to complete a prestigious sub-specialized fellowship at Harvard Medical School in Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery with an emphasis on facial reanimation and Bell’s palsy.
Dr. Azizzadeh is co-editor of the new textbook The Facial Nerve and has published many articles in peer-reviewed journals such as Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery, Laryngoscope, and Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. He is frequently asked to present all over the world on facial paralysis and was recently awarded the honor of being co-chairman of the 2017 13th International Facial Nerve Symposium by the Sir Charles Bell Society, which is the largest interdisciplinary conference for facial nerve experts.
Dr. Azizzadeh is the founder of the Facial Paralysis Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing information, education, and
support to patients with facial paralysis. He is also an Associate Clinical Professor of Surgery at the UCLA School of Medicine and the co-director
of the USC Facial Plastic Surgery Fellowship Program.
Dr. Babak Azizzadeh is regularly asked to present nationally and internationally on facial paralysis treatment and has appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show and The Doctors presenting his innovative procedures for the treatment of facial paralysis.
Learn more about Babak Azizzadeh, MD, FACS.
Director, Head & Neck Surgery at The Facial Paralysis Institute
Dr. Larian is the Chief of Head & Neck Surgery at Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles. He holds this prestigious position from January 1, 2012 to December 31, 2012. Dr. Larian is also the director at the Center for Advanced Head & Neck Oncology. He is also an Assistant Clinical Professor of Surgery at the David Geffen School of Medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Dr. Larian's passion is in the treatment of parotid and endocrine tumors. Dr. Larian and Azizzadeh work extensively in treating individuals with parotid tumors by utilizing cutting-edge state of the art surgical techniques that preserve facial nerve function, provide a near scarless surgery and aesthetic preservation of the face.
Dr. Larian received his medical degree from the University of California, Irvine School of Medicine, where he was recognized for academic and humanitarian distinction. He completed his residency in head and neck surgery at UCLA Medical Center . He is a board certified diplomate of the American Board of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery and a Fellow of both the American College of Surgeons as well as the American Head and Neck Society. Dr. Larian has extensive experience in treatment of all head and neck cancers, including complex advanced tumors, skull base tumors and recurrent cancers. He has considerable expertise in minimally invasive surgical approaches, image-guided surgery, as well as endoscopic laser surgery. The treatment options considered by him and his team of experts takes into account all of the patients individual characteristics, while optimizing function (speech, swallowing, facial movement, etc.) appearance, and the best possible outcome. Please read more about Dr. Larian and facial reconstruction, and head and neck surgery here.
Oculoplastic Surgeon at The Facial Paralysis Institute
Dr. Guy Massry is an oculoplastic surgeon and a member of the Facial Paralysis Institute. He is recognized for his work on patients with facial paralysis and complex eyelid deformities. A native of Los Angeles, Dr. Massry received his undergraduate and medical degrees from the University of Southern California (USC). He completed his general ophthalmic specialty training at the St. Louis University Eye Institute and proceeded with subspecialty fellowship in ophthalmic plastic and reconstructive surgery at Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital in New York City . Dr. Massry returned to St. Louis University to join the teaching faculty and become Director of Cosmetic and Reconstructive Ophthalmic Plastic Surgery. He has published many well-cited scientific manuscripts and is still involved in organizing and teaching a variety of surgical training courses. In addition to his excellence in academic medicine, Dr. Massry has also been featured in numerous media outlets for his expertise in eyelid reconstruction.
Kenneth W. Wright, MD, is a well-respected and highly regarded ophthalmologist in Los Angeles, California. Dr. Wright specializes in helping patients overcome strabismus, also known as eye muscle problems. As an expert in his field, the Facial Paralysis Institute often reaches out for assistance from Dr. Wright in treating strabismus in patients afflicted with moebius syndrome.
Dr. Wright completed his medical schooling from the prestigious Boston University. Upon conclusion, he participated in fellowships in adult strabismus and pediatric ophthalmology at the Children's Hospital in Washington DC and John-Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. He accepted a full time faculty position at the USC School of Medicine and Children's Hospital of Los Angeles shortly after completing his fellowships, a position which he held for ten years.
