sutures newsletter

PRODUCED BY AND FOR MEMBERS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF SURGERY August 2012 Issue | Archived Issues

Physician honors

- George Berci, MD, FACS

- Philip K. Frykman, MD, PhD, FACS, FAAP

- Hyung L. Kim, MD


Congenital heart disease expert joins Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute

Evan Zahn, MD, an expert in treating children born with life-threatening structural heart problems, has joined the Cedars-Sinai Heart Institute to advance the study of congenital heart disease and develop more minimally invasive treatments.


Upcoming CME conferences


Grand rounds

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Plastic surgery team collaborates across disciplines

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By Randy Sherman, MD, FACS

Since the establishment of the full-time plastic surgical service in 2008, we have had the privilege of working with most of the primary surgical specialties within the department at Cedars-Sinai in order to meet the reconstructive needs of each discipline's particular wound-related issues. Wound care, in the broadest sense, is what we're all about. Whether they be life threatening, limb compromising, functionally debilitating or personally devastating to the self image of the afflicted patient, restoration of normal form and features remains essential to comprehensive healing and rehabilitation, whatever the presenting malady.

Highlighting our integration into a remarkable multidisciplinary service, the Saul and Joyce Brandman Breast Center – A Project of Women's Guild at the Samuel Oschin Comprehensive Cancer Institute – allows us to offer simultaneous consultation with patients followed by comprehensive surgical options for breast reconstruction using the most tried and true as well as the most innovative methods available. Free tissue transfer employing microsurgical techniques has expanded this field substantially. Women may now choose from a variety of procedures to suit their particular circumstances. Equally as important, during weekly multispecialty conferences, our medical, surgical and radiation oncologists have the opportunity to help shape reconstructive decisions allowing our center to provide the best in exquisitely planned, highly coordinated care.

Similarly, working in tandem with the orthopedic trauma, spine, total joint, foot and ankle, and oncologic services has resulted in a dramatic improvement in functional limb salvage after vehicular trauma, alleviation of recalcitrant osteomyelitis, and preservation of extremities that would otherwise be amputated in the course of cancer ablation. Digital and hand replantation, when indicated, are now an essential emergency service. Prompt response and early wound closure in the massively traumatized patient has been a hallmark of our interaction with our world-renowned acute care surgical services.

In line with our rapid expansion in cardiac transplantation services at Cedars-Sinai, we have had the privilege of contributing to the care of a select group of patients by providing effective and reliable wound closure. Thoracic surgery's aggressive, innovative and highly effective approaches to attacking the most intractable problems has created opportunities for plastic surgery to assist in offering bold, one-of-a-kind reconstructive solutions involving tumors, TE fistulas and neurovascular diseases of the trunk.

Thoughtful collaborations with neurosurgery, otolaryngology, urology, gynecology, colorectal and vascular surgery have opened the possibilities of specialty reconstruction given the most seemingly hopeless circumstances.

While our service is still young, having laid the foundation for thoughtful and effective collaboration with our surgical colleagues across the spectrum of the department, it seems the opportunities for plastic surgical growth at Cedars-Sinai are unlimited.

Sherman, pictured above, is vice chair of the Department of Surgery at the Cedars Sinai.