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Dr. Colwell specializes in plastic surgery of the breast, body, and face. She offers guidance in treatment options that are tailored to each unique individual.
Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery
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MassGeneral Hospital for Children
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Dr. Colwell specializes in plastic surgery of the breast, body, and face. She completed her general surgery training at the Brigham and Women's Hospital and then finished a three year residency in plastic surgery in the Harvard combined training program and a research fellowship at Stanford University. Dr. Colwell has been named a Castle Connolly top doctor by her peers and she has been awarded the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award.
Dr. Colwell has special interests in all types of breast surgery including reconstruction after mastectomy for breast cancer, breast augmentation, breast lifts (mastopexy), and breast reduction. She has written articles on each of these procedures to improve techniques and outcomes, and she is considered a national leader in immediate implant reconstruction (single stage or direct-to-implant reconstruction) after nipple-sparing mastectomy.
Dr. Colwell also has a focused interest on abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) and body contouring (arm lifts, buttock lifts, thigh lifts, labiaplasty, and facelift/eyelid lifts) after childbirth, massive weight loss, and with aging. She evaluates each person's unique body to recommend the best procedure for them considering their desires and safety considerations. Dr. Colwell has taught courses in abdominoplasty and body contouring to plastic surgeons and serves as the faculty instructor to teach these techniques to the Harvard plastic surgery residents. She has experience with ultrasonic liposuction for added enhancement. Dr. Colwell also performs fat grafting, facial fillers (restylane and juvaderm), and botox.
Dr. Colwell has research interests in improving techniques and outcomes for breast reconstruction and body contouring. She is currently assessing patient satisfaction after different types of breast reconstruction and assessing the differences between patients who go on to have reconstruction compared to those who do not. This may help in counseling future patients. Dr. Colwell has also published the MGH experience on reconstructions after nipple-sparing mastectomy. Currently the hospital has over 2000 implant reconstructions following mastectomy procedures which save the native nipple. In many surgeries, the patient has the implant placed on the same day as the mastectomy so that she awakens from surgery with her new breasts and no other surgery is necessary.
In addition, Dr. Colwell is interested in abdominoplasty (tummy tuck) outcomes. She reviewed the MGH experience of 779 surgeries in her paper "Impact of Technique and Patient Subtype on Abdominoplasty Outcomes: A 12-Year Massachusetts General Hospital Experience" and found the MGH technique to be safe. She also found that combining abdominal surgery with other common surgeries performed for a mommy make-over (such as breast lifts or breast augmentations and liposuction) to be safe and have a similar low rate of complications. This paper was awarded an outstanding paper award at the American Society of Plastic Surgeons national meeting in 2016. In addition, Dr. Colwell is interested in patient safety in body contouring and is trying to determine the best way to manage these patients during their procedures to minimize risk of complications and optimize outcomes.
View my most recent publications at PubMed
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