Dr. Wright has penned hundreds of scientific papers and eight textbooks on ophthalmology and has developed several new techniques for improvising eye muscle surgery.
Neuro-otologist at The Facial Paralysis Institute
Dr. William H. Slattery III is a neuro-otologist at the House Clinic in Los Angeles and one of the foremost experts in facial nerve disorders. He is the Director of The Center for Facial Nerve Function at the House Ear Institute (HEI) and serves as Professor of Otolaryngology at the University of Southern California.
Dr. Slattery received his medical degree from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Following an otolaryngology residency at the University of Florida, he completed a fellowship in neurotology/skull base surgery at the House Clinic. Dr. Slattery is board certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology.
Dr. Slattery's research interests include treatment of acoustic neuromas, Neurofibromatosis Type-II, implantable hearing devices, and facial nerve disorders. He has received multiple research grants including his current multi million-dollar grant to study acoustic neuromas and Neurofibromatosis. His Clinical Research Department at HEI is the largest research department in the world dedicated solely to clinical evaluation of hearing disorders.
Dr. Slattery is a fellow of the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. He is an author and co-author of numerous papers on the subjects of hearing disorders. He is the otology/skull base section editor for the Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Journal, which is the preeminent journal for otolaryngologists, and the histopathology section editor for the peer-reviewed Otology & Neurotology. He has been quoted in multiple lay publications including Business Week, Prevention Magazine Newsweek, and the Los Angeles Times and has been featured on television programs including the Discovery Health Channel and The Oprah Winfrey Show.
Facial Neuromuscular Retraining Specialist at the Facial Paralysis Institute
Jacqueline Diels is one of the world's leading authorities on facial neuromuscular retraining (NMR), a non-surgical therapeutic approach to the treatment of facial paralysis, paresis and synkinesis. She received her degree in occupational therapy at the University of Wisconsin in 1985. Her work in facial NMR began at The UW Neuromuscular Retraining Clinic in 1986; mentored by Paul Bach-y-Rita, MD and Richard Balliet, PhD, both pioneers in the field of brain plasticity and rehabilitation. She has been the Facial Retraining Specialist there for the past 26 years, dedicating her practice exclusively to the treatment of people with facial paralysis. She has authored book chapters and articles and lectures extensively to patients, physicians and therapists. She trains therapists in the U.S. and internationally. Jacqueline currently serves on the medical advisory boards of the American Acoustic Neuroma Association and the Bells Palsy Information Site. She is a founding member and past secretary of the Sir Charles Bell Society. More than a job or profession, Jackie regards her work as a "calling". Her favorite, most challenging and rewarding work is one-on-one with clients. She has personally treated over 10,000 individuals (with diagnoses including acoustic neuroma and other brain tumors, Bell's Palsy, traumatic injury and other causes). Her mission: to empower patients and medical professionals to improve facial paralysis and quality of life through insight, education and training.
Jackie travels to California several weeks a year to consult with Dr. Azizzadeh and his patients at the Facial Paralysis Institute.
The Facial Paralysis Institute is honored to have Ashley Erickson, RN as part of our team. Ashley performs all non-surgical treatments at The Facial Paralysis Institute, including Botox and fillers treatments for facial paralysis, Bell's palsy, and synkinesis patients.
Upon joining The Facial Paralysis Institute, Dr. Babak Azizzadeh trained Ashley extensively in his innovative and comprehensive non-surgical facial reanimation philosophies. When Ashley treats patients, she uses Botox and filler techniques pioneered by Dr. Azizzadeh to achieve the best facial reanimation results possible for her patients.
Because of her expertise in not only facial paralysis, Bell's palsy, and synkinesis treatments but also non-surgical cosmetic treatments, she is able to help patients achieve facial symmetry and balance. So not only do her patients see vast improvements in their facial functions, but they get the secondary benefit of enhanced facial aesthetics. Regardless of the reason a patient has come to see Ashley, her goal is to make them look and feel their best!
Born and raised in Seattle, Ashley comes from a family of nurses. Growing up Ashley knew she wanted to continue the family tradition. After earning her bachelor’s degree at Marymount University in Palos Verdes, she completed nursing school in Orange County. After becoming a registered nurse, Ashley worked in the operating room along side plastic and reconstructive surgeons. When she was offered the opportunity to work with Dr. Azizzadeh and The Facial Paralysis Institute, she was honored to have the ability to provide facial paralysis patients with life changing results.
