Welcome to the LAC + USC Medical Center Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery website. Our mission at LAC + USC Medical center is to provide accessible, affordable and culturally sensitive healthcare one person at a time. We believe it is important to treat each and every one of our patients with respect and compassion. The surgeons in our team perform: breast reconstruction, lower extremity reconstruction, craniofacial, hand surgery, complex wounds, and cleft lip and palate surgery. This website was created for you, our patients, to learn a little more about the surgeons and the services that our division provides. We hope you find the information provided useful.
Dr. Joseph N. Carey is an Assistant Professor of Surgery in the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. His specialty is microvascular surgery, including breast reconstruction, head and neck reconstruction, extremity salvage, and hand surgery. He currently serves as the Service Chief of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at LAC-USC Medical Center since 2011. Dr. Carey is certified by The American Board of Surgery. He is also a Member of the American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery and Plastic Surgery Research Council.
Dr. Carey is the Chief of Plastic Surgery and attending surgeon in the Burn Unit of the Los Angeles County Hospital. He directs the care of complex multisystem injuries, including critically injured adult and pediatric patients in the Burn Unit. He also directs the education of plastic surgery and general surgery residents, as the associate program director in plastic surgery.
In addition to his clinical practice, Dr. Carey’s research interests include surgical education, breast reconstruction, and extremity salvage. He collaborates with colleagues from other disciplines as the Assistant Director of the USC Fresh Tissue dissection laboratory, where complex models of surgical simulation are used to educate surgeons of the next generation.
Dr. Carey’s education includes a general surgery residency at USC, and a plastic surgery residency at USC. He also completed a Microvascular surgery fellowship at Stanford University. Dr. Carey received his medical degree from USC and his undergraduate degree from UC Berkeley. He also completed a master’s degree in Anatomy at USC.
Chief Residents Team
Dr. Brock Lanier
Dr. Lanier was born and raised in Memphis, TN. He attended medical school at the University of Tennessee. After medical school, Dr. Lanier completed five years of general surgery residency at Georgetown University in Washington, DC. and is a board certified general surgeon. Dr. Lanier then completed three additional years of advanced training in cancer surgery and clinical immunotherapy at the National Cancer Institute (National Institutes of Health) in Bethesda, MD. After completing cancer surgery training, he came to the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, CA to train in plastic surgery. Dr. Lanier is now a chief resident in plastic and reconstructive surgery. After completing three years of plastic surgery training, he plans to practice and specialize in both cancer surgery and cancer reconstruction - offering patients the most cutting edge, multi-modality surgical therapies available
Dr. JoAnna Nguyen
Dr. Nguyen is a Southern California native who received dual Bachelor of Arts degrees in Psychology and Biology with a Specialization in Neuroscience from Boston University in Boston, Massachusetts. She then attended the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine for her Medical Degree. After medical school, she completed a one year clinical research fellowship at the University of Southern California in the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, where she continued on as an integrated plastic surgery resident. Dr. Nguyen is currently a chief resident at LAC/USC in the division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Her interests include pediatric plastic surgery, reconstructive surgery, and hand surgery.
Dr. Millicent Rovelo
Dr. Rovelo is originally from Northern California. She attended UCLA for her undergraduate training, where she received a Bachelor of Science in Physiological Science. She then attended medical school at the University of Southern California. After completing medical school, Dr. Rovelo moved to New Orleans where she completed a General Surgery residency at Louisiana State University. She subsequently became board certified in General Surgery by the American Board of Surgery. Dr. Rovelo then returned to Southern California to continue her training in Plastic Surgery at the University of Southern California. Dr. Rovelo has an interest in microvascular and complex reconstructive surgery.
Dr. Sepdih Saber
Dr. Saber earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Neurobiology from the University of California Irvine. She then obtained her medical degree from the Stanford University School of Medicine where she also completed a one-year research fellowship as a Stanford Medical Scholar. She completed three years of a combined general and plastic surgery residency at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and returned to California to continue her training as an integrated resident in the USC Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Dr. Saber currently is a chief resident at LAC/USC in the division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. Upon completing her residency, she plans to pursue a hand and microsurgery fellowship at the NYU Institute of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery.
Dr. Haig Yenikomshian
Dr. Yenikomshian is originally from the Bay Area where he spent his childhood. He then went to Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois for college. He received a dual degree in Biology as well as European History. After graduation Dr. Yenikomshian matriculated into the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California where he completed his doctorate in medicine graduating with highest honors. He then continued at USC for his integrated Plastic Surgery residency training. Dr. Yenikomshian currently is a chief resident at the LAC/USC Hospital in the division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. His interests include reconstructive surgery and burn surgery. Dr. Yenikomshian plans on continuing his training after residency with a fellowship in Burn/Critical Care at the University of Washington.
