Institute of Advanced Reconstruction

December 16, 2012 § Leave a comment

A plastic and reconstructive surgeon who works throughout New York City and its surrounding metropolitan regions, Dr. Andrew Elkwood maintains professional associations with several area hospitals and medical centers. As Medical Director of the Institute of Advanced Reconstruction, Dr. Elkwood takes a leading role in its plastic surgery, microsurgery, limb replantation and microsurgical nerve reconstruction programs.

A multi-doctor practice located in Shrewsbury, New Jersey, the Institute of Advanced Reconstruction is recognized as an industry leader in the fields of nerve damage surgery and plastic reconstruction procedures. To encourage significant improvements in functionality, the Institute of Advanced Reconstruction provides Bell’s palsy treatment, radial and ulnar nerve surgery, foot drop treatment, and brachial plexus reconstruction.

Surgeons at the Institute of Advanced Reconstruction attend professional conventions regularly. In 2011, Dr. Andrew Elkwood represented the Institute at the Academy of Spinal Cord Injury Professionals (ASCIP) Annual Conference, where he spoke on the topic of surgery for reanimation after paralysis.

Dr. Andrew Elkwood on the History of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Part II: The Modern Era

October 23, 2012 § Leave a comment

During the 1600s and most of the 1700s, plastic surgery once again began to retreat into the shadows. Until the development of effective anesthesia, surgery on healthy tissues involved a great deal of pain for the patient. For this reason, modern plastic surgery involving the head or face did not become widespread until the late 19th and 20th centuries.

The origins of the modern era of plastic and reconstructive surgery date back to the late 18th century, when French surgeon Francois Chopart developed a procedure to repair lips using a flap of skin from the neck. Twenty years later, British surgeon Joseph Carpue performed a successful nose replacement procedure and German surgeon Carl Ferdinand von Graefe modified an Italian rhinoplasty technique to use free skin from the arm. Throughout the rest of the 19th century, surgeons developed techniques to repair cleft palates, improve the appearance of reconstructed noses, and utilize heterogeneous free-bone grafting to repair saddle nose defects.

The advent of new military technologies in World War I, which possessed an incredible potential to damage the appearance of the head and face, placed an increasing demand for the development of new facial and reconstructive surgery techniques. In the United States and Britain, many of the most skilled physicians and surgeons performed facial reconstructive surgery almost exclusively during the war. In the period immediately following the war, surgeons began to realize the significant impact that physical appearance could have on an individual’s success in all aspects of life. Before long, plastic and reconstructive surgery experienced a sharp rise in popularity and interest.

During the 20th century, plastic and reconstructive surgery began to gain recognition as a legitimate medical specialty. A leading force in the movement was Vilray Blair, who performed a number of maxillofacial procedures on World War I veterans and established industry standards for craniofacial reconstruction. By 1950, plastic and reconstructive surgery had become a fully integrated medical specialty.

About the author: Dr. Andrew Elkwood currently serves as a Partner at The Plastic Surgery Center and the Medical Director of the Institute for Advanced Reconstruction in Shrewsbury, New Jersey. Dr. Elkwood earned his M.D. in 1988 and subsequently completed his residency at New York University Medical Center.

Dr. Andrew Elkwood on Treatment Options at the Institute for Advanced Reconstruction

May 12, 2011 § Leave a comment

In addition to my work as a plastic and reconstructive surgeon at the Center for Treatment of Paralysis & Reconstructive Nerve Surgery at the Jersey Shore University Medical Center, I serve as the Medical Director at the Institute for Advanced Reconstruction in Shrewsbury, New Jersey. The Institute for Advanced Reconstruction offers patients a unique opportunity to restore appearance and function in ways they never thought possible. The experienced physicians at the Institute draw upon the latest technologies to treat patients with paralysis and nerve damage and provide more natural-looking methods of breast reconstruction. Here is a brief overview of some of the procedures we offer at the Institute for Advanced Reconstruction.

Facial paralysis treatment: In patients who experience facial paralysis because of palsy, stroke, or acoustic neuroma, the facial nerves located on either side of the face often interrupt nerve impulses traveling along them and disrupt facial muscle function. To correct the paralysis, surgeons at the Institute for Advanced Reconstruction relieve nerve pressure caused by inflammation and restore the nerve’s ability to transmit messages from the brain. In some cases, our surgeons can even transplant nerves from other parts of the body to replace damaged nerves.

