Dr. Wisit Boonn, 51, plastic surgeon in city

May 18, 1999|By Jacques Kelly | Jacques Kelly,SUN STAFF

Dr. Wisit Boonn, a Baltimore plastic surgeon, died Thursday at Johns Hopkins Hospital from complications of a congenital liver disease. He was 51 and lived in Lutherville.

A specialist in reconstructive plastic surgery and facial cosmetic surgery, he was professionally recognized for his skill and comforting manner with his patients.

"He was absolutely an artist; his work was done to perfection," said Dr. Marc H. Gertner, a friend and fellow surgeon. "He was also a humble person. He would be embarrassed when a patient told him what an excellent job he'd done."

He was born in Bangsaphan, a small fishing village in the south of Thailand. He moved to Baltimore in 1973 and began his surgical residency at then-St. Agnes Hospital. From 1976 to 1978, he was on the staff of Sinai Hospital.

From 1978 to 1981, he lived in New York state, first in Buffalo, where he began training in plastic surgery at Mercy Hospital. He furthered his medical education at a fellowship program in aesthetic plastic surgery at the Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital. He also was a clinical instructor in plastic surgery at New York University at that time.

In 1981, he returned to Baltimore and established a private practice. Since then, he had been on the staffs of Maryland General, Fallston General, North Charles General, Franklin Square, St. Joseph and Sinai hospitals, as well as the Northwest Medical Center and the SurgiCenter of Baltimore.

"In college and medical school, he picked up drawing and photography," said his son, William Wiroom Boonn of Lutherville. "His artistic talent emerged, not only with a brush or camera, but also with a scalpel."

Dr. Boonn had originally wanted to be an engineer, but following his father's wishes, he took up the study of medicine.

"He was a very caring surgeon," said Dr. Claro Pio Roda, a surgeon at Northwest Hospital Center. "All his patients loved him. He was meticulous in his work."

Dr. Boonn was a graduate of a high school in Ratchaburi, Thailand, and Mahidol University there. He received his medical degree at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok.

In 1972, he married the former Pornpilai Cheungviroj, a classmate at Chulalongkorn. She is a pathologist and survives him.

He was co-author of a scholarly article written in 1988 for the British Journal Plastic Surgery.

He belonged to many professional societies, including the Baltimore City Medical Society, the John Staige Davis Plastic Surgical Society of Maryland, the Royal Society of Medicine of England and the Thai Medical Council.

In addition to art, he enjoyed gardening, golf and traveling with his family.

Services were held Sunday in Towson.

He also is survived by a daughter, Ann Vida Boonn of Lutherville.

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