Dr. Olivier Deigni
I was first exposed to plastic surgery as a child, when my best friend’s younger brother underwent creation of a mandible with a rib graft due to congenital deformities. At the time, I did not understand the significance of such a procedure. However, I carried the memory of the parents’ happiness and gratitude with me, which left a lasting impression.
I was born and raised in Abidjan, Co^te d’Ivoire, to an Ivorian father who came from a fishing village and an American mother who grew up on a farm in West Bend, Wisconsin, before she traveled to West Africa as a Peace Corps volunteer. Throughout my childhood, my parents encouraged me to pursue knowledge and excellence, and to contribute whatever I could to our community. Moreover, they instilled core values in me, including the value of service, respect, humility, and compassion.
I strive for excellence in any task I undertake whether it is in athletics, academics, or community service. I came to the US with a strong motivation to succeed and an innate sense of discipline. As an aerospace engineering student at the Georgia Institute of Technology, I seized the opportunity to work with a number of brilliant and dedicated scientists over a period of three years at NASA Johnson Space Center. During that time, I learned how to think critically, I pushed myself to be efficient in my tasks, and I developed the skills to learn independently, while still contributing to the team. Despite my academic success in aerospace engineering, I realized that I desired to devote my time and energy to preserving life rather than working on weapons systems aimed at destroying it. It was at this pivotal point in my life that I chose to pursue a career in medicine. In addition to fulfilling that desire, the field of plastic surgery challenges my cognitive and motor abilities. Furthermore, aesthetic plastic surgery now adds another exciting challenge – genuine artistry.
The field of aesthetic plastic surgery is relatively young and I am committed to being a member of a community of surgeons that push the field’s envelope and seize opportunities to achieve great advances and discoveries. I believe that several characteristics that I have honed during my residency will carry me throughout my career, among which are: a passionate dedication to the importance of plastic surgery, a consistent commitment to my patients and colleagues, and the enthusiasm to enjoy the challenges that come along. Moreover, I am an avid learner and I enjoy solving problems. I am privileged to train as a plastic surgeon and I find great satisfaction in helping people whose deformities and injuries are a source of functional deficit and psychological distress.
I chose the aesthetic fellowship because I want to be in an environment that provides exceptional training and will prepare me to become an excellent aesthetic plastic surgeon. ACPS surgeons’ dedication to making their fellows the best aesthetic plastic surgeons is most appealing.
Upon completing my training, I plan to anchor my practice in a community in which I will be a leader, role model, and educator in all aspects of aesthetic plastic surgery. I plan to engage in clinical projects that will advance the field of plastic surgery and result in publication and presentation. My ideal practice will combine all aspects of aesthetic surgery, including breast and facial aesthetics, body contouring, as well as non-surgical procedures such as laser treatments, advanced injectables, and peels.
Growing up in Co^te d’Ivoire, I witnessed the harsh reality of health disparities with inadequate access to care, poor quality of care, and high cost of care. AIDS, polio, malaria, and Ebola are among many maladies rife in Africa. I feel compelled to contribute to help decrease these health disparities, especially for men, women, and children who reside in communities in which the nearest medical facility is a two-day walk away from their village and who can only dream of finding relief from disfiguring and incapacitating injuries. Accordingly, my long-term goals include pursuing volunteer work opportunities overseas and improving the state of healthcare in Africa. I envision spearheading an effort to build clinics and hospitals across West Africa.
– Aesthetic Surgery Fellowship, Aesthetic Center for Plastic Surgery (ACPS), July 2017 – June 2018, Houston, TX
– Clinical Specialist, September 2016 – June 2017, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
– MD Anderson Cancer Center, Microvascular Surgery Fellowship, July 2016 – June 2017, Houston, TX
– Plastic Surgery Residency, July 2010 , – June 2016, Saint Louis University, Saint Louis, MO
– MD/MPH Epidemiology, July 2005 – June 2010, Emory University School of Medicine Atlanta, GA
– PhD, Aerospace Engineering, postponed in Aug, 2005 to enter medical school, Georgia Institute of Technology Atlanta, GA
– M.S. in Aerospace Engineering, December 2003, Georgia Institute of Technology Atlanta, GA
– B.S. in Aerospace Engineering, May 2002, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA
HIV Prevention Branch Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Federal Work Study Student, October 2008 – April 2009
– Assisted in the preparation of survey materials for a public health intervention on alcohol and HIV in Namibia.
