Charles K Lee, MD, FACS

Dr. Charles K. Lee: portrait

Director & CEO
L plastic surgery, San Francisco

Chief of Plastic Surgery,
Director of Microsurgery & Advanced Wound Healing Center
St. Mary’s Medical Center, San Francisco

Assistant Clinical Professor of Surgery
The University of California San Francisco (UCSF), Assistant Director of the UCSF Microsurgery Fellowship

San Francisco Attending Surgeon
PROS (Plastic, Reconstructive, & Orthopedic Surgery) Center, San Francisco

Consultant Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon
San Francisco Giants Baseball Team, MLB; WebMD

Dr. Charles K. Lee is a Board Certified (American Board of Plastic Surgery)  plastic surgeon with expertise in reconstructive microsurgery and aesthetic surgery. He graduated from Washington University-St.Louis with Honors and as a Scholar in the Program in Medicine. He completed his Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery residency at the University of Chicago and then went on to complete a fellowship in Microsurgery and Hand Surgery at the Buncke Clinic, San Francisco. He has been on the full time staff at the Buncke Clinic, clinical faculty at Stanford University, and currently serves on the clinical faculty at the UCSF Department of Surgery, Division of  Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery.

Dr. Lee is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Surgery at the University of California-San Francisco (UCSF) and is the Chief of Plastic Surgery and Director of Microsurgery and the Advanced Wound Healing Center at St.Mary’s Medical Center, San Francisco. Dr. Lee has been featured on television shows and teaching videos, and has presented and published papers internationally on topics in plastic surgery and microsurgery. He sits on the clinical advisory board to several major medical corporations for his expertise in plastic and reconstructive surgery.

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 the American College of Surgeons, where he is a Fellow of the College.

Dr. Lee has been in practice since 2003 and brings over a decade of experience, trust, and expertise.  His commitment to patient care with outstanding results and technique, have 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.  

It is an honor and privilege to be your surgeon.

Dr. Charles K. Lee

Honors & Awards

  • [415] Top Doctors (San Francisco & Marin) 2011, 2012, 2013
  • NBC Bay Area Top Physicians 2010
  • Patients Choice Award, Plastic Surgery 2008-2013
  • America’s Top Surgeons Award 2007-2013
  • Chicago Surgical Society Traveling Award 2003
  • Dorothy and Louis Kovitz Prize in Surgery-Washington University School of Medicine 1997
  • Washington University Scholars Program in Medicine (SPIM), Washington University Honors Graduate, Washington University Dean’s List, Robert Byrd Honors Scholarship, National Merit Commended Scholar, Valedictorian-Morris High School

Publications  (Abbreviated List)

