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In The News

 To Hell and Back

By Steve Wulf, ESPN, 9 March 2016

Air Force Master Sgt. Israel Del Toro Jr. got third-degree burns on 80 percent of his body in a 2005 IED explosion in Afghanistan. But his love for his wife and son inspired him to survive and recover, and now he will compete in the second Invictus Games.

He's also an ideal patient, according to Dr. Chris Crisera, a plastic surgeon at UCLA Medical who has done 10 of them. "He has this unusually strong spirit," the doctor says. "He's bright, he's funny, he's upbeat. What I do for him is less about aesthetics, and more about function. He came to terms with how he looks a long time ago."

Does Fat Freezing Work? Two Experts Weigh In on CoolSculpting

by MacKenzie Wagoner, Vogue.com, 29 April 2016

Blame it on bikini season or the forthcoming gala circuit, but recently, at dinner parties across the country, a topic has been on the tips of tongues: CoolSculpting. Not an entirely new technology, the fat-freezing procedure formally called cryolipolysis was first discovered after, rumor has it, doctors noticed that children who ate a lot of ice pops experienced fat degradation in their cheeks. "Fat is more temperature-sensitive than your skin," explains UCLA professor and plastic surgeon Jason Roostaeian. "It goes through the cell death process before your skin does."

Protein combination improves bone regeneration, UCLA study shows

by Brianna Aldrich, UCLA Newsroom, 28 January 2016

UCLA research team has found a combination of proteins that could significantly improve clinical bone restoration. The findings may be a big step toward developing effective therapeutic treatments for bone skeletal defects, bone loss and osteoporosis. The study, led by Dr. Kang Ting, professor and chair of the section of orthodontics at the UCLA School of Dentistry; Dr. Chia Soo, professor of plastic surgery and vice chair for research at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA; and Dr. Aaron James, a fellow in surgical pathology, will appear as the lead article in the February print edition of the American Journal of Pathology.

Formerly conjoined twins reunite with their hospital team

By Amy Albin, UCLA Newsroom, 14 December 2015

Maria de Jesus and Maria Teresa Alvarez, the formerly conjoined Guatemalan twins who were separated in 2002 at Mattel Children's Hospital UCLA in a landmark 23-hour surgery that was followed around the world, returned to UCLA today to visit with pediatric patients and the medical staff who cared for them for many months.The surgical team, which included more than 40 health-care professionals, was led by Dr. Jorge Lazareff, who was director of pediatric neurosurgery, and Dr. Henry Kawamoto Jr., who was the surgical director of the UCLA Craniofacial Clinic. The two physicians and anesthesiologist Dr. Barbara Van De Wiele were among the team leaders who welcomed them back today.

Rock Star Surgeons

KABC-Channel 7, 5 September 2015

KABC-Channel 7 spotlighted Sept. 5 a group of surgeons who formed a rock band called Help the Doctor that plays at local clubs to raise money for kids with facial deformities. The surgeons include Dr. Robert Kang, a clinical instructor of head and neck surgery; Dr. Phuong Nguyen, a former resident of plastic and reconstructive surgery at UCLA; Dr. Solomon Poyourow, a former resident of oral and maxillofacial surgery at UCLA, and Dr. Jason Roostaeian, an assistant professor of plastic and reconstructive surgery.



by Jessica Swann for Space Daily
Houston TX (SPX) Feb 19, 2015

Growing bone on demand sounds like a space-age concept-a potentially life changing one. Such a capability could benefit those needing bone for reconstructive surgery due to trauma like combat injuries or those waging a battle with osteoporosis. Related research is hardly science fiction, as a study into a key bone-growing protein was recently funded to take place in orbit aboard the International Space Station.

"This research has translational application for astronauts in spaceflight and for patients on Earth who have osteoporosis or other bone-loss problems from disease, illness or trauma," said Dr. Chia Soo, UCLA professor of plastic and reconstructive surgery and orthopedic surgery and member of the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research. Soo is also research director for UCLA Operation Mend, an organization devoted to providing medical care for wounded warriors.

