Steven C Bonawitz

Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States

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Publications (20)32.37 Total impact

  • Steven Bonawitz · William Crawley · Jaimie Shores · Paul Manson ·

    Craniomaxillofacial Trauma and Reconstruction 06/2015; DOI:10.1055/s-0035-1556051

  • 12th Congress of the International Hand and Composite Tissue Allotransplantation Society, Philadelphia, PA; 04/2015
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    12/2014; 1(1-2):58-58. DOI:10.4161/23723505.2014.970056
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    ABSTRACT: Background Pharyngeal stenosis is a complication of head and neck cancer and sleep apnea treatment that results in functional impairment. Due to the location of the stenosis and tendency to recur, surgical management is challenging. Robotic surgery may allow these areas to be treated with surgical technique that would be difficult using traditional approaches.MethodsA retrospective chart review was performed to identify patients who underwent transoral robotic surgery (TORS) for pharyngeal stenosis at a tertiary hospital system.ResultsFive patients were identified, ages 8–75 years. Length of follow-up ranged from 1–12 months. There was one failure, a 74 year old male with a history of chemoradiation to the area who has required additional procedures.ConclusionTORS may offer improved surgical access to the pharynx in patients who require complex reconstruction that would otherwise be very difficult. Appropriate patient selection is necessary and long-term follow-up is warranted for the selected cases. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
    International Journal of Medical Robotics and Computer Assisted Surgery 12/2014; 10(4). DOI:10.1002/rcs.1591 · 1.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Pyoderma gangrenosum (PG) is a rare cutaneous disorder that poses a diagnostic challenge in the postoperative period. A systematic literature review was performed to determine distinguishing characteristics of PG in the setting of breast surgery that can facilitate timely diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Methods: PubMed, EMBASE, Scopus, and Web of Science databases were systematically searched for articles with cases of PG occurring after breast surgery. Forty-three relevant articles, including 49 case reports, were identified. Results: PG manifested bilaterally in 30 of 34 cases (88%) in which bilateral surgery was performed. Abdominal wounds were present in 6 of 7 cases in which an abdominal donor site was used for breast reconstruction. Nipples were spared from wound involvement in 33 of 37 cases (89%) in which nipples were present after surgery. Presence of fever was noted in 27 cases (55%) and leukocytosis in 21 cases (43%). A total of 33 patients (67%) underwent wound debridement. Successful medical treatment most commonly involved steroids (41 cases, 84%) and cyclosporine (10 cases, 20%). Conclusions: Pertinent clinical features were identified that may aid in timely diagnosis and treatment of PG after breast surgery. Appearance of discrete wounds involving multiple surgical sites that surround but spare the nipples should raise suspicion for PG rather than infection or ischemia, even with concomitant fever and leukocytosis. Wound debridement should be minimized and skin grafting considered only after medical therapy is initiated. Cognizance of these features may enable prompt therapeutic intervention that minimizes morbidity and improves outcomes.
    Annals of Plastic Surgery 07/2014; Publish Ahead of Print. DOI:10.1097/SAP.0000000000000248 · 1.49 Impact Factor

  • Plastic &amp Reconstructive Surgery 04/2014; 133:1041-1042. DOI:10.1097/01.prs.0000445871.81297.78 · 2.99 Impact Factor
  • Article: Abstract 11