  • Lee C, Ahn ST, Kim N, “Asian Upper Eyelid Surgery,” Clinics in Plastic Surgery, Brow and Upper Eyelid Surgery: Multispecialty Approach, Elsevier, Editors: Azizzedeh and Massry, pp 167-178, Janurary 2013.
  • Vig S, Dowsett C….Lee CK, et al, “Evidence based recommendations for the use of negative pressure wound therapy in chronic wounds: Steps toward an international consensus, “Jo of Tissue Viability 2011 20, S1-S18.
  • Birke-Sorensen H….Lee CK, S. Vig, et al, “Evidence based recommendations for negative pressure wound therapy: Treatment variables (pressure levels, wound filler and contact layer) – Steps toward an international consensus,” Jo. Of Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery,” 2011,  64, S1-S6..
  • Borquist O… Lee CK, 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 Wound Rep Regen.
  • Runkel N, E Krug, L Berg, Lee CK, 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, XX (2011)Sx, S1-S12.
  • Agarwal J… Lee CK, Buncke G, “ Thumb Replantation, Technique, Survival, and Function,” Jo of Hand Surgery 2010.
  • Herrera F, Lee C, et al, “Successful Microsurgical Free Tissue Transfer in the Hypercoaguable State,”  Jo. Of Reconstructive Microsurgery, 2011.
  • Belek K…Lee C, Hansen S, “One Stage Reconstruction of a Devastating Antebrachial Injury with Brachial Artery, Median Nerve and Soft Tissue Deficit,” ePlasty, e33, Vol 10,  April 30, 2010.
  • Lee C, Hansen S,  “Surgical Management of Acute Wounds,” Surgical Clinics of North America, Elsevier, June 2009.
  • Herrera F, Lee C, Hansen SL, Kiehn M, “The Superficial Branch of the SFA (Saphenous Artery) as a Recipient Vessel in Peri Knee Reconstruction,” Jo of Recon.Microsurgery, 2010.
  • Herrera F, Lee C, Buncke G, et al, “Simultaneous Double Second Toe Transplantation for MultiDigit Reconstruction,” Jo. of Reconstructive Microsurgery, 2010.
  • Kiehn M, Brooks D, Lee C, et al. “Patency of radial arteries reconstructed after radial forearm flap harvest,” J ReconstrMicrosurgery 2007;23:347-50.
  • Buncke G, Buncke H, Lee C, “Great Toe to Thumb Microvascular Transplantation in Traumatic Thumb Injuries,” Hand Clinics, Elsevier, February 2007..
  • Lee C, Hansen S,  “Surgical Management of Acute Wounds,” Clinics in Plastic Surgery-Surgical Wound Healing  Elsevier, November 2007, Granick M-Editor.
  • Cappuccino G, Granick M, Lee C, et al, “Single Stage Treatment of Pressure Ulcers: Flap Coverage Following Debridement with a High Pressure Parallel Water Jet,”InjuryFeb/March 2007.
  • Lee C, Buncke G, “Great Toe to Thumb Transplantation,” Clinics in Plastic Surgery, Replantation and Transplantation, April 2007, Datiashvilli R-Editor
  • Buntic R, Horton K, Brooks D, Lee C, “Free Partial Superior Latissimus Muscle Flaps: Preservation of Donor Site Form and Function,” Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, May 2008.
  • Miranda E…Lee C, “Vertical Rectus Myocutaneous Flap for Reconstruction of a Sacral Hernia,” British Jo. of Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery,  November 2007.
  • Lee C, Pardun J, Buntic R, et al, “Severe Frostbite of the Knees after Postoperative Cryotherapy,” Orthopedics, January 2007.
  • Lee C, Kiehn M, Buncke G, “Replantation,” Pearls of Wisdom in Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, McGraw Hill,  2006; 2010.
  • Lee C, Kiehn M, et al, “Breast Reconstruction & Microsurgery,” Pearls of Wisdom in Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, McGraw Hill, 2006.
  • Strasberg S, Hertl C, Mackinnon SE, Lee C, et al.,  “Peripheral Nerve Allograft Preservation Improves Regeneration….”Experimental Neurology,  139, 306-316 (1996).

 Presentations (Abbreviated List)

