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Reconstructive Plastic Surgery

At the very core of Plastic Surgery is the art and science of Reconstructive Surgery. The Plastic Surgery Service at OUHSC interacts with every service in the hospital to return all patients, child or adult, to a full and active life. Modern surgery should not be practiced without well-trained plastic surgeons ready and able to reconstruct the most complex problems. The field of reconstructive plastic surgery is not limited by patient age, sex, body area, or organ system.

Plastic Surgeons

Head and Neck Reconstruction

The origins of the field of plastic surgery lie in the efforts of wartime surgeons trying to reconstruct the faces of soldiers severely injured in World War I. Those surgeons had to develop new techniques to deal with the devastating injuries sustained in the new mechanized war. We have learned much from these founders of plastic surgery. The field progressed through the Second World War with a whole group of young surgeons who would set the groundwork for many of the things we do today.

Head and neck reconstruction fall into three main categories. One category is birth defects, such as cleft lip and palate and a host of other problems, that affect children and progress as they get older. Trauma of the craniomaxillofacial region has been one of the areas that plastic surgeons have always been associated with, and plastic surgeons are seen as the definitive experts that most injured patients would want to take care of their facial injuries. The other major area that plastic surgeons are leaders in is reconstruction following oncologic surgery of the head and neck.

Pediatric/Congenital Reconstructive Surgery

The Cleft and Craniofacial Team at the University of Oklahoma is the only comprehensive multidisciplinary group of specialized physicians in the state. We treat and follow our patients from birth through adulthood, offering state-of-the-art surgical and non-surgical care for the entire spectrum of congenital differences, cleft and craniosynostosis conditions, pediatric tumors, vascular tumors, pigmented lesions, and non-congenital deformities.

Trauma Reconstructive Surgery

The Plastic Surgery Service is an important part of the Level One Trauma Center at OUHSC. We manage hundreds of patients every year referred to us by the Trauma Service. The injuries run the gamut from young children attacked by a dog to high-speed motor vehicle accidents resulting in severe maxillofacial injuries. The plastic surgeons are uniquely qualified to manage the complex hard and soft tissue injuries seen at the OU Trauma Center. They also are often called upon to reconstruct patients who suffered trauma and were initially treated by others and now need delayed reconstruction. The problems may require scar revisions, jaw reconstruction, and even orthodontics.

The Plastic Surgeons at OU have the ability to work with patients and their families to restore the survivors of trauma back to their preinjury condition and instill a sense of confidence as they move through their healing.

Trunk Reconstructive Surgery

The Plastic Surgeons at OU are often called upon to help other surgical services deliver state-of-the-art care. Oncologic (cancer) surgery often involves the removal of normal tissue or access through normal tissues to remove malignant and benign tumors. These surgeons require the assistance of the plastic surgeons to reconstruct the chest, abdomen, and pelvic areas so that the patient can return to a normal life after surgery. The Plastic Surgery Team is well-trained and has extensive experience in the management of these complicated problems. They have lectured, written papers and textbook chapters to train other surgeons in these complex techniques.

OU's Plastic Surgeons are some of the most experienced surgeons in the management of complicated abdominal wall hernias. The team uses multiple techniques, including muscle flaps and the use of prosthetic materials, to solve problems that other surgeons have referred to OU.

Oncologic Surgery

The history of plastic surgery is closely aligned with the development of oncologic surgery. The Plastic Surgeons at OU are trained in both primary management of advanced cutaneous (skin) malignancies, including melanoma, and the reconstruction of defects created by the removal of such cancers. The Chief of Plastic Surgery at OU, Dr. Anthony P. Tufaro, has been trained in surgical oncology with a specialty in head and neck cancer. The management of these complicated problems, including tumors of the mouth, tongue, salivary glands, jaw, skull base, thyroid, and parathyroid glands, requires a multidisciplinary approach to accomplish the best outcomes. This requires state-of-the-art care of the primary tumor and reconstruction of the hard and soft tissues to return patients to a functional cancer-free life.

Burn Reconstructive Surgery

Complicated burn injuries are some of the most complex problems that plastic surgeons can be called upon to manage. The scars caused by burns can distort normal tissues and structures, such as the mouth and hands, making it very difficult, if not impossible, for the patient to function in a normal way. The Plastic Surgeons at OU are well-trained in the art and science of burn reconstruction. Every member of the team has worked in burn units and managed acute and chronic burn wounds. Our surgeons have specialized training, in addition to their plastic surgery training, in areas such as hand, cranio-maxillofacial, and micro surgery. This specialized training brings a group of surgeons together for the best possible outcome for burn victims in the region.