The Journey of Dr. Cheng

Say Goodbye to Compression Garments after Dr. Cheng’s Lymphedema Microsurgery

Ming-Huei Cheng MD

Winner of the 2006 Godina Travel Fellow of American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery award, Ming-Huei Cheng MD, MBA, FACS, is a board-certified plastic surgeon specialized in reconstructive microsurgery. Dr. Ming-Huei Cheng completed his General Surgery and Plastic Surgery residency training at Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in 1991-1997. He finished a combined microsurgical and research fellowship at the Department of Plastic Surgery, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas in 1999. He is a member of the American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery since 2003, a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons since 2009, an international member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons since 2012, and he became an Adjunct Professor of the Section of Plastic Surgery at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, the USA in 2017.

Dr. Cheng is listed among the most sought-after surgeons in the reconstructive microsurgery field. He has been invited as a visiting professor to more than 30 world-renowned medical centers in the United States and other countries. He has authored a total of 233 peer-reviewed papers, 41 book chapters, and edited one lymphedema textbook (Principles and Practice of Lymphedema Surgery, 2016, Elsevier) and one head & neck reconstruction textbook (Resection and Reconstruction of Head & Neck Cancers, 2019, Springer). There is a total of 6,858 citations of his publications with the h-index of 44 at the Google Scholar on February 26, 2019 (https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=KtfcDvcAAAAJ&hl=en).

Earlier in his career, Dr. Cheng extensively involved in extremity reconstruction and head and neck cancer reconstruction. He has explored and developed new methods to harvest an osteomyocutaneous peroneal artery combined (OPAC) flap for head and neck reconstruction. Recently, his focus of clinical and research work has been on breast reconstruction and lymphedema microsurgery. In breast reconstruction, Dr. Cheng developed a modified nipple reconstruction technique using autologous rib cartilage, along with the areola tattooing to achieve a symmetrical appearance. He was the first in the world to combine breast reconstruction and breast augmentation procedures by using split DIEP flaps. Such combined treatment does not only allow the patient to have breast reconstruction after mastectomy but also improves the aesthetic outcome of the contralateral breast at the same time. For managing extremity lymphedema, he invented to utilize distal recipient site for vascularized lymph node flap transfer, together with related research on the mechanism of vascularized lymph node transfer, which he had been working on since 2000. He has trained many domestic and international well-known surgeons such as Drs. Joseph Dayan and Robert Allen Jr. at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Dung Nguyen at Stanford University, Ketan Patel at the University of Southern California, Dhruv Singhal at BIDMC/ Harvard Medical School, and Wei-Fan Chen at Cleveland Clinic to practice this vascularized lymph node transfer technique for their breast cancer-related lymphedema patients.

Dr. Cheng is a well-known reconstructive microsurgeon in the international medical society. He was a keynote lecturer, panelist, and invited speaker in numerous international meetings. He has trained 95 residents and 100 international fellows and had 925 international visitors in the past 20 years. Dr. Cheng was honored to be selected as the 2006 Godina Traveling Fellow of the American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery (the first one from Asia) to visit 13 renown institutes in the world and Zamboni Visiting Professor of the American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery in 2016 and had the opportunity to visit 5 more famous institutes in the United States. Dr. Cheng received the Outstanding Alumni Award from the Chung Shun Medical University and Distinguished Alumni Award from Chang Gung University in 2008 and 2013, respectively. He’s been named a top reviewer in Publons’ Global Peer Review Awards 2018.

Dr. Cheng has championed the collaboration between the Taiwan Society of Plastic Surgery (TSPS) and the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). His vision is to raise the recognition and visibility of TSPS members at the international community and to expose the junior doctors and surgeons to the outside world with most learning opportunities through the alliance and partnership with ASPS. He also hosted the first Asian Symposium for Breast Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery in 2009. It has been held annually for 10 years consecutively since then. Several other international events that he held, to name a few, was the World Symposium on Lymphedema Surgery in 2013, 2016 and 2019.