    Plastic &amp Reconstructive Surgery 03/2014; 133:21. DOI:10.1097/ · 2.99 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Le Fort-based, maxillofacial allotransplantation is a reconstructive alternative gaining clinical acceptance. However, the vast majority of single-jaw transplant recipients demonstrate less-than-ideal skeletal and dental relationships with suboptimal aesthetic harmony. The purpose of this study was to investigate reproducible cephalometric landmarks in a large animal model, where refinement of computer-assisted planning, intra-operative navigational guidance, translational bone osteotomies, and comparative surgical techniques could be performed. Cephalometric landmarks that could be translated into the human craniomaxillofacial skeleton, and would remain reliable following maxillofacial osteotomies with mid-facial alloflap inset, were sought on six miniature swine. Le Fort I- and Le Fort III-based alloflaps were harvested in swine with osteotomies, and all alloflaps were either auto-replanted or transplanted. Cephalometric analyses were performed on lateral cephalograms pre- and post-operatively. Critical cephalometric data sets were identified with the assistance of surgical planning and virtual prediction software, and evaluated for reliability and translational predictability. Several pertinent landmarks and human analogues were identified including pronasale (PRN), zygion (Zy), parietale (PA), gonion (GO), gnathion (GN), lower incisior base (LIB), and alveolare (ALV). PA-PRN-ALV and PA-PRN-LIB were found to be reliable correlates of SNA and SNB measurements in humans, respectively. There is a set of reliable cephalometric landmarks and measurement angles pertinent for utilization within a translational large animal model. These craniomaxillofacial landmarks will allow us to develop novel navigational software technology, improve our cutting guide designs, and explore new avenues for investigation and collaboration.Level of Evidence: N/A (Large Animal Study).
    Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery 01/2014; 133(5). DOI:10.1097/PRS.0000000000000110 · 2.99 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Vascularized Composite Allotransplantation (VCA) such as hand and face transplants represent a viable treatment option for complex musculoskeletal trauma and devastating tissue loss. Despite favorable and highly encouraging early and intermediate functional outcomes, rejection of the highly immunogenic skin component of a VCA and potential adverse effects of chronic multi-drug immunosuppression continue to hamper widespread clinical application of VCA. Therefore, research in this novel field needs to focus on translational studies related to unique immunologic features of VCA and to develop novel immunomodulatory strategies for immunomodulation and tolerance induction following VCA without the need for long term immunosuppression. This article describes a reliable and reproducible translational large animal model of VCA that is comprised of an osteomyocutaneous flap in a MHC-defined swine heterotopic hind limb allotransplantation. Briefly, a well-vascularized skin paddle is identified in the anteromedial thigh region using near infrared laser angiography. The underlying muscles, knee joint, distal femur, and proximal tibia are harvested on a femoral vascular pedicle. This allograft can be considered both a VCA and a vascularized bone marrow transplant with its unique immune privileged features. The graft is transplanted to a subcutaneous abdominal pocket in the recipient animal with a skin component exteriorized to the dorsolateral region for immune monitoring. Three surgical teams work simultaneously in a well-coordinated manner to reduce anesthesia and ischemia times, thereby improving efficiency of this model and reducing potential confounders in experimental protocols. This model serves as the groundwork for future therapeutic strategies aimed at reducing and potentially eliminating the need for chronic multi-drug immunosuppression in VCA.
    Journal of Visualized Experiments 10/2013; DOI:10.3791/50475 · 1.33 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: PURPOSE: Vascularized Composite Allografts (VCA), such as hand and upper extremity transplants, contain vascularized bone marrow (BM) and a BM niche representing a constant source of donor-derived stem cells and hence can favor chimerism and tolerance induction (1). This study investigates the immunological effects of vascularized BM within VCA under co-stimulation blockade-based regimen and its impact on allograft survival and tolerance induction. METHODS AND MATERIALS: Fully MHC- and gender mismatched MGH miniature swine (n=20) underwent heterotopic hind-limb transplantation containing intact vascularized BM component (Figure 1). Recipient animals received a short course (30 days) of tacrolimus monotherapy with or without donor BM infusion (60x106 cells/kg), and CTLA4Ig. Short course tacrolimus only and untreated animals served as controls. Chimerism was assessed by SRY-1 qRT-PCR analysis. Sequential skin and muscle biopsies were performed for histology. Alloreactivity against donor antigens was assessed in vitro using CFSE-based mixed lymphocyte reaction assays. Challenge with secondary skin grafts was utilized to demonstrate robust immune tolerance in vivo. RESULTS: The co-stimulation blockade based immunomodulatory protocol resulted in indefinite graft survival (>150 days) in 3 out of 5 animals whereas control and tacrolimus only groups rejected allografts at days 7+/-1 and 29+/-2 respectively (Figure 2). Combined costimulation blockade with augmented donor BM infusion resulted in indefinite graft survival in 2 out of 3 animals (>150 days). Long-term survivors demonstrated only transient peripheral but stable micro-chimerism in various graft and recipient tissues including skin, lymph node, bone marrow, and spleen. CFSE-MLR data showed unresponsiveness to donor but not to third party allogeneic controls. Secondary skin grafting demonstrated advanced rejection of third party grafts on day 7 while donor-matched grafts were accepted indicating donor-specific immune tolerance. There was no evidence of donor specific antibody formation in long-term survivors. Donor unresponsiveness in MLR was lost 5 weeks post-graftectomy, which demonstrated that persistent antigenic stimulation was required for operational tolerance. CONCLUSION: Combined costimulation blockade and donor BM cell infusion can induce robust immune tolerance in a fully MHC mismatched hind limb transplant model. Such targeted immunomodulatory protocols might eliminate the need for long-term multi-drug immunosuppression after reconstructive transplantation. Figure 1: Schematic diagram: Osteomyocutaneous flap is transplanted to a subcutaneous pocket with externalized skin component. Figure 2: Kaplan-Meier survival curve demonstrating rejection free survival of skin component of VCA
    Plastic Surgery: The Meeting 2013; 10/2013
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    ABSTRACT: Sex-specific anthropometrics, skin texture/adnexae mismatch, and social apprehension have prevented cross-gender facial transplantation from evolving. However, the scarce donor pool and extreme waitlist times are currently suboptimal. Our objective was to (1) perform and assess cadaveric facial transplantation for each sex-mismatched scenario using virtual planning with cutting guide fabrication and (2) review the advantages/disadvantages of cross-gender facial transplantation. Cross-gender facial transplantation feasibility was evaluated through 2 mock, double-jaw, Le Fort-based cadaveric allotransplants, including female donor-to-male recipient and male donor-to-female recipient. Hybrid facial-skeletal relationships were investigated using cephalometric measurements, including sellion-nasion-A point and sellion-nasion-B point angles, and lower-anterior-facial-height to total-anterior-facial-height ratio. Donor and recipient cutting guides were designed with virtual planning based on our team's experience in swine dissections and used to optimize the results. Skeletal proportions and facial-aesthetic harmony of the transplants (n = 2) were found to be equivalent to all reported experimental/clinical sex-matched cases by using custom guides and Mimics technology. Cephalometric measurements relative to Eastman Normal Values are shown. On the basis of our results, we believe that cross-gender facial transplantation can offer equivalent, anatomical skeletal outcomes to those of sex-matched pairs using preoperative planning and custom guides for execution. Lack of literature discussion of cross-gender facial transplantation highlights the general stigmata encompassing the subject. We hypothesize that concerns over sex-specific anthropometrics, skin texture/adnexae disparity, and increased immunological resistance have prevented full acceptance thus far. Advantages include an increased donor pool with expedited reconstruction, as well as size-matched donors.
    Annals of plastic surgery 10/2013; 71(4):421-428. DOI:10.1097/SAP.0b013e3182a0df45 · 1.49 Impact Factor

