NEWS | June 14, 2012

UC Davis plastic surgeon earns honors for recent clinical trial


Work presented by Michael Wong, associate professor of surgery at UC Davis Health System, was honored for Best Overall Paper at the 62nd Annual Scientific Meeting of the California Society of Plastic Surgeons, which was held recently in San Diego. Wong's presentation earned the top award from among a field of almost 70 other scientific abstracts from around the state.

Wong presented the results of a prospective, randomized, multicenter, international clinical trial, which evaluated bony healing and pain following fixed rigid plates versus traditional wire closures in patients who had a median sternotomy -- an incision in the center of the chest that splits the breastbone (sternum) to give surgeons access to the heart.

Dr. Michael Wong and Dr. Gordon Lee
Michael Wong (right), associate professor of surgery, receives the Best Overall Paper award from Dr. Gordon Lee, California Society of Plastic Surgeons' Science Committee member.

UC Davis Medical Center was one of the clinical sites and the leading enroller in the United States for the prospective trial. Wong tested whether using rigid plates affixed with screws rather than a conventional wire closure would enable a better union of the breastbone and decrease pain for patients following heart surgery. He and his research team found that those patients who received the plate closure did experience better bony healing of their sternums and reported less pain.

"I'm honored and humbled to be recognized by the California Society of Plastic Surgeons," said Wong, "because there were so many excellent research papers presented at this conference. I think our study stood out because it is a prospective, randomized clinical trial with a clear message.  Patients with high-risk sternotomies can expect to have better bony healing and less pain if they receive more rigid sternal fixation compared to traditional wire closure."

Wong says he and his colleagues have submitted their findings for publication in the coming year.

The UC Davis School of Medicine is among the nation's leading medical schools, recognized for its research and primary-care programs. The school offers fully accredited master's degree programs in public health and in informatics, and its combined M.D.-Ph.D. program is training the next generation of physician-scientists to conduct high-impact research and translate discoveries into better clinical care. Along with being a recognized leader in medical research, the school is committed to serving underserved communities and advancing rural health. For more information, visit UC Davis School of Medicine at