Meet Dr. Lee
Dr. Charles K. Lee is a board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon in San Francisco, CA. He has provided care for Bay Area patients for over 15 years where he provides expertise for the face, eyes, nose, breast, and body. Dr. Lee is certified through the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
Dr. Lee is an Associate Clinical Professor of Surgery at the University of California-San Francisco (UCSF) and is the Chief of Plastic Surgery and Director of Reconstructive Microsurgery at St. Mary’s Medical Center in San Francisco, CA. Dr. Lee has been featured on television shows and teaching videos nationwide. He has presented and published papers internationally on topics in plastic surgery and microsurgery. Dr. Lee also sits on the clinical advisory board to several major medical corporations for his expertise in plastic and reconstructive surgery.
Skills and Specialties
With expertise in reconstructive microsurgery and aesthetic surgery, Dr. Lee has served patients of all ages at his practice since 2003. He brings over 15 years of experience, trust, and expertise to each consultation or surgery. He is dedicated to delivering patient care with outstanding results. His work in this field has made him the recipient of numerous awards (both local and national). Patients have come from as far away as Hawaii and New York, Europe, and Asia to seek his expertise.
Dr. Lee has medical privileges in San Francisco, CA at St. Mary’s Medical Center, St. Francis Hospital, California Pacific Medical Center, and Campus Surgery Center in Daly City, CA.
Education and Training
Dr. Lee graduated from Washington University in St.Louis, with honors and as a Sholar in the the Program in Medicine where he was accepted to the School of Medicine from High School. He completed his plastic and reconstructive surgery residency at the University of Chicago in Chicago, IL. He then went on to complete a fellowship in microsurgery and hand surgery at the Buncke Clinic in San Francisco, CA.
Dr. Lee is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, the only board recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties in plastic surgery. He is an active member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery, the California Society of Plastic Surgeons, and is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.
Honors and Awards
Dr. Lee has been recognized for the following during his career:
- Castle Connolly Top Doctors (2017-2023)
- San Francisco Magazine Top Docs (2015-2020)
- Top Doctors, (San Francisco & Marin), 2011, 2012, and 2013
- NBC Bay Area Top Physicians, 2010
- Patients Choice Award, Plastic Surgery, 2008 – 2013
- America’s Top Surgeons Award, 2007 – 2013
- Traveling award, Chicago Surgical Society Traveling Award, 2003
- Dorothy and Louis Kovitz Prize in Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine, 1997
- Scholars Program in Medicine (SPIM), Washington University
- Dean’s List, Washington University
- Robert Byrd Honors Scholarship
- National Merit Commended Scholar
- Valedictorian, Morris High School
Publications and Presentations
- Lee, C.K., Ahn, S.T., Kim, N. Asian Upper Eyelid Surgery Clinics in Plastic Surgery, Brow and Upper Eyelid Surgery: Multi-Specialty Approach. Elsevier, January. 2013. pp 167 – 178.
- Vig, S., Dowsett, C., Lee, C.K., et al. Evidence-Based Recommendations For The Use of Negative Pressure Wound Therapy In Chronic Wounds: Steps Toward An International Consensus, Journal of Tissue Viability, 2011 20, S1 – S18.
- Birke-Sorensen, H., Lee, C.K., Vig, S. et al. Evidence-Based Recommendations For Negative Pressure Wound Therapy: Treatment Variables (Pressure Levels, Wound Filler And Contact Layer) – Steps Toward An International Consensus. Journal Of Plastic, Reconstructive, & Aesthetic Surgery, 2011. 4: S1 – S6.
- Borquist, O., Lee, C.K., Ingmassen, R., Malmsjo, M. Measurements of Wound Edge Microvascular Blood Flow During Negative Pressure Wound Therapy Using Thermodiffusion And Transcutaneous And Invasive Laser Doppler Velocimetry. Accepted in Wound Repair and Regeneration Journal.
- Runkel, N., Krug, E., Berg, L., Lee, C.K., et al. Evidence-Based Recommendations For The Use of Negative Pressure Wound Therapy In Traumatic Wounds And Reconstructive Surgery: Steps Toward An International Consensus. Injury Int. J. Care Injured, February 2011. Sx, S1 – S12.
- Agarwal, J., Lee, C.K., Buncke, G. Thumb Replantation: Technique, Survival, And Function. Journal of Hand Surgery, 2010.
- Herrera, F., Lee, C.K., et al. Successful Microsurgical Free Tissue Transfer In the Hypercoagulable State. Journal Of Reconstructive Microsurgery, 2011.
- Belek. K., Lee, C.K., Hansen, S. One Stage Reconstruction of a Devastating Antebrachial Injury With Brachial Artery, Median Nerve, and Soft Tissue Deficit. ePlasty, April 30, 2010. e33, Vol 10.
