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Meet Plastic Surgeon Bohdan Pomahac, MD

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Bohdan Pomahac, MD, is the division chief of Yale Medicine Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, and director of the Face Transplant Program, a new program that focuses on face transplantation for patients who have severe disfiguration. He also performs a broad variety of plastic and aesthetic procedures on the entire body, and has special expertise in breast reconstruction, aesthetic surgery, head and neck facial reconstruction, and trauma and burn reconstruction. Dr. Pomahac was drawn to plastic surgery by the complexity of facial reconstruction. Early on he embarked on the effort to establish a face transplantation program, a relatively new area of plastic surgery in which he became a pioneer. Before coming to Yale, he led a team that performed the first three full-face transplant procedures in the United States and a total of 10 face transplants, currently the most in the world for a single center, in addition to the first successful bilateral upper extremity transplantations in the Northeast. “I like to think about plastic surgery as a glue for all the surgical services,” Dr. Pomahac says. For example, plastic surgeons treat cancer patients to help them heal, play a key role in treating trauma patients, and manage problems like chronic wounds. “Our scope of practice is very broad,” he says. “It ranges from young children with congenital defects to elderly patients, and to every part of the body. It could be facial, head and neck, trauma, a congenital deformity, or an aesthetic problem, but it could be also a problem on your heel or big toe that we’re able to fix, along with our colleagues. Every reconstruction ends as an aesthetic case.” He advises patients to choose plastic surgeons with the appropriate amount of expertise needed to develop the best approach for their problem. “In plastic surgery, there are half a dozen solutions for any problem. And the surgeon has the opportunity to come up with customized solutions and really unique answers to any particular challenge,” he says. In addition to caring for patients, Dr. Pomahac is a professor of surgery at Yale School of Medicine who, for the past eight years, has been researching perfusion technologies to maintain viability of donated tissues to be used in transplants. It’s a strategy scientists have studied for organ transplantation, and he is interested in the approach for surgeries like limb and face transplantation. He is also studying how well plastic surgeons who provide those surgeries are able to achieve restoration of motor function, sensation, and quality of life for their patients.

Oasis Medical Aesthetics
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