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surgeons operating
Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

Research areas

CLINICAL & TRANSLATIONAL RESEARCH


Burns

Under the leadership of Dr. Joel Fish, we are investigating the effectiveness of laser therapy for paediatric burn scars. Our doctoral student, Jennifer Zuccaro spearheads a randomized control trial designed to answer this question.

Cleft Lip and Palate

With the leadership of Dr. David Fisher, the cleft lip and palate program is world renowned for research in advancing the surgical approach to cleft lip and palate repair. In collaboration with the Americleft Outcomes group, our research in this program aims to evaluate the surgical, speech and psychosocial outcomes in children with cleft lip and/or palate.

Enhancing the quality of life of children and families with Cleft Lip and Palate is a priority research area of this program. The development of patient-reported outcome measures (PRO) to evaluate the child and family’s experience with this condition is critical to this understanding. The team of Dr. Karen Wong and Dr. Christopher Forrest are paving the way in their development and validation of the CLEFT-Q. The CLEFT-Q is a standardized PRO for children with cleft lip and/or palate.

Corneal Neurotization

Corneal Neurotization Corneal neurotization is a minimally invasive novel technique performed by Dr. Ronald Zuker and Dr. Greg Borschel that restores corneal innervation in patients with neurotrophic keratopathy (NK). Together, Drs. Zuker and Borschel are leading the world in both basic science and clinical research to further our understanding of this disease, the mechanisms involved in this procedure and methods to advance medical care. This team has established an international registry to evaluate and study the outcomes of corneal neurotization.

Craniofacial Surgery

In collaboration with the Hospital's Centre for Image Guided Innovation and Therapeutic Intervention, and an international team of collaborators, Dr. Christopher Forrest and Dr. John Phillips are using innovative imaging technology to generate a 3D morphometric analysis of the skull to conduct comparative analysis of craniosynostosis.

Facial Palsy

Facial Palsy Dr. Ronald Zuker and Dr. Greg Borschel are co-directors of our research program in the facial palsy program. This program combines both basic science and clinical research to evaluate the outcomes of facial reanimation in the paediatric population using the gracilis muscle transplantation.

Obstetrical Brachial Plexus Palsy

The research of the brachial plexus program at SickKids has received international recognition under the leadership of Dr. Howard Clarke and Dr. Kristen Davidge. This team is known internationally for their leadership in evaluating systematic outcomes in this population. The Active Movement Scale (AMS) as a valid and reliable motor assessment of the upper extremity in infants with brachial plexus injury. The Brachial Plexus Outcome Measure (BPOM) is a valid functional outcome assessment in school-aged children with brachial plexus injuries.

Under the direction of Dr. Kristen Davidge, we are investigating the nature of pain in children with obstetrical brachial plexus injuries. Emily Ho is exploring the topic of shared decision making youth with obstetrical brachial plexus injury through the development of a Decision Aid. Other general clinical studies are also being conducted in collaboration with Dr. Sevan Hopyan, orthopedic surgeon, to evaluate surgical reconstructive procedures recommended for this population.

Paediatric Congenital and Acquired Hand Conditions

Ongoing clinical research to evaluate surgical and non-surgical interventions for children with congenital hand differences and traumatic hand injuries is essential to optimize outcome. The research collaborations of Dr. Kristen Davidge, DDr. Howard Clarke, Dr. Greg Borschel and Emily Ho focuses on establishing valid and reliable methods of evaluating pediatric upper extremity function in this population to conduct such evaluations. With the leadership of Dr. Davidge, the team is developing new initiatives to provide teen to teen mentorship for children with congenital limb differences. Priority is placed on employing qualitative methods to understand the family’s perspective of their child’s upper extremity condition.