  • Lee C, “Breast Cancer Reconstruction and Microsurgery, DIEP and Perforator Flaps,” San Francisco City College Nursing Course, November 2012.
  • Lee C, “Advanced Wound Healing,” Beneath the Surface, 1st Annual Advanced Wound Healing Symposium, San Francisco, October 2012.
  • Lee C, “Advanced Treatment of Varicose Veins with EndoVenous Laser Ablation,” Marina Del Rey, CA, September 2012.
  • Lee C, “Reconstructive Hand Surgery and Abdominal Wall Reconstruction,” Grand Rounds Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery, U. of Utah, Salt Lake City, February 2012.
  • Lee C, “Debridement and Use of Advanced Technologies in Wound Reconstruction,” Institute for Global Orthopaedics and Traumatology, September 2011.
  • Lee C, “Techniques and Results with SLIM Laser Liposculpture,” Palomar Symposium, Palace Hotel, SF, April 30, 2011.
  • Lee C, “Surgical Wound Debridement and Treatment of Venous Ulcers with EVLT,” SMMC, Wound Care Symposium, April 2011.
  • Lee C, “Use of Biologics in Reconstructive Surgery,” Synovis Meeting, San Diego, March 2010, Los Angeles, June 2010, San Francisco, April 2010.
  • Lee C, “Negative Pressure Wound Therapy and Surgical Flaps,” International Consensus Meeting of Surgical Experts, Hamburg, Germany, February 2009.
  • Lee C, “Facial Fractures and Injuries,” San Francisco Giants Baseball Medicine Conference, Palace Hotel, San Francisco, January 2010
  • Lee C, “Negative Pressure Wound Therapy in Chronic Wounds,” International Consensus Meeting of Surgical Experts, Charing Cross, London, England, November 2009.
  • Lee C, “Wound Reconstruction Symposium,” Cleveland Clinic, October 2009.
  • Lee C, “Soft Tissue Reconstruction of the Hand with Perforator Flaps,”  7th BiEnniel Plastic Surgery Scientific Program, San Francisco, CA, June 2009.
  • Lee C, “Musicians, Hands, & Surgeons,” San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Special Guest Speaker, San Francisco, CA, March 2009.
  • Belek K….Hansen S, Lee C, “One Stage Reconstruction of a Devastating Antebrachial Injury with Brachial Artery, Median Nerve and Soft Tissue Deficit,” California Society of Plastic Surgeons, Lake Tahoe, CA, May 2009.
  • Lee C, “Allevyn Ag-The Ideal Donor Site Dressing for Skin Grafts,” John Boswick Burn & Wound Symposium, Maui, February 2009.
  • Lee C, “Plastic Surgery and Beyond the Extreme Makeover,” Invited Speaker, APAC Quarterly Meeting, San Francisco, CA, April 2008.
  • Lee C, “Replantation in the Upper Extremity,” Plastic Surgery, Hand and Upper Extremity Grand Rounds, University of California-San Francisco (UCSF), April 2008.
  • Lee C, “ Lower Extremity Reconstruction around the Knee, “Catholic University Hospital, Gangnam Hospital,” Grand Rounds, Seoul, Korea, November 2007.
  • Lee C, “Muscle versus Fasciocutaneous flap Controversy,” Korean Society for Surgery of the Hand, Seoul, Korea, November 2007, President’s Invited Speaker.
  • Herrera, Lee C, Kiehn M, Hansen S, “Superficial Femoral Arterial Branch (Saphenous Artery) as Recipient Vessels for Lower Extremity Reconstruction,” American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery, Los Angeles, January 2008, California Society of Plastic Surgeons, Dana Point, 2008.
  • Lee C, “Nasal Reconstruction,” University of California San Francisco (UCSF)-Core Curriculum Conference, Section of Plastic Surgery, San Francisco, CA, May 2007.
  • Trovato M, Agarwal J, Lee C, et al, “Functional Assessment after Successful Thumb Replantation,” CSPS, San Francisco, May 2007.
  • Lee C, “Near Infrared Spectroscopy: Clinical Applications in Microsurgery,” UCLA Department of Plastic Surgery- Journal Club Presentation, Los Angeles, CA, March 2007.
  • Lee C, “Lower Extremity Salvage with a Latissisimus Muscle Microvascular Transplantation after 2 Failed Free Flaps in a Hypercoaguable State,” Best Microsurgical Save Presentation, ASRM January 2007, Puerto Rico
  • Safa B, Lee C, Buncke G, “The Gracilis Musculotendinous Microvascular Transplant for Achilles Tendon Reconstruction,” ASRM January 2007, Puerto Rico.
  • Herrera F, Lee C, Camberos A, et al, “Simultaneous Double Second Toe Transplantation for Traumatic Multi Digit Loss,” ASRM, January 2007, Puerto Rico.
  • Kryger G, Lee C, Safa B, Lohman R, Gottlieb L, Walton RL, “Microsurgery in the Hypercoaguable Patient,” Plastic Surgery at the Red Sea International Symposium, Israel, March 2007.
  • Horton K, Buntic R, Brooks D, Lee C, “Free Partial Superior Latissimus Muscle Flaps: Preservation of Donor Site Form and Function,” ASPS, San Francisco, October 2006.
  • Lee C, “Perforator Flaps in Extremity and Breast Surgery,” Plastic Surgery Grand Rounds, University of California at Davis, June 2006.
  • Paydar K, Lee C, “Blepharospastic Lower Lid Entropion—Diagnosis and Treatment” California Society of Plastic Surgeons,” June 2006.
  • Dosanj A, ….Hansen S, Lee C, “Superior Medial Geniculate Vessels in Microsurgical Lower Extremity Reconstruction,” CSPS June 2006.
  • Lee C, “Multiple and Diverse Applications of Versajet in Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery,” The International Advisory Board on Surgical Wound Management, Poster Presentation, March 2006.
  • Lee C, “Tumors of the Upper Extremity,” Grand Rounds, Stanford University, Department of Plastic Surgery, November 2005.
  • Lee C, “History and Future of Microsurgery,” First Annual Microsurgery Nursing Symposium, CPMC, October 2005.
  • Lee C, “Upper Extremity Reconstruction with Perforator Flaps,” UCSF Grand Rounds, Department of Plastic Surgery, July 2005.
  • Lee C, Cetrulo C, Buntic R, Buncke G, “Refinements in Lower Extremity Reconstruction with the Split and Enlargement Principle,” presented at CSPS May 2005, poster presentation at ASRM 2006.
  • Cetrulo C, Lee C, Buntic, et al, “Management of Exposed Total Knee Prosthesis with Microvascular Tissue Transfer,” presented at CSPS May 2005 and ASRM 2006.
  • Cetrulo C, Nacamuli R, Lee C, “Anterior Interosseus “Free Style” Perforator Flap Reconstruction of a Dorsal Hand Wound,” presented at CSPS May 2005.
  • Lee C, 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, “Patency of Radial Artery Reconstruction after Radial Forearm Free Flap Harvest,” Presented at ASRM Janurary 2005.
  • Lee C, Buntic R, Kiehn M et al, “Severe Frostbite of the Knees after Postoperative Cryotherapy,” presented at the California Society of Plastic Surgeons, May 2000

