Plastic Surgery Division News

Local doctor pays it forward on lonely North Dakota highway (Story from Dave Bakke- SJR)

Calamity is just another word for opportunity. Dr. Kevin Calder realized it while driving to Springfield from his home in Canada. In the middle of North Dakota, 9 at night, he saw a disabled van, its emergency flashers on, limping along the shoulder of Interstate 94. Come Monday, Kevin starts work as a pediatric plastic surgeon at SIU Medical School's Institute for Plastic Surgery. more...





SIU School of Medicine, Institute for Plastic Surgery supports Kidzeum of Health and Science with a $75,000 gift

(Springfield, IL) –Thanks to a $75,000 donation from the doctors of SIU School of Medicine Institute of Plastic Surgery, an interactive hand exhibit will be one of the 100 engagements that exist within the Healthy Body Gallery.
“SIU Plastic’s Quote”

The Interactive Hand Exhibit will be located within the 40-foot tall, 3-story child that makes up the Healthy Body Gallery.  The main message of the Interactive Hand Exhibit is to demonstrate how strong muscles and tendons work together with your bones to help your hand move.  Kidzeum visitors will use a series of levers and controls to move an oversized had and grasp a ball. Click on image for larger view

“Kidzeum is extremely grateful to SIU School of Medicine and the doctors of its Institute for Plastic Surgery for supporting the Interactive Hand. Our hands do so much for us. They are capable of a wide variety of functions: touching, grasping, feeling, holding, manipulating, caressing, and more. They are a vitally important part of who we are and how we see ourselves,” said Kidzeum Board President, Rachael Thomson.

Created in 1973, The Institute for Plastic Surgery is an academic surgical practice offering specialized medical and surgical care to adults and children in central and southern Illinois.  It is committed to achieving the highest standard of excellence in all areas of reconstructive and cosmetic surgery.  The Institute is known nationally and internationally for its work in many areas including microsurgery, hand surgery and therapy, reconstructive surgery, aesthetic surgery, and specialized care in the treatment of burns and problem wounds.

The Kidzeum of Health & Science will be located in the nationally registered, historic buildings at 412, 414 and 416 East Adams Street. The Kidzeum of Health and Science will be designed with a focus on fun and learning and upon completion of its Vital for Our Youth Campaign; Kidzeum will be a three story, 25,000 square foot children’s museum dedicated to teaching children of all abilities about health and science through discovery and play. The Kidzeum has raised $5.4 million of its $6.8 million dollar goal.  Slated to open in late fall 2015.

Former Plastic Surgery resident on TV show

Former SIU Plastic Surgery Resident (Ryan Diedrich, MD) was filmed recently in LA for the "The Doctor" show.








Dr. L. Scott Levin, The Paul B. Magnuson Professor and Chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, was the first Elvin G. Zook MD Visiting Professor.  He presented a talk on upper extremity reconstruction on Friday, August 29, 2014 in Springfield, IL to the SIU orthopaedic and plastic surgery residents and faculty as well as members of the SIU hand transplant team. 
Dr. Levin is an accomplished clinical whose expertise focuses on upper extremity reconstruction.  His research interests focus predominantly on extremity soft tissue reconstruction and composite tissue allotransplantation.  Dr. Levin is the head of the newly formed Penn Hand Transplant Program and in September 2011 he directed the team that performed a bi-lateral hand and arm transplant. 


Mrs. Alan Birtch recently gave Surgery Department Chair Dr. Michael Neumeister a signed copy of a book written by plastic surgeon Dr. Joseph E. Murray who pioneered the field of organ transplantation. A long-time member of the Harvard Medical School faculty, Murray was honored with the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1990, has given the gift of life to hundreds of thousands of people destined to die young. Dr. Alan Birtch trained under Dr. Murray and went on to establish the kidney/pancreas transplant program at SIU School of Medicine and Memorial Medical Center. Dr. Neumeister, also professor and chair of the Institute for Plastic Surgery, has recently embarked on establishing a hand transplant program at SIU and Memorial Medical Center, using many of the principles of transplantation medicine.

Maria Ansley - Winner of ASPS Award

Maria Ansley was named the Winner by the ASPS for the BRA Day Double Loop Ribbon Contest. This award was awarded to the person or group who could execute the most creative use of the BRA Day double ribbon to display via VINE, an app that lets you record and share a 6-second looping video. The winner received $5,000 towards the planning of their 2014 BRA Day event.














SIU Med School Receives National Grant to Study Fat Grafting in Breast Reconstruction

A resident physician at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine in Springfield has been awarded a two-year federal grant from the Plastic Surgery Foundation to study fat grafting in breast cancer treatment and reconstruction. The grant has a budget of $47,223.

Dr. Abigail Cochran, a fourth-year plastic surgery resident physician in the Department of Surgery, is the principal investigator for the project.

Fat grafting is an integral part of breast reconstruction in cancer patients, but there is concern about the cancer-stimulation potential of stem cells in fat. This research will look at stem cells in fat and provide a better understanding of their effects on tumor growth. It will also examine whether tumor growth can be decreased by using gene therapy with the fat grafting. 

The research uses human fat extracted during liposuction, which is taken to the lab and cultured with human breast cancer cells. Researchers will measure the tumor growth to determine how the fat affects the cancer cells. The fat also is genetically engineered with a virus that attacks cancer cells to decrease the tumor. Results of the study will help improve understanding of the risks associated with fat grafting for cancer patients.

This is the third national grant awarded for Cochran’s research, which is focused on stem cell transplantation in breast cancer reconstruction.

Cochran began her residency at SIU in 2010. She earned her medical degree from the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee (2010) and her bachelor’s degree from Siena College in Loudonville, N.Y. (2005). She is a native of Elm Grove, Wis.


SIU Department Chair Dr. Michael Neumeister performed hand and wrist exams on more than 150 people at Memorial's Women's Be Aware Fair.  Several SIU doctors were available to perform free screenings and provide health information.