Plastic Surgery

The Division of Plastic Surgery has a number of clinical areas of interest, such as:

  • Burns - Burn patients from the Firefighter’s Burn Treatment Unit are treated at the University of Alberta Hospital.
  • Hand and wrist - The vast majority of hand and wrist surgery is done by the Plastic Surgery Service at all city hospitals.
  • Peripheral nerve and brachial plexus - This is a relatively recent addition to our clinical service. Some very exciting procedures are being done in this area.
  • Maxillofacial - The University of Alberta Hospital and the Royal Alexandra Hospital are the main centres where both traumatic and reconstructive procedures are performed.
  • Microsurgical services - This is carried out at all hospitals and includes the full gamut of microsurgical procedures, from replantation of amputated digits to complex free tissue transfers.
  • Breast reconstruction - Carried out at all hospitals, all types of reconstructions occur including expander/implant cases and microsurgical perforator flaps.
  • Reconstruction of soft tissue defects - This includes a variety of different patients, from paraplegics and quadraplegics with decubitus ulcers, to gunshot wounds, to sternal and mediastinal reconstruction, as well as management of benign and malignant lesions of the skin.
  • Cosmetic surgical services - Cases are mostly done in one of three private surgical facilities, however some will be done in a hospital setting if clinically indicated.
  • Pediatric surgical services - Includes cleft lip and palate, craniofacial reconstruction, reconstruction of the external ear, pediatric brachial plexus injuries and care of vascular malformations.


  • University of Alberta Hospital
  • Royal Alexandra Hospital
  • Misericordia Hospital
  • Grey Nuns Hospital

Specialty Units


Currently, there are several areas where research is being carried out, either at a basic science or clinical level. These areas include:
  • The Burn Unit Laboratories, under the direction of Dr. Ted Tredget
  • iRSM under the direction of Dr. John Wolfaart and Dr. Gordon Wilkes
  • Annual resident research projects under the direction of Dr. Adil Ladak. There is an expectation that each resident in our training program will undertake at least one research project per year with one of the attending staff.


The University of Alberta Plastic Surgery Residency program aims first and foremost to train exceptional physicians. The resident will become a surgeon with excellent clinical skill. They will be trained to be leaders in research, teaching and administration to prepare them for future careers in Plastic Surgery. We strive to create a positive environment where the resident can learn in a comfortable and enjoyable manner.

The residency program in plastic surgery at the University of Alberta is five years in length. The program consists of two years of Surgical Foundations training, followed by three years of plastic surgery.

The hospitals associated with the program treat a broad spectrum of plastic surgery patients including large volumes of general trauma, acute and reconstructive hand surgery, burn surgery and virtually all aspects of facial trauma. Acute and reconstructive microsurgical experience is offered at the University and Royal Alexandra Hospitals. High intensity plastic surgical cases are centered primarily at the University of Alberta Hospital, and to some extent, also at the Royal Alexandra Hospital. The vast majority of low intensity inpatient and outpatient elective plastic surgery in the city is done on a daily basis at the Misericordia Hospital.

Established outpatient clinics in brachial plexus and congenital hand clinic, hand surgery, cleft lip and palate surgery, general plastic surgery, and burn surgery are available for resident participation and teaching purposes. The iRSM Unit at the Misericordia Hospital also offers experience in the use of osseointegrated implants and maxillofacial prosthetics in a carefully selected group of patients.

Programs and Courses

The Plastic Surgery Resident Seminar program covers all of the major areas in Plastic Surgery over a three year period. Activities specific to the Plastic Surgery Program curriculum are held as follows:
  • Resident Seminars - Held every Monday from September to the end of May. The residents do a presentation on a specific topic they have been assigned. Attending staff are assigned as moderators for each seminar.
  • Staff Seminars - From September to the end of May, a staff seminar is held every Monday following resident seminars. A plastic surgeon or a surgeon from another division of surgery will do a presentation on a topic that is of interest to plastic surgery and relevant to the curriculum.
  • City Wide Rounds - Held every second Monday from September to the end of May. Residents and staff review, consult and work with patients that are of interest.
  • Academic Half Day – This is scheduled for every Monday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. This is protected time to be used for research and study purposes, and the residents are not expected in the operating room, clinics or wards.
  • Plastic Surgery Grand Rounds – Held once per month on Friday mornings. Staff members are invited to give talks on current topics and new innovations in their field.
  • Plastic Surgery Photo Rounds – Once per week, a staff member will provide photos of a recent case and lead an interactive discussion with residents based on the case and its management.
  • Morbidity and Mortality Rounds – These quarterly rounds are held in order to discuss cases in which morbidity or mortality has occurred. Such discussions contribute to the teaching of professionalism and best practices.
  • Plastic Surgery Resident Research Day - Held annually in the early spring, residents are given the opportunity to present their research projects to the attending staff and a panel of judges. Prizes are awarded in the areas of Basic Science and Clinical Research.