Shai M. Rozen, M.D., is a Professor of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at UT Southwestern, where he also serves as Director of the Microsurgery and Breast Fellowship, the Facial Reanimation Program, and Clinical Research and as Co-Director of the Adult Craniofacial Fellowship. He is a board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon specializing in complex reconstructive procedures of the face and breast, cosmetic surgery of the face, and peripheral nerve surgery.
“The principles of both reconstructive and cosmetic surgery go hand in hand and greatly benefit my patients. I apply aesthetic principles in all of my reconstructive patients and perform cosmetic surgery in areas of the body in which I perform complex reconstruction,” Dr. Rozen says.
"At the end of the day, my goal with my patients is for them to be happy and satisfied about the way they look and function.”
Dr. Rozen has trained extensively in craniofacial reconstruction and microsurgery, enabling him to address both bony and soft tissue problems in the face. As Director and founder of the Facial Reanimation Program at UT Southwestern, he works with colleagues from otolaryngology, neurosurgery, neurology, and physical medicine and rehabilitation, to address in one clinical and multidisciplinary setting the complex problem of patients with paralyzed faces.
“These patients are devastated from the inability to move their face. By transferring muscles and nerves into the face, we restore some of the motion that has been lost,” he says. “I am thankful for the great multidisciplinary facial paralysis team that formed over the years, enabling us to achieve a very high level of care, which exists in few places in the country, and enables patients to be seen expediently by the best specialists in a short time span.”
Treating Eye Challenges
Dr. Rozen is also an expert at treating complex reconstructive challenges surrounding the eye.
“Recently, in close collaboration with my colleague Dr. Jeremy Bartley from the Department of Ophthalmology, we started treating patients who suffer from limited sensation in the cornea,” Dr. Rozen says.
“This is a devastating problem in patients, which requires them to continuously protect their eyes in order to prevent desiccation of the cornea and subsequent blindness. By attempting to restore corneal sensation, our goal is to help patients regain protective sensation and possibly reverse some of the effects produced by the condition, as well as prevent blindness in severe cases.”
In addition, Dr. Rozen treats common eye problems associated with facial paralysis, including lagophthalmos, which is the inability to completely close the upper eyelid, and lower-eyelid malposition. Dr. Rozen has developed and published an aesthetic approach involving the insertion of weights to improve these conditions.
“When seen early enough after paralysis begins, we can actually restore some of the motion, voluntary closure, and sometimes synchronicity of eyelid closure, using specific nerve and muscle techniques,” Dr. Rozen says.
Breast Reconstruction and Peripheral Nerve Surgery
In his breast reconstruction practice, Dr. Rozen performs complex procedures that involve the free tissue transfer from certain areas in the body, mostly the abdomen, to recreate the breast without the use of expanders or implants if the patients prefer or have no other options. He works closely with breast surgical oncologists, providing expedient care for patients in a team atmosphere.
In addition, a portion of his reconstructive practice involves peripheral nerve surgery and treatment of complex pain issues stemming from nerve injuries throughout the body.
Cosmetic Surgery Practice
In his cosmetic surgery practice, Dr. Rozen specializes in working on the face and breast.
“First of all, I tremendously enjoy working on the face. Second, my facial reconstructive practice enables me to work comfortably and safely in all aspects of facial cosmetic procedures. When needed, I apply my reconstructive experience in surgery of the face, eyelids, and nose to address cosmetic issues often encountered in patients with aesthetic facial concerns,” he says.
Internationally Recognized Research and Impact
Very involved in research, Dr. Rozen is the principal investigator for several large-scale studies and has received several prestigious awards and grants for his work. He collaborates in research with colleagues worldwide and regularly presents both nationally and internationally as a guest speaker and course director at global conferences.
In addition, Dr. Rozen immensely enjoys teaching and working with his residents and fellows. “It is always amazing to see how my residents develop their clinical and surgical skills over the years. But, to be honest, I constantly learn from them – from their questions, challenges, or sheer curiosity. It’s a great honor and privilege to train future physicians and colleagues.”