Healthcare News

41-Year Old Patient Reports Improved Breathing Following Rare Phrenic Nerve Transplant

April 04, 2017

The Plastic Surgery Center announced that a 41-year old male, who underwent a rare phrenic nerve transplant in September 2007, has reported improved breathing. Additionally, Dr. Matthew Kaufman, the New Jersey-based plastic surgeon who performed the procedure, has documented a broader range of movement in the patient's diaphragm and lungs.

In a complex procedure, doctors transferred a nerve from the patient's leg to his brain, neck, chest and lower lung to repair the phrenic nerve. Six month before the nerve transplant, the patient, who resides in Roanoke, Virginia, received a needle injection during shoulder surgery that partially damaged his diaphragm. Following the injury, the former skier had trouble breathing and was unable to exercise.

"We are very impressed with the patient's unprecedented progress," said Dr. Kaufman, who performed the surgery at St. Peter's University Hospital in New Brunswick, NJ. "His recovery is particularly noteworthy because it's the first time this grafting technique has been used several months after injury to the phrenic nerve."

Phrenic nerve transplants would also apply to patients who suffer from breathing problems as a result of the following:

- Spinal chord injury
- Heart surgery
- Pulmonary disease

About The Plastic Surgery Center

Located in Shrewsbury, New Jersey, The Plastic Surgery Center's team of doctors has more than 50 years of combined experience performing facial, skin, and body cosmetic surgery. They offer cutting edge cosmetic and reconstructive procedures and have developed a number of innovative surgical techniques offered at few other facilities in the world. The Plastic Surgery Center doctors are committed to excellence providing exceptional, personalized care in a friendly, comfortable setting using the most advanced equipment available. For further information, please visit the Plastic Surgery Center's website at looknatural.

About Dr. Kaufman

Dr. Matthew Kaufman is a board certified Plastic Surgeon and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons (FACS). He has the rather rare distinction of also achieving board certification in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, which gives him the added expertise necessary to deal with complex cosmetic and reconstructive problems of the head, face and neck. Dr. Kaufman has special interests in reconstructive surgery for cranial nerve disorders, skin and head & neck cancer and vascular malformations. He practices at the Plastic Surgery Center in Shrewsbury, NJ, and is a Cancer Reconstruction and Microsurgery Consultant for the Head and Neck Oncology Group of Central New Jersey based at Saint Peter's University Hospital in New Brunswick. Dr. Kaufman is on the advisory board for FM World Charities fmworldcharities, a not-for-profit organization devoted to promoting public health and improving the quality of life in underserved communities throughout the world.

Dr. Kaufman is part of the medical team at the Plastic Surgery Center, which is comprised of a group of surgeons who are highly skilled in nerve transplantation and advanced reconstruction. They perform a number of unique operations to help patients suffering from life-altering medical conditions who are often unaware that a treatment is available. Some of these conditions that the Plastic Surgery Center treats include:

- Paralysis resulting from accidents and strokes
- Diabetic Neuropathy
- Paralyzed diaphragm/ventilator-based breathing
- Facial Reanimation

The Plastic Surgery Center