October 10, 2022
- Fellowship - UT Southwestern Medical Center (2013-2014), Hand Surgery
- Residency - UT Medical Branch at Galveston (2007-2013), Plastic Surgery
- Medical School - University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (2003-2007)
Jennifer Kargel, M.D., is an Associate Professor in the Department of Plastic Surgery at UT Southwestern Medical Center. She treats hand conditions in patients of all ages, from infants to adults, and specializes in congenital hand conditions, brachial plexus, and peripheral nerve pathology. Dr. Kargel sees patients at Dallas and Plano UT Southwestern campuses and Children’s Health.
Dr. Kargel earned her medical degree and completed a residency in plastic surgery at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. She received advanced training in hand surgery and microsurgery through a fellowship at UT Southwestern.
Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery in both plastic surgery and hand surgery, she joined the UT Southwestern faculty in 2014. Medical education is one of her passions, and she serves as an Associate Program Director for the Integrated and Independent Plastic Surgery Residency Programs at UT Southwestern, helping to shape the academic experience for trainees in the plastic surgery residency and hand fellowship programs through lectures, one-on-one teaching, and program reform.
Dr. Kargel is an active member of local, regional, and national professional organizations such as the Texas Society of Plastic Surgeons, the Texas Medical Association, the Dallas County Medical Society, the American Society of Plastic Surgery, and the American Association of Hand Surgery. She serves on multiple local committees that focus on faculty diversity, inclusion, wellness, and development, and has served in leadership roles, including as Chair of the Young Plastic Surgeons Committee of the Texas Society of Plastic Surgeons.
A renowned hand surgeon and plastic surgeon, she has delivered numerous presentations locally, regionally, and nationally, and has published several academic articles.
Born and raised in Texas, Dr. Kargel lives in the Dallas area with her husband, daughter, and collection of family pets. Her interests outside of medicine are varied and include cooking, baking, gardening, reading, watching movies, painting, and drawing.
Jennifer Kargel, M.D., a highly skilled hand surgeon in Dallas, is dedicated to providing the highest quality care for pediatric and adult patients with hand and wrist injuries.
Coming from a family of medical providers, Dr. Kargel always knew she wanted to be a surgeon.
“Hand surgery requires a high level of creativity and problem-solving,” Dr. Kargel says. “It’s a microcosm of the different fields of plastic surgery. As a hand surgeon, I get to work with structural support, pulley systems – repairing and transferring tendons to restore movement, and under a microscope to transplant tissue, reconstruct nerves, and reconnect blood vessels.”
Dr. Kargel practices all her skills with the ultimate goal of restoring form and function to the hand in a timely manner.
In adults, Dr. Kargel specializes in relieving pain and discomfort for common hand and wrist conditions, such as fractures, dislocations, and tendon injuries. She also helps patients who have carpal and cubital tunnel syndrome, trigger finger, arthritis and osteoarthritis, and tendonitis, using surgical, nonsurgical, and minimally invasive techniques.
For patients with Raynaud’s disease or hyperhidrosis, Dr. Kargel can treat symptoms nonsurgically using Botox (chemical denervation) injections, allowing patients to return to their everyday activities without downtime.
She’s also an expert in Dupuytren contracture, a genetic disease in the hand that causes the fingers to curl in toward the palm. At UT Southwestern in Dallas, Dr. Kargel is active in the Dupuytren community and participates in an advisory committee for treating Dupuytren contracture with Xiaflex.
Dr. Kargel is certified to administer Xiaflex injections to relieve pain in the hand and help straighten bent fingers. This in-office procedure significantly decreases downtime so patients can quickly return to everyday life.
At UT Southwestern, Dr. Kargel treats pediatric trauma, such as tendon lacerations, nerve injuries, fractures, dislocations, and hand and wrist injuries resulting from sports or accidents. Additionally, she’s an expert in pediatric congenital hand and wrist deformities and brachial plexus injuries.
She participates in a multidisciplinary clinic at UT Southwestern in Dallas for brachial plexus and peripheral nerve conditions.
“It’s a full-service center for children with hand conditions, where patients can receive care from specialists, rehabilitation physicians, therapists, social workers, and psychologists.”
This comprehensive approach to hand and wrist injuries allows Dr. Kargel to tailor care for her Dallas patients.
“We provide personalized care, follow the patient over the years, and make modifications along the way, allowing the treatment to grow with the patient.”
Once Dr. Kargel began working with children, she quickly discovered pediatric hand surgery is a rewarding focus.
“Kids are resilient, and they heal so well,” Dr. Kargel says. “Even with injuries that seem devastating, they can bounce back and have excellent results very quickly.”
Dr. Kargel views her patients as part of her family. She focuses on the whole individual, not just the condition. Her interactions with both the parents and children are constant motivators.
“It’s gratifying to be able to treat these injured patients, restore the function of the hand, and get them back to the activities and sports they love,” she says.
Whether someone is an adult who has a hand and wrist condition from sports or a work-related accident or a child needing pediatric hand surgery to treat a congenital anomaly, Dr. Kargel is committed to helping her patients achieve their full potential.
Patients can contact Dr. Kargel at UT Southwestern. Appointments, surgeries, and clinics are typically available within the same week.