April 2, 1925 – April 19, 2021
Dr. Jack Sheen, preeminent Plastic and Reconstructive surgeon, has died at the age of 96. Internationally recognized for his original contributions to plastic surgery, he was regarded as a seminal figure in developing the art and technique of nasal surgery. He introduced aesthetic concepts and innovative techniques which transformed what had been primarily an unrefined reductive procedure into an artful and technically agile operation. He approached the surgery in a precise and nuanced way, focusing more on balance, harmony, and aesthetic details than on size alone.
Besides his reputation as a respected teacher, Jack was renowned as an adept and masterful surgeon. His surgical technique was fast and fluid, with never a wasted or tentative move. This was attested to by the many surgeons who came from all over the world to observe in his operating room.
Jack began his practice in general Plastic and Reconstructive surgery in 1964, performing the full gamut of reconstructive procedures, but gradually limited his practice to his passion, nasal surgery, and eventually, to the most challenging cases. Most of his patients were doctor referred, frequently as a last resort.
In addition to many peer reviewed articles, Jack, with his wife, Anitra, wrote a definitive text on nasal surgery, published in 1977. This was expanded to a two-volume 2nd Edition in 1987. Remarkable for a medical book, it is still in print.
In 1981, he was appointed as Associate Clinical Professor of Surgery, Division of Plastic Surgery at UCLA. He received an added appointment as Clinical Professor of Surgery, Section of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at USC in 1988. Among numerous awards and honors, he received the Distinguished Service Award, the highest honor presented by the Plastic Surgery Educational Foundation in 1997, Outstanding Service and Contribution Award, given by The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery in 2000, and The Distinguished Fellow Award by the prestigious American Association of Plastic Surgeons in 2002.
Having practiced in Los Angeles for 29 years, Jack moved to Santa Barbara in 1993 and enjoyed a busy practice there until 2003. In retirement he took up portrait sculpture as a hobby and at the age of 89, “shot his age” in golf.
The son of Armenian refugees from the Turkish genocide, Jack grew up in Altadena, joined the US Navy in 1943 and was assigned to a troop carrier in the South Pacific. A little known fact about Jack Sheen is that, at the age of 17, he could type almost 100 words per minute on a manual typewriter. This skill enabled him to spend the war in a bunk next to the Commander, transmitting and receiving vital communications in Morse code.
In 1951 he graduated from Stanford University and continued on to Stanford University School of Medicine, graduating in 1955. Following an unclear path, he completed a year of OB-GYN residency and three years of general practice before completing Plastic Surgery training in 1964 at Cook County Hospital, Chicago.
Jack will be missed for his warm personality, sense of humor and generous spirit. He is survived by his wife Anitra, sons Matthew and Michael Sheen, daughter Joan Sheen Welch, and granddaughters Caroline and Carlie Sheen and Sarah Welch.
April 2, 1925 – April 19, 2021