Dr. Cheng founded the Taiwan Breast Reconstruction Society (TBRS) in 2002. The mission of TBRS is to unite and connect patients with breast cancer and to offer support and encouragement for each other. With increasing visibility and outstanding of the accomplishments of TBRS, more and more volunteers including doctors and nurses have joined to serve and help cancer patients throughout the years. As an advocate in fighting and raising the awareness of breast cancer, and supporting breast reconstruction for women in Taiwan, Dr. Cheng promoted the collaboration between TBRS and Avon Cosmetics Company to establish a “Taiwan Breast Reconstruction Fund (TBRF)” in 2008. This charitable fund is to provide financial aid to the women who are in the need of breast reconstruction surgery but cannot afford it. So far, TBRF has sponsored more than 400 breast cancer patients for the breast reconstruction costs via the application process with this fund. He and his team of TBRF successful hosted the 7th Global Chinese Breast Cancer Organizations Alliance with more than 500 participants in Taoyuan in May 2018.

Dr. Cheng has consistently received support with 20 research projects from the Ministry of Science and Technology and 22 projects from Chang Gung Memorial Hospital and published 39 basic research papers, including 4 in Biomaterials (SCI; IF = 10.27; Engineering, Biomedical 1/78), one in Adv Mater. 2015 Jan;27(1):138-44. (SCI; IF = 25.80; Materials science, multidisciplinary 8/285) and 3 in Tissue Engineering (SCI; IF = 6.51, Cell and Tissue Engineering 2/26). He further established a “Center for Tissue Engineering” for advanced translational research at Chang Gung Memorial Hospital to conduct in-depth research projects and ultimately to deliver the best plastic and reconstructive surgery outcomes in 2014. Throughout his professional years, he has received 20 patents. (3 US patents and 17 Taiwan patents).

Academic Achievements

Dr. Cheng’s peer-reviewed research papers of upper limb lymphedema, “Vascularized groin lymph node transfer using the wrist as a recipient site for management of postmastectomy upper extremity lymphedema”, “Vascularized groin lymph node flap transfer for postmastectomy upper limb lymphedema: The anatomy, mechanism and outcomes”, “The mechanism of vascularized lymph node transfer for lymphedema – Natural lymphatico-Venous Drainage” were all published in the leading journal of plastic surgery, Journal of Plastic Reconstructive Surgery.

The article “A Novel Approach to the Treatment of Lower Extremity Lymphedema by Transferring a Vascularized Submental Lymph Node Flap to the Ankle” by Dr. Cheng was published in another leading journal of gynecology, “Gynecologic Oncology” in 2012.

Dr. Cheng has been recently invited to contribute chapters to six different medical books, including “Perforator Flaps: Anatomy, Technique, and Clinical Applications 2E” edited by Drs. Blondeel, Morris, Hallock, and Neligan as well as “Operative Microsurgery: Upper and Lower Extremities” edited by Boyd and Jones.

Only list topic related lymphedema microsurgery:

