The first time the modern
world entered into war, plastic surgery emerged to prove itself
and its significance as a medical field. During World War
I surgeons and doctors utilized skill and new advances to
heal and restore the bodies, faces, and spirits of our wounded
troops. Where general practioners lack the intricate expertise
and artistic vision of the true human face and body, plastic
surgeons excel. Even today, primary physicians and specialized
surgeons will refer patients to plastic surgeons in the most
delicate and complex of situations where they know a plastic
surgeon's precise hand and skill will benefit the patient
Reconstructive surgery is the art of restoration
of form and function to the human body. Among his many success
stories, sometimes overlooked is Dr. Michael Byun's prominence
and authority in this specific area of plastic surgery. He
understands how a trauma, such as automobile accidents, accidental
falls, sports injuries, cancer surgery, birth disfigurements,
and work related injuries can take an emotional as well as
a physical toll on the individual.
*Note: The testimonials
below include before and after images that may be graphic
in nature. Discretion is advised.
The patient is a 25-year-old male who was born with a primary complete left upper lip cleft lip and palate. He underwent numerous surgeries as a child and most recently at the age of 14 had a double-jaw surgery with LeFort II reconstruction and LeFort I reconstruction. The reconstructions had failed and relapsed, causing further scarring. Noted was the downslanting of the upper eye and lower cheek areas, due to the scar contracture from the previous surgery. He has compensatory lip curling which blunted the chin.
Release of brow muscles
Fasciocutaneous flap, check and neck, bilateral
Septoplasty and trubinectomy
Plication of the platysmal band
Redo of the cleft lip
(Patient Submitted Photo)
(Patient Submitted Photo)
The patient is a 36-year-old male who had a slow growth of a cheek mass for the last 15 years and has been unable to have this tumor diagnosed. After the patient visited with Dr. Byun, a MRI was completed which was consistent with the parotid tumor measuring a diameter of 25 cm and projecting about 20 cm.
SMAS muscle flap, right neck and cheek
Abel Alfaro : Victim of Motor Vehicle
Accident - Reconstruction of Face
"I remember the unfortunate day
of October 1, 2003. I was driving going about my usual routine,
when out of no where I was hit on the passenger side of
my car with full force by what appeared to be a huge truck.
I must have passed out because the next thing I remember
is waking up in the hospital. I believe that it wasn't my
time to go because god blessed me with a great doctor, who
gave me a second chance at life. When I woke up I had tubes
in my nose and wires that connected me to many machines.
But that isn't the scariest or worst feeling...I woke up
but being able to move my mouth, not being able to speak.
I was told that I was hit by a garbage truck at 55 miles
an hour. I had a severe multiple facial bone fractures,
and lacerations that started near the carotid artery and
went on to expose the inside of my mouth. I was told that
the laceration was so severe that I had missing teeth on
the right side as well as gum tissue. I couldn't speak but
my facial expressions where more than enough.
It was explained to me that Dr. Michael
Byun had been my attending physician. He made my face look
whole again. He reattached everything that he could. By
looking at myself I couldn't believe that besides the scarring
I appeared normal. People who have seen my pictures prior
to the reconstruction never could have imagined that I'd
look so good.
That was only the beginning of my reconstruction.
He was able to immediately take care of my exterior now
it was time to reconstruct the inside of my mouth. I had
stated earlier that I had severe facial bone fractures,
which included the lower part of my eye socket, nasal fracture,
and jaw fracture. There were able to be fixed right away
except for my jaw fracture because I had been orally intubated
and I had that huge laceration. Once I was stable enough
to have another surgery, the tube in my mouth had been removed
and I went right back to surgery twenty one days later.
I had multiple plates and screws inserted into my mouth
so that it will heal correctly. I had what they call IMF
screws inserted into my mouth with wires that kept my mouth
closed for nearly two months.
Now that it’s almost three years post
my traumatic experience, I don't believe that I could be
any happier with my results. Dr. Byun always told me that
there is always room for improvement. I trust him with any
big medical decisions in my life. I owe him more than I
can say. He gave me a second chance at life. He's the best!
No other has better technical superiority or has the most
heart as Dr. Byun."
Teri Jendusa-Nicolai : Reconstruction
of Feet and Scalp
"On February 1, 2004, I arrived
at Advocate Lutheran General Hospital's emergency room.
I was near death. I had suffered a brutal attack at the
hands of my ex-husband who is now beginning a 37 year prison
term for attempted homicide, among other charges. I was
unrecognizable as a human being. My head was swollen to
three times its size. I was cut and bruised everywhere.