  • International Society of Craniofacial Surgery15th International Congress, Jackson Hole, WY; 09/2013
  • Steven C Bonawitz · Umamaheswar Duvvuri ·
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    ABSTRACT: OBJECTIVES/HYPOTHOSES: TORS (Trans Oral Robotic Surgery) has been demonstrated to be an acceptable alternative to chemoradiation for the treatment of early stage malignant lesions of the oropharynx, with equivalent tumor control and enhanced functional outcomes. Surgical ablation of tumors of the oropharynx under conditions of limited access, however, creates the need to adapt the robotic platform to surgical reconstruction and to assess reconstructive outcomes. We present our experience with the Facial Artery Musculomucosal (FAMM) flap with robotic assistance for the reconstruction of defects of the soft palate. We reviewed the records of five patients who underwent combined robot-assisted resection of malignant lesions of the oropharynx with immediate reconstruction. The reconstructions included four ispilateral and one bilateral FAMM flaps. Patients were assessed for complications and functional results. Successful closure of the defect was achieved in all five patients. There were no major complications; however, three patients developed minor wound dehiscence and two were revised at the time of planned subsequent lymphadenectomy. All five patients achieved a good functional outcome. The FAMM flap is reliable and easy to raise and transfer, with the surgical robot making it a good candidate for reconstruction of moderate-sized defects created by TORS applied to malignancies of the soft palate. Minor wound dehiscence is not infrequent, but reconstructive outcomes are nevertheless good. A unilateral FAMM flap will reach to the contralateral border of the uvula and is best limited to defects with a width of 2 cm or less.
    The Laryngoscope 04/2013; 123(4):870-4. DOI:10.1002/lary.23578 · 2.14 Impact Factor
  • Devin Coon · Sami Tuffaha · Joani Christensen · Steven C Bonawitz ·
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    ABSTRACT: : Tobacco use remains a persistent risk factor in elective plastic surgery. Although nicotine is thought to increase complications, which procedures are affected and the reliability of patient-provided histories remain poorly defined. The authors sought to examine nicotine use and its impact on outcomes. : All patients in a single-surgeon practice undergoing surgery with general anesthesia during a 2-year period were enrolled. Preoperative evaluation included a thorough smoking history. All patients had urine samples taken on the day of surgery to assess for nicotine metabolites. Patients were followed for a minimum of 3 months after surgery and monitored for complications. : Four hundred fifteen patients were enrolled. Of these, 139 (33.5 percent) stated that they had quit smoking and 39 (9.4 percent) were admitted active smokers. For the 362 patients with urine nicotine analysis available, 54 showed active smoking. Fifteen of these (4.1 percent) had denied current tobacco use. Patients stating that they had quit smoking were more likely to be deceitful than those stating they had never smoked (p < 0.001). Smokers had significantly higher overall complication rates (OR, 3.7; p < 0.001) and tissue necrosis rates (OR, 4.3; p = 0.02) and were likelier to require reoperation (OR, 3.7; p < 0.001). : In a large cohort study examining the prevalence and impact of nicotine in the general plastic surgery population, substantial rates of deception regarding smoking status were found. Furthermore, active smoking was strongly correlated with complications. A methodologic approach to the detection and management of patients using tobacco products can help to optimize outcomes. : Risk, II.
    Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery 02/2013; 131(2):385-91. DOI:10.1097/PRS.0b013e318277886a · 2.99 Impact Factor
  • Damon S Cooney · Derek R Fletcher · Steven C Bonawitz ·
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    ABSTRACT: Successful microvascular replantation of amputated facial tissues has been sporadically reported in the literature, although most of these reports have concerned the reattachment of relatively small and segmental portions of the nose or nasal tip. We report the successful replantation of a traumatically amputated composite piece of tissue comprising the entire nose, most of the upper and lower lips, and the nasal boney and cartilaginous complex based on microvascular repair of the labial arteries and glabellar veins and discuss the results and implications of this experience.
    Annals of plastic surgery 12/2012; 70(6). DOI:10.1097/SAP.0b013e3182468216 · 1.49 Impact Factor

