The Division of Plastic Surgery is internationally recognized for its expertise in treating complex craniofacial disorders, as well as functional problems with the jaw and airway. Amanda Gosman, M.D., is the division chief and the director of craniofacial surgery.

We treat a wide range conditions, including cleft lip and palate, vascular lesions and craniosynostosis, a congenital defect that prevents normal skull and brain growth. Additionally, we perform plastic surgery for the ears and nose, reconstructive surgery following the removal of cancerous tumors and corrective surgery for sleep apnea.

Craniofacial surgeons work closely with vascular malformation and pediatric dermatology specialists, helping to ensure the best possible outcomes. To treat craniosynostosis, we use a minimally invasive endoscopic approach whenever possible, resulting, in some cases, in immediate correction of the deformity.

Research is also a division priority. In the area of cleft lip and palate surgery, Dr. Gosman continues to investigate new techniques, such as the use of bone graft alternatives for the early primary repair of alveolar clefts. Additionally, she is the principal investigator for an American Society of Maxillofacial Surgeons grant to evaluate new and safer imaging exams for children under 5 who are being treated for cleft lip and palate.

We also train the next generation of pediatric plastic surgeons through our fellowship program, which has successfully been integrated with our research endeavors.

Division Achievements:

  • Our surgeons have invented a variety of new devices used in distraction procedures to correct facial and skull deformities in children. These devices have been used overseas and throughout the United States at institutions such as Johns Hopkins Medical Center, UCLA and Stanford.
  • Our team was the second group in the world to perform endoscopic craniosynostosis surgery, which has become an important option of care in patients with sagittal synostosis.
  • Amanda Gosman, M.D., division chief and director of craniofacial surgery, has been awarded the UC San Diego School of Medicine Academy of Clinician Scholars Grant for the project “Impact of an Interactive Web-based Patient Education Tool on Informed Consent for Plastic Surgery Procedures.”
  • Ralph Holmes, M.D., vice chief of plastic surgery, is a pioneer in the use of biodegradable devices in craniomaxillofacial surgery.
  • Amanda Gosman, M.D., division chief and director of craniofacial surgery, was named a “Healthcare Champion” by the San Diego Business Journal and a “Local Hero” by Bank of America for her volunteer work at the Fresh Start Clinic at Rady Children’s. She has volunteered more than 350 hours and has donated well over $270,000 in free medical services to Fresh Start Surgical Gifts’ patients.