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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 careyDr. 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. Hyuma Leland  Dr. Hyuma Leland  

Dr. Leland was born and raised in Southern California and earned his Bachelor’s degree in molecular biology at the University of California, San Diego. After completing medical school and two years of General Surgery training at UC San Diego, he spent 1 year investigating bone and cartilage grafts for ear reconstruction at the University of Southern California. He then transferred into the USC Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery where he is currently a Chief Resident. He has a keen interest in reconstructive surgery and plans to pursue additional fellowship training in hand and microsurgery.


Dr. Caroline Yao

Dr. Caroline Yao

Dr. Yao grew up in Massachusetts. She attended high school at Phillips Andover Academy, completed a Bachelors degree in economics from Princeton University and received her Medical Degree from Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. During her training in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the University of Southern California, Dr. Yao undertook a two-year research fellowship where she completed a Masters Degree in biostatistics and worked with Operation Smile, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing free cleft lip surgery to children in underserved countries. Working with Operation Smile, Dr. Yao designed, implemented and completed several major projects to improve global healthcare delivery in Vietnam and to create better care algorithms for pediatric reconstructive surgery. Dr. Yao’s project to create a grading system for disease severity in cleft lip children won first prize at the 2016 American Association of Plastic Surgeons conference. Her projects in barriers to surgical care in underserved countries and international surgical education have been published in the journal of the American Association of Plastic Surgeons (The Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Journal), and presented nationally at the Plastic Surgery Research Council and the American Public Health Association.

Prior to becoming a physician, Dr. Yao worked for several years on Wall Street as an investment analyst. With her background in economics, global health and plastic surgery, she hopes to combine a clinical surgical career with educating others, and conducting well-designed, innovative medical/surgical research to improve delivery of care in the U.S. and abroad.


Dr. Don Hoang

Dr. Don Hoang

Dr. Hoang is a Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery resident at LAC+USC Medical Center. He was born in San Francisco, but grew up in Los Angeles and attended Granada Hills high school where he ran track and field while also holding several odd jobs including running his own tutoring company. Eventually, he attended Stanford University where he developed a passion for basketball, movies, music, and medicine--ultimately leading him to Yale University School of Medicine where he completed a Medical Degree as well as a Masters degree in health science research. There he developed a passion for traveling, specifically to Vietnam, Central and South America. 

Eventually he found his way back to Los Angeles and LAC+USC MC where his mother also works in the Micriobiology department. He is very appreciative to be part of an amazing integrated Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery residency and humbled to serve patients of Los Angeles.

His future ambitions include becoming an academic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon where he will be immersed in a medical community collaborating with other physicians, teaching residents and medical students, contributing to innovative research, and reaching out to fill international surgical unmet needs through direct patient care and surgical education. 


Dr. Cameron Francis

Dr. Cameron Francis

Dr. Francis earned his Bachelor of Science in Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology from UCLA and his medical degree from the University of California San Diego School of Medicine. Following medical school, he completed a two-year clinical research fellowship in the Division of Plastic and Maxillofacial Surgery at Children's Hospital Los Angeles. He is a father and avid marathon runner. 


Nurse Practitioner


Debbie Gaytan-WallaceDebbie 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.

Attending Team


dr wongDr. 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.


dr patelKetan 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 bakerDr. 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.