Migraines: For many patients who suffer from debilitating migraines, traditional medical therapies have little to no effect. Recent studies have suggested that injections of Botox into the head and neck can reduce migraine symptoms by more than 50 percent. In addition to Botox treatment, surgeons at the Institute for Advanced Reconstruction can surgically release one or more “trigger points,” which cause inflammation and lead to migraines.

Arm and leg reconstruction: For patients who experience weakness in their limbs in the aftermath of an accident or other traumatic event, the surgeons at the Institute for Advanced Reconstruction possesses extensive experience in restoring arms and legs to their normal functions. In many cases, arm and leg weakness is an indicator of many different problems, including damage to bone, muscle, and nerve tissues. In nearly all such cases, patients can benefit from the advanced arm and leg reconstruction techniques available at the Institute for Advanced Reconstruction.

Hand reconstruction: Patients with hand-related disorders such as carpal tunnel syndrome can significantly benefit from advanced reconstructive hand surgery. Additionally, the Institute for Advanced Reconstruction possesses considerable experience repairing hands that have undergone serious trauma.

About the author: Dr. Andrew Elkwood is a plastic and reconstructive surgeon with 15 years of experience. Dr. Elkwood possesses a Doctor of Medicine from Albany Medical College and a Master of Business Administration from Columbia University.

Dr. Andrew Elkwood on the History of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Part I: Early History

May 12, 2011 § Leave a comment

Some of the earliest documented uses of reconstructive surgery come from India during the 6th century B.C.E., when the surgeon Sushruta performed a number of surgical techniques related to plastic and cataract surgery. Another instrumental Indian surgeon named Charak also made significant contributions to both plastic surgery and medicine as a whole during this time.

In ancient Greece and Rome, a number of physicians advanced the art and science of plastic and reconstructive surgery. Aulus Cornelius Celsus, a well-known Roman medical writer, authored a called De Medicina, which outlined several reconstructive surgical techniques for lips, noses, and ears. Celsus also provided a number of detailed anatomical descriptions of the skeletal system and genitalia that laid a foundation for the modern practice of facial and reconstructive surgery. During the early Byzantine period, a medical writer and physician named Oribasius published a comprehensive encyclopedia that included several chapters devoted entirely to surgical methods of repairing facial defects.

During the Middle Ages, the scientific advances made under the Roman Empire came to a relatively abrupt halt. Religion and spiritualism also played a part in the slowing down of the field, with Pope Innocent III even going so far as to declare surgery of all kinds against the teachings of the Church. Patients undergoing surgery also placed themselves at significant risk of infection, given the lack of knowledge about proper hygiene and cleanliness. However, in the Arabic world, science and medicine flourished, and the writings of Sushruta and Charak, the Sushruta Samhita and Charak Samhita, respectively, were eventually translated into Arabic around 750 C.E. These translations later made their way into Europe.

With the advent of the Renaissance, European surgeons began to develop safer and more effective surgical techniques, which once again piqued interest in plastic and reconstructive surgery. One of the most definitive texts from this period, “Imperial Surgery” by Serafeddin Sabuncuoglu, includes a wealth of information on the practice of maxillofacial surgery and treating gynecomastia. At the same time that Sabuncuoglu was writing, a physician named Heinrich von Pfolspeundt described a technique by which a surgeon could craft a new nose with skin taken from other parts of the body.

About the author: Dr. Andrew Elkwood is a New Jersey-based plastic and reconstructive surgeon with 15 years of experience. Dr. Elkwood currently serves as a Partner at The Plastic Surgery Center and Medical Director of the Institute for Advanced Reconstruction. Dr. Elkwood has been acknowledged as a leading plastic surgeon by the Consumer Guide to Top Doctors.

Lecture and Public Appearance Tips from Dr. Andrew Elkwood

April 22, 2011 § Leave a comment

Noted New Jersey plastic surgeon Dr. Andrew Elkwood is invited regularly to speaking engagements and lectures throughout the country. In recent years, Dr. Elkwood has appeared on CBS News, Discovery Health Channel, and the Oprah Winfrey Show. Dr. Andrew Elkwood has also been a featured speaker at the 1991 Aesthetic Surgery of the Breast Meeting in New York City.

With extensive public speaking experience, Dr. Elkwood understands well the necessities of such engagements. The following tips outline helpful information for preparing and executing a successful lecture or informational public appearance.

