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Microvascular Reconstructive Fellowship - Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Fellowships

Duration and Scope

  • Length of educational program is one clinical year with research opportunities
  • Admission open to those satisfactorily completing an accredited plastic surgery residency program or other appropriately qualified surgeons
  • Participation in microvascular and reconstructive cases at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital and several affiliated hospitals

Description of Fellowship

  • In-depth and comprehensive mentorship experience with the preoperative evaluation, treatment planning, operative treatment, and postoperative management of patients with congenital and acquired defects treatable by conventional and microsurgical techniques.
  • Weekly outpatient clinic experience in the preoperative evaluation and postoperative management of microsurgical patients.
  • Formal experience with extremity trauma, both acute and post-traumatic deformity reconstruction.
  • Formal experience with post-extirpative head and neck reconstruction with multiple muscle, myocutaneous, fasciocutaneous, and osteofasciocutaneous free flaps.
  • Formal experience with microvascular breast reconstruction, including muscle-sparing free TRAM, DIEP, SGAP, SIEP, and other less common techniques.
  • Formal experience with non-microsurgical reconstruction of the trunk, head and neck, and extremities.
  • Formal experience with microsurgical facial reanimation.

Clinical Goals and Objectives

  • To experience a broad education in the art and science of microsurgical reconstructive plastic surgery.
  • To experience progressive senior surgical responsibility in the essential phases of patient care: preoperative evaluation, therapeutic decision making, operative experience, and postoperative management.
  • To participate in the diagnosis, planning, operative treatment, and postoperative care of microsurgical reconstructive plastic surgery patients.
  • To participate in a multidisciplinary approach to breast cancer and head and neck cancer treatment and reconstruction.

Didactic Goals and Objectives

  • To demonstrate ability to interpret radiological studies including angiography, CT, and MRI imaging modalities.
  • To demonstrate an understanding of bone and soft tissue healing, both clinically and physiologically.
  • To participate in resident education, both clinically and academically.
  • To acquire and demonstrate depth of knowledge of the microsurgical literature.

Research Opportunities

While at least one clinical research project leading to presentation and publication is expected during the fellowship year, significant basic and applied basic science research opportunities are available. For those interested, research experience can be obtained in one of three nationally known laboratories.

The Plastic Surgery Research Laboratory at the University of Pittsburgh

The Plastic Surgery Research Laboratory is directed by Kacey G. Marra, PhD, Assistant Professor of Surgery and Bioengineering and Faculty of McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine. This laboratory conducts scientific investigation in multiple interdisciplinary areas.

The scope of projects revolves around the two future avenues of tissue reconstruction: transplantation and tissue engineering. Modalities are investigated to manipulate the immune system in order to achieve transplantation of composite tissue allografts. Novel biomaterials are being designed for skin, bone, and nerve regeneration, with a strong focus on polymeric materials, both native and synthetic.

This laboratory isolates preadipocytes from human adipose tissue, and is exploring applications of these adult stem cells in soft tissue reconstruction. Of recent interest is the differentiation of preadipocytes into adipocytes, neural progenitor cells, and osteoblasts for tissue engineering applications.

Craniofacial Biology

The Experimental Animal Surgery Laboratory and the Posvar Hall Animal Care Facility is directed by Mark P. Mooney, PhD, Professor in the Departments of Oral Medicine and Pathology, Anthropology, Plastic Surgery, and Orthodontics.

Dr. Mooney is a craniofacial biologist who studies craniofacial growth and development as well as wound healing following surgical manipulation and device implantation - using comparative animal models. He is also interested in the etiopathogenesis of craniofacial anomalies.

Ongoing projects in this laboratory involve the development of cytokine and gene therapies to rescue craniosynostotic sutures and prevent postoperative resynostosis in a congenital rabbit model of craniosynostosis; the use of guided tissue regeneration with growth factors and osteogenic cells to prevent postoperative fibrous nonunions in craniofacial surgery; and, the facilitation of osseous wound healing in critical sized craniofacial defects using tissue engineered bone scaffolds.

Bone Tissue Engineering Center

The Carnegie Mellon University Bone Tissue Engineering Laboratory is a fully equipped state of the art molecular biology lab, polymer chemical lab, and histology/histomorphology lab. It is run by Jeffrey O. Hollinger, DDS, PhD, Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Biological Sciences, who is internationally known for his work in bone biology.

Application Process for Microvascular Reconstructive Surgery Fellowship

Applications for the Microvascular Reconstructive Surgery Fellowship will be accepted between June 1 – October 30 each year for the fellowship beginning July 1 of the following academic year.

Please submit the following information with your application packet:

  • Application form
  • Letter of Interest
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Copy of USMLE Step I, II and III Scores
  • Three letters of recommendation, including one from your plastic surgery program director.

Please mail your completed application materials to:

Michelle A. Gigliotti
GME Academic Manager

Department of Plastic Surgery
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine
3550 Terrace St.
664 Scaife Hall
Pittsburgh, PA 15261
T: 412-383-8082
F: 412-383-8986

If you have any questions or require additional information regarding the Fellowship please do not hesitate to contact us.

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