Jonathan Cheng, M.D., F.A.C.S., is a Professor in the Department of Plastic Surgery at UT Southwestern Medical Center. Specializing in hand surgery, peripheral nerve reconstruction, and microvascular surgery, he provides care for adults and children at UT Southwestern and Children's Medical Center in Dallas and Plano. He is Chief of Pediatric Hand, Peripheral Nerve, and Microvascular Surgery at Children’s and Director of the Basic and Translational Research Nerve Lab.

Dr. Cheng graduated from Rice University with a degree in chemical physics and a minor in art history. He earned his medical degree at the Baylor College of Medicine and completed a residency in plastic surgery at the Medical College of Wisconsin. He received advanced training in hand, microvascular, and peripheral nerve surgery through a fellowship at Barnes-Jewish Hospital at Washington University Medical Center. As the recipient of the Stephen Kroll Memorial Scholarship, he received further specialized training in perforator flap and breast reconstructive microsurgery at University Hospital Gent in Belgium.

Board certified in plastic surgery and hand surgery, he has been in practice since 2007.

Dr. Cheng’s research includes uncovering the science behind nerve injury and repair, which has led to innovative new strategies for reconstructing injured nerves. He was clinical lead for a team of researchers in the federal DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) HAPTIX program to provide improved control of robotic hand prostheses for injured military servicemen with upper extremity amputations. This multidisciplinary team, led by Edward Keefer, Ph.D., developed a new technological approach for recording and stimulating the peripheral nervous system, which holds great promise in unlocking the "neural code" that the human brain uses to control limb motion.

Dr. Cheng has authored many book chapters and research articles, and he has been a guest lecturer at numerous national and international scientific conferences.

He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Plastic Surgery, a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, and a member of the American Society for Surgery of the Hand, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery, the Plastic Surgery Research Council, and the American Association of Plastic Surgeons.

Meet Dr. Cheng

Reconstructive Plastic Surgery in Dallas, Texas

Jonathan Cheng, M.D., is a board-certified plastic surgeon at UT Southwestern Medical Center whose practice encompasses the entire spectrum of cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery, with a focus on hand, arm, and shoulder surgery and peripheral nerve surgery.

Peripheral nerves carry information from the brain and spinal cord out to the muscles to initiate movements. They also carry sensory information from the extremities and other tissues back to the brain and spinal cord. Peripheral nerve problems involve changes in function and sensation due to previous surgeries, injuries, and, sometimes, systemic diseases.

“Peripheral nerve surgery is a natural fit for someone trained in complex reconstruction because comprehensive anatomical understanding and meticulous surgical techniques are essential components of expertise in plastic surgery,” Dr. Cheng says.

With his knowledge and experience, Dr. Cheng is well prepared to perform high-quality surgical care in all areas of the body. He treats nerve conditions such as compression neuropathy (migraines, head and neck issues, carpal tunnel syndrome, and other overuse injuries), nerve injuries (stretched, torn, or cut nerve tissue from an accident or surgery), and nerve reconstruction (nerve grafts and nerve transfers).

"Every patient has different needs and goals,” he says. "I work in partnership with each patient to create a tailored approach for the goals they are trying to achieve.”

Dr. Cheng's skill set makes it possible for him to perform cosmetic and reconstructive surgery procedures to the highest standards of quality and safety. He is committed to providing innovative, individualized care to adults and children.

Innovative Microsurgery and Peripheral Nerve Surgery in Dallas, Texas

Dr. Cheng has developed a reputation as a surgical innovator at UT Southwestern in Dallas because of his focus on technical refinement, anatomical precision, and his substantial work in microsurgery and peripheral nerve reconstruction.

He has helped develop complex options for nerve reconstruction and nerve decompression for patients. By uncovering some of the earliest signals the nerve sends in its self-repair process, he has gained insight into how nerves regrow after injury. This can be used to increase nerve function at the time of surgical repair.

An international patent is currently in development for Dr. Cheng’s work in this area. He has also brought nerve transfer reconstructions after peripheral nerve injury and neural interfacing procedures for robotic limb control to UT Southwestern.

Dr. Cheng is fully committed to serving his patients in Dallas and giving them the time and attention required to address their particular needs.

“So many of my patients with complex nerve problems have been pushed around from practice to practice trying to find an answer,” he says. “At UT Southwestern, we are fortunate to have so many specialists I can easily communicate and consult with and rely on to give patients a detailed answer about what could be going on.”

Whether simple or complex, the success and well-being of Dr. Cheng’s patients are his top priority.

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Education & Training
  • Fellowship - Barnes Jewish Hospital (2006-2007), Plastic Surgery/hand and Microsurgery
  • Residency - Medical College of Wisconsin (2000-2006), Plastic Surgery
  • Medical School - Baylor College of Medicine (1996-2000)
Professional Associations & Affiliations
  • American Association of Plastic Surgeons (2020)
  • Dallas Society of Plastic Surgeons (2019)
  • American Society of Plastic Surgeons (2017)
  • American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery (2014)
  • Dallas County Medical Society / Texas Medical Association (2014)
  • Fellow, American College of Surgeons (2012)
  • Plastic Surgery Research Council (2011)
  • American Society for Surgery of the Hand (2011)
Honors & Awards
  • D Magazine Best Doctor 2022
  • Chair, UT System Faculty Advisory Council 2017-2018
  • President, Faculty Senate 2014-2015, UT Southwestern Medical Center
  • Chief of Hand, Peripheral Nerve, and Microvascular Surgery 2013, Division of Plastic Surgery, Children's Medical Center, Dallas
  • Co-Director of Microsurgery Fellowship 2012
  • Fellow of the American College of Surgeons 2012
  • Faculty Senator 2010-2015, UT Southwestern Medical Center
  • Certificate of Added Qualification in Hand Surgery, American Board of Plastic Surgery 2010, Board Certified Hand Surgeon
  • Young Leader, American Society for Surgery of the Hand 2010
  • Diplomate, American Board of Plastic Surgery 2010, Board Certified Plastic Surgeon
  • Stephen S. Kroll Memorial Scholarship 2007, International competitively-selected scholarship in microsurgical breast reconstruction and perforator flaps.
Books & Publications
  • Adult Hand Surgery
  • Brachial Plexus Reconstruction
  • Tissue Engineering
  • Congenital and Pediatric Hand Surgery
  • Nerve-Machine Interface
  • Nerve Regeneration

Clinical Focus

  • Hand Surgery
  • Peripheral Nerve Surgery and Brachial Plexus Reconstruction

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