About Eric Liao, MD, PhD

Dr. Liao has combined expertise in pediatric and adult plastic surgery, in order to provide the best longitudinal care. Knowing how the body evolves over time and anticipating future development are critical to caring for pediatric and adult patients. Further, Dr. Liao integrates cosmetic techniques for reconstruction and vice versa. For example, Dr. Liao will meet babies before birth to plan treatment for cleft lip/palate with the family. Most newborns with cleft lip also have asymmetry of the nose, so expertise in cosmetic rhinoplasty are important to restore nasal symmetry for reconstruction. Likewise, it is important to consider risk of adult breast development and potential risk of breast cancer when treating macromastia or breast asymmetry in developing teens.

As the Director of Pediatric Plastic Surgery and Chief of Staff at Boston Shriners Hospital for Children, Dr. Liao has particular expertise in: 1) pediatric skin and soft tissue lesions, 2) teenage breast conditions, 3) prominent ears. As the Director of Cleft and Craniofacial Center, Dr. Liao leads our multidisciplinary team in comprehensive and multidisciplinary care of families with cleft lip and/or palate.

Dr. Liao is also an expert in breast reconstruction. He has innovated pre-pectoral breast reconstruction and contributed key clinical studies in the literature. 

Dr. Liao graduated from Stanford University, Harvard Medical School, and trained in Harvard Plastic Surgery Residency.  Dr. Liao's clinical and academic excellence have earned numerous prestigious awards:  American Surgical Association Fellowship, March of Dimes Basil O'Connor Scholarship, MGH Cancer Center 100 Honoree. Dr. Liao is dedicated to patient care and strives to magnify that impact through training the next general of academic surgeons and research.

When Dr. Liao is involved in your care, it is a personal and expert relationship. He reciprocates your trust and those of your loved ones with great surgical skill, aesthetic sense and the best surgical science has to offer.

Read testimonials from some of Dr. Liao's patients.

Clinical Interests:




Massachusetts General Hospital
15 Parkman Street
Boston, MA 02114-3117
Phone: 617-643-5975
Fax: 617-643-5967

Medical Education

  • MD, Harvard Medical School
  • Residency, Brigham and Women's Hospital
  • Residency, Massachusetts General Hospital

American Board Certifications

  • Plastic Surgery, American Board of Plastic Surgery

Accepted Insurance Plans

Note: This provider may accept more insurance plans than shown; please call the practice to find out if your plan is accepted.


Dr. Liao is the Chief Research Officer of the MGH Department of Surgery, Chief of Staff at Shriners Hospital for Children, and Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School. His research program is funded by the National Institutes of Health, Shriners Hospital for Children, and received prestigious awards from the American Surgical Association and the March of Dimes. In 2018, Dr. Liao was named the Laurie and Mason Tenaglia Mass General Research Scholar. Dr. Liao leads MGH surgical research and Boston Shriners Hospital, managing one of the largest surgical research programs in the country.

Dr. Liao strives to improve patient care through clinical and fundamental research. He has pioneered human stem cell and zebrafish craniofacial models and elucidated genetics that underpin complex craniofacial anomalies. He has made important contributions in team approach to reconstruction and cleft care. Dr. Liao believes that surgeons can impact the lives of patients we treat, but research enables us to impact the lives of patients everywhere.

Dr. Liao is active in leadership positions at the national and international levels, through major surgical organizations, such as the American Society of Plastic Surgery, American Board of Plastic Surgery, Society of University Surgeons, Plastic Surgery Research Council, and the American College of Surgeons. He and his research team regularly present at national meetings on advances in reconstruction and craniofacial genetics.

Please visit https://www.liaolabmgh.org and the Craniofacial Developmental Biology Lab.


  • View my most recent publications at PubMed

    Please see link to PubMed for selected publications.

    Craniofacial development and genetics.

    Breast surgery, techniques, safety.

    Dr. Liao serves on the Editorial Board for the American Cleft Palate Association Journal, and the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Journal.