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.