Visiting Professor& Mission Trips

  • Invited Expert for Surgical Wound Debridement and Reconstruction, World Wound Healing Symposium, Yokohama, Japan 2012
  • Invited Speaker and Scientific Program Committee Member for the Korean American Medical Association, Seoul, Korea, August 2011
  • Guest Lecturer at the Reconstructive Plastic Surgery Symposium, Asan Medical Center, Seoul, August 2011
  • Invited Expert for Negative Pressure Wound Therapy, International and North America Consensus Panel, S&N, London, England, October 2009; Hamburg, Germany, February 2010; Lisbon, Portugal, October 2010, Amsterdam, June 2011; Atlanta, 2010; New Orleans 2011; Copenhagen, Denmark 2012
  • Stanford University Plastic Surgery Board Review Course, Faculty and Examiner, Stanford, California, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012
  • Invited KeyNote Lecturer to the 25th Anniversary Korean Society for Surgery of the Hand, Seoul, Korea, November 2007
  • Guest Lecturer at the Catholic University Hospital, Seoul, Korea, November 2007
  • Visiting Professor, Asan Medical Center, Plastic Surgery, Seoul, Korea, April 2007
  • Guest Lecturer at Korea University, Plastic Surgery, Seoul, Korea, April 2007
  • Guest Lecturer at Samsung Hospital, Plastic Surgery, Seoul, Korea, February 2006
  • Guest Lecturer at Kosin Hospital, Plastic Surgery, Pusan, Korea, February 2006
  • Proyecto Mira with Dr. Robert Walton, Microtia & Nasal Reconstruction; San Juan, Puerto Rico, October 2001 & September 2002
  • Cleft Lip and Palate Surgery with Dr.McKay McKinnon, Choluteca, Honduras,  February 2002

Nice, professional and informative consultation. Met with several plastic surgeons and Dr. Lee was the only office I didn’t feel rushed, especially considering his no charge initial consultation policy. Left with the definite idea of the results I could expect from the augmentation procedure. Really thrilled with the augmentation and have received only positive feedback.

It was a very pleasant experience. After the phone inquiry, the consultation appointment provided a lot of general knowledge of the procedure he would be performing. As a patient I was very scared, the staff and Dr. Lee made sure I was in good hands. After surgery, I had follow up calls to check up on my status as well as a 24 hour hotline number in case of emergencies. I would recommend any of my friends to have Dr. Lee perform eyelid surgery.

As noted above, he is very professional with surgery. When it was time to take out the stitches, the scarring was very minimal. The staff was very friendly and comforting.