International Invited Lectures

  1. Vascularized groin lymph node transfer using the wrist as a recipient site for management of postmastectomy upper extremity lymphedema. Third conference, Group for Advance Breast Reconstruction surgeons. Beijing, China, October 12, 2008.
  2. Vascularized groin lymph node transfer using the wrist as a recipient site for management of postmastectomy upper extremity lymphedema. Institute of Reconstructive Plastic Surgery, New York University Langone Medical Center, New York, October 28, 2008.
  3. Vascularized groin lymph node transfer using the wrist as a recipient site for management of postmastectomy upper extremity lymphedema. Division of Plastic Surgery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, October 31, 2008.
  4. Vascular Groin Lymph node transfer for postmastectomy upper extremity lymphedema. First Asian Symposium for Breast Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery in Taoyuan, Taiwan, May 30- 31, 2009.
  5. Management of Post-Mastectomy Upper Extremity Edema. 1st Mayo Clinic/Chang Gung University Medical College Symposium in Reconstructive Microsurgery in Rochester, Minnesota, June 4-7, 2009.
  6. Vascularized Groin Lymph Node Transfers for Treatment of Upper Extremity Lymphedema. Techniques in Flap Dissection with Cadaver Workshop Program in Dallas, Texas, July 11-12, 2009.
  7. Vascularized Groin Lymph Node Transfers for Treatment of Upper Extremity Lymphedema. The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer, Houston, Texas, July 13-14, 2009.
  8. Vascularized Groin Lymph Node Transfers for Treatment of Upper Extremity Lymphedema. University of South California, Los Angeles, California, July 16-17, 2009.
  9. Vascularized groin lymph node transfer for postmastectomy upper extremity lymphedema. The third Shenzhen Conference of Breast Cancer in Shenzhen, China, August 27-30, 2009.
  10. Vascularized groin lymph node transfer for postmastectomy upper extremity lymphedema. 2009 Taipei International Breast Cancer Symposium, Taipei, Taiwan, September 12-13, 2009.
  11. Vascularized Groin Lymph Node Transfer for Postmastectomy Upper Limb Lymphedema. Asia Breast Cancer Collaborative Group Meeting 2010, Guangzhou International Breast Cancer Symposium in Guangzhou, China, September 3-5, 2010.
  12. Vascular Groin Lymph Node Transfer for Post Mastectomy Lymphedema. The 16th World Congress of the International Confederation for Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery, Vancouver, Canada, May 21-27, 2011.
  13. Vascularized LN Transfer for Lymphedema Treatment. The 4th CCH International Breast Cancer Conference, Taichung, Taiwan, August 13, 2011.
  14. Lower Limb Lymphedema Treatment with Vascularized Submental Lymph Nodes Flap Transfer. APAGE 2013 Laparoscopic Gynecologic Oncology Surgery & Hands-on Animal Workshop, Shanghai, China, March 21-23, 2013.
  15. Evaluation of the Effect of Vascularized Lymph Nodes Transfer on Lymphatic Drainage and Local Immune Function in an Experimental Rat Lymphedema Model. 2013 International Symposium on Surgical Treatment of Lymphedema, Taoyuan, Taiwan, April 10-20, 2013.
  16. Vascularized Groin Lymph Node Flap Transfer for Postmastectomy Upper Limb Lymphedema: The Flap Anatomy, Recipient Sites, and Outcomes. 2013 International Symposium on Surgical Treatment of Lymphedema, Taoyuan, Taiwan, April 10-20, 2013.
  17. Vascularized Submental Lymph Node Flap Transfer for the Treatment of Lower Extremity Lymphedema: Anatomical Study and Clinical Applications. 2013 International Symposium on Surgical Treatment of Lymphedema, Taoyuan, Taiwan, April 10-20, 2013.
  18. Vascularized lymph node flap transfer. Department of Plastic Surgery, MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, Washington, DC, USA. February 6, 2014.
  19. Submental lymph node transplantation for lymphedema. Research and Surgical Perspectives in Lymphedema, Brussel, Belgium, March 3, 2014.
  20. Vascularized lymph nodes flaps for lymphedema – Taiwan style. 3rd International Symposium on Lymphedema Surgical Treatment, Barcelona, Spin. March 5, 2014.
  21. Vascularized lymph node transfer for upper and lower limbs lymphedema – recipient site selection and mechanism. The 2nd Meeting of Asian Pacific Federation of Societies for Reconstructive Microsurgery (APFSRM) 2014, Buyeo, Korea. July 4, 2014.
  22. Vascularized Lymph Node Flap for Breast Cancer related Lymphedema. The 5th International Oncoplastic Breast Surgery Symposium, Guangzhou, China, September 20, 2014.
  23. Vascularized Lymph Node Transfer for Upper and Lower Limbs Lymphedema—Recipient Site Selection and Mechanism. The 6th Asian Symposium for Breast Reconstructive Surgery, Bali, Indonesia, October 21, 2014.
  24. Vascularized lymph node flap transfer for treatment of lymphedema. The 4th Congress of the World Association for Plastic Surgeons of Chinese Descent, November 7, 2014.
  25. Vascularize Lymph Node Flap Transfer for Upper and Lower Limb Lymphedema. The 58th Annual Meeting of Japan Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Kyoto, Japan. April 8 to 10, 2015.
  26. Submental Lymph Node Transfer. The Chicago Breast & Lymphedema Symposium, Chicago, Illinois, September 19 – 20, 2015.
  27. The Mechanism of Vascularized Lymph Node Transfer for Lymphedema- Natural Lymphatico-venous Drainage. The 5th World Symposium for Lymphedema Surgery, Chang Gung Linkou Medical Center, Taoyuan, April 27 – 29, 2016.
  28. Recent Advances in Lower Limb Lymphedema, The 17th Asia-Pacific Association for Gynecologic Endoscopy and Minimally Invasive Therapy (APAGE) Annual Congress 2016, Taipei International Convention Center, Taiwan, November 4- 6, 2016.
  29. Vascularized lymph nodes flap transfers for upper and lower limbs lymphedema, the Orange County Society of Plastic Surgeons meeting, Los Angles, USA, November 7, 2016.
  30. Lymph Node Transplant - Groin/Submental, The first annual Lymphedema Symposium at BIDMC/Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA, November 3, 2017.
  31. Submental LNT, WSRM/ASLS Joint Symposium on Lymphatic Surgery, January 12, 2018.
  32. Vascularized Lymph Node Transfer for Treatment of Lymphedema, 1st Annual USC Multi-Disciplinary Approach to Lymphedema and Related Disorders Symposium, June 9, 2018.

