Visiting Surgeons Introduced to Omental Breast Reconstruction

June 4, 2024

Stanford Surgery welcomed seven visiting surgeons to learn about our innovative omental breast reconstruction technique. Visitors hailed from New York, Delaware, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, and London. Additionally, two surgeons from Ethiopia—who were visiting Stanford as part of a different program—also joined for part of the day

“[The visiting surgeons] observed a surgery, met some of our treated patients, and had thoughtful, engaging discussions with our team over meals,” said Dr. Dung Nguyen, the plastic and reconstructive surgeon on the team. “Most excitingly, they are motivated to offer this reconstruction to their patients!”

In addition to Nguyen, Stanford’s Omental Breast Reconstruction Team includes Drs. Irene Wapnir, a surgical oncologist specializing in breast; Monica Dua, an HPB specialist; and Yulia Zak, who specializes in bariatric and minimally-invasive surgery.

After receiving multiple requests from surgeons at various institutions to observe and learn the new technique, the team developed a one-day group intensive program. Visiting surgeons will had the opportunity to attend pre-operative conferences, observe surgeries, and meet some of the patients who have undergone treatment. Funding for the program was supplemented by the Department of Surgery, Division of Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, and Division of General Surgery.

The team developed the new treatment back in 2019 after a mastectomy patient realized her low BMI would exclude her from traditional breast reconstruction techniques. During this novel type of breast reconstruction, the surgeons work simulateanously to remove the omentum laparoscopically, fat from the thighs and flanks is harvested using liposuction, and the mastectomy is performed. An ADM (acellular dermal matrices) pocket is contoured around a breast sizer into which the omentum is placed. Then the fat is injected into the omentum.

Tips for Surgeons Interested in Organizing a Similar Program

  1. Select a Topic of Shared Interest: Choose a subject that is relevant and beneficial to a small group of surgeons. This could be a new surgical technique, a collaborative project, or a specialized treatment approach.
  2. Assign an Objective to the Program: Clearly define the program’s goal, such as teaching a new surgical technique, fostering collaboration on an innovative project, or sharing best practices.
  3. Coordinate Logistics with Administration: Collaborate with administrative staff to organize the location, schedule, and necessary resources. This includes securing operating rooms, conference spaces, and accommodations for visiting surgeons.
  4. Seek Funding Support: Identify potential sources of funding to cover the costs of the program. This could include institutional grants, industry sponsorships, or educational funds.

Watch HPB Surgeon Dr. Monica Dua and Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon Dr. Dung Nguyen present "Omental Fat-Augmented Free Flap (O-FAFF) for Breast Reconstruction" on YouTube.

Media Contact

Rachel Baker
Director of Communications


As the Director of Communications for Stanford Surgery, Rachel Baker tells the stories of her department's faculty, staff, and trainees. With the help of an amazing team of content creators, she produces and curates original articles, photos, videos, graphics, and even podcasts.She works personally with each division, center, program, and lab within her purview to define their audience and reach their goals while maintaining a consistent brand voice. She hosts quarterly professional development workshops open to all AEM web authors--please email her if you'd like to join! She also offers both 1:1 and group education to faculty and residents on a variety of topics including media training, using social media to advantage, and presentation refinement. Rachel holds a Bachelor's degree in journalism with a focus on photography from Syracuse University's S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. A transplant from the DC-area, she still misses foliage and argyle but has happily adopted the official NorCal hobbies of visiting wineries, hiking local trails, and eating avocado.

About Stanford Surgery

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• pioneering cutting-edge research, 
• developing the next generation of leaders, and 
• healing through incomparable surgical skills and compassion. 

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