The masterful sculptor of San Francisco’s most beautiful faces
In the rarefied kingdom of the discreet, the driving force for perfection and youthfulness can only be satisfied by plastic surgeons. In the elite’s secretive world, hushed recommendations are whispered over cool glasses of crisp champagne and only shared with the well-heeled. But Haute Living, San Francisco, was able to get an intimate glimpse into the magic created by one of the nation’s leaders in plastic surgery, who happens to practice at 450 Sutter Street.
Meet Dr. Dino Elyassnia of The Marten Clinic of Plastic Surgery. Known as Dr. Dino or Dr. E. to his patients, Dr. Elyassnia’s compassionate nature and aesthetic vision is a winning combination for those who have a more beautiful image of themselves hidden beneath sagging skin or marred by a crooked nose. It sure does help that The Marten Clinic of Plastic Surgery was selected as one of the top 10 plastic surgery clinics in the world by Tatler magazine. For over a decade, Dr. Elyassnia has practiced aesthetic surgery of the face, breasts, and body. His overwhelming success and accolades for his facial surgery (facelift, neck lift, browlift, eyelid surgery) and rhinoplasty (nose jobs) keep Dr. Elyassnia focused on those two areas of expertise.
So, how did one of the nation’s top plastic surgeons end up in San Francisco?
During the Iranian revolution, Dr. Elyassnia’s family emigrated to the Bay Area. Two of his uncles were surgeons, and at an early age, Dr. Elyassnia wanted to follow their legacy. He completed his undergraduate degree at the University of California, San Diego, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude. He received the Biology Outstanding Achievement Award only given to the top student in the entire department. He earned his medical degree at the USC School of Medicine. He graduated in the top 1 percent of his class and scored in the top 1 percent nationally on the medical licensing exam.
His incredible achievements at USC earned him a coveted spot in the general surgery and plastic surgery training program at the University of California San Francisco, one of the country’s most exclusive positions. At UCSF, Dr. Elyassnia learned directly from leading surgeons and received an extensive education in plastic and reconstructive surgery. “I was lucky enough to have been trained by some of the world’s best plastic surgeons. With that training comes a responsibility to share our knowledge with other surgeons to not only work together to advance our field, but also to provide all patients with better outcomes and higher quality care,” Dr. Elyassnia shares.
Dr. Elyassnia has a great eye and sense of beauty. He is an excellent doctor and kind person and has a great team of people who try to make you feel at home and safe. I loved the work he did on my face. Everybody tells me that I look great, but nobody knows I went through a facelift.
He pursued training with the best plastic surgeons in Manhattan on the track to become a top plastic surgeon himself. There he completed an Aesthetic Fellowship at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, one of the country’s most sought-after aesthetic fellowships. Few plastic surgeons complete additional training with such dedication and focus on aesthetic surgery. This commitment to excellence has made Dr. Elyassnia arguably the best plastic surgeon in San Francisco. His success has landed him exclusive invitations to lecture and perform surgeries across the globe.
Over a decade ago, world-renowned plastic surgeon Dr. Timothy J. Marten took note of Dr. Elyassnia’s genius and invited him to join his practice at The Marten Clinic. W magazine recognized The Marten Clinic as one of the world’s best addresses for plastic surgery. It was the perfect place for this rising star to perform his magic.
Why plastic surgery versus other types of surgery?
One of Dr. Elyassnia’s uncles was a neurosurgeon and the other a vascular surgeon. He truly believed that he was going to follow in their footsteps. At first, Dr. Elyassnia leaned towards heart surgery until he got to medical school and found that he had an artistic side that would not be fully utilized as a vascular surgeon. When completing his medical training, he discovered that art and aesthetics played an essential role in his work as a surgeon. Ironically, plastic and reconstructive surgery focuses on the body’s form and function, but beauty is rarely part of the ethos.
Dr. Elyassnia explains, “It’s interesting: when training in plastic and reconstructive surgery, the focus is on anatomy and technically how to perform operations, but learning how to see beauty is not really taught. To be a great aesthetic surgeon, I believe you have to develop an intuitive connection to art and what is considered beautiful.”
I look 15-20 years younger. The subtle changes are not recognizable to anyone, but I look refreshed and am very happy with the results. I’m not tired of hearing “you look fantastic.” Huge thank you to Dr. Elyassnia and his wonderful team!
Being visually inspired, Dr. Elyassnia found beautiful faces in art and magazines. He gazed at gorgeous faces and asked himself philosophical questions like “What makes this face beautiful?” and “Why is this pretty?” He then used his intuition to find the answer, and when he did, his heart would sing. “Love, beauty, art: the abstract ideas come with rules and a feeling. I have come to rely on those feelings when I meet with my patients and discuss what they want. First, I have mastered the rules through my extensive training; next, I work with my intuitive ideas and feelings to create the look my patients want. It’s an interesting and powerful moment to try to capture. The personal joy for me comes from getting closer and closer to that concept of beauty and making my patients happy. Those are my two joys.”