1. Do your research to identify your audience. If you do not assess to whom you will be speaking, it is likely that your talking points may be misdirected or even counterproductive. While your subject matter is likely concrete, cater your tone, style, and overall presentation to the audience you will be addressing.

2. Make sure to stay away from textbook-like speeches. Instead, incorporate imagery, real-world connections or talking points that can be exercised throughout the appearance. This will keep your audience members involved and interested in what you have to say.

3. It is a good idea to assert no more than three to four major talking points. This will allow for maximum impact and absorption of key information.

4. Make the audience think. Creative measures such as problem solving exercises, situational examples, or reflective questions can aid in achieving this goal.

5. Always rehearse or go over your presentation beforehand. Regardless of what format you may be utilizing, your message will be better received if your presentation is smooth, prepared, and error-free.

Robert Wood Johnson Medical School

April 8, 2011 § Leave a comment

Prominent plastic surgeon Dr. Andrew Elkwood holds appointments as an attending surgeon at several prestigious hospitals and institutions in New York and New Jersey, including St. Peter’s University Hospital, Shore Rehabilitation Institute, and Manhattan Eye, Ear & Throat Hospital. In addition, he serves as an attending surgeon at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, an academic hospital affiliated with Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

Robert Wood Johnson Medical School is a part of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. With more than 2,800 faculty members, 3 campuses, and clinical programs at medical facilities across the state, the medical school provides a wide range of opportunities for medical students. Formed in 1961 as Rutgers Medical School, the institution originally offered two years of medical instruction, after which students would transfer to other medical schools to complete their degrees. In 1970, the school joined with the New Jersey Dental School and the New Jersey Medical School in Newark, forming the College of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.

Now a four-year medical school, the institution conferred its first Doctor of Medicine degrees in 1974. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, the school expanded its operations, forming an affiliation with Middlesex General Hospital, starting construction on a new Medical Education Building, and opening a second campus in Camden in partnership with Cooper Hospital/University Medical Center. The school changed its name to the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) in 1981, and changed it again in 1986 to UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

In recent years, the medical school has continued to expand its facilities and programs to prepare its students for the constantly changing world of health care. The school opened the 225,000-square-foot Clinical Academic Building in 1995 and the 75,000-square-foot Cancer Institute of New Jersey in 1997. In 2005, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School completed construction on the Child Health Institute of New Jersey, a partnership with the Bristol-Myers-Squibb Children’s Hospital at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. Today, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School serves more than 700 medical students in 22 science and clinical departments and 6 major institutes. The school earned more than $110 million in research grants in 2009, providing an estimated $38 million annually in charitable care to patients who were unable to pay for treatment.

Treatments Offered by the Center for the Treatment of Paralysis & Reconstructive Nerve Surgery

April 8, 2011 § Leave a comment

With more than 50 years of combined experience, Dr. Andrew Elkwood and his colleagues at the Center for the Treatment of Paralysis & Reconstructive Nerve Surgery at Jersey Shore University Medical Center provide a range of advanced treatments for patients affected by nerve injuries and paralysis. Employing the latest technology and procedures, Dr. Andrew Elkwood and the rest of the Center’s medical team can help patients overcome the effects of disabling injuries and diseases.

The Center offers nerve reconstruction for patients who have suffered injuries to the brachial plexus, a network of nerves that control hand and arm movement. Dr. Andrew Elkwood possesses a deep understanding of this complex procedure, having performed nerve transplants for massive brachial plexus injuries in addition to performing many standard brachial plexus reconstructions. Dr. Andrew Elkwood also specializes in nerve transplantation, an extremely rare procedure requiring contributions from experts in immunology, neurology, infectious diseases, and transplant medicine. All but two of the nerve transplant surgeries undertaken in the world have been performed at the Center for the Treatment of Paralysis & Reconstructive Nerve Surgery.

Peripheral neuropathy, the loss of sensation in one’s extremities, is a leading cause of limb amputations in the United States. The doctors at the Center for the Treatment of Paralysis & Reconstructive Nerve Surgery have led the medical community in the use of nerve decompression reconstructive surgery to treat peripheral neuropathy, helping patients avoid non-healing wounds and the risk of amputation. Dr. Andrew Elkwood and the Center for the Treatment of Paralysis & Reconstructive Nerve Surgery also offer surgical treatments designed to help patients with pressure sores, swallowing disorders, and many other conditions. More information about these conditions and treatments is available at www.jerseyshoreuniversitymedicalcenter.com.