Our Trainees


Get information on clinical studies and research on breast reconstruction.

Peer-reviewed Journal Publications

A list of Peer-reviewed Journal Publications by our Surgeons and researchers.



We are a major teaching center for the University of Toronto Plastic Surgery Residency Program. We train three international fellows in microsurgery, oncologic and breast reconstruction annually. We have the largest volume of breast reconstruction training program postgraduates, as well as the longest history for a microsurgical training program in Canada.U of T plastic surgery website: https://www.uoftplasticsurgery.ca/

Residency Teaching Program

The UHN Breast Reconstruction Program provides valuable teaching to graduating residents in the Plastic and Reconstructive Residency Program at the University of Toronto. Each year, we have between 3 – 4 rotating senior or graduating residents who come to learn the principles of reconstruction following oncologic ablation including breast reconstruction, microsurgical skills, and management of complex cutaneous malignancies.

International Fellowship Program

At the UHN Breast Reconstruction Program, we have both the largest postgraduate breast reconstruction training program, as well as the longest history of a microsurgical training program in Canada. Each year, our program offers three international fellowship opportunities. There is one microsurgical/Head & Neck fellowship position which is funded by the Dept of Surgery at UHN. This fellowship entails one year of intensive microsurgical training with a focus on head and neck reconstruction.There are two Breast Reconstruction fellowship positions available each year. The Breast Reconstruction fellows spend six months at UHN learning free tissue transfer techniques, oncoplastic breast surgery, as well as implant and acellular dermal substitute techniques of breast reconstruction. The volume of breast reconstruction is approximately 200 microsurgical breast reconstructions, 150 implant reconstructions, and 200 secondary breast procedures per annum.In the last 10 years, we have trained Canadian fellows and international fellows from Brazil, Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Ireland, Finland, Switzerland, Sweden, Saudi Arabia, Mexico and Chile. They have brought back to their home countries advanced surgical skills and innovative techniques that we have taught them during their clinical fellowship at UHN. Please see video of Dr. Zhong in “Reconstructing Hope” in which she discusses her role as the fellowship director at UofT. Watch the Reconstructing Hope video here We are a major teaching center for the University of Toronto Plastic Surgery Residency Program. We train three international fellows in microsurgery, oncologic and breast reconstruction annually. We have the largest volume of breast reconstruction training program postgraduates, as well as the longest history for a microsurgical training program in Canada.
For more information on the University of Toronto Residency Training Program and Fellowship Opportunities, please visit: https://pg.postmd.utoronto.ca/applicants/apply-for-fellowship-training/

Teaching other Health Professionals

To maintain high level of professionalism and safety in patient care, we offer routine in-service training sessions to our operating room nurses, in-patient floor nurses, recovery room and preoperative staff, physiotherapists, and patient managers. During these sessions, pre- and postoperative patient care protocols are reviewed, and any concerns or questions from the nursing staff are addressed. The overall aim of these interactive sessions is to continuously improve the quality of care delivered to our breast reconstruction patients.

  • Kathy Pavlovic

    Residency Program

    416-978-8534 plastics.admin@utoronto.ca

  • Camille Garcia

    Fellowship Training Program Administrator

    416-340-3858 Camille.garcia@uhn.ca


We know that having your breast(s) reconstructed is a personal decision that has a tremendous impact on how you feel about yourself and your body. Our research is focused on understanding more about the personal impacts of breast reconstruction procedures on patient satisfaction and quality of life. We currently offer every technique of reconstruction from DIEP flaps, to thigh and buttock flaps, as well as two-stage and one-stage implant based breast reconstructions. However, what no one knows is which one of these techniques provides the best long-term cosmetic result, has the least trauma on your body, and produces the greatest satisfaction in the long run. Therefore, the ultimate goal of our research is to acquire a better understanding of the impact of each procedure on these aspects of your life. We have a number of breast reconstruction clinical trials comparing different procedures and questionnaire outcome studies that you may be interested in learning more about and our Clinical Research Coordinator, Kate Butler, is always available to provide more detailed information about each of these studies.Your participation may not be of direct benefit to you but we hope that it will help us to improve patient care and benefit other women and breast cancer survivors choosing breast reconstruction surgery in the future.

current clinical studies


James Lind Alliance Priority Setting in Breast Reconstruction Research

We were awarded a 5-year Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) grant to lead a national team of plastic surgeons, breast surgeons, researchers, and patients who are committed to improving the quality and delivery of breast reconstruction in Canada. We are following a rigorous new methodology to determine unanswered research questions in breast reconstruction. Phase one and two of the survey involve collecting and ranking the research questions. The third step involves finalizing the top 10 research priorities that matter to patients, caregivers and clinicians. Finally, we will present this list to granting agencies for funding.


Acellular Dermal Matrix in Direct to Implant Breast Reconstruction – A clinical trial

We are the principal investigators of this MCCAT (multi-centre Canadian Acellular dermal matrix Trial) where we are studying the safety and efficacy of the novel acellular dermal matrix assisted direct to implant breast reconstruction method compared to the traditional two-stage tissue expander-implant method. This study is closed. We are currently analyzing our results and foresee publication of our results before the end of 2018.


Breast Surgery Quality of Life Outcomes

It is a prospective study of breast surgery patients looking at changes in psychosocial functioning over time. The purpose is to determine differences between short and long term patient satisfaction and quality of life outcomes. We plan to compare impact of different surgical treatments for breast cancer including breast reconstruction following breast cancer and women at high genetic risk of breast cancer undergoing prophylactic mastectomies.


Risk Prediction in Breast Reconstruction Surgery

Although breast reconstruction has many benefits it, like all surgical procedures, is associated with risks and complications. Our research develops novel statistical models that allow us to identify patients that are at high risk for complications after reconstructive surgery. This work will allow us to provide patients with a personalized prediction of surgical risk and enable us to guide patients towards the safest and most effective reconstructive option in their individual case.


Enhanced Recovery after Surgery

University Health Network is a high volume specialist center for breast reconstruction. We use our considerable prior experience to develop protocols and treatment plans that streamline surgical care and optimize clinical outcomes. Our research focuses on the implementation and evaluation of novel strategies to reduce the length of hospital stay after surgery, expedite post-operative recovery and reduce complication rates.


Lymphedema related hospital admissions

Lymphedema can be secondary to node removal and radiation following cancer surgery. Patients can also suffer from multiple hospital admission secondary to infection. We are looking at the rate of hospital admissions in the hope that surgery can prevent these.

For additional information on any of our research studies, please contact the research team.

  • Kate Butler

    Research Coordinator II

    416-340-4800 ext. 2343 kate.butler@uhnresearch.ca

  • Muna Hassan

    Clinical Research Coordinator I National Research Consortium

    416-340-4800 ext. 5799 muna.hassan@uhnresearch.ca