- Lee, C.K., Hansen, S. Surgical Management of Acute Wounds. Surgical Clinics of North America, Elsevier, June 2009.
- Herrera, F., Lee, C.K., Hansen, S.L., Kiehn, M. The Superficial Branch of the SFA (Saphenous Artery) As A Recipient Vessel in Peri Knee Reconstruction. Journal of Reconstructive Microsurgery, 2010.
- Herrera, F., Lee C.K., Buncke, G., et al. Simultaneous Double Second Toe Transplantation for Multi-Digit Reconstruction. Journal of Reconstructive Microsurgery, 2010.
- Kiehn, M., Brooks, D., Lee, C.K., et al. Patency Of Radial Arteries Reconstructed After Radial Forearm Flap Harvest. Journal of Reconstructive Microsurgery, 2007. 23:347-50.
- Buncke, G., Buncke, H., Lee, C.K. Great Toe to Thumb Microvascular Transplantation in Traumatic Thumb Injuries. Hand Clinics, Elsevier, February 2007.
- Lee, C.K., Hansen, S., Granick, M. (Editor). Surgical Management of Acute Wounds.Clinics in Plastic Surgery-Surgical Wound Healing Elsevier, November 2007.
- Cappuccino, G., Granick, M., Lee, C.K., et al. Single Stage Treatment of Pressure Ulcers: Flap Coverage Following Debridement with a High-Pressure Parallel Water Jet. Injury, Feb/March 2007.
- Lee, C.K., Buncke, G., Datiashvilli, R. (Editor). Great Toe to Thumb Transplantation. Clinics in Plastic Surgery, Replantation, and Transplantation, April 2007.
- Buntic, R, Horton, K., Brooks D, Lee, C.K. Free Partial Superior Latissimus Muscle Flaps: Preservation of Donor Site Form and Function. Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, May 2008.
- Miranda, E., Lee, C.K. Vertical Rectus Myocutaneous Flap for Reconstruction of a Sacral Hernia. British Journal of Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, November 2007.
- Lee, C.K., Pardun, J., Buntic, R., et al. Severe Frostbite of the Knees after Postoperative Cryotherapy. Orthopedics, January 2007.
- Lee, C.K., Kiehn, M., Buncke, G. Replantation. Pearls of Wisdom in Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, McGraw Hill, 2006; 2010.
- Lee, C.K., Kiehn, M., et al. Breast Reconstruction & Microsurgery. Pearls of Wisdom in Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, McGraw Hill, 2006.
- Strasberg, S., Hertl, C., Mackinnon, S.E., Lee, C.K., et al. Peripheral Nerve Allograft Preservation Improves Regeneration. Experimental Neurology, 1996. 139, 306-316.
- Lee, C.K. Breast Cancer Reconstruction and Microsurgery, DIEP and Perforator Flaps. Presented at San Francisco City College Nursing Course, San Francisco, CA, November 2012.
- Lee, C.K. Advanced Wound Healing: Beneath the Surface. Presented at the 1st Annual Advanced Wound Healing Symposium, San Francisco, CA, October 2012.
- Lee, C.K. Advanced Treatment of Varicose Veins with Endovenous Laser Ablation. Presented in Marina Del Rey, CA, September 2012.
- Lee, C.K. Reconstructive Hand Surgery and Abdominal Wall Reconstruction. Presented at Grand Rounds Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, U. of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, February 2012.
- Lee, C.K. Debridement and Use of Advanced Technologies in Wound Reconstruction. Presented at the Institute for Global Orthopaedics and Traumatology, September 2011.
- Lee, C.K. Techniques and Results with SLIM Laser Liposculpture. Presented at the Palomar Symposium, Palace Hotel, San Francisco, CA, April 30, 2011.
- Lee, C.K. Surgical Wound Debridement and Treatment of Venous Ulcers with EVLT, SMMC. Present at the Wound Care Symposium, April 2011.
- Lee, C.K. Use of Biologics in Reconstructive Surgery. Presented at the Synovis Meeting, San Diego, CA, March 2010, Los Angeles, June 2010, San Francisco, CA, April 2010.
- Lee, C.K. Negative Pressure Wound Therapy and Surgical Flaps. Presented at the International Consensus Meeting of Surgical Experts, Hamburg, Germany, February 2009.
- Lee, C.K. Facial Fractures and Injuries. Presented at the San Francisco Giants Baseball Medicine Conference, Palace Hotel, San Francisco, CA, January 2010.
- Lee, C.K. Negative Pressure Wound Therapy in Chronic Wounds. Presented at the International Consensus Meeting of Surgical Experts, Charing Cross, London, England, November 2009.
