Photo of Bernard Travis Lee,  MD, MPH

Bernard Travis Lee, MD, MPH

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Phone: (617) 632-7835
Fax: (617) 632-7840

Bernard Travis Lee, MD, MPH

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center


  • Associate Professor, Surgery, Harvard Medical School
  • Chief, Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Surgery, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center


Research Abstract

As a plastic and reconstructive surgeon, my area of clinical innovation is in breast reconstruction after mastectomy. At BIDMC, we developed a program that uses a new microsurgical technique, the deep inferior epigastric perforator (DIEP) flap, to reconstruct a breast with abdominal skin and fat. Previous options sacrifice the rectus abdominis muscle and are associated with abdominal wall weakness and hernias. These perforator flaps provide the most natural type of reconstruction while minimizing morbidity. We are the first program in New England to focus on perforator flap reconstruction and have a robust educational program for the Harvard Plastic Surgery Residency Training Program as well as a breast reconstruction fellowship focusing on microsurgery at BIDMC.

My clinical research focuses on outcomes and satisfaction after breast reconstruction. We have branched out our research efforts to examine cost analysis, decision making, and patient education and understanding. This has led us to examine the topic of health literacy, especially in cancer patients. My basic science research focuses on utilizing near infrared fluorescence imaging systems to evaluate perfusion in cancer surgery. This project is funded by multiple NIH R01 grants and incorporates a translational trial for reconstructive breast surgery. We were also recently awarded an NIH R01 grant to examine perfusion in face transplantation models.


