Dr. Aaron Sarathy, DMD Joins Port Royal Oral Surgery after Serving 12 Years in the US Navy

By Wendy Pollitzer

Featured in The Island News

August 12, 2010

Dr. Aaron Sarathy and a member of his staff

Dr. Aaron Sarathy, has recently joined Port Royal Oral & Facial Surgery with Dr. Simons Hane Jr., DMD, and he’s excited and resolute to continue his service to the Lowcountry in private practice after 12 years in the US Navy.

Dr. Sarathy is as easy going as you could imagine.  He admits, “It’s a requirement to live in the Lowcountry.” After chatting with him at his office at 14-B Marshellen Drive, I quickly realized how down to earth he is.  He’s quick witted, yet humble and laid-back, but serious about his practice and the care his patients receive.

“My goal here, as an Oral & Maxillofacial surgeon is to provide our community with the best oral and facial surgical care possible.   Our practice constantly strives to make sure Beaufortonians don’t have to drive to Charleston or Hilton Head for quality care,” explains Sarathy. “And I love the fact that I run into patients everywhere I go; Beaufort still has that small town feel, and I love that!”

Dr. Sarathy grew up in Charleston. Salt water runs through his blood. He couldn’t imagine working or raising a family anywhere else but the Lowcountry.  He, his wife, Dr. Jennifer Wallace and his kids, Brayden (8) and Taylor (4) enjoy fishing, diving and just getting out on the river for a day of cruising along with the family dog, Ellie.

But admittedly, he was a little nervous about moving to Beaufort, a much smaller community than our neighbor to the North, the Holy City.  “We originally had plans to move home to Charleston.  The US Navy, however, had other plans for me. You have to admit Beaufort, SC was going to be a dramatic change from Washington DC, where I did my surgical residency! I remember driving into Beaufort and seeing the sunset over the water, and knew this could work.  Besides, Best Buy had just opened!  One year later, Jennifer and I couldn’t live anywhere else!  We’ve been here 5 years now and have never looked back.”

If he wasn’t sure if small town life was ideal, he has no doubt now and absolutely loves it! “Beaufort has a rural charm, but is just urbanite enough; I love the water and everything about it, and Beaufort has plenty of it!” laughs Sarathy.

Dr. Sarathy completed his undergraduate education at USC, finishing with a B.A. in Philosophy. He then went on to MUSC and graduated from the Dental School in 1998.  While attending MUSC, he received a US Navy scholarship.  Following graduation, he entered active duty in the US Navy and served till the summer of 2010.

Dr. Sarathy completed a General Practice Residency at the Naval Medical Center in Portsmouth, VA.  He served overseas in Naples, Italy as a general practitioner for two years.  He completed his Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery residency in 2006 at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, MD.

“My residency was the most taxing and rewarding professional experience of my life.  From a training standpoint, I was fortunate to gain exposure to some the cutting edge techniques in head and neck trauma surgery.”  While at the National Naval Medical Center and Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Dr. Sarathy underwent additional training at Washington Hospital Center, University of Maryland Medical Center Shock Trauma Unit, and University of Miami/ Jackson Memorial Medical Center.   In addition, Dr. Sarathy received extensive training in corrective jaw surgery, facial cosmetic surgery, and surgical pathology.

He has definitely had some unique experiences.   “I was on call the night Robert Woodruff returned to Bethesda Naval Hospital, just a few days after his incident.”

Bob Woodruff is the ABC television journalist who was critically wounded in a roadside bomb attack in Taji, Iraq in January, 2006.  “I was chief resident and we were on call for head and neck trauma that evening. I was involved in his initial treatment which required removing shrapnel and repairing severe lacerations to his face.” recalls Sarathy.  “He suffered a severe traumatic brain injury that was managed by our team at Navy and Army.”

By February of 2007, Woodruff resumed his contributions to ABC World News with Charles Gibson with the first in a series of follow up reports focusing on the problems that wounded American soldiers are encountering in their treatment and recovery, particularly at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

The most important thing for Sarathy in treating our sailors, marines, soldiers, and airmen is the fact that,  “…after all the surgery is done, what you’re left with are the patients and their families; and, you get to see first-hand the sacrifices our troops and their families make on a daily basis to defend our country.  These guys are the true heroes.   It made serving in the US Navy as an Oral & Maxillofacial surgeon an honor and a real source of pride.”

On a fun note, Dr. Sarathy has also had the pleasure of shaking the hands of George W. Bush and famous wrestler, Hulk Hogan, who made repeated visits to Navy and Walter Reed to lift spirits of wounded troops. “I could’ve taken him, I think,” jokes Sarathy.

Since 2006, Dr. Sarathy has been treating Navy personnel, US Marines and recruits at both the Naval Hospital and Parris Island. Two and one half years ago, he began to talking to Dr. Hane about joining his practice when Dr. Sarathy’s tour of duty was over. And just recently, that’s exactly what he did.

Dr. Hane’s motto at Port Royal Oral & Facial Surgery has always been, “Treat people the right way, how you or your family would like to be treated, and everything will work itself out.”  Drs. Sarathy and Hane live by that motto. And it’s evident throughout the office, from the modern facilities to the extra-bubbly and friendly staff.

“Our staff is the best!  They are 100% dedicated to the practice and more importantly, to our patients,” says Sarathy.

Tina Ashmore (Office Manager), Carla Anderson (Insurance and Financial Assistant), Dawn Walz (Surgical Assistant) and Leslie McNaughton (Surgical Assistant) are instrumental in providing the best surgical care possible.  By the end of the interview; and by the time I left, I felt like they were all close buddies. You can tell Dr. Sarathy and Dr. Hane keep it fun in the office without sacrificing quality care.

Port Royal Oral & Facial Surgery specializes in all aspects of oral and maxillofacial surgery to include dental-alveolar surgery (surgical removal of impacted/non-impacted teeth and pre-prosthetic surgery), dental implants, soft-tissue augmentation and bone grafting of the jaws for reconstruction, corrective jaw surgery (orthognathic surgery), surgery of the jaws for OSA, facial cosmetic surgery (Botox, fillers, eye and brow surgery, etc.) facial trauma (lacerations, jaw fractures, etc.), management of pathology (cysts and tumors in the jaws, and biopsies/treatment of oral lesions).

“I love the uniqueness of our specialty and what we can do for people with it, from routine oral surgical procedures to life-changing jaw surgery and facial cosmetic procedures.” says Sarathy.

Thanks to the entire staff at Port Royal Oral & Facial Surgery for a pleasant and accommodating visit. Your practice is a class act! And, congratulations Dr. Sarathy for serving our country honorably and beginning this next chapter in your life.

About Wendy

Wendy Pollitzer is a versatile writer living in the Lowcountry of South Carolina.

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