Armando Retana MD, DDS

Dr. Armando Retana is a highly trained cosmetic surgeon who supports Washington, DC patients with common esthetic treatments and rewarding cosmetic surgery procedures for the body, breasts, and face. A unique dual specialist, he is board certified by the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery, for body, breast and facial surgery, and by the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, for facial reconstruction, trauma, orthognathic surgery and implant procedures.

Over the course of his career, Dr. Retana has performed more than 1,200 cosmetic procedures for those in his care. His experience in facial reconstructive procedures has given him a deep understanding of facial aesthetics, and his extensive study of anatomy informs his approach to body and breast procedures. This expertise, in combination with his artistic eye and attention to detail, enables Dr. Retana to provide outstanding, attractive, and predictable results.

Professional Memberships

Patient Care

Dr. Retana’s passion as a cosmetic surgeon is making a positive impact in the lives of his patients. Helping them look and feel incredible motivates his work every day.

The values of integrity, equality, and respect guide Dr. Retana’s practice. He treats his patients like family, and he invests time in getting to know them and what they want to accomplish. During consultations, he makes sure that patients receive all of the information that they need and have their questions answered. His approach is to educate and advise about treatment rather than impose a specific option, and he honors his patients’ autonomy in making decisions about their care. Dr. Retana focuses on predictable and natural-looking results for his patients.

Dr. Retana performs all of his procedures in his AAAHC-accredited facility in Washington, DC. During treatment, patients can visit a single office for their consultation, surgery, and follow-up appointments. This allows them to receive care from the same friendly and helpful staff and surgeon, who are there to assist them at every step.

As the cosmetic surgeon of Washington, DC, Dr. Retana offers the most common and rewarding cosmetic surgery procedures. He has been influential in the cosmetic surgery arena by participating in teaching seminars to educate other surgeons in the United States and international conferences. He keeps up with cutting-edge surgical techniques and continues to make contributions to the literature of his specialties. His most common cosmetic surgery procedures are breast augmentation, breast lifts and reduction, liposuction, Brazilian Butt-lift, mommy makeover, tummy tucks, rhinoplasty, and facelift surgery. Dr. Retana’s most common Maxillofacial surgery procedures include implants, soft tissue grafts for implants, third molar extraction, bone grafting, orthognathic surgery (corrective jaw surgery), and sleep apnea surgery.

Education and Training

Dr. Retana graduated with honors from Thomas More College and received a bachelor’s degree. He received his DDS degree from Columbia University College of Dental Medicine in New York and his medical degree from the University of Florida College of Medicine.

Dr. Retana completed his General Surgery and Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery training at the University of Florida Health Center in Jacksonville, FL. To advance his training further as a cosmetic surgeon, he went on to complete a prestigious General Cosmetic Surgery Fellowship through the American Academy of Cosmetic Surgery in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Nominated as “The Costa Rican of the Month” by the Costa Rican Association in Washington DC

  • The Tico of the Month for April is Dr. Armando Retana Villanueva!

    Our date of the month, nominated by Leda Retana, is Dr. Armando Retana Villanueva, whom Leda describes as follows: “He has been a migrant boy born in Costa Rica. He is a maxillofacial dentist and plastic surgeon, his effort is outgoing.” Without a doubt, his story is.


    Armando was born and raised in Buenos Aires, Puntarenas, then moved to Coronado and Moravia at age seven, where he finished his school and seventh and eighth year of high school. For 1999, his parents decided to send him and his older sisters to his father, who was in Maryland. After arriving in Germantown, Maryland, he started high school without knowing English. For his last year of school, he had an English similar to the rest of his American colleagues.


    Since childhood, Armando had an aspiration to be a doctor. However, I was not sure what kind of medicine I wanted to practice. After finishing high school, and with the help of a teacher, he applied to four universities, one of which asked him about his immigration status. At that time, Armando did not have his green card or student visa. His father was in the process with his lawyer. He finally attended St. Mary’s College of Maryland, where he was accepted for his good grades and for playing soccer.


