School of Medicine

Department of Otolaryngology

Center for Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center



4950 Essen Lane

Suite 400 and 402

Baton Rouge, LA 70809



For Appointments

  • Call (225) 765 - 1982
  • Fax (225) 765 - 1999



Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery:

More Than Just A Pretty Face…

The subspecialty of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery plays an incredibly important part in restoring normal appearance, natural function, and quality of life to patients whose faces have been affected by a wide variety of conditions, ranging from birth defects and traumatic injuries to cancer and other medical illnesses. Facial deformities, regardless of the cause, can result in social rejection, loss of opportunity in the workplace, and failures in school and in society. In some cases, such as when the eyelids and mouth are involved, or when there is paralysis of movement, deformities can lead to blindness, or difficulty with eating, chewing, speaking and breathing. In other words, many of the things that we take for granted in our everyday life, involving basic social interaction and communication, can be rendered impossible when there is facial deformity. Our facial plastic and reconstructive surgeons at LSU have the training and skills to help turn distorted features into presentable appearances, allowing patients to live fuller lives.


Facial Aesthetics:

Look Good, Feel Good…

The first thing others see is our face. As we age our skin loses much of its firmness and elasticity, and lines and wrinkles form as skin sags and bears the imprints from a lifetime of facial expressions. Muscle tone decreases throughout the face and neck causing jowls, droopy eyes, “double chins,” and full necks. As collagen production slows down and subcutaneous fat deposits shift, our faces lose volume, including the smooth contours of youthful cheeks and plump, sensual lips.  We can even see changes in the shape and support of the nose. As a result, the normal aging process can leave each of us feeling we no longer look as young as we feel, leading to a loss of self-confidence and self-isolation. Our facial plastic and reconstructive surgeons at LSU focus only on procedures of the face and neck, and are experts in both surgical and non-surgical treatments to help rejuvenate and revitalize your facial appearance. We understand that all patients age differently, and an individualized approach Is paramount to obtain a natural result that leaves you looking “different better, not different other.”


Patient Care in Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery:

It Takes A Village…

LSU Otolaryngology has a long history of providing reconstructive and restorative surgery, and in recent years, we have assembled an elite team of experts with a range of overlapping capabilities that can address virtually every kind of facial disorder. In complex cases, we also work with specialists in related fields other than Otolaryngology to find the optimal solution to a patient's needs. This Interdisciplinary Teamwork is a common theme in our approach to getting the best results for patients who have unusual or rare problems. In the LSU Otolaryngology Department, the following physicians have completed fellowship training, and board certification, in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery: Graham Boyce MD, Bradley Chastant MD, Celeste Gary MD, Laura Hetzler MD, Jeffrey Joseph MD, Justin C. Sowder MD, and Lisa Morris MD.


Facial Reanimation

One area of special importance in this regard involves the management of patients who have facial paralysis. Whether a result of a common viral infection (known as Bell's Palsy) or a complication of cancer, surgery, injury, or something else, a paralyzed face is a major disability. At LSU, we are emerging as a regional authority on facial reanimation — the process of restoring movement to a paralyzed face. The high volume of patients seen in our Head and Neck Oncology, Skull Base, and Neurotology practices, along with our relationships with colleagues in Neurosurgery and Neurology, has allowed us to develop reliable medical and surgical protocols for taking care of facial paralysis patients. In 2017 our Department started the Facial Nerve Disorders Multidisciplinary Clinic for the individual assessment of those recovering from facial paralysis, providing advanced facial retraining therapy and botulinum toxin injections for optimal outcomes. The LSU Facial Reanimation team includes Laura Hetzler MD, Sara MacDowell DPT, Moisés Arriaga MD, and Daniel Nuss MD. Not all will require surgery, but we have implemented strategies for efficiently determining which patients can benefit from surgery, which ones will do best with medical management alone, and which patients need a combination of treatments. Options for surgical treatment range from simple facial nerve repair to nerve grafting, nerve transpositions, and in some cases, microvascular transplantation of nerves and muscles from other parts of the body - whatever is needed to re-create healthy facial movement.


Cleft and Craniofacial Surgery

Another area of major focus in our department is the care of babies and young children who have congenital or inherited facial deformities, such as cleft lip, cleft palate, facial clefts, and a variety of birth defects known as dysmorphic syndromes. Many of these children suffer from not only their deformities but also from associated problems with breathing, eating, speech, vision and hearing. Treatment of these patients requires careful diagnostic investigation that relies on everything from CT and MRI scans to panoramic dental scans, to hearing tests, to genetic testing.

In this highly specialized service, each family and patient with a newly diagnosed craniofacial defect is seen in a multidisciplinary clinic that is staffed by every specialist needed - Facial Plastic/Reconstructive Surgery, Plastic Surgery, Ophthalmology, Neurosurgery, Pediatrics, Otology, Audiology, Dentistry, Maxillofacial Surgery, Pedodontics, Orthodontics, Speech-Language Pathology, Genetics, Nutrition, and others. Each child sees each doctor in the same day, and after the patient's visit, the team meets to review all findings and to recommend an individualized plan of care, which is shared with the child's physician and family. In this way, each child receives the best possible care.

Our LSU Facial Plastic and Reconstructive surgeons have been actively involved in Cleft & Craniofacial clinics for many years at Children's Hospital of New Orleans. More recently, because there were many children who were underserved in other parts of the region, a new Craniofacial program was initiated in Baton Rouge in 2014, at Our Lady of the Lake Children's Hospital, under the leadership of Dr. Laura Hetzler. The Baton Rouge based team has continued to grow in volume, performing over 50 cleft and cleft related surgeries annually. With the addition of Dr. Lisa Morris in 2021, she brings with her over 10 years of cleft and craniofacial surgery experience, including complex craniosynostosis repair, allowing the LSU team to care for all children born with craniofacial abnormalities at Our Lady of the Lake Children's Hospital in Baton Rouge



For Appointments
Call (225) 765-1982
Fax (225) 765-1999

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