Plastic Surgery

An Integrated Approach

Stanford University School of Medicine is one of the world's leading medical centers. The Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery is strongly committed to excellence in patient care and cross-disciplinary research that brings current medical developments into clinical practice.

  • » Patient Care
    Evaluation and treatment in all areas of Plastic Surgery for children and adults
  • » Research
    Innovation and discovery, from laboratory research to clinical trials
  • » Education
    Commitment to the highest quality of education for future surgeons and researchers


The field of Plastic Surgery ranges from breast reconstruction and wound healing to the treatment of scars and wrinkles. Plastic Surgery researchers study the effects of aging and disease on human tissue, new kinds of bandages to improve the treatment of battlefield and other injuries, certain cells in our bodies that can help wounds heal without scars, and a wide range of other topics.

Reconstructive Surgery, which involves the restoration of form and function in any area of the body. This might include repairing a hole left when a bone tumor is removed, reconstructing a breast following a mastectomy, reforming connections of a reattached limb, or even separating conjoined twins.

Microsurgery, in which surgeons reattach tiny pieces of tissue taken from a donor or from another part of a patient's body, as with a skin graft. Microsurgeons specialize in the reconnection of nerves, muscles, and blood vessels.

Hand surgery, including treatment of acute and chronic hand and upper limb problems, such as carpal tunnel surgery and brachial plexus repair.

Cosmetic (or Aesthetic) surgery, such as breast reduction or augmentation, liposuction, facelifts, and skin treatments.

Craniofacial surgery, a major component of Pediatric Plastic Surgery, for children born with abnormalities of the face or head, from craniosynostosis (improper development of the skull bones) to cleft palate to jaw reconstruction.

Oral and Maxiollofacial Surgery, which relates to the mouth and jaw. It can help patients who suffer from jaw pain or injuries, and even sleep disorders.


Why I Went Into Medicine - Rahim Nazerali, MD

Dr. James Chang, Division of Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery Chief, in the operating room

Dr. Gordon K. Lee, MD, Associate Professor and Residency Program Director, performs a surgery.

Dr. Rohit Khosla, Assistant Professor, performs a surgery as resident Dr. Joseph Baylan and fellow Dr. Dana Johns assist. Dr. Harleen Sethi, Dr. Paul Mittermiller, Dr. Jang Hyun Lee (Korea), and Dr. Mohammed Khurram (India) observe. 

Latest News

Faculty Spotlight

Catherine Curtin

Catherine Curtin, MD, Associate Professor in the Stanford Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery is a graduate of Yale Medical School. She did her plastic surgery residency at the University of Michigan and completed her training as the Stanford Hand Fellow from 2006-2007. She also completed the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars program, a fellowship in Health Services research.

Dr. Curtin performs upper extremity and reconstructive surgeries, and is particularly interested in peripheral nerve injuries and reconstructive procedures after spinal cord injury. She also performs all forms of treatment for Dupuytren’s contracture, including needle aponeurotomy, collagenase injection, and formal surgical excision. Because of her interest in chronic pain and its relation to surgery, Dr. Curtin has been working closely with the pain specialists at Stanford to improve post-operative pain, which has led to both clinical and research collaborations.

Dr. Curtin has a joint appointment at Stanford and the Veterans Affairs (VA) Palo Alto Health Care System, and through the VA, she has received a Career Development Award to pursue research focused on improving the upper extremity health in people with spinal cord injury. This interdisciplinary work aims to improve care of the upper limb in spinal cord injury by bridging the gaps between rehabilitation physicians and surgeons. Dr. Curtin also was a co-investigator in the phase III clinical trials of collagenase for Dupuytren’s contracture, and is associate editor for the Journal of Hand Surgery.