    After his first semester at St. Mary’s University, he was consulted about his immigration status again, and after learning of his situation, the University allowed him only to finish the semester. They only accepted citizen students, with a green card or student visa because it is a state institution. His father offered to work in construction as an alternative, however, Armando was not going to give up to fulfill his dream of becoming a doctor. After consulting with his family, he discovered a Catholic university in Kentucky, where as a private institution, he could finish his studies. Armando, always aware that this was his second and maybe last chance to get ahead as a professional, enforced by having the best grades. And that’s how he was offered an academic scholarship of 100% of his tuition.


    Once the green card was acquired in 2004, he was able to apply to the universities for what would be his next step. After a surgical procedure to which his father submitted, he came in contact with a surgeon who explained that to be maxillofacial he had to go to the dental school and then to the medical school. “There was what I was looking for. An interesting profession with two professional degrees that in the future would open other doors for me.” He was accepted into the dental school at Columbia University in New York, where he graduated with honors. And then he was accepted into a maxillofacial program at the University of Florida, where he earned his medical degree. Later, during his years as a resident of maxillofacial surgery his interest in facial cosmetic surgery was born, so he applied to a fellowship in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In 2017, she found a job with a surgeon in Washington DC and is currently working in her two specialties at the Capital Center® for Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Cosmetic Surgery.


    Although he has been in the United States for many years, Dr. Retana does not forget where he comes from. Always very proud of our country, he has shared on our piece of land on different occasions, as in his interview at the school in Columbia, where he tells us that he spoke more about Costa Rica, than about himself. “I always carry the name of my Costa Rica in my heart and in my mind and every time I have the opportunity to say who I am and where I come from, I say it with a lot of pride and honor.”   Every year, he travels to Costa Rica to visit to family and to eat what I miss most, the little tripe with lemon and salt. “And what I miss most with all my heart is my beloved Buenos Aires. There is and always will be my heart. It was the town that saw me born and grow and where I have the best memories of my childhood. And someday, when I finish my career and my goals as a surgeon, I would like to return to that peaceful and healthy town as I remember it. “


    To Dr. Retana Villanueva, we wish you many more successes. An extraordinary story of overcoming and perseverance to achieve all our dreams.


    – Board of Directors of Asociación Costa Rica

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  • El Tico del Mes de abril es Dr. Armando Retana Villanueva!

    Nuestro tico del mes, a nominación de Leda Retana, es el Dr. Armando Retana Villanueva, a quien Leda describe de la siguiente manera: “Ha sido un muchacho emigrante nacido en Costa Rica. Es médico dentista maxilofacial y cirujano plástico, su esfuerzo es sobre saliente”. Sin duda alguna, su historia lo es.


    Armando nació y creció en Buenos Aires, Puntarenas, luego se trasladó a los siete años a Coronado y Moravia, donde finalizó su escuela y séptimo y octavo año de secundaria. Para 1999, sus padres decidieron enviarlo a él y a sus hermanas mayores con su padre, quien se encontraba en Maryland. Tras llegar a Germantown, Maryland, comenzó la secundaria sin saber inglés. Para su último año del colegio, contaba con un inglés similar al resto de sus compañeros estadounidenses.


    Desde pequeño, Armando tuvo una aspiración por ser médico. Sin embargo, no tenía certeza sobre qué tipo de medicina quería ejercer. Tras finalizar high school, y con ayuda de un profesor, aplicó a cuatro universidades, de la cuales una le consultó sobre su estatus migratorio. Para ese entonces, Armando no contaba con su green card ni visa de estudiante. Su papá se encontraba en los trámites con su abogado. Finalmente asistió a St. Mary’s College of Maryland, donde fue aceptado por sus buenas notas y por jugar fútbol.


