ABC’s 20/20 Features the Restored Smile of Facial Gunshot Victim Mary Jo Buttafuoco

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Dr. Babak Azizzadeh of the Facial Paralysis Institute Restores Mary Jo Buttafuoco’s Smile After Scandalous Shooting Leaves Her Disfigured Face in the Media Spotlight

When I first learned of Mary Jo’s tragic events, I believed I could help her find her smile again – and so I did

A two-hour special episode of ABC’s 20/20 – aired on November 9, 2019 – looks back on the infamous shooting of Mary Jo Buttafuoco in May of 1992. Buttafuoco, a patient of Dr. Babak Azizzadeh of the Facial Paralysis Institute, was shot in the face outside her home by 17-year old Amy Fisher, who claimed to be having an extramarital affair with Mary Jo’s husband, Joseph Buttafuoco. After initially fighting for her life, Buttafuoco was left disfigured, deaf in one ear, and paralyzed on one side of her face. After seeing her story publicized on The Oprah Winfrey Show in 2005, Dr. Azizzadeh offered his expertise. Through a series of successful surgeries, Dr. Azizzadeh’s talents ultimately restored Buttafuoco’s smile.

“When I first learned of Mary Jo’s tragic events, I believed I could help her find her smile again – and so I did,” says Dr. Azizzadeh. Dr. Azizzadeh performed a state-of-the-art facial reanimation procedure involving static facial suspension, an asymmetric facelift, and eye lift procedures. These innovative treatments restored Buttafuoco’s smile and returned balance to her face. Dr. Azizzadeh also widened her damaged ear canal, which improved her hearing and will help prevent future infections.

Months later, Dr. Azizzadeh was invited to appear with Buttafuoco on The Oprah Winfrey Show for a follow-up segment on his patient. When Oprah asked how she felt about her new appearance, Buttafuoco responded, “I love the results!”

For more on Dr. Azizzadeh and the Facial Paralysis Institute, please visit the Facial Paralysis Institute website.

About Dr. Babak Azizzadeh and the Facial Paralysis Institute:

Dr. Babak Azizzadeh, founder and Director of the Facial Paralysis Institute, is one of the leading international experts in facial plastic surgery. His expertise in cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery has made him one of the most sought-after physicians. Dr. Azizzadeh's client list not only includes celebrities, executives, physicians and dignitaries from around the world, but also amazing people from all walks of life. He has been featured in The Oprah Winfrey Show, People Magazine, New York Times, Discovery Health, Los Angeles Times, Beverly Hills Courier and numerous other media outlets for his expertise in facial plastic surgery. Dr. Azizzadeh is one of a select group of surgeons who are double board-certified by the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery as well as the American Board of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery. His plastic surgery colleagues have consistently chosen him as one of the Top Doctors in Beverly Hills, CA.

Media Contact: Chloe Belteau, CENTER for Advanced Facial Plastic Surgery, 310-657-2203,

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Chloe Belteau
The Facial Paralysis Institute
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