Debbie Gaytan-Wallace has been with LAC + USC Medical Center for the past 39 years. She has worked in various capacities in the field of Nursing in Critical Care, Educator and Management. She received a Bachelors of Science in Nursing from California State Los Angeles in Critical Care Nursing and a Masters of Science in Nursing as a Critical Care Specialist in Pulmonary Critical Care. She returned for a post graduate degree from the University of Southern California as a Family Nurse Practitioner and is board certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center. She was the recipient of numerous Nursing awards and has published scientific articles. Debbie is a Clinical Professor at the East Los Angeles College and at the University Of Southern California Los Angeles Department Of Nursing. Debbie provides comprehensive, coordinated and individualized care to clients with cranio-facial trauma, lower extremity trauma, cancer reconstruction and complex wound coverage. Debbie enjoys traveling with her husband and practicing as a licensed Esthetician.
Dr. Alex K. Wong is an Assistant Professor of Surgery in the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery with attending staff appointments at USC University Hospital and LAC+USC Medical Center. He specializes in microsurgical free tissue transfer for the management of complex wounds, breast reconstruction, as well as aesthetic surgery of the face, breast, and body. Dr. Wong is certified by The American Board of Plastic Surgery and is an Associate Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. He is also a Member of the American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery and Plastic Surgery Research Council. Dr. Wong was named one of Pasadena Magazine's Top Doctors for 2010 and 2011.
As a member of the full time USC faculty, Dr. Wong teaches the next generation of doctors and plastic surgeons. He serves as the Medical Student Preceptor for Plastic Surgery Clerkship at the Keck School of Medicine and is the Associate Director of the USC Microsurgery Fellowship.
In addition to his clinical practice, Dr. Wong directs a research laboratory at the Keck School of Medicine of USC with focus areas in adult-derived stem cells for wound healing, molecular pathogenesis of silicone breast implant capsular contracture, and microvascular flap physiology. Dr. Wong has received multiple grants and awards from organizations such as the Plastic Surgery Educational Foundation, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and American Society for Maxillofacial Surgery. Recently, he was awarded grants from the Wright Foundation and the American Cancer Society for his research on stem cells. His work has been published in a variety of high impact peer reviewed journals.
Prior to joining the faculty at USC, Dr. Wong completed his Fellowship training at the NYU Institute of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery and completed his formal Plastic Surgery residency at the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Wong received his medical degree from Harvard Medical School and the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology and is an honors graduate of the College of Arts and Sciences of Cornell University.
Ketan M. Patel, MD is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Surgery at the Keck School of Medicine at USC. After receiving his undergraduate degree from the University of Miami, FL, he completed his medical degree at Indiana University School of Medicine. He then went on to complete a 6-year integrated residency in Plastic and Reconstructive surgery at Georgetown University in Washington, DC, where he trained under world-renowned breast reconstructive surgeons, Drs. Scott Spear and Maurice Nahabedian. He then went on to complete the most highly coveted one-year reconstructive surgery fellowship at Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in Taipei, Taiwan, where he learned advanced techniques in breast reconstruction and lymphedema surgery. Dr. Patel’s clinic focus and expertise are in implant breast surgery, autologous flap reconstruction, oncoplastic breast reconstruction, and lymphedema surgery. He has published numerous articles and written several book chapters related to breast reconstruction, with many focused on patient-centered decision making using all available options for reconstruction. In addition, Dr. Patel’s research interests extend further to understanding the role of lymphedema surgery in improving a patient’s quality of life.
Dr. Regina Y. Baker is an Assistant Professor of Surgery in the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the Keck School of Medicine of University of Southern California. She is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. She has faculty appointments at USC University Hospital, USC/Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center, LAC-USC Medical Center, Huntington Memorial Hospital, and Childrens Hospital of Los Angeles. Dr. Baker’s clinical interests include breast reconstruction, adolescent breast surgery, body contouring, complex reconstructive surgery, and all aspects of aesthetic surgery. She has special interests in women’s health and issues. Dr. Baker was named one of Pasadena Magazine’s Top Doctors of 2010.
Dr. Baker founded the Adolescent Breast Center (ABC) at Childrens Hospital of Los Angeles, where she treats a wide variety of congenital and adolescent breast disorders. She is also an attending staff at the Southern California Regional Burn Center at LAC-USC Medical Center. There she is involved in the management of acute burns, complex wounds, and burn reconstruction. Dr. Baker also works closely with the renowned Bariatric Surgeons of USC and offers a wide range of post-weight loss body contouring procedures.
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