    Después de su primer semestre en la Universidad de St. Mary’s, le consultaron sobre su estatus migratorio nuevamente, y tras enterarse de su situación, la Universidad le permitió únicamente terminar el semestre. Solo aceptaban a estudiantes ciudadanos, con green card o visa de estudiante por ser una institución estatal. Su padre le ofreció trabajar en construcción como alternativa, sin embargo, Armando no se iba a dar por vencido para cumplir con su sueño de ser médico. Luego de consultar con su familia, descubrió una universidad católica en Kentucky, donde por ser una institución privada, podría finalizar sus estudios. Armando, siempre consciente de que esta era su segunda y tal vez última oportunidad de salir adelante como profesional, se enforzó por tener las mejores notas. Y así fue como le ofrecieron beca académica del 100% de su matrícula.


    Una vez adquirida la green card en el 2004, pudo aplicar a las universidades para lo que sería su siguiente paso. Tras un procedimiento quirúrgico al que se sometió su papá, entró en contacto con un cirujano quien le explicó que para ser maxilofacial debía ir a la escuela dental y después a la de medicina. “Ahí estaba lo que yo andaba buscando. Una profesión interesante y con dos grados profesionales que en un futuro me iban a abrir otras puertas.” Fue aceptado en la escuela de odontología de la Universidad de Columbia en Nueva York, donde se graduó con honores. Y luego fue aceptado en un programa maxilofacial en la Universidad de Florida, donde sacó su título de Médico. Posteriormente, durante sus años como residente de cirugía maxilofacial nació su interés por la cirugía cosmética facial, por lo que aplicó a un fellowship en Tulsa, Oklahoma. En el 2017, encontró trabajo con un cirujano en Washington D.C. y actualmente se encuentra ejerciendo sus dos especialidades en el Capital Center® for Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Cosmetic Surgery.


    Si bien lleva muchos años de encontrarse en los Estados Unidos, el doctor Retana no olvida de donde viene. Siempre muy orgulloso de nuestro país, ha compartido sobre nuestro pedacito de tierra en diferentes oportunidades, como en su entrevista en la escuela de Columbia, donde nos cuenta que habló más de Costa Rica, que sobre sí mismo. “Siempre llevo el nombre de mi Costa Rica en mi corazón y en mi mente y cada vez que tengo la oportunidad de decir quién soy y de dónde vengo, lo digo con mucho orgullo y honor.” Todos los años viaja a Costa Rica a visitar a familia y a comer de lo que más extraña, las tronaditas con limón y sal. “Y lo que más extraño con todo mi corazón es mi querido Buenos Aires. Ahí esta y siempre estará mi corazón. Fue el pueblo que me vio nacer y crecer y donde tengo las mejores memorias de mi niñez. Y algún día, cuando termine mi carrera y mis metas como cirujano, me gustaría regresar a ese pueblo tan tranquilo y sano como lo recuerdo.”


    Al Dr. Retana Villanueva, le deseamos muchos éxitos más. Una historia extraordinaria de superación y perseverancia para alcanzar todos nuestros sueños.


    – Junta Directiva de Asociación Costa Rica

Personal Interests and Activities

Armando Retana was born in Costa Rica and moved to Germantown, MD, at a young age. Having grown up with limited resources and access to medical care, he is committed to serving those in need in the Washington, DC community and internationally. Dr. Retana dedicates a portion of his time to pro bono work, performing surgeries in Thailand, the Philippines, Mexico, and the Dominican Republic.

When he is not working as a surgeon or involved in professional and volunteer activities, Dr. Retana loves spending time with his fiancée, Rona and two children Peter and Anaya. His other interests including soccer, basketball, football and outdoor activities including golfing, hiking, biking and water sports.

Follow Dr. Retana’s Cosmetic Instagram: @LoveThatBodyDC

Dr. Retana looks forward to meeting you and helping you achieve your aesthetic goals. Schedule an appointment in Washington, DC online or by calling (202) 386-7100.