My limbs and especially my toes were severely frostbitten.
My eyes were swollen shut. Because of the beating I sustained,
I lost a 2" x 2" portion of the back of my scalp.
My body temperature was 84 degrees. I lost the baby I was
carrying. The outlook was grim.
By the grace of god and by the diligent
efforts of the hospital staff, I survived. However, I was
facing amputation of my legs and an arm. My scalp needed
extensive work. I was told that I would probably always
have a bald spot. My face was so full of cuts and bruises
that I would more than likely need plastic surgery to regain
a normal appearance. That is when Dr. Michael Byun came
into my life. He soon started "debrided" the blisters
from my toes, limbs, and face. He very skillfully applied
ointments to help keep the scarring down which ultimately
dismissed the need for future surgeries.
The first thing that struck me about
Dr. Byun was his warm personality and his oft spoken nature.
I was very comfortable with him. This meant a lot to me
after all I had just been through. He kept me informed on
my progress and kept me very involved in the decision making
process. My legs and arms were restored to health but my
toes were damaged beyond repair. They had to be amputated.
The balls of my feet suffered a great deal of damage also
and the question became, do we amputate those also or seek
alternative measures? Dr. Byun advised me that if I could
be patient, we would work to save the balls of my feet.
This would be very important for balance and walking. Given
my young age and my good health, together we opted to take
the long route. Dr. Byun together with an orthopedic surgeon
performed as many as 13 surgeries on my feet...debriding
them a little at a time to save as much tissue as possible.
He also used a "wound vac" to help speed the healing
process. It was a great success! Today I am walking and
chasing after my young children.
He also did an absolutely beautiful
job on the back of my scalp. By using what he called a "butterfly
incision," he removed the damaged portion of the scalp
and repaired it so I would have no bald spot. This was a
very delicate surgery that required a lot of skill. When
people look at me today, they are amazed. It is difficult
for them to believe that I was ever in the shape I had been
Dr. Byun has earned my utmost respect
as a talented professional who has a passion for excellence.
His genuine concern and care for my emotional well being
as well as my physical health has granted him a home in
my heart forever."
Marybeth Schmidt: Reconstruction
"Seven years ago in 1999, my older
sister was in a terrible car accident, suffering a traumatic
brain injury. Following the accident, Marybeth had the extremely
hard job of regaining her ability to walk, read, speak,
and unfortunately accept a facial disfigurement. Due to
the TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury), Mary had little or no
control over the nerves and muscles of her face. Her eyes
couldn't focus well and turned inward and her speech was
so distorted by the loss of control that it was difficult
to understand what she was saying. Of course, this traumatic
change in her life put Marybeth into a deep depression--poor
sleep patterns, anger issues, and distress over her appearance.
I made so many phone calls to local
plastic surgeons who stated that they didn't have the expertise
to handle Marybeth's needs-- also; they wouldn't be able
to submit charges to Medicaid. Then, I got Dr. Byun's name
and made an appointment to see him in his North Shore office.
I really thought this was another futile attempt and that
no one would be able to help Marybeth.
Well, I have never experienced anyone
with the gentleness and compassion of Dr. Michael Byun.
During his initial examination, Dr. Byun contorted the muscles
in Marybeth's face to show me how she would look after surgery.
I was so stunned by the change in her looks! He gave Marybeth
a mirror so that she would see for herself what he could
do for her. She refused the mirror, saying that she hadn't
looked in a mirror in years and wouldn't again. With the
most compassionate tone in his voice Dr. Byun told Marybeth
that it was his "job" to make sure that she would
look in a mirror again and smile, that he wanted to make
her life whole again. I was elated that this man knew exactly
what Marybeth needed, physically and emotionally, but I
was also torn since I knew that there was no way such surgery
was affordable to my family. But then when I explained the
financial problems, Dr. Byun offered me a special price--just
to take him out to lunch when Marybeth's work was completed!
This most compassionate and gentle
man, Dr. Byun gave all of this to Marybeth as a gift--he
has not charged us for her surgeries nor the extra time
he has spent taking not only Marybeth, but all her sisters,
under his wing. He has performed a number of extensive plastic
surgeries on Marybeth, and today she does look in the mirror.
Without the plastic surgeries, her personal and social recovery
couldn't have happened. He continues to rehabilitate Marybeth's
appearance; Dr. Byun doesn't feel that his work with Marybeth
is "complete." He wants to do even more and when
he, Marybeth and the family share the lunch upon "completion,"
it is going to be a great one!"