UCLA's Operation Mend Brings Back Smile to Iraq War Vet

More ABC US news | ABC Health News

By Angel Canales, ABC News

When U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Jason March visited Operation Mend at the University of California-Los Angeles for the first time, they asked him what he wanted from them. His simple request was to have his smile back.

UCLA has a mission to mend wounds of war

By Matthew Fleming, Staff Writer | May 25, 2014

Photo Credit: ISAAC ARJONILLA, STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER, Los Angeles RegisterHe didn't hear the gunshot until after the bullet knocked him down.

On the ground, face bloodied, Army Sgt. Maj. Colin Rich heard a loud bang, followed by one of his troops telling him he'd been shot.

What started as a routine patrol quickly became a bloody ambush by the Taliban, somewhere near the Pakistan border in Afghanistan in late 2002.

UCLA Medical Center's Operation Mend started in 2007 to provide returning military personnel with cosmetic and reconstructive surgeries for injuries suffered in battle or training.

Rich, 51, now retired in Raeford, N.C., after a 26-year military career that included deployments in Panama, the first Gulf War, three tours in Bosnia, Afghanistan, Iraq and back to Afghanistan again, is one of 104 soldiers to have received treatment as part of a program entirely funded through grants and individual donors.

The care costs the patients nothing. 

Making a World of Difference

Since 2007, Dr. Jarrahy has spent three-to-four weeks a year helping children in Guatemala, Peru and Brazil. "In these less-developed regions, you have an indigenous population living in poverty with virtually no access to healthcare. It's very pure medicine, what we do. There's no issue of money, no administrative burden," he says.

"Many missions follow the parachute model," Dr. Jarrahy says. "You parachute in. You set up a hospital. You operate on 50 patients, and then you disappear. A baby comes in with a cleft lip. A baby goes out with a lip repair. That child's life is changed, no doubt about it. But what if that baby has a complication? What about the longitudinal care? Who will take care of that child after we leave?"

To read the full U Magazine story, click here.

Surgeon, Anthropologist Lead Effort to Bridge Western Health Care, Indigenous Cultures

By Peggy McInerny, Arturo Diaz and Cynthia - UCLA Today

UCLA plastic and reconstructive surgeon Reza Jarrahy realized that he was missing something when his young Guatemalan patient developed a mysterious infection after undergoing surgery. That puzzled the surgeon, who travels Guatemala twice a year to do pro bono surgery on people from indigenous communities.
"I knew these people were destitute, uneducated and medically unsophisticated, but I didn't appreciate the deeper social context in which they were living and how that influenced surgical outcomes," said Dr. Jarrahy.  Continue reading at UCLAToday.

Love Helps U.S. Veteran Overcome the Scars of War

At first, Tony Porta thought his life was over following his war injury. Then he met his future wife Daisy, and the two of them would have a son, Kenneth Charles, named after Porta's friends who were killed in Iraq. | CBS NewsBy David Martin, CBS News' National Security Correspondent.

BELTSVILLE, Md - It was ten years ago this month that U.S. combat forces invaded Iraq to topple Saddam Hussein. For many Americans, the war is fading into history. But not for those who fought it, including Marine Cpl. Tony Porta. His story is about tragedy and triumph.

Tony Porta was a 20-year-old Marine running convoys in Iraq in 2007, when his ordeal by fire began.
"I saw my body just burned," he recalled. "I saw my skin melting. It was like a hot candle."  Continue reading at CBSnews.com

Mending Michael: Recovering From Wounds of War

Michael Schlitz, pictured here, before a roadside bomb changed his life.By: Christine Devine, Fox 11 - KTTV Los Angeles

The wounds of war are shockingly obvious for some military men and women.  Despite severe burns, Army Ranger (Ret.) Michael Schlitz is an inspiration on and off the job. We caught up with Schlitz at UCLA Medical Center under a groundbreaking program called Operation Mend.

"Happy Alive Day." That's how some friends greeted Michael Schlitz on Facebook on February 27th. The date marked the six year anniversary of the day he was blown up and survived. The Army Ranger (Ret'd) responded back with a Facebook thumbs up.  Continue reading at myFoxLA.com.

