Dr. Fay is an ophthalmic plastic and reconstructive surgery specialist in the Department of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School who has developed a unique subspecialty interest in the area of vascular anomalies. He brought American Society of Ophthamic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (ASOPRS) accreditation to the MEE fellowship shortly after becoming Program Director in 2006. In 2009 his became one of only 5 ACGME-accredited oculoplastic training programs in the country. From 2006 to 2011 he was director of the Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery service at Massachusetts Eye and Ear.
-Dr. Aaron Fay
Dr. Fay graduated from Tufts University in 1986 with a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering; both degrees were conferred cum laude. He obtained his MD from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1993. After completing his ophthalmology residency training at The Edward S. Harkness Eye Institute of Columbia University in 1997, he was an Ophthalmic Pathology fellow at The Massachusetts General Hospital through 1998, and an Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery fellow at Massachusetts Eye and Ear through 1999. He has been an Instructor in Ophthalmology at Harvard since 1997 and an Assistant Professor in Ophthalmology at Harvard since 2006, when he became Director of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Massachusetts Eye and Ear.
Outside of Harvard, he is extensively involved in the American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (ASOPRS) where he serves on several committees including the program directors’ committee, the education committee, and its subgroup, the committee on ACGME program accreditation; he also created and administers the widely applauded ASOPRS international internet forum discussion group. More recently he developed iOperate, the electronic surgical case-logging system used by all ASOPRS fellowship programs.
Dr. Fay has developed international recognition for his work in periocular vascular anomalies. He is a busy orbital surgeon who treats advanced and complicated orbital tumors, and he performs functional eyelid and lacrimal surgery. He attracts international referrals for his expertise in the management of patients with hemangiomas, venous malformations, and lymphatic malformations as well as orbital tumors and other orbital conditions. Recently he has spearheaded a tripartite international study on antibiotic stewardship in eyelid and orbital surgery.
Dr. Fay was named Physician of the Year by the Vascular Birthmark Institute in 2006. He has been an invited speaker at several national and international conferences and departments, discussing his work on topics related to orbital surgery primarily focusing on vascular anomalies, including a 2012 lecture at the Royal Academy of Ophthalmology in Liverpool England. Since joining Harvard, he has also received the 2007 Eleanor and Miles Shore Scholars in Medicine Award. He serves as a peer reviewer for 7 ophthalmology journals, including Ophthalmology, Archives of Ophthalmology, American Journal of Ophthalmology, and Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. In 2012 Dr. Fay was inducted into the Orbital Society, a prestigious organization limited to 30 members worldwide, and considered to comprise the world’s leading authorities in orbital surgery. This is the highest honor available in the field of orbital surgery.
Dr. Fay’s work has resulted in the publication of 80 original articles, all published since 1992, with 58 as first or senior author, including the 2013 Merrill Reeh Pathology Award-winning article in Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (on the nature and origin of orbital venous malformations). He has also published 10 reviews or book chapters, and edited a book entitled Ophthalmology Clinical Vignettes, recognized as the leading preparation manual for the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s Oral Boards Examination. Dr. Fay is not supported by research funding grants, but has obtained industry-sponsored research trials (extremely rare in ophthalmic plastic and reconstructive surgery).
Dr. Fay actively contributes to the training of ophthalmology residents and fellows in the clinic and operating room, and has supervised 3 full-time fellows for several years; one is a research fellow, one and international clinical fellow, and one a domestic ACGME-accredited, ASOPRS-approved fellow. Currently, he is Program Director of an ASOPRS-accredited fellowship based at Massachestts Eye and Ear. Each summer he traditionally supervises one undergraduate pre-medical student in research and clinical observation. He hosts frequent international observers of every level of expertise. One of his trainees is now Director of Ophthalmic Plastic and Facial Surgery at the Naval Medical Center of San Diego, one of his fellows is now Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology at the West Virginia University, one of his fellows is now Associate Professor of Ophthalmology and Director of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the University of Arkansas, one of his fellows is now Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology at Federal University of Sao Paolo, one of his fellows is now Clinical Associate Professor of Ophthalmology at the University of the Philippines. He has contributed to 1 HMS course (HMS OP501)
Dr. Fay performs clinical research in three main areas: vascular anomalies, paralytic eyelid disorders, and antibiotic stewardship. He is testing the relative efficacy of systemic medications and surgical removal of periocular hemangiomas using astigmatism, amblyopia, and eyelid function as clinical endpoints. He is also developing methods to treat lymphatic, venous, and arteriovenous malformations of the orbit. He has developed a number of methods to treat these lesions including the use of bleomycin solutions and foams. He is the leading proponent of these methods in the world. Dr. Fay is also performing translational research, working to apply new technology toward the elimination of myodystrophic blepharoptosis and paralytic lagophthalmos. Dr. Fay was a principle investigator for a nationwide phase 3 clinical drug trial for the treatment of orbital inflammation related thyroid disease. He is the lead author of a 30-physician prospective study on prophylactic antibiotics for orbital surgery
Dr. Fay was Director of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive surgery at Massachusetts Eye and Ear from 2006 to 2011 when he also served on the Faculty Advisory Committee. After developing the ACGME curriculum for the Massachusetts Eye and Ear program, and writing the national ACGME curriculum for ASOPRS, he served on the ACGME Committee. He also serves on the Harvard Catalyst Advanced Imaging Pilot Research Grants Program Review Committee
Working in conjunction with the national Thyroid Foundation, Dr. Fay in 2006 created the Thyroid Eye Disease Patient Support Group at Massachusetts Eye and Ear. He has spoken annually at the Regional Benign Essential Blepharospasm Patient Support Group. He has written several patient education brochures including Tear Duct Surgery and Thyroid Eye Disease. For nearly 15 years he has taught the Brookline, Massachusetts elementary school 5th grade sheep eye dissection course.