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Dr. Hrayr Shahinian Biography - Skull Base Institute

Dr. Shahinian Biography

Hrayr K. Shahinian, M.D.
Medical Director

Hrayr K. Shahinian, M.D. is regarded as a pioneer in the field of medicine for his revolutionary use of minimally invasive endoscopy in performing skull base surgery. He is leading a paradigm shift by shunning the traditional craniotomy -- a relatively barbaric procedure that involves making an incision from ear to ear, pulling back the skin to expose the skull, sawing off the top portion to reach the brain and attempting to correct the abnormality in question -- in favor of the state-of-the-art procedure. Shahinian, who leads a world-class team of specialists at the Skull Base Institute in Los Angeles, is breaking new ground by treating his patients using micro-instruments to access the problem areas. By utilizing this revolutionary technology, along with fiber optic, high-definition video that enables him to have a panoramic view of the interior anatomy of the skull, he skillfully removes tumors and repairs vascular problems while, at the same time, dramatically reducing operating and recovery times.

Shahinian was born in Beirut, Lebanon, and spent his formative years in Paris. One of his favorite pursuits was traveling throughout the Middle East and Africa with his father as he worked on various civil engineering projects. During this time, his father influenced him tremendously, encouraging him to actively pursue academic excellence while providing a steady stream of inspiration as the youngster achieved various goals.

It was in his home city that Shahinian began his quest for a career in medicine, first earning a bachelor's degree in biology/chemistry from the American University of Beirut before earning medical degrees from that institution and Pritzker Medical School at the University of Chicago. While there, he earned a distinguished membership in the prestigious Alpha Omega Alpha honor society for excellence in the medical community. He later relocated to Illinois to serve as a research associate at the University of Chicago's Department of Surgery before completing his training in general surgery at Vanderbilt University in Tennessee.

Shahinian later completed fellowships in three different specialty areas, starting with plastic/reconstructive surgery and craniofacial surgery at New York University Medical Center's Institute of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery before moving to Switzerland to concentrate on skull base surgery at the University of Zurich's Department of Head and Neck Surgery. After returning to the United States, Shahinian accepted a position as an attending surgeon at the United States Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Northport, N.Y. He later went on to serve as an assistant clinical professor at the Institute of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery at New York University Medical Center and assistant professor of surgery and neurosurgery at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He later accepted a position at that institution to serve as co-director of the Skull Base Institute. He relocated to Los Angeles in 1996 to accept a position at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and reestablish the Skull Base Institute, which, over the next several years, assembled a top-ranked team of surgeons, endocrinologists, radiologists and other specialty personnel before the facility expanded in 2003.

A fellow of the American College of Surgeons, Shahinian has received scores of awards including the Harwell Wilson Award for Excellence as a surgical resident from Vanderbilt University Medical Center as well as several teaching awards at various institutions. He has authored numerous journal articles as well as chapters in such noted textbooks as "Grabb and Smith's Plastic Surgery" and "Endocrinology."




Adults and Childrens Skull Base Tumors and Pituitary Tumor Resources: Skull Base Institute