Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Service

The Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSK) is dedicated to providing the highest level of care tailored specifically to each patient. Our surgeons — Peter Cordeiro, Joseph Dayan, Joseph Disa, Evan Matros, Colleen McCarthy, Babak Mehrara, Robert J. Allen, Jr. and Andrea Pusic — are internationally recognized innovators in this field and perform hundreds of complex reconstructions each year as part of an integrated oncologic team.

Patient satisfaction is of particular importance to us. Our validated Breast-Q patient satisfaction questionnaire has been adopted worldwide and is an important tool that we use routinely to continually improve outcomes and quality of life for our patients. Patients’ individual preferences are always taken into account.

Our expert nurses and physician assistants play a crucial role in the success of our plastic and reconstructive surgery program. They are highly experienced in caring for patients who undergo microsurgical reconstruction.

Learn more about some of our areas of expertise.

Microsurgical Reconstruction

MSK surgeons have a long history developing leading-edge microsurgical techniques for patients with breast, gynecologic, head and neck, and orthopedic cancers. We perform nearly 400 procedures annually with published success rates that are among the best reported by any institution. We use high-tech imaging and sophisticated perforator flap procedures to ensure that our patients benefit from:

  • minimal donor site discomfort
  • less postoperative pain
  • faster recovery times

Breast Reconstruction

MSK plastic surgeons provide the full spectrum of modern reconstructive options including nipple- and areola-sparing mastectomy, autologous and implant reconstruction, and lumpectomy (oncoplastic) reconstruction.

Tissue reconstruction. We perform more than 350 reconstructions annually using the patient’s own tissues, with published success rates among the highest in the world. We are committed to providing the best aesthetic outcome as well as minimizing pain with an enhanced recovery protocol we have developed specifically for these procedures.

Our surgeons are experts at perforator flap procedures and routinely perform reconstructions using a variety of techniques including:

  • DIEP and SIEA flaps (tummy tuck)
  • SGAP flap (buttock tissue)
  • PAP, TUG, and DUG flap (thigh tissue)

Reconstruction with implants. MSK plastic surgeons are world leaders in providing the best aesthetic outcome in implant reconstruction. We have performed the largest number of anatomic form-stable implant (“gummy bear”) reconstructions in the country. We have extensive experience with all types of implants, biologic materials, and fat grafting with the goal of achieving the most natural result. Given our experience and leadership role in numerous clinical trials for FDA approvals, our surgeons are uniquely positioned to help patients select the best implant from the many options available.

Oncoplastic reconstruction (lumpectomy reconstruction). MSK has a dedicated oncoplastic program, the goal of which is to improve cosmetic outcomes for patients who are undergoing or have previously had a lumpectomy and radiation. Techniques such as tissue rearrangement, breast lift, breast reduction, or replacing missing breast tissue with fat from another part of the body are used to achieve the best aesthetic results.

Lymphedema and Lipedema

MSK is a world leader in the development of groundbreaking treatment options for lymphedema and lipedema. Our surgeons are pioneers in lymphatic surgery and combine sophisticated imaging methods to devise individualized treatment plans for our patients.  Out team includes highly specialized physician assistants, lymphedema therapists, and nurses committed to providing lymphedema care. In addition, our NIH-funded laboratory continues to provide insights that are used to develop novel treatment methods and clinical trials for patients with lymphedema. Our leading-edge techniques include:

  • vascularized lymph node transplantation
  • lymphovenous bypass
  • liposuction
  • reverse lymphatic mapping

Reconstruction after Mohs Excision for Skin Cancer

At MSK, the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Service is an integral part of the Multidisciplinary Skin Cancer Management Program. Our multidisciplinary group meets weekly to discuss the management of complex skin cancers and is a recognized national leader in the field.

Following Mohs excision using advanced surgical techniques, our patients experience extremely low recurrence rates, minimized scarring, and improved aesthetic outcomes. The collaboration between our plastic surgeons and dermatology specialists means that most patients have reconstruction surgery on a same-day basis, decreasing downtime and recovery time.

Head and Neck Cancer Reconstruction

Our plastic surgeons use a variety of leading-edge reconstruction techniques for patients with head and neck cancers. Using sophisticated software and imaging, our surgical team prepares tailored plans and performs mock surgery in advance to ensure minimal disruption at the reconstruction donor site and to help achieve optimal outcomes.

Beyond the technical aspects of surgery, our team is developing a new patient satisfaction survey to better understand quality of life for patients who receive head and neck reconstruction. Results from this scientific questionnaire will inform better preoperative counseling and appropriate adjustment of postoperative expectations.

Facial Reanimation for Facial Paralysis

Facial paralysis can be a devastating problem, but at MSK, smile, eye closure, and facial expression can be restored for both recent and long-standing paralysis. Our surgeons are internationally recognized as leaders in this field and provide the latest microsurgical techniques including cross-face nerve grafting, nerve transfers, and functioning muscle transfers as well as nonsurgical options.