In addition to helping patients at The Facial Paralysis Institute, Ashley donates her time to volunteer around the community and with her church. In the past she has participated in several international surgical missions, including trips to Haiti, Ghana, and Mexico.
In her spare time, Ashley loves to travel internationally to experience new cultures, practice yoga, hike all over LA, enjoy the beach, and ski in the winter.
"The best part of my job is giving my patients the ability to smile again! When I see them smile for the first time, the happiness does not just reflect from their lips, but from their entire mind and body." Nurse Ashley
Psychotherapist Judy Baer comes to the Facial Paralysis Institute with more than fifteen years of expertise as a Licensed Marriage, Family, & Child Therapist, specializing in the treatment of patients with issues related to body image. At the Facial Paralysis Institute, Judy works to specifically meet the individual needs of her patients to provide a tailored and personal care approach. Judy is a firm believer that patients with facial paralysis need a safe environment in which they can openly discuss their feelings relating to the everyday challenges that come with being affected by the disorder.
Judy received her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the University of California—Los Angeles and continued higher education at the prestigious Pepperdine University, where she earned a masters degree in Clinical Psychology. Currently, Judy maintains her private practice in West Los Angeles.
Practice Manager at The Facial Paralysis Institute
Chloe is originally from London England, and received her Bachelor of Arts Degree from High Point University North Carolina. Chloe has worked with Dr Azizzadeh for 4 years has worked in all aspects of the business from marketing, to surgery scheduling. Today she is Dr Azizzadeh's Practice Manager overseeing the operations of the practice on a daily basis working closely with each patient and member of her team.
"What I love most about working with Dr Azizzadeh at the Center is all the amazing people I get to meet, I have always enjoyed helping people and in this practice I get to be a part of such a life changing experience for my patients, I believe that feeling good on the inside is as important as looking good on the outside, confidence is something everyone can and should have."Chloe
Nathalie is excited to be joining Dr. Azizzadeh and his practice after 6 years in the dermatology field. She will most likely be your first point of contact at The Center, whether it be over the phone or coming in for your appointment. She enjoys seeing each patient's progress through every step with Dr. Azizzadeh-- from the initial consult, to the pre-operative appointment, to a happy follow-up weeks, and even months, down the line.
Her favorite part is meeting and getting to know all the out-of-town patients:
"The fact that we get a lot of patients who regularly fly in from out of state, and even out of the country, to see Dr. Azizzadeh is a testament to his amazing care and work. I'm extremely proud to work for a doctor that others hold in such high regard."Nathalie
Auria received her Bachelor of Arts Degree at Scripps College in Claremont, California and has a strong passion for building relationships with our patients to help them achieve happiness. With over six years of experience in surgery consulting, she works closely with Dr. Azizzadeh's patients to guide them throughout their journey. Auria will meet with you during your first visit and will be there step-by-step to answer any questions or concerns you may have to ensure you are getting the very best experience.
"It is extremely rewarding to see how excited and happy our patients are post-surgery."Auria
Stephanie was born and raised in Los Angeles and graduated with a Bachelors of Arts degree from the University of California Santa Barbara. She will most likely be the person to coordinate your appointment and answer any questions that you have before coming in to see Dr. Azizzadeh. Stephanie most enjoys getting to know patients and working closely with them throughout their time at The CENTER.
"It's amazing to witness first-hand the positive impact Dr. Azizzadeh makes on the lives of his patients."Stephanie
Stephanie joins us from the vibrant, cosmopolitan city of Montreal. Along with being fluently bilingual in both English an French, she has studied business administration and project management and has several years’ experience in the business field working as an Executive Assistant. Stephanie prides herself on being dedicated, organized and efficient. She enjoys working with the public, and her cheerful manner and sense of humor make her a welcome addition to the office! Whether it is booking appointments or lending a compassionate ear to a nervous patient, her caring nature helps patients feel at ease.
“Although this is a new field for me, it is a privilege to witness Dr. Azizzadeh at work and the remarkable post-surgical results.”Stephanie N.
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