Renowned Surgeon In Kolkata On 'Smile' Mission

UCLA Plastic Surgeon Henry Kawamoto travels to Kolkata, India to help bring smiles to children born with cleft lips and palates.By Jayanta Gupta, The Times of India, 25 February 2013

KOLKATA: Renowned surgeon and director of the Department of Cardiofacial Surgery, University of California Los Angeles (UCLA), Henry K Kawamoto was in Kolkata on Sunday on a mission to spread smiles. He was among a team of 51 doctors and paramedics from countries like the US, UK, Belgium and Philippines present at a cleft lip and palate surgery camp that was inaugurated during the day at the South Eastern Railway's central hospital in Garden Reach.  Read the full story online at the Times of India.com.

Botox Or Your Bills?  Plastic Surgery Wins Out

Botox Or Your Bills?  Plastic Surgery Wins OutBy Cathy Payne, USA-Today, 24 February 2013

Fewer Americans seem to be frowning on cosmetic plastic surgery.

People may be struggling with gas prices and health care costs, but cosmetic plastic surgery procedures rose 5% from 2011 to 2012, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons reports. Last year, 14.6 million procedures, including minimally invasive and surgical, were performed in the U.S., according to the organization's annual statistics.  Read the full story online at USA Today.com.

Edna's Story - Revlon/UCLA Breast Center

Revlon/UCLA Breast Cancer Patient EdnaEdna Baradas was nearing the end of her pregnancy when she found a lump. She asked doctors to delay telling her the results of their tests, and it wasn't until shortly after daughter Ella's birth that Edna learned she had breast cancer.

Receiving the news she had cancer so soon after the birth of her child was a shock. "I just remember thinking, 'Oh, what if I'm not around?'" Edna says. Hear her story »

The New Breast Center at the UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica

The Santa Monica-UCLA Breast Center team helps patients diagnosed with breast cancer navigate their treatment.The Mirror Staff, 30 September 2012 - The new UCLA Breast Center at Santa Monica aims to help breast cancer patients like Johnson more easily navigate through the often complex web of cancer treatment. Affiliated with UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica, the Breast Center brings together a world-class team of breast care practitioners under one roof to provide a personalized and streamlined approach for patients. Read the full story online via the SMMirror.com »


Surgeon Restores A Soldier's Face

Octavio Sanchez - Reconstructive Surgery/Operation Mend PatientBy Mark Muckenfuss, Press-Enterprise Staff Writer, 22 September 2012 - Octavio Sanchez had gotten used to not having a nose.

"I was pretty much happy with the way I looked," said the former Marine staff sergeant, who suffered deforming burns in a roadside bomb blast in Iraq in 2005.

It was the reactions his kids had to endure when he went out in public - stares and finger-pointing that drove his oldest son to tears on one occasion - that made him decide to have the surgery to restore his face.  Read the full story online at PE.com »

Pentagon Push Gives Face Transplants a Major List

It's one of the most extreme surgical procedures an individual could possibly undergo: Having his or her entire face, from bone to blood vessels to muscle, reconstructed using the donated face of another person. (Wired.com, June 6, 2012) Download PDF | Read the article online at Wired.com »

UCLA Surgeon Gives Smiles to Guatemalan Children

UCLA Surgeon Gives Smiles to Guatemalan ChildrenOn a recent volunteer trip to perform surgery in Guatemala, UCLA craniofacial surgeon Reza Jarrahy, M.D., operated on about 30 children with cleft lips and palates in one week-as many as he typically does in a year at UCLA. Read more »


UCLA Professor, Plastic Surgeon Reza Jarrahy Travels to Guatemala As Part of Mayan Families Organization to Treat Congenital Deformities

UCLA professor, plastic surgeon Reza Jarrahy travels to GuatemalaBy Alex Goodman

Ten years ago, Dr. Reza Jarrahy made his first trip to Guatemala with a team of doctors. A civil war had recently ended in the country, and the team set up operating rooms inside vacated military barracks. Read more »