  • American Society for Reconstructive Transplantation 3rd Biennial Meeting, Chicago, IL; 10/2012

  • Journal of the American College of Surgeons 09/2012; 215(3):S91. DOI:10.1016/j.jamcollsurg.2012.06.245 · 5.12 Impact Factor
  • Steven C Bonawitz · Umamaheswar Duvvuri ·
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    ABSTRACT: The surgical robot has been demonstrated to have useful applications in urologic, gynecologic, cardiac, general, and endocrine surgery. The development of robotic surgery has enhanced the precision and control of the surgeon in minimally invasive surgical situations specific to these specialties and, more recently, has been applied to the treatment of oropharyngeal tumors in the form of transoral robotic surgery (TORS). The elimination of the need for lip- and mandible-splitting approaches has allowed a reassessment of surgical options for the treatment of tumors that have until recently been primarily addressed nonoperatively with chemoradiation. The TORS approach has created the need to adapt current reconstructive options to robotic technology to manage the resultant tissue defects and to assess and compare the effectiveness of these procedures. This report details our early experience with the use of robot-assisted free tissue transfer for management of soft tissue defects of the oropharynx.
    Journal of Reconstructive Microsurgery 05/2012; 28(7):485-90. DOI:10.1055/s-0032-1313758 · 1.31 Impact Factor
  • Steven C Bonawitz ·
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    ABSTRACT: The erosion and exposure of pacemakers are relatively uncommon occurrences but, given the number of these devices inserted yearly, they are nevertheless occurrences that plastic surgeons are likely to encounter in practice. Although there is a general agreement that clinically infected devices are best removed, it has been established that exposed but noninfected devices can usually be managed conservatively with coverage procedures. Reports in the literature, to date, describe a number of different procedures for coverage, and these reports generally comprise small numbers of patients. This study describes 16 patients referred to a single surgeon over a 14-year period with exposure or suspected impending exposure of their cardiac pacemaker systems. Fourteen patients required surgical revision for coverage of either the generator or defunctionalized wires. Equivalent success was achieved with either subfascial or submuscular coverage in 11 patients with generators present. Three patients with exposure of defunctionalized wires achieved successful coverage with submuscular burial. There was no correlation of culture results with recurrence of exposure.
    Annals of plastic surgery 07/2011; 69(3):292-5. DOI:10.1097/SAP.0b013e31822350cc · 1.49 Impact Factor
  • Umamaheswar Duvvuri · Steven C. Bonawitz · Seungwon Kim ·
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    ABSTRACT: The development of robotic surgery has brought new levels of precision and control to minimally invasive surgical techniques. Its effectiveness, well established in urologic and gynecologic surgery applications, has also been demonstrated in cardiac, endocrine and general surgery. Recently, trans-oral robotic approaches to oropharyngeal tumor resection have been reported and, by eliminating the need for morbid lip and mandible splitting approaches, trans-oral robotic surgery (TORS) has allowed a re-assessment of surgical options for early stage tumors which have until recently been treated primarily with chemoradiation. The application of the TORS approach to malignant and non-malignant conditions affecting the oropharynx has created the need to develop robotic-assisted methods of managing the resultant tissue defects and to assess and compare the effectiveness of these procedures. This report details our early experience with the use of robotic surgery for management of soft tissue defects of the oropharynx in 12 patients.
    Journal of Robotic Surgery 03/2011; 7(1). DOI:10.1007/s11701-011-0326-z

Publication Stats

43 Citations
32.37 Total Impact Points


  • 2014
    • Harvard University
      Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
  • 2011-2014
    • Johns Hopkins University
      • Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States
    • Central Maine Medical Center
      Льюистон, Maine, United States
  • 2013
    • Johns Hopkins Medicine
      Baltimore, Maryland, United States