Marga F. Massey, MD, CLT, FACS is board certified in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons with a focus on Breast Reconstruction and Vascularized Lymph Node Transfer VLNTx℠ for lymphedema.
Dr. Marga grew up on the coast of North Carolina before coming "in-land" to attend college, Medical School and General Surgery Residency at Duke University..."Tarheel" converted to "Blue Devil"!
After completing her General Surgery training, Dr. Marga elected to serve as a medical missionary in Shiprock, New Mexico where she worked as a Staff Surgeon at the Northern Navajo Medical Center. She provided surgical services to include trauma, critical care, and heptobillary and oncologic surgery including breast. This experience led her to San Francisco where she completed her Plastic Surgery training with a focus on microsurgery. She had the opportunity to work with Dr. Stephen J. Mathes, a nationally acclaimed Professor of Surgery with contributions that include the description of microsurgical transfer of muscle flaps. Additionally, she trained at the Buncke Clinic, founded by Dr. Harry J. Buncke, the father of microsurgery. Her training at UCSF included time at San Francisco General Hospital where she further defined her desire to develop a career dedicated to women's health care issues, specifically in underserved patient populations.
In 2002, Dr. Marga was recruited to join the faculty at the University of Utah – a position she accepted as few women in Utah were undergoing breast reconstruction. As an Assistant Professor of Surgery, Dr. Marga helped to change the face of Breast Reconstruction in the Intermountain West. She was challenged by a new culture where Breast Reconstruction was limited to breast implants and rotational muscle flaps. She was a founding faculty member of the Huntsman Cancer Hospital when it opened in July 2004. She preformed what we believe to be the first perforator flap breast reconstruction in the state of Utah only 2 weeks after the cancer center opened its doors to serve as the leading oncologic referral center in 8 states. The number of women who received breast reconstruction annually grew as she remained a faculty member in Utah. Several of her Plastic Surgery Residents chose to include Breast Reconstruction in their eventual practice patterns.
Dr. Marga led a basic science research effort at the Huntsman Cancer Institute, and in 2003 was the recipient of a Building Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women's Health (BIRCWH) award in excess of $450,000. Her research interests include ischemia reperfusion injury of the adipocyte and stem cell tissue engineering.
Given her belief that microsurgical perforator flaps are the gold standard of breast reconstruction, Dr. Marga developed a relationship with Dr. Robert J. Allen, the pioneer of DIEP, SIEA and GAP flaps. She was recruited by Dr. Allen to join the staff at the Center for Microsurgical Breast Reconstruction in June 2007. Since moving to Charleston, Dr. Marga has provided care to women not only of South Carolina, but from all over the world as most patients commute to the center to undergo breast reconstruction in an experienced hospital setting. She continues her commitment to the women of the Intermountain West as she commutes to Utah on a regular basis. Additionally, she has established a presence in Chicago in order to bridge the gap for women in the Midwest.
Since moving to Charleston, Dr. Marga has developed an interest in the surgical treatment of lymphedema – a natural extension of her involvement in the treatment of breast cancer. She has traveled on 4 mission trips just this year including Paris, France, Recife, Brazil and Cairo, Egypt to work with Dr. Corinne Becker, a pioneer of Vascularized Lymph Node Transfer VLNTx℠. Dr. Marga has participated in more than 50 cases of Vascularized Lymph Node Transfer VLNTx℠ abroad including congenital upper and lower extremity disorders and lymphedema secondary to filarial infection and cancer treatment. Additionally, Dr. Marga has served as a Visiting Professor at Zagazig University in Zagazig, Egypt having performed the first DIEP flap breast reconstruction in their facility.
Dr. Marga is a research collaborator with Dr. Corinne Becker and Dr. Sohbi Hweidi. This research collaboration is one of the first such microsurgical programs to seek a WHO Collaboration Center designation for the study of the surgical treatment of lymphedema. Their collective effort likely represents the world's largest collection of lymph node transfers for upper and lower extremity lymphedema. Few centers in the United States perform such sophisticated lymph node transfers for the treatment of lymphedema. Dr. Marga is excited to provide this novel surgical technique in the United States for those