Invited Panelist and Moderator

  1. Vascularized groin lymph node transfer for postmastectomy lymphedema. Panel: Surgical options, techniques and outcomes for postoperative extremity lymphedema, with David Chang, and Isao Koshima. 2010 Annual Meeting, American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery, Boca Raton, Florida, January 11, 2010.
  2. Post mastectomy lymphedema – does anything work? 2010 Annual Meeting, American Society of Plastic Surgeons, Toronto, Canada, October 5, 2010.
  3. Lymphedema treatment. 2011 Annual Meeting, American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery in Cancun, Mexico, January 17, 2011.
  4. Lymphedema. The 16th World Congress of the International Confederation for Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery, Vancouver, Canada, May 21-27, 2011.
  5. Vascularized Lymph Node Transfer for the Treatment of Lymphedema: Controversies in Safety and Efficacy. 2013 Annual Meeting, American Society for – Reconstructive Microsurgery, Naples, Florida. January 12-15, 2013.
  6. Lymphedema Section. Lymph Node Transfer: Taiwan Style. 2013 Bi-Annual Meeting, World Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery, Chicago, Illinois. July 11-13, 2013.
  7. New Technologies in Lymphedema .2013 Annual Meeting, American Society of Plastic Surgeons, San Diego, California, October 11-15, 2013.
  8. Vascularized Lymph Node Transfer: Taiwan Style. Annual Meeting, American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery, Kauai, Hawaii. January 11-14, 2014.
  9. Pathophysiology of Lymphedema: current evidences. 3rd International Symposium on Lymphedema Surgical Treatment, Barcelona, Spin. March 5, 2014.
  10. Lymphnode Transfer in the Breast Cancer Patient. 2014 The Plastic Surgery Meeting, Chicago, Illinois, October 14, 2014.
  11. Decision Making in Lymphatic Surgery. 2015 Annual Meeting, American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery, Atlantis, Paradise Island, Bahamas. January 24, 2015.
  12. American Society of Lymphatic Surgery Scientific Session. 2015 American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery, Atlantis, Paradise Island, Bahamas. January 26, 2015.
  13. Master Class: Lymphedema. 2015 World Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery, Mumbai, India. March 19 – 22, 2015.
  14. Surgical Treatment of Lymphedema. The Chicago Breast & Lymphedema Symposium, Chicago, Illinois, September 19 – 20, 2015
  15. Lymph Node Transfer: How & Why I Do It This Way. The Chicago Breast & Lymphedema Symposium, Chicago, Illinois, September 19 – 20, 2015
  16. Decision Making in Lymphatic Surgery. 2016 Annual Meeting, American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery, Scottsdale, Arizona, USA. January 16, 2016.
  17. Lymphatic Surgery: Which Operation for Whom? 2016 Annual Meeting, American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery, Scottsdale, Arizona, January 19, 2016.
  18. Lymphedema: Everything You Ever Wanted To Know? American Association of Plastic Surgeons and Plastic Surgery Research Council Joint Meeting, New York, May 19 – 22, 2016.
  19. What’s New in Lymphatic Surgery. The Chicago Breast & Lymphedema Symposium, Chicago, Illinois, September 16-17, 2016.
  20. Lymphedema 1: Knowns and unknowns in lymphatic surgery: Masters’ perspectives, 9th Congress of World Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery, Seoul, Korea, June 16, 2017.
  21. Imaging – How I Do It, The first annual Lymphedema Symposium at BIDMC/Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA, November 4, 2017.
  22. An Algorithmic Approach to Deciding which Lymphedema Surgery a Patient Needs, 2018 American Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery, Phoenix, Arizona, USA. January 14, 2018.
  23. Moderator, Pre & Postop Care for Lymphedema Surgery, The Chicago Breast Symposium and 7th World Symposium on Lymphedema Surgery, Chicago, Illinois, April 26, 2018.
  24. Lymphedema Surgery II, The Chicago Breast Symposium and 7th World Symposium on Lymphedema Surgery, Chicago, Illinois, April 27, 2018.
  25. Changes in Lymphedema Surgery Over Time, The Chicago Breast Symposium and 7th World Symposium on Lymphedema Surgery, Chicago, Illinois, April 27, 2018.
  26. Cheng MH. Moderator, Keynote Lecture, the 8th World Symposium for Lymphedema surgery, Taiwan, Chang Gung Linkou Medical Center, Taoyuan, April 25, 2019.
  27. Cheng MH. Panelist, Surgical Technique and Outcomes of Variable Donor Lymph Node Flaps, the 8th World Symposium for Lymphedema surgery, Taiwan, Chang Gung Linkou Medical Center, Taoyuan, April 25, 2019.
  28. Tinhofer I, Cheng MH. Impacts of Arterial Ischemia or Venous Occlusion on Vascularized Groin Lymph Nodes in A Rat Model, April 26, 2019
  29. Koide S, Cheng MH* et al. Delayed Primary Retention Suture: A new technique to inset Vascularized Submental Lymph Node Transfer, April 26, 2019
  30. Rodriguez JR, Cheng MH* Clinical Features, Microbiological Epidemiology and Recommendations of Management for Cellulitis in Extremity Lymphedema, April 26, 2019
  31. Voravitvet TY, Cheng MH* et al. Lymphedema Microsurgery Reduces the Rate of Implant Removal for Patients Who Have Pre-existing Lymphedema and Total Knee Arthroplasty for Knee Osteoarthritis, April 26, 2019
  32. Cheng MH* . Intra-abdominal Chylovenous Bypass Treats Retroperitoneal Lymphangiomatosis, April 26, 2019
  33. Pappalardo M, Cheng MH*. Lymphoscintigraphy for the Diagnosis of Extremity Lymphedema: Current Controversies Regarding Protocol, Interpretation and Clinical Application, April 26, 2019
  34. Cheng MH. Moderator, Annual Meeting of the Asian Society of Breast Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Taiwan, Chang Gung Linkou Medical Center, Taoyuan, April 28, 2019.