- Lee, C.K. Wound Reconstruction Symposium. Presented at the Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH, October 2009.
- Lee, C.K. Soft Tissue Reconstruction of the Hand with Perforator Flaps. Presented at the 7th BiEnniel Plastic Surgery Scientific Program, San Francisco, CA, June 2009.
- Lee, C.K. Musicians, Hands, & Surgeons. Presented as a special guest speaker at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, San Francisco, CA, March, 2009.
- Belek, K., Hansen, S., Lee, C.K. One Stage Reconstruction of a Devastating Antebrachial Injury with Brachial Artery, Median Nerve, and Soft Tissue Deficit. Presented at the California Society of Plastic Surgeons, Lake Tahoe, CA, May 2009.
- Lee, C.K. Allevyn Ag-The Ideal Donor Site Dressing for Skin Grafts. Presented at the John Boswick Burn & Wound Symposium, Maui, HI, February 2009.
- Lee, C.K. Plastic Surgery and Beyond the Extreme Makeover. Invited Speaker at the APAC Quarterly Meeting, San Francisco, CA, April 2008.
- Lee, C.K. Replantation in the Upper Extremity. Plastic Surgery, Hand, And Upper Extremity. Presented at Grand Rounds, University of California-San Francisco (UCSF), April 2008.
- Lee, C.K. Lower Extremity Reconstruction Around The Knee. Presented at Catholic University Hospital, Gangnam Hospital. Presented at Grand Rounds, Seoul, Korea, November 2007.
- Lee, C.K. Muscle Versus Fasciocutaneous Flap Controversy. Presented as the President's Invited Speaker at the Korean Society for Surgery of the Hand, Seoul, Korea, November 2007.
- Herrera, F., Lee, C.K., Kiehn, M., Hansen, S. Superficial Femoral Arterial Branch (Saphenous Artery) as Recipient Vessels for Lower Extremity Reconstruction. Presented to the American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery, Los Angeles, CA January 2008.
- Lee, C.K. Nasal Reconstruction. Presented at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF)-Core Curriculum Conference, Section of Plastic Surgery, San Francisco, CA, May 2007.
- Trovato, M., Agarwal, J., Lee, C.K., et al. Functional Assessment After Successful Thumb Replantation. Presented at CSPS, San Francisco, CA, May 2007.
- Lee, C.K. Near Infrared Spectroscopy: Clinical Applications in Microsurgery. Presented at the UCLA Department of Plastic Surgery Journal Club, Los Angeles, CA, March 2007.
- Lee, C.K. Lower Extremity Salvage with a Latissisimus Muscle Microvascular Transplantation After Two Failed Free Flaps In A Hypercoagulable State. Presented the Best Microsurgical Save at ASRM, Puerto Rico, January 2007.
- Safa, B., Lee, C.K., Buncke, G., The Gracilis Musculotendinous Microvascular Transplant for Achilles Tendon Reconstruction. Presented at ASRM, Puerto Rico, January 2007.
- Herrera, F., Lee, C.K., Camberos, A., et al, Simultaneous Double Second Toe Transplantation for Traumatic Multi-Digit Loss. Presented at ASRM, Puerto Rico, January 2007.
- Kryger, G., Lee, C.K., Safa, B., Lohman, R., Gottlieb, L., Walton, R.L., Microsurgery in the Hypercoagulable Patient. Presented at the Plastic Surgery at the Red Sea International Symposium, Israel, March 2007.
- Horton, K., Buntic, R., Brooks, D., Lee, C.K. Free Partial Superior Latissimus Muscle Flaps: Preservation of Donor Site Form and Function. Presented at ASPS, San Francisco, CA, October 2006.
- Lee, C.K. Perforator Flaps In Extremity And Breast Surgery. Presented for Plastic Surgery at Grand Rounds, University of California at Davis, June 2006.
- Paydar, K., Lee, C.K. Blepharospastic Lower Lid Entropion — Diagnosis and Treatment. Presented at the California Society of Plastic Surgeons, June 2006.
- Dosanj, A, Hansen, S., Lee, C.K. Superior Medial Geniculate Vessels in Microsurgical Lower Extremity Reconstruction. Presented at CSPS, June 2006.
- Lee, C.K. Multiple and Diverse Applications of Versajet in Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery. Poster presentation at The International Advisory Board on Surgical Wound Management, March 2006.
- Lee, C.K. Tumors of the Upper Extremity. Presented at Grand Rounds, Stanford University, Department of Plastic Surgery, November 2005.
- Lee, C.K. History and Future of Microsurgery. Presented at the First Annual Microsurgery Nursing Symposium, CPMC, October 2005.
