sutures newsletter


P and T Approvals, Tramadol Change, Warnings About Promacta and Sporanox

Pharmacy Focus

See highlights of the June 3 meeting of the Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee. Also, tramadol is now being managed as a controlled substance, and the federal government has released a warning about Promacta and a list of contraindications for Sporanox.

Mark Your Calendar

Surgery Grand Rounds

Click the "read more" to see information about upcoming Surgery Grand Rounds.

Grand Rounds

Click here to view a schedule of all upcoming grand rounds.

Education Schedule

Click the PDF link below to see the Department of Surgery's educational schedule.

Educational Schedule - August 2014 (PDF)

Surgery Scheduling

Click the "read more" for hours and contact information for surgery scheduling.

Share Your News

Know an interesting colleague we should profile? A story we should tell? Submit your ideas, meetings and events for consideration.

Click here to submit your news to Sutures

Breaking Barriers in Reconstructive Surgery

Randy Sherman, MD

By Randy Sherman, MD
Vice Chair, Cedars-Sinai Department of Surgery

A curious face appeared in last month's GQ magazine. Richard Norris had not created a new clothing line, signed a multimillion-dollar professional sports contract or even appeared on any Broadway stage or silver screen.

To the contrary, he lived the life of a shut-in for 15 long years, until he participated in one of the most remarkable surgical feats of all time. In 2012, he became the recipient of the most extensive full-face transplant to date. Performed by plastic surgeon Eduardo Rodriguez, MD, and his brilliant team at the University of Maryland over the course of 36 grueling hours, his medical journey has tested and broken through long-standing barriers in reconstructive surgery and vascularized composite tissue allo-transplantation.

In recent years, plastic surgery units both here and abroad have led the way in facial and extremity transplants, tackling the most complex surgical and immunological challenges. In 1954, Joseph Murray, MD, a leading plastic surgeon and one of only a handful of surgeon Nobel laureates, performed the first kidney transplantation at what is now Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. Only three medical centers in the United States have attempted facial transplantation. The infrastructural support, professional expertise and appropriate patient populations that are required make the formation of a unit extremely complex.

As a leading center for multiorgan transplantation, Cedars-Sinai may one day become the home of composite tissue transplantation as well. Rodriguez, now chair of Plastic Surgery at the NYU Langone Medical Center, trained extensively in craniofacial, aesthetics, reconstructive microsurgery and transplant immunology in order to conquer the unique complexities of this remarkable endeavor.

Claude-Jean Langevin, MD, DMD

Allen S. Ho, MD

Babak Azizzadeh, MD

As a first step, we are very fortunate to have recruited a remarkably talented, similarly skilled young reconstructive surgeon in Claude-Jean Langevin, MD, DMD. Trained as both an oral-maxillofacial surgeon and a plastic and reconstructive surgeon with further expertise in craniofacial and reconstructive microsurgery, he brings world-class expertise to our reconstructive efforts at Cedars Sinai.

Over the past year, he has teamed up with Allen S. Ho, MD, our brilliant new head and neck oncologist, to tackle a wide range of complex craniofacial cancer ablation and restorations. Functional microsurgical reconstruction for the correction of facial paralysis by Babak Azizzadeh, MD, as well as extremity and breast reconstruction using free tissue transfer, brings us ever closer to a fully articulated reconstructive surgical unit providing critical services to Southern California.

With this growing team of supremely talented and remarkably dedicated and compassionate surgeons, one day soon, we may be transplanting more than just organs.