Instructional Courses

  1. NEW! Vascularized Lymph Node Flap Transfer for Upper and Lower Limb Lymphedema. 2013 Annual Meeting of American Society of Plastic Surgeons, San Diego, California, October 11-15, 2013.
  2. Lymph node transfer: Chang Gung Style. 2013 Annual Meeting of American Society of Plastic Surgeons, San Diego, California, October 11-15, 2013.
  3. Lymph node Transfer – Breast Applications. 2014 Annual Meeting of American Society of Plastic Surgeons, Chicago, Illinois, October 14, 2014.
  4. Vascularized Lymph Node Flap Transfer for Upper and Lower Limb Lymphedema. 2014 Annual Meeting of American Society of Plastic Surgeons, Chicago, Illinois, October 14, 2014.
  5. Vascularized Lymph Node Flap Transfer for Upper and Lower Limb Lymphedema. 2015 Annual Meeting of American Society of Plastic Surgeons, Boston, Massachusetts, October 16, 2015.
  6. Lymph node Transfer – Breast Applications. 2015 Annual Meeting of American Society of Plastic Surgeons, Boston, Massachusetts, October 17, 2015.
  7. Advanced lymphatic surgery: How I do it. 9th Congress of World Society for Reconstructive Microsurgery, Seoul, Korea, June 16, 2017.

1.Co-chairman, 8th World Symposium for Lymphedema surgery
2.International Workshop or Live Surgery
(Live Surgery) Vascularized Submental Lymph Node Transfer, the 8th World Symposium for Lymphedema surgery, Taiwan, Chang Gung Linkou Medical Center, Taoyuan, April 25
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