Burt Brent specialized in ear reconstruction and had a private practice in Woodside, California. He was also on the teaching faculty at Stanford University Medical Center in Palo Alto, California. Brent, who learned sculpture before studying medicine, built upon and refined techniques developed by Dr. Radford Tanzer, who was a surgical professor at Dartmouth Medical College. Brent performed ear reconstruction surgery for more than 1,800 patients, most of them children born with ear deformities such as microtia. He also reconstructed ears lost due to some form of trauma. He was named Clinician of the Year in 2005 by the American Association of Plastic Surgeons. Several of Brent’s earliest and notable patients were famous kidnap victims who had their ears amputated and sent along with ransom notes. Reconstruction of their ears resulted in a Time Magazine article entitled “Surgery as Sculpture” and was instrumental in launching public awareness of Brent’s work to parents of children with congenital birth deformities of the ear.
Besides being a master in ear reconstruction Burt Brent is also one of the most unique wildlife sculptors in the United States.