Bernard G. Sarnat

Beverly Hills plastic surgeon, research scientist

Dr. Bernard G. Sarnat, 99, a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon and research scientist who advanced the study of facial deformities, died of respiratory failure Oct. 21 in Los Angeles, his family said.

Trained as a doctor and a dentist, Sarnat researched the biological circumstances that lead to facial deformities. His findings influenced the development of reconstructive surgical procedures, according to Pete E. Lestrel, author of a 2008 biography of Sarnat.

Sarnat also conducted significant research in the general field of bone and craniofacial biology and on the relationship of teeth to systemic disease, Lestrel said.

Born Sept. 1, 1912, in Chicago and reared there, Sarnat was one of three children of Jewish parents who immigrated to the U.S. from Russia. His father owned a drugstore.

After earning bachelor's and medical degrees from the University of Chicago, Sarnat interned at Los Angeles County General Hospital before earning a dental degree in 1940 from the University of Illinois.

For health reasons, Sarnat moved to Los Angeles in 1955 and established a plastic surgery practice in Beverly Hills. He joined UCLA's faculty as a dental professor in 1969 and became a professor of medicine in 1974. He also served on the plastic surgery staff at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center for more than 35 years.

Los Angeles Times staff and wire reports

news.obits@latimes.com