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  • Epstein S, Tran BN, Cohen JB, Lin SJ, Singhal D, Lee BT. Racial disparities in postmastectomy breast reconstruction: National trends in utilization from 2005 to 2014. Cancer 2018; 124:2774-2784. PubMed
  • Tran BNN, Ruan QZ, Cohen JB, Kamali P, Doval AF, Tobias AM, Singhal D, Lin SJ, Lee BT. Does Hormone Therapy Use Increase Perioperative Complications in Abdominally Based Microsurgical Breast Reconstruction? Plast Reconstr Surg 2018; 141:805e-813e. PubMed
  • Zhao R, Tran BNN, Doval AF, Broadwater G, Buretta KJ, Orr JP, Lee BT, Hollenbeck ST. A Multicenter Analysis Examining Patients Undergoing Conversion of Implant-based Breast Reconstruction to Abdominally based Free Tissue Transfer. J Reconstr Microsurg 2018. PubMed
  • Chen AD, Kamali P, Chattha AS, Bucknor A, Cohen JB, Bletsis PP, Flecha-Hirsch R, Tobias AM, Lee BT, Lin SJ. The National Surgical Quality Improvement Program 30-Day Challenge: Microsurgical Breast Reconstruction Outcomes Reporting Reliability. Plast Reconstr Surg Glob Open 2018; 6:e1643. PubMed
  • Hahamoff M, Gupta N, Munoz D, Lee BT, Clevenger P, Shaw C, Spiguel L, Singhal D. A lymphedema surveillance program for breast cancer patients reveals the promise of surgical prevention. J Surg Res 2018. PubMed
  • Tran BNN, Angelo JP, Lee JH, Ruan QZ, Laurence RG, Choi HS, Lee BT, Singhal D. A novel pilot animal model for the surgical prevention of lymphedema: the power of optical imaging. J Surg Res 2017; 221:285-292. PubMed
  • Chattha A, Bucknor A, Chen AD, Lee BT, Lin SJ. Indocyanine Green Angiography Use in Breast Reconstruction: A National Analysis of Outcomes and Cost in 110,320 Patients. Plast Reconstr Surg 2017. PubMed
  • van Veldhuisen CL, Kamali P, Wu W, Becherer BE, Sinno HH, Ashraf AA, Ibrahim AMS, Tobias A, Lee BT, Lin SJ. Prospective, Double-Blind Evaluation of Umbilicoplasty Techniques Using Conventional and Crowdsourcing Methods. Plast Reconstr Surg 2017; 140:1151-1162. PubMed
  • Tran BNN, Ruan QZ, Epstein S, Ricci JA, Rudd RE, Lee BT. Literacy analysis of National Comprehensive Cancer Network patient guidelines for the most common malignancies in the United States. Cancer 2017. PubMed
  • Lee BT, Agarwal JP, Ascherman JA, Caterson SA, Gray DD, Hollenbeck ST, Khan SA, Loeding LD, Mahabir RC, Miller AS, Perdikis G, Schwartz JS, Sieling BA, Thoma A, Wolfman JA, Wright JL. Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guideline: Autologous Breast Reconstruction with DIEP or Pedicled TRAM Abdominal Flaps. Plast Reconstr Surg 2017; 140:651e-664e. PubMed
  • Ricci JA, Epstein S, Momoh AO, Lin SJ, Singhal D, Lee BT. A meta-analysis of implant-based breast reconstruction and timing of adjuvant radiation therapy. J Surg Res 2017; 218:108-116. PubMed
  • Tran BNN, Fadayomi A, Lin SJ, Singhal D, Lee BT, Lee BT, Nahabedian MY. Cost analysis of postmastectomy reconstruction: A comparison of two staged implant reconstruction using tissue expander and acellular dermal matrix with abdominal based perforator free flaps. J Surg Oncol 2017; 116:448-449. PubMed
  • Chattha A, Bucknor A, Kamali P, Van Veldhuisen CL, Flecha-Hirsch R, Sharma R, Tobias AM, Lee BT, Lin SJ. Comparison of risk factors and complications in patients by stratified mastectomy weight: An institutional review of 1041 consecutive cases. J Surg Oncol 2017. PubMed
  • Kamali P, Lee M, Lee BT. Reply: Medial Row Perforators Are Associated with Higher Rates of Fat Necrosis in Bilateral DIEP Flap Breast Reconstruction#8232. Plast Reconstr Surg 2017. PubMed
  • Koolen PGL, Matos TR, Ibrahim AMS, Sun J, Lee BT, Frankenthaler RA, Lin SJ. Recurrence Rates Over 20 Years in the Treatment of Malignant Melanoma: Immediate Versus Delayed Reconstruction. Plast Reconstr Surg Glob Open 2017; 5:e1378. PubMed
  • Ricci JA, Kamali P, Becherer BE, Curiel D, Wu W, Tobias AM, Lin SJ, Lee BT. Umbilical necrosis rates after abdominal-based microsurgical breast reconstruction. J Surg Res 2017; 215:257-263. PubMed
  • Bucknor A, Chattha A, Ultee K, Wu W, Kamali P, Bletsis P, Chen A, Lee BT, Cronin C, Lin SJ. The financial impact and drivers of hospital charges in contralateral prophylactic mastectomy and reconstruction: a Nationwide Inpatient Sample hospital analysis. Breast Cancer Res Treat 2017. PubMed
  • Tran BNN, Fadayomi A, Lin SJ, Singhal D, Lee BT. Cost analysis of postmastectomy reconstruction: A comparison of two staged implant reconstruction using tissue expander and acellular dermal matrix with abdominal-based perforator free flaps. J Surg Oncol 2017. PubMed
  • Tran BNN, Singh M, Lee BT, Rudd R, Singhal D. Readability, complexity, and suitability analysis of online lymphedema resources. J Surg Res 2017; 213:251-260. PubMed
  • Tran BNN, Singh M, Singhal D, Rudd R, Lee BT. Readability, complexity, and suitability of online resources for mastectomy and lumpectomy. J Surg Res 2017; 212:214-221. PubMed
  • van Paridon MW, Kamali P, Paul MA, Wu W, Ibrahim AMS, Kansal KJ, Houlihan MJ, Morris DJ, Lee BT, Lin SJ, Sharma R. Oncoplastic breast surgery: Achieving oncological and aesthetic outcomes. J Surg Oncol 2017. PubMed
  • Wada H, Vargas CR, Angelo J, Faulkner-Jones B, Paul MA, Ho OA, Lee BT, Frangioni JV. Accurate Prediction of Tissue Viability at Postoperative Day 7 Using Only Two Intraoperative Subsecond Near-Infrared Fluorescence Images. Plast Reconstr Surg 2017; 139:354-363. PubMed
  • Kamali P, Paul MA, Ibrahim AM, Koolen PG, Wu W, Schermerhorn ML, Lee BT, Lin SJ. National and Regional Differences in 32,248 Postmastectomy Autologous Breast Reconstruction Using the Updated National Inpatient Survey. Ann Plast Surg 2017. PubMed
  • Weiss KD, Vargas CR, Ho OA, Chuang DJ, Weiss J, Lee BT. Readability analysis of online resources related to lung cancer. J Surg Res 2016; 206:90-97. PubMed
  • Vargas CR, DePry J, Lee BT, Bordeaux JS. The Readability of Online Patient Information About Mohs Micrographic Surgery. Dermatol Surg 2016; 42:1135-41. PubMed
  • Kamali P, Koolen PG, Ibrahim AM, Paul MA, Dikmans RE, Schermerhorn ML, Lee BT, Lin SJ. Analyzing Regional Differences over a 15-Year Trend of One-Stage versus Two-Stage Breast Reconstruction in 941,191 Postmastectomy Patients. Plast Reconstr Surg 2016; 138:1e-14e. PubMed
  • Vargas CR, Koolen PG, Ho OA, Tobias AM, Lin SJ, Lee BT. Preoperative CT-angiography in autologous breast reconstruction. Microsurgery 2016. PubMed
  • Ibrahim AM, Vargas CR, Koolen PG, Chuang DJ, Lin SJ, Lee BT. Readability of online patient resources for melanoma. Melanoma Res 2016; 26:58-65. PubMed
  • Seth AK, Vargas CR, Chuang DJ, Lee BT. Readability Assessment of Patient Information about Lymphedema and Its Treatment. Plast Reconstr Surg 2016; 137:287e-295e. PubMed
  • de Blacam C, Ogunleye AA, Momoh AO, Colakoglu S, Tobias AM, Sharma R, Houlihan MJ, Lee BT. High body mass index and smoking predict morbidity in breast cancer surgery: a multivariate analysis of 26,988 patients from the national surgical quality improvement program database. Ann Surg 2012; 255:551-5. PubMed