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7 Quick Questions With Facial Plastic Surgeon Samuel Oyer, MD

Video still of otolaryngologist Samuel Oyer, MD, who can perform facial plastic surgery.

An otolaryngologist specializing in facial plastic surgery can repair the face, head, and neck. This special skill allows surgeons to reshape or restructure parts of the face to improve your health or lifestyle. You might need this surgery for trauma like a car accident, a pre-existing condition, or cosmetic needs.

Meet Otolaryngologist Samuel Oyer, MD

Samuel Oyer, MD, is a facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon who does cosmetic and reconstructive treatments. These range from in-office procedures to extensive surgery. He treats mainly the face and neck in people of all ages.

We asked him to answer our 7 Quick Questions.

Why did you become a doctor? 

I was always interested in science. I wanted an opportunity to impact other people’s lives directly. So for me, medicine was the perfect balance of both these interests.

Why facial plastic surgery?

Surgery has always appealed to me as a way to make a meaningful change in a person’s life. Nothing is more personal to our identity in life than our face.

Therefore, I chose to specialize in facial plastic surgery because it allows me to merge art and science. It also allowed me to improve the quality of life while preserving one’s personal identity.

What’s one thing about your specialty that might surprise people?

Many people have never heard of facial plastic surgery as a specialty. These surgeons have a background in otolaryngology (ENT) but get additional fellowship training.

We also have a board certification in facial plastic & reconstructive surgery. We perform cosmetic and reconstructive surgeries exclusively on the face and neck.

Where did you grow up?

A small farming community in Middlebury, Indiana.

What’s the most exciting research happening in your field right now?

We’re continuing to improve our ability to help people suffering from facial paralysis. New surgical techniques and refinements can improve people with facial paralysis or spasm who were previously told that no treatments were available.

Who is your inspiration or hero?

I don’t have one single hero I look toward for inspiration. I am regularly inspired by the countless people I encounter every day. Friends, family, patients, and co-workers who offer support and compassion to others despite their own personal challenges, illness, or obstacles.

What’s your favorite thing about working at UVA?

I love working alongside people who are willing to pitch in and help others while wearing a smile on their faces.

View Transcript
Transcript:

My name is Sam Oyer. I'm a facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon here at UVA Health, and my practice focuses exclusively on cosmetic and reconstructive surgery of the face and the neck. One of my main focuses is facial paralysis treatment or something we call facial reanimation. And this is just to really bring back as much motion as we can to a face that's affected by paralysis. But I also treat a wide variety of other disorders of the face, particularly rhinoplasty for breathing, facial reconstruction after trauma, or skin cancers, and then also facial aesthetics to help with facial aging. The face is really our identity and it's kind of fascinating to get to work with that on a daily basis. That's how we see each other, how we identify and recognize each other. So when conditions affect people's faces, it really makes a big impact. So for me, to be able to help people in that situation is just a huge plus and an honor for me to be able to kind of treat those patients. When a patient comes to see me, the first thing that they will do is do an in-office consultation and my first goal in that is just to listen and figure out what their goals are, why they're here, and how I can help them. And then I do a careful analysis of whichever part of the face they're concerned about. And then we can come up with a treatment plan, which involves either some in-office treatments for some, or surgical intervention for others. Here at UVA, we have a great team of doctors. It's not just one individual person. And everyone is here for the same goal, that's to help individual patients get better. I think that really improves the patient quality and patient care that we can deliver.

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