– Analyzed Demographic and Health Surveys (DHS) data to evaluate the risks of HIV in South Africa.
– This topic serves as my dissertation topic for completion of my Master’s in Public Health degree.
– Provided assistance in establishing contacts for a pilot study of Men who have Sex with Men (MSM)
in Côte d’Ivoire. Part of the team implementing the survey on MSM in Côte d’Ivoire in spring 2010.
Aerospace Systems Design Laboratory Georgia Institute of Technology
Graduate Research Assistant, August 2002 – July 2005
– Explored and implemented advanced design methods for complex systems. Worked on developing a revolutionary space vehicle sizing tool in conjunction with NASA Glenn.
Future Target Delivery System Georgia Institute of Technology
Systems Engineer, September 2002 – May 2003
– Designed a decommissioned missile based target vehicle system for Ballistic Missile Design Systems
testing. Presented the design to the Missile Defense Agency and received first prize for the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Graduate Team Missile Design Competition.
EG3 – Applied Aeroscience and CFD NASA Johnson Space Center
Cooperative Student Summer 2001
– Validated a heating code used to predict aero-thermal heating values on any given geometry.
– Predicted and analyzed heating values for hypersonic re-entry of the X38 at various Mach numbers using the code.
– Generated grids to study the impact of design changes on surface heating values and predicted heating values for each grid modification.
– Presented results to the code developer and branch division.EC3 – Crew and Thermal Systems NASA Johnson Space Center
Cooperative Student Summer 2000
– Assembled a Single Lamp Test Stand (SLTS) as part of the Biomass Production Systems (BPS)
project, and redesigned its operating systems (pumps, instrumentation, and power supply).
– Served as chief engineer for hazardous testing of various lamp bulbs to be used for crop growth in
enclosed chambers and assisted in mounting the BPS test stand and preparing it for operational
EG3 – Applied Aeroscience and CFD NASA Johnson Space Center
Cooperative Student Fall 1999
– Analyzed and processed data from wind tunnel testing on X38 body flap cavity.
– Created a heating database for the cavity of the X38 and developed a computer model that enables
engineers to predict the heating values in the X38 body flap cavity at flight conditions.
– Built a Lego Robot with a team of other coops to demonstrate the capabilities of the ROBOLAB Lego kit to NASA engineers and schoolteachers in preparation for the elementary school outreach program.
– Participated in an outreach program supervised by NASA to reach out to community high schools.
– Maxilla Reconstruction. Deigni, OA, Garvey P. Submitted for publication on PSEN March 2017.
– The Laminated Nature of the Pectoralis Major Muscle and the Redefinition of the Inframammary Fold: Clinical Implications in Aesthetic and Reconstructive Breast Surgery. Maclin MM 2nd, Deigni OA, Bengtson BP. Clin Plast Surg. 2015 Oct;42(4):465-79.
– Radial tunnel syndrome complicated by lateral epicondylitis in a middle-aged female. Kaswan S, Deigni O, Tadisina KK, Totten M, Kraemer BA. Eplasty. 2014 Nov 4;14:ic44.
– Management of full-thickness abdominal wall defects following tumor resection. Yezhelyev MV, Deigni O, Losken A. Ann Plast Surg. 2012 Aug;69(2):186-91.
– Current options in the management of complex abdominal wall defects. Ghazi, B., Deigni, O., Yezhelyev, M., Losken, A. Ann Plast Surg. 2011 May;66(5):488-92.
– Lower Extremity Adipofascial Flap Coverage, Maximizing Aesthetic Outcomes and Decreasing Morbidity. Olivier A. Deigni, Johnny Franco, Bruce Kraemer. Abstract accepted and presented at the Missouri Chapter of the American College of Surgeons Meeting June 10-12, 2011.
– Sternal Replating Secondary to Wound Dehiscence After Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation: A Case Report. Deigni OA, Bernstein ML. (in process of submission for publication)
– Facial Trauma and the Parotid Duct. Plastic Surgery Grand Rounds, Saint Louis University Hospital. August 19, 2014
Can you hear me now? Ear Reconstruction. Plastic Surgery Grand Rounds, Saint Louis University Hospital. October 29, 2013
– An Embarrassing and Painful Disease: Hidradenitis Suppurativa. Pediatric Surgery Grand Rounds, Cardinal Glennon Children’s Medical Center. May 29, 2013
– Fat Grafting Applications. Plastic Surgery Grand Rounds, Saint Louis University Hospital. February 12, 2013
-Body Contouring After Massive Weight Loss. Plastic Surgery Grand Rounds, Saint Louis University Hospital. March 13, 2012
Lower Extremity Adipofascial Flap Coverage, Maximizing Aesthetic Outcomes and Decreasing Morbidity. Olivier A. Deigni, Johnny Franco, Bruce Kraemer. Surgery Grand Rounds on Plastic Surgery Residency Research. June 1, 2011. Saint Louis University School of Medicine.
