In 1953 he began working at a Brazilian hospital. On December 17, 1961, a burning circus tent fell on 2,500 spectators in the Brazilian city of Niterói. Pitanguy treated burn victims for weeks on an emergency basis. He later referred to the event as life changing, as it taught him that for many, physical appearance was critical to living. Pitanguy founded a private clinic called Clínica Ivo Pitanguy in the Botafogo section of Rio de Janeiro where he operated on clients and trained surgeons.
The Pitanguy clinic in Rio also includes an auditorium and library for Pitanguy's lectures and writings for medical students.
- "Brazil plastic surgery maestro Ivo Pitanguy dies at 93". BBC News. Retrieved 7 August 2016.
- Joseph A. Page (1995), The Brazilians. Da Capo Press. ISBN 0-201-44191-8.
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