The Division of Plastic Surgery is both a global and national leader. It has access to world-class facilities and institutes, cutting-edge technology and equipment and multidisciplinary research and clinical groups.
The division has strong, innovative research groups that receive international funding, and its researchers give lectures across the world: Dubai, Brazil, Spain, Japan and China. The division has had fellows from countries including Turkey, China, Brazil and Israel.
The division’s international collaboration includes China's top-ranking Tsinghua University, whose stem cell biologists work with University of Alberta surgeons led by Dr. Edward Tredget on bioengineering skin to control burn scarring. This replacement skin can grow hair, and the team aims to create working sweat glands.
Nationally, the division has a high profile in nerve reconstruction led by Dr. Michael Morhart, Dr. Ming Chan – who has a steady flow of residents through his laboratory to learn nerve regeneration, reconstruction and repair – and Dr. Jaret Olson.
Learners benefit from the spacious and new Kaye Edmonton Clinic, an excellent teaching facility that sees 120+ plastic surgery patients per day. The $30 million clinic consolidates 80 outpatient clinics in one site that provides seamless ambulatory services to more than one million patients every year. Unique to Alberta, this nine-storey, 670,000 square foot facility brings multidisciplinary teams of specialists together under one roof, including surgical, medical, family and seniors’ clinics. The burns unit has an international profile – its surgeons have written major chapters in text books about burn scars. Learners are exposed to a large volume of diverse clinical work and the university is also a leader in teaching research, which is reflected in the large number of papers they publish.
The surgery services the division offers include: Burns; hand and wrist; peripheral nerve and brachial; maxillofacial – both traumatic and reconstructive procedures; the full gamut of microsurgical procedures, from replantation of amputated digits to complex free tissue transfers. It also offers all types of breast reconstructions, including expander/implant cases and microsurgical perforator flaps; reconstruction of soft tissue defects – including a variety of patients, from paraplegics and quadriplegics with decubitus ulcers, to gunshot wounds, to sternal and mediastinal reconstruction. Other services include management of benign and malignant lesions of the skin; cosmetic surgery; pediatric surgical services, including cleft lip and palate, craniofacial reconstruction, reconstruction of the external ear, pediatric brachial plexus injuries and care of vascular malformations.
Facilities and Technology
The division has access to state-of-the-art facilities, including The Firefighters Burn Treatment Unit, which has a lung care clinic and its own operating room. There is also a resident-run hand clinic, the Plastic Cosmetic Laser Surgical Centre (PCLSC), Edmonton Plastic Surgery, and the Alberta Heritage Research building houses the Plastic Surgery Wound Healing Research Laboratory.
The Misericordia Hospital’s osteo integrated unit fits prosthetics into ears, noses and eyes, which allow plastic reconstruction. Surgeons and researchers also access a wet basic science laboratory and a large microbiology laboratory that has two spectrometers and molecular biology equipment. In addition, they access the Institute for Reconstructive Sciences in Medicine (iRSM), which is an internationally recognized clinic and research institute focused on medical reconstructive sciences. As an international referral centre, it is a leader in the complex area of osteo integration (bone) implanted devices for prosthetic replacement of skull and facial defects resulting from cancer, trauma and congenital conditions.
The institute is one of a very limited number of centres worldwide that is an acknowledged international leader in the provision of both autogenous and alloplastic reconstructive care. iRSM has an interdisciplinary team providing expertise in surgery, medicine, dentistry, rehabilitation medicine, engineering and computing science for head and neck reconstructive treatments and rehabilitative care. The experts are fully integrated to provide clinical care, research, education and training in reconstructive medicine and technology.
Other Areas of Leadership
Dr. Edward Tredget is on the board of The American Burns Association and was its first Canadian president, and there has been a stream of University of Alberta surgeons passing through the position of President of the Canadian Society of Plastic Surgeons.
Members of the Division of Plastic Surgery and their residents have been on multiple outreach surgical teams through Operation Smile and a number of other international humanitarian organizations.