- Lee, C.K. Upper Extremity Reconstruction with Perforator Flaps. Presented at UCSF Grand Rounds, Department of Plastic Surgery, July 2005.
- Lee, C.K., Cetrulo, C., Buntic, R., Buncke, G. Refinements in Lower Extremity Reconstruction with the Split and Enlargement Principle. Presented at CSPS, May 2005, and poster presentation at ASRM, 2006.
- Cetrulo, C., Lee, C.K., Buntic, R., et al. Management of Exposed Total Knee Prosthesis with Microvascular Tissue Transfer. Presented at CSPS, 2005 and ASRM, 2006.
- Cetrulo, C., Nacamuli, R., Lee, C.K. Anterior Interosseus Freestyle Perforator Flap Reconstruction of a Dorsal Hand Wound. Presented at CSPS, May 2005.
- Lee, C.K., Kiehn, M, Buntic, R., et al. Quantitative Real-Time Measurement of Free Tissue Perfusion with Thermodilution Technology. Presented at CSPS, May 2004 and American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery, January 2005.
- Kiehn, M., Brooks, D., Lee, C.K. Patency of Radial Artery Reconstruction after Radial Forearm Free Flap Harvest. Presented at ASRM, Janurary, 2005.
- Lee, C.K., Buntic, R., Kiehn, M., et al. Severe Frostbite of the Knees after Postoperative Cryotherapy. Presented at the California Society of Plastic Surgeons, May 2000.
"When you want work done to your body or face, you want to make sure you go to the right doctor. It took me years to finally choose one and I'm so glad I chose Dr. Lee. He is an amazing surgeon and I would definitely recommend him to anyone that wants any procedures done. It's been 5 weeks since I got breast augmentation and they're healing very well. The scars are very light and will get even lighter after time. He will give you his honest opinion about your suggestions and will make you look very natural. Most doctors just want your money and do whatever you want, but Dr. Lee cares about his reputation and that's why he gets so many referrals. I have a ton of friends who are going to him after seeing my breasts. I absolutely love them :)"
"Dr Lee was incredible. He understood where I was at in my botox journey and gave me the right units to achieve a natural look. I mostly was aiming to prevent my frown lines near brow and forehead. I was referred to him by a friend and am very happy with the results."
"It’s been 8 months since I had eyelid surgery with Dr. Charles Lee. I’m very happy with the results. He did such a wonderful job. Dr Lee and his staff are very nice and professional. They all made me feel comfortable. I’m just upset I didn’t do it sooner, but better late than never."
"For 10 years I thought and considered doing a breast implant. The desire for the procedure intensified a year and half ago and I started searching for the best cosmetic surgeon. I did several consultations with quite a number of them but when I consulted with Dr Lee, I knew without a doubt that he was the surgeon I have been looking for, for a year and half. Apart from great reviews and qualifications of Dr Lee, I felt his passion and excitement for what he does. You could see that he loves his job and genuinely cares about his clients. He took time to explain in great detail, the procedure. Dr Lee and his beautiful, kind staff spent at least two hours with me. I knew that consultation day that my search for the best cosmetic surgeon for my breast implant was over. The day of the surgery October 2019, I was relaxed and ready because I knew I was in good hands. The procedure went smoothly. Dr Lee strictly instructed the nurses how to take care of me to the point of how to position me, that was going above and beyond. I had a follow up with him twice a week. In all the follow ups, he assessed the surgical site and changed the dressing himself. The outcome of my surgery was simply beautiful..perfect. I am grateful to Dr Charles Lee and his staff. He gave me my confidence and happiness back."
"My Amazing Double Eyelid Surgery Experience - I'd been wanting to get a double eyelid surgery for a long time, and had spent years browsing through different doctors and offices in LA, SF, and even Korea. I had monolids and asymmetry that I desired to change. As soon as I turned 18, I was eager to get the procedure done, and found the reviews for Dr. Lee's practice to be most promising. Additionally, it was located close by to where I was soon to be moving. Even with the obstacles posed by COVID-19, Dr. Lee and his staff - Diana is lovely! - made me feel extremely comfortable; it felt like they truly listened to and cared about my wants and needs. They were also wonderfully supportive, and didn't once judge the fact that I was young and going about the entire process on my own. Dr. Lee played music during the surgery, and kept me updated throughout the whole procedure. From first consultation to follow-up was smooth, detailed, and enjoyable - their communication and customer service is impeccable. I am now about 5 months post-op, and couldn't be happier with the results; not only is the look very natural per my preference, but scarring is already minimal. I am able to experiment with all the makeup looks that I couldn't have achieved before, and I wake up feeling beautiful, confident, and more like myself every day."
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