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SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University

Department of Otolaryngology

Service Chief Reports

Division of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

Sydney C. Butts, MD

The Division of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery is based at several clinical sites, with services provided at University Hospital Brooklyn, Kings County Hospital Center and New York Methodist  Hospital.  There was an even distribution of facial plastic surgery cases including trauma surgery, congenital craniofacial reconstruction, functional nasal reconstruction, Mohs defect reconstruction and cosmetic facial procedures. A dedicated cosmetic surgery rotation under the supervision of Dr. Richard Westreich allows senior residents to operate with him at Manhattan Eye, Ear and Throat Hospital (MEETH)

Academic activity from the division included presentations at national meetings, along with publications and chapter submissions to otolaryngology textbooks. Areas of research include the epidemiological factors impacting rates of cleft lip and palate among New York City residents, facial trauma research looking at associations between facial fractures and concussions. The facial plastics division co-sponsored the Annual Multidisciplinary Head and Neck Conference in April 2019 which focused on reconstruction in patients with facial nerve paralysis. The conference was co-hosted by the John Conley Division of Humanities and Medical Ethics recognizing Dr. Conley’s important contributions to facial reanimation techniques. Faculty for the meeting also included medical ethicists to explore the decision making in complex reconstructive surgery of the face. A surgical anatomy didactic session was included for residents to learn the anatomy of the techniques used in these cases.

The otolaryngology service has become actively involved in the management of congenital craniofacial anomalies, becoming the primary referral service for the cleft lip and palate patients born at the neonatal intensive care units at SUNY Downstate and Kings County Hospital. Through collaboration with the NICU, general pediatrics and the pediatric subspecialties, as well as local speech/language pathologists and geneticists, comprehensive and multidisciplinary care is brought to these patients. 

During the Downstate/Kings County rotation, the otolaryngology service provides coverage of facial trauma in a rotation schedule with the oral surgery and ophthalmology services. Residents participate in formalized didactic activities relating to maxillofacial trauma during this rotation. Residents are sent to participate in maxillofacial trauma courses sponsored by the AO. Dr. Butts has been involved with maxillofacial trauma education on a national level as a faculty member of the AO.  

In summary, the Division of facial plastic surgery continues to provide residents and medical students with significant exposure to cosmetic and reconstructive procedures of the face. Our recent staff additions have provided continuity and helped to preserve the volume of cases critical to resident training. We expect further growth over the next few years in all aspects of the subspecialty.