Emory Medishare Emory University School of Medicine
Volunteer/President 9/2005 – 6/2010
Emory Medishare was founded in fall 2005 through a partnership with Project Medishare to provide healthcare to a remote region called Kass, in Haiti. I served as president of the organization from July 2006 to May 2007. Since the creation of the organization, we have had three successful trips to Haiti to help set up healthcare clinics to screen and treat as many people as possible, and to assess the health needs of the villages.
Our teams consist of medical students, residents, public health professionals, Peace Corps volunteers and Emory and Morehouse attending physicians. The long-term mission is to provide sustainable healthcare through the donation of medical supplies/equipment, the building of health infrastructure, and the education of the local people.
AIDS & Reproductive Health Project Dar Es Salaam & Mwanza, Tanzania
Volunteer 5/2006 – 7/2006
I received a grant for a two-month summer internship that I set up in Tanzania. My project was a collaborative effort between researchers and physicians from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Columbia University, and the Bugando Medical Center in Mwanza, to establish a program specifically aimed at diagnosing and treating infants in the early stages of HIV infection. I also volunteered as a peer counselor at the Infectious Disease Center in Dar Es Salaam.
HIP Corps Emory University School of Medicine
Volunteer 7/2005 – 8/2007
HIP corps, formally funded by CDC, is a Student National Medical Association (SNMA) sponsored organization that seeks to educate and increase awareness about AIDS/HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases among youths in the Atlanta Metropolitan Area. As a volunteer within the organization, I travel to local area high schools once a month with a team of volunteers from the medical school and give presentations on sexually transmitted infections, with a focus on how to recognize an STI and how to properly use condoms if the participants are sexually active.
Health Fairs, Emory University School of Medicine
Volunteer 7/2005 – 8/2007
This has been one of the most successful community service projects for the EUSOM SNMA chapter. It is held once a semester in local area malls and medically under-served communities. We provide screening for glaucoma, diabetes, and high blood pressure as well as general health information.
– Rollins School of Public Health Adopt a Scholar Award Fall 2008 – Spring 2009
– MD/MPH Share School Scholarship Fall 2008 – Spring 2009
– Dean’s Academic Scholarship July 2005 – Present
– Augusta and Grace Barrett Scholarship July 2005 – Present
– National Medical Fellowship Emerging Scholar Award Fall 2007
– Southern Medical Association Scholarship Spring 2007
– American Medical Association Foundation Minority Scholars Award Fall 2006 – Summer 2007
– REACH Award Summer 2006
– Eric Randall Scholarship Recipient Fall 2005 – Summer 2006
– National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship Award Fall 2002 – Summer 2005
– Gold Medal in 4x400m relay at the Atlantic Coast Conference Spring 2002
– Verizon Academic All-American Spring 2002
– Boeing Scholarship Recipient Fall 2000 – Spring 2002
– Branson Scholarship Recipient Spring 2001
– Member of the Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society Since 2001
– NASA Co-op Award Recipient Winter 1999
– Dean’s List at Georgia Tech Fall 1997
– Eagle Scout April 1993
– Knowledge of AutoCAD, MATLAB, FLOPS, HAVOC, JMP, ModelCenter, FORTRAN, Visual Basic,
Microsoft Office, Windows, HTML, TECHPLOT, SAS, DHS datasets
– Familiar with computer hardware
– Fluent in English and French, intermediate German speaker, elementary Spanish speaker
– Music: I played the violin with my church choir as an undergraduate and graduate student. I also joined the Georgia Tech symphony during my freshman year. I enjoy creating music using computer software.
– Flying: I enjoy flying propeller-driven aircraft such as Cessna aircraft. I am working on obtaining my private pilot’s license.
– Diving: I obtained my deep sea scuba diving license in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt in 2006.
– Traveling: Discovering cultures, exploring cities, and learning languages constitute some of my many passions in life.
– Space exploration: I would like to apply for the Astronaut Candidate Program at some point in my career.