Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

Head of Department Kim Alexander Tønseth
Head of Department Kim Alexander Tønseth


Plastic and reconstructive surgery is performed to restore normal anatomy and function in patients with congenital and acquired disorders, and in patients with tissue defects after trauma or cancer surgery. During the last decades research in plastic and reconstructive surgery has led to development of a large number of treatment options for patients with different kinds of disorders and defects. These methods are often based on experimental research which has been refined through clinical procedures. The main outcome is improved quality of life and patient satisfaction based on restoration of anomalies and dysfunction.

Research areas

Free tissue transfer is a technique which has revolutionized the field of reconstructive surgery over the past four decades. Tissueflaps, based on small vascular vessels (±1mm), can be transposed from a distant part of the body (donor site) to a location where reconstruction is needed and the vessels can be anastomosed to the recipient artery and vein. A new area of free flap surgery was initiated with the introduction of flaps based on perforator vessels. This technique improved reconstruction by reducing donor site morbidity and by allowing new alternative flap designs. There is a constant need for optimising the reconstruction techniques to give the best possible result with minimal disadvantages at the donor site.

Reconstructive surgery in patients with facial palsy and related clinical problems is a very challenging task. We are evaluating our new surgical techniques such as facial reanimation with free tissue transfer with 3-dimentional measurements. In addition our group is involved in a large randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicenter trial looking at the effect of drug treatment on patients with Bell`s palsy.

Another new area in almost all surgical fields is the introduction of regenerative medicine. With this method new cells and tissue structures can be cultured to reconstruct various kinds of defects.

Our research group has focused on the following areas:

  1. Microcirculation, wound healing and microsurgery
  2. Treatment of facial palsy
  3. Regenerative medicine