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Dr. Marco F. Ellis

Dr. Marco F. Ellis Dr. Marco F. Ellis - Northwestern University

Dr. Marco F. Ellis
Dr. Marco F. Ellis - Northwestern University

Where are you from?
I'm an Army brat and have lived in a few cities. But, I guess I'd claim Northern Virginia area, suburbs of Washington, D.C. We lived there for 8 years and my parents have retired there.

What are you looking forward to most as new PSRC Member?
I'm excited to join a select group of plastic surgeons interested in tackling our most difficult solutions in reconstructive surgery. Research presented in this forum sets the precedent and measuring stick for others' work.

How have your interests changed, since undergrad, and what have is the current focus of your work?
I have two areas of interest: scalp/skull reconstruction and breast reconstruction. Specifically, we're focusing on alloplastic implant types and strategies to improve wound healing after cranioplasty. Secondly, we're investing post-mastectomy pain syndrome. An overwhelming majority of women after mastectomy complain of parathesias, tightness and pain in their flank/axilla.

What made you choose plastic surgery?
I've always been impressed with the specialty's breadth and creativity. One of the field's biggest pillars in innovation. I enjoy finding new solutions and working with industry to improve our technology.

What new developments are you most excited about as you anticipate the future of craniofacial surgery?
I'm most excited about ongoing innovations in 3D printing. Its shown its applicability in virtual surgical planning and operative cutting guides and implants. The next horizon will be generations of reliable bone and cartilage scaffolds.

What brought you to Northwestern?
I returned to Northwestern from Baltimore after completing my craniofacial fellowship. The program always felt like home after completing my residency there. At the time, the hospital benefited from someone with hybrid training in head/neck reconstruction and microsurgery.

What is the hardest part about your job?
The most difficult cases are those where patients have had previous radiation and failed surgery. Revision, salvage head/neck reconstruction poses the hardest problems. The procedures are difficult and unforgiving. Nonetheless, the outcomes afterwards and patient satisfaction continue to motivate me.

What is your favorite part of your job?
Resident education: it's a privilege to work with such talented residents and see them mature into skillful surgeons.

What is the best advice you have ever received throughout your training and career?
Complications are a reality of doing difficult cases. Use each case as an opportunity to reflect, grow and improve.

What advice do you have for Medical Students interested in plastic surgery?
Plastic surgery training is a long journey that requires dedication and patience. I do my best to show them the diversity of the specialty and motivate them explore areas of research.

If you weren't a doctor what would you like to be doing?
I'd join my wife in private equity. It seems fun to evaluate investment opportunities and companies wanting to restructure.


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