Q & A with Shriners Children’s Boston Chief of Plastic Surgery Branko Bojovic, M.D.
In addition to treating children with burns, Shriners Children’s Boston is one of the world’s leading centers for pediatric reconstructive surgery. Chief of Plastic Surgery Branko Bojovic, M.D., oversees the team of physicians that treats children with both burn and non-burn conditions using surgical and non-surgical laser techniques. We recently sat down with Dr. Bojovic to learn more about his role at Shriners Children’s Boston.
What are your day-to-day activities as chief of plastic surgery?
My responsibilities encompass clinical care, administrative duties and clinical research. As chief, I support our plastic surgery faculty, work to create a cohesive team, and ensure that we are providing the best possible clinical care to our patients and families, regardless of their ability to pay. As a component of determining the best treatment plan for patients, I regularly collaborate with our acute burn team colleagues. I also speak about our services and hospital mission to our Shriners fraternity members, medical colleagues and other supporters. I also participate in clinical outreach missions and publish articles in the surgical literature on our innovative techniques. Finally, I enjoy being available to mentor students and residents who rotate through our hospital.
What are your priorities for plastic, reconstructive and laser services?
My overall priority is to be sure we can provide care to any patients who need it, as long as it is within the mission and offerings of our hospital. We have a very talented and highly skilled group of faculty surgeons who offer comprehensive treatment options for patients with burn-related and congenital issues, as well as scar therapy options. As a hospital, we are unique in being able to offer such comprehensive options and facilitate collaborative relationships with many referring institutions and individuals locally, regionally, nationally and internationally. Ideally, I want to be certain that if a patient is a candidate for our services, we are available to provide them with care.
What should the public know about Shriners Children’s?
Our hospital is exceptional and perhaps the only one in the country that has such a long and storied tradition of managing acute and chronic burn-related injuries in such a holistic and seamless fashion. Our plastics team has a very strong collaborative relationship with our acute burn team colleagues. We are uniquely poised to offer state-of-the-art options from the initial point of contact through a patient's 21st birthday. This long-term care enables the best outcomes for patients in terms of their appearance, mobility and function after injury.
In addition, our laser therapeutic options for burn and traumatic scars are cutting-edge. Our approach is unique in that surgeons, not dermatologists, offer those treatments along with their surgical techniques. This only strengthens our collaboration with our dermatology colleagues, as we can share our perspectives in laser management of various skin conditions as a multidisciplinary team.
Our proximity to Massachusetts General Hospital allows us to partner with world-class colleagues and care for children with some of the most challenging skin conditions who otherwise would not have options for treatment.
What injuries or conditions that our plastic surgeons treat do you wish to highlight?
We have expertise in many areas and I encourage families and health providers to reach out with any specific questions about our services. There are three areas that deserve special mention: our cleft lip and palate and craniofacial services, our hand and upper extremity reconstructive options, and our multimodal laser therapeutic options.
Our surgeons are skilled in scar management. While this is an important component of a burn injury recovery care plan, it is also beneficial to patients with scarring from other sources. For example, we care for children who have scarring from dog bites, motor vehicle accidents, and injuries from cuts and other sources. The approach to managing those scars is similar to the work we do with children who have burn injuries. The goal is to improve the appearance of the scar over time while helping the child achieve optimal range of motion if the injury has affected that. We also use laser technology to improve the appearance of birthmarks in children, such as port wine stains.
What is special about Shriners Children’s?
Our ability to be able to treat patients without concern for their family's ability to pay has always been a distinguishing feature that is so unique and special. Many people are still not aware of this fact. Our mission allows us to practice in such a way that optimizes the focus of care on the patient solely without the constraints that many of us encounter in other environments. This allows for care to many children who otherwise would have limited or no options. That is truly remarkable and life-changing for so many families.
To learn more about plastic, reconstructive and laser services at Shriners Children’s Boston, read about our patients Sharon, Paige, Leufry and Griffin, who all received life-changing care from our team.
Branko Bojovic, M.D., attended SUNY Buffalo School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, having completed residencies in general surgery (Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center) and plastic surgery (Harvard Combined Program: Massachusetts General Hospital, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston Children’s Hospital and Shriners Children’s Boston).
Dr. Bojovic then completed a craniofacial microsurgery fellowship at the Johns Hopkins Hospital and the University of Maryland R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center. He has expertise in adult and pediatric craniofacial surgery and microsurgery. He has received numerous clinical and volunteer awards, and recognitions throughout his career. He also was a member of the team that performed the world’s most comprehensive facial transplantation to date, in March of 2012, at the R. Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center.
In 2019, Dr. Bojovic was awarded the Order of Karađorđe’s Star for his achievements in medicine by the President of Serbia. This prestigious honor is recognized as Serbia’s highest civil or military decoration. In addition to medicine, honorees are selected for accomplishments in sports, military service, art, science and humanitarianism.
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