Henry Ford Allegiance Plastic Surgery in Jackson, part of Detroit’s Henry Ford Health System, is increasing access to specialized surgical care while coordinating with other surgeons, allowing patients needing multiple procedures to have the surgeries at one time. Spearheading the initiative is Dr. Shoshana Ambani, medical director of Henry Ford Allegiance Plastic Surgery.
Ambani’s areas of clinical interest include breast reconstruction, microvascular reconstruction, facial and body aesthetic surgery, lymphedema surgery, and peripheral nerve surgery.
“A lot of what I do involves complementing the work of fellow surgeons to ensure their patients have the best outcomes and quality of life possible,” says Ambani.
Using microsurgery, Ambani completed the first free flap case at Henry Ford Allegiance Health. The patient had a prior mastectomy for breast cancer on one side and chose to undergo a preventative mastectomy on the other. Ambani completed the breast reconstruction at the same time that another surgeon completed the preventative mastectomy. Tissue from the patient’s lower abdominal area was transplanted to the chest on both sides.
“Each side required hooking up an artery and vein under the microscope. That way, the tissue, or flap, has its own pulse and lives just like the rest of her own tissues,” says Ambani.
Ambani also performed a lymphaticovenous anastomoses, the first super-microsurgery at Henry Ford Allegiance.
“Around the world, microsurgeons consider this super-microsurgery because tiny lymphatic channels are hooked up to nearby veins using sutures that are thinner than a hair,” says Ambani.
Prior to surgery, the patient had to wear compression garments around the clock due to lymphedema in her arm. Now, she no longer wears any compression and has more freedom of movement.
Ambani also completed the first complex back reconstruction with flaps for spinal hardware that had eroded through the skin, which was removed by a neurosurgeon. She also performed the first complex flap reconstruction of a chronic pressure sore in a paraplegic patient, working alongside an orthopedic surgeon who removed the underlying infected femoral bone.
Ambani graduated from Duke University School of Medicine and completed a residency in integrated plastic surgery at the University of Michigan. She completed a fellowship in microvascular reconstructive surgery at the University of Pittsburgh.