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Innovations keep pace with changing needs in Facial Plastics and Reconstructive Surgery

Houston Methodist’s Division of Facial Plastics and Reconstructive Surgery within the Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery has established a program that is unique as well as comprehensive with its vision for growth and development. “We will continue to stay aware of where we are with best practices in addition to innovations that will keep us on the forefront of leading medicine,” said Division Chief Anthony Brissett, MD, FACS. He adds that the division focuses on combining state-of-the-art advanced clinical practices along with translational, clinical and basic science research.
Brissett is recognized nationally and internationally as an expert in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery. A professor of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery at Weill Cornell College of Medicine, he also serves as vice chair of the Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery. He sits on the Board of the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery as the group vice president for Research and Humanitarian Affairs and serves as an oral board examiner for the American Board of Otolaryngology. Brissett is joined in the division by Fred Bressler, MD, FACS, an experienced facial plastic surgeon in the Greater Houston area and an educator for specialists entering the field. Bressler is an adjunct assistant professor at Texas A&M University College of Medicine.
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Left to right: Anthony Brissett, MD, FACS and Fred J Bressler, MD, FACS
“Our surgeons have experience with complicated and complex procedures, and we are always willing to be a resource within the department or the hospital in general,” Bressler said. “With our depth of experience and range of specializations, we often are sought out for ideas to treat patients with unique needs.” The division is a resource for complex rhinoplasty surgery – both primary and revision rhinoplasties. Bressler recently published work on revision rhinoplasty, considered one of the most difficult surgeries to perform in plastic surgery. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34121943/ introducing a new preoperative assessment classification system. Brissett said he has seen many aspects of his specialty evolve over the years. “We are seeing younger patients who are seeking proactive approaches to rejuvenation,” he said, adding, “We encourage these younger patients to be more proactive with skin care and rejuvenation.” “Our desire is to meet this need by offering more office-based interventions such as injectables, energy-based devices and lasers,” Brissett said.
The division offers services that are supported by a comprehensive medical spa with an emphasis on preventative and restorative skin care treatments. Annie Christenson, a master aesthetician and skin care expert leads the medical spa. She has been in the industry for more than 30 years and has worked alongside Brissett for almost 20 years. In addition to building a division that offers comprehensive management of patients with cosmetic and reconstructive needs, Brissett has positioned the division to be a leader and innovator in caring for patient of varying ethnicities with a focus on ethnic sensitive facial plastic surgery, implementing techniques with a focus on cultural preservation.
Our practice is located in Houston, the fourth largest city in the country and the most diverse city in the United States. Additionally, it is situated in the heart of the Texas Medical Center, the largest medical center in the world. This creates a unique opportunity to care for a high volume of patients of various cultural groups. Brissett said. “Recognizing the uniqueness of one’s cultural and facial attributes is essential when caring for this subgroup of patients.”
“Our practice is located in Houston, the fourth largest city in the country and the most diverse city in the United States. Additionally, it is situated in the heart of the Texas Medical Center, the largest medical center in the world. This creates a unique opportunity to care for a high volume of patients of various cultural groups.” Brissett said. “Recognizing the uniqueness of one’s cultural and facial attributes is essential when caring for this subgroup of patients.” A recently published Facial Plastic Surgery Clinics, co-edited by Brissett, highlights this approach. https://www.sciencedirect.com/journal/facial-plastic-surgery-clinics-of-north-america/vol/30/issue/4 The division’s reconstructive faculty continues to expand to meet the needs related to the department’s complex and advanced skin cancer initiative and the creation of a regional tumor board, led by Joshua Kain, MD, as well as growing the reconstructive team with the addition of Laura Kim, MD. Kain is a leader in microvascular reconstruction surgery who says he feels fortunate to be practicing in an era where some surgeries that were impossible 25 years ago are now routinely done with better outcomes. “I get to take advantage of decades of advances and research that allow the same operations to be done safer, less invasively and with better results than even just years ago. As modern surgeons, we are the direct beneficiaries of practicing in an era where these tools are at our direct fingertips both literally and figuratively,” said Kain who is Assistant Professor of Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery for Weill Cornell Medical College and Houston Methodist Academic Institute. Kim joined the team in October and specializes in both ablative and microvascular reconstructive surgery. Kim said her goal is to increase her clinical practice but also to keep a hand in educating the next generation of surgeons. The division has a strong emphasis on research develop processes related to clinical and translation research in wound healing, aging, as well as establishing practice patterns for gender-affirming facial surgery. With a focus on education and training both medical students and residents, Brissett is encouraged about the commencement of their facial plastic and reconstructive surgery fellowship that will begin with its first fellows starting in July of 2023. “I’m very proud of the Division of Facial Plastics and Reconstructive Surgery at Houston Methodist. Drs. Brissett and Bressler are perfectionist in their field, setting high standards and holding the team to those expectations,” said Mas Takashima, MD, Chairman of the Department of Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery. “For their patients that means great care and successful procedures. For our new Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, it means the very best training,” Takashima said. “The community is lucky to have this team working for them.” More current research from the Department of Otolaryngology— Head and Neck Surgery can be found at https://scholars.houstonmethodist.org/en/organisations/department-of-otolaryngology/publications/