How does one become a top surgeon?
In 2018, Dr. Elyassnia was featured in Town & Country’s Insider’s Guide to Plastic Surgery. He was named “The Corrector of Billionaire Tech Necks.” And that was for an excellent reason. Dr. Elyassnia’s track record speaks for itself. He was the first surgeon to perform a live preservation rhinoplasty surgery in the United States at the 55th annual Baker Gordon Symposium in Miami, Florida, while top surgeons from around the world watched and took notes on his technique. Besides performing live surgeries, lecturing at international conferences, and training medical students, he has also co-authored and contributed to numerous medical books and publications. He is in such high demand for his knowledge that, before COVID-19, he was lecturing at least once a month at various conferences and symposiums from Turkey to Colombia. With over 75 5-star reviews on Yelp, the numbers don’t lie.
Helping people find their true selves
While Dr. Elyassnia has led the charge in breast and body surgery, he has found his calling in facial surgery and rhinoplasty. He is very conscious that his patients put their lives and faith in him to do the very best. So, he believes it’s time for him to focus on one specialty—the face and all aspects of it. He is authentic and sincere with his patients when discussing their goals and expectations.
“I believe my success is only as good as the bond I build with each and every patient. My greatest professional satisfaction comes from seeing patients who are thrilled with their new appearance and excited to share this with me. I believe this success is built upon an open and thorough exchange of information so that my patients develop realistic expectations and trust in me as their surgeon. Only through such a collaborative relationship can we feel at the end that we have succeeded together,” Dr. Elyassnia shares.
I had always been highly insecure about my nose’s largeness and roundness, but now I feel con dent in leaving the house. I feel this operation has made my outside match my inside and am very thankful for Dr. Elyassnia.
He listens to his patients and knows that his goal is to give them the improved vision they have for themselves. There is an art and science to that as well. For Dr. Elyassnia, it’s a collaborative e ort to listen to his patient and really understand their needs and expectations. “Rule number one is making the patient happy. I might have my own views of beauty and what I would do, but my job—and what brings me joy—is giving my patients the face, chin, neck, and nose they want.” His results are harmonious and balanced with all the other features on his patient’s face. The outcomes are seamlessly beautiful.
When it comes to my practice, I have three driving forces that I always strive for:
VISION: Having the right aesthetic sense to know what exact changes will create the most beauty, youth, and harmony for each patient. No amount of technical expertise can overcome a lack of aesthetic vision.
PRECISION: This is about having the focus to execute a highly detailed aesthetic plan, perfectly, every single time without compromise. This is never feeling like I left the operating room without performing my absolute best.
INTEGRITY: This one is fairly simple, treating all my patients with the utmost dignity and respect. To be not just exceedingly honest, but also thorough with the communication of all relevant information so that each patient can make the best decision for themselves.
Dr. Elyassnia’s Personal Life
With over 16,000 followers on his Instagram account and adorable photos of his life outside of the operating room, it is not hard to fall in love with him and his family. He was lucky enough to meet the love of his life and marry her. She, too, came from Iran as a child. His wife, Khazar, knows a lot about compassion and giving. Dr. Elyassnia shares that becoming a surgeon can consume the human part of a person. “We are so focused on getting into med school, the mechanics of surgery, and driven to achieve; it can beat the life out of you.”
Khazar brings life back to Dr. Elyassnia with her kindness and generosity. “She packs bags for the homeless, and she’s taken me shopping for gifts for underprivileged families. She has been my guiding light. And I am so thankful for her.”
Khazar and Dr. Elyassnia have the most adorable Yorkie named Cookie, who also gets featured on Instagram. It truly showcases Dr. Elyassnia’s incredible benevolence for his family and patients alike.
“When I met Khazar, I was simply awestruck. She was one of a kind— passionate, brave, and intelligent in a way like I had never seen. Now eight years later, this dynamic superwoman has been leading me down life’s path ever since, showing me the real meaning of life and love.”
You can follow Dr. Elyassnia on Instagram @drdinoelyassnia.
Contact him at dinomd.com or call 415-677-9937
PHOTO CREDITS: ©VINCENT GOTTI, ©BRENT WINEBRENNER; ©JIM MCCARTHY; ©ROBERT HOLMES; HMUA: NELLIE MUGANDA; CREATIVE DIRECTOR: MAHNAZ TAYARANI PHOTO ASSISTANT: ANTON GOTTI; FLORAL DESIGNER: NICOLE OF SAN FRANCISCO FLORIST