Hollywood to Actors: Ditch the Plastic Surgery

ABC News Nightline (full story on ABC

"The best plastic surgery should be plastic surgery that is subtle. We try to consult patients to be as natural as they can be while still providing some improvement." - Dr. Da Lio

Andrew Da Lio, MD is mentioned on the Ellen Show

Dr. Andrew Da Lio, MD is mentioned on the Ellen ShowMaura Tierney stopped by to chat with Ellen. She opened up about her recent battle with breast cancer and some of the unexpected moments during her treatment. Watch the video »



Dr. Reza Jarrahy interviewed on the Leonard Lopate Show:
Please Explain: Plastic Surgery (WNYC, July 10, 2009)

Download video clip 18.3 MB

Iraqi teen can dream in L.A.

by Kurt Streeter, Staff Writer Los Angeles Times

Her words made my heart sink. "I want to go back, " she said, speaking by phone from her home in a rough section of Baghdad.  Read article »

After an AVM threatened her life, young mother is on the mend in Pomona

Young mother on the mend in Pomona Facial reanimation surgery at UCLA is latest step in Katherine's recovery

By Evelyn Barge, Staff Writer
Katherine Wolf approaches the second-floor landing of a friend's Culver City home. From on high, she sounds out a greeting in a strained but pronounced voice, before lightly descending the curved staircase to the living room. Read article » 

Facial Reanimation Surgery

Katherine's slow, miraculous recovery
By Evelyn Barge, Staff Writer

Katherine elected to undergo facial reanimation surgery in the hopes of regaining some movement and muscular tone on the right side of her face. The second half of the surgery, performed by Dr. J. Brian Boyd, was a cross-facial nerve graft. Surgeons removed a nerve from Katherine's leg to be used as an extension cord, connecting a branch of working nerves on the left side to the paralyzed side.  Read article »

Clinical Study: Silicone-filled Breast Implants

Dr. Timothy Miller and Dr. Andrew Da Lio, physicians at UCLA's Division of Plastic Surgery in conjunction with Inamed Corporation, are currently seeking participants for a clinical study of silicone-filled breast implants. You may be a candidate. Learn more »

Woman undergoes face transplant in Cleveland

Surgeons at the Cleveland Clinic replace about 80% of her face with skin and muscles harvested from a cadaver. It's the most extensive such operation ever performed and the first in the U.S.
By Karen Kaplan and Shari Roan

A woman being treated at the Cleveland Clinic has an almost entirely new face following the most extensive facial transplant ever performed, the medical center said Tuesday. The surgery was the first face transplant in the U.S. and the fourth in the world. Read article »  

10 Cosmetic Procedures You Should Avoid

10 Cosmetic Procedures You Should AvoidThe Potential Aesthetic Benefits of Some Procedures Aren't Worth the Risk

A recent report suggests that despite worries over an economic downturn, Americans are still spending money on procedures intended to make them look better. UCLA Dr. Kawamoto is quoted in ABC News story. Read article » 


'Operation Mend' Partnership Between UCLA and Brooke Army Medical Center Offers New Hope for Wounded Warriors

'Operation Mend' Partnership Between UCLA and Brooke Army Medical Center
Unique military–civilian hospital collaboration will provide reconstructive surgery. “Operation Mend,” has been established to help treat several U.S. military personnel wounded during service in Iraq and Afghanistan. Read more » 


World News: Marwa Update

Iraqi Girl, Marwa Naim injured in Baghdad Blast Undergoes Successful Reconstructive Surgery

  • After a series of reconstructive surgeries at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, Marwa Naim, a 12-year-old Iraqi girl who suffered the loss of her nose when an explosive struck her family's home in northern Baghdad, has a chance for a new life.
  • View Marwa's video update »


Research With Space Explorers May One Day Heal Earth's Warriors


Formerly conjoined twins reunite with their hospital team


Protein combination improves bone regeneration, UCLA study shows

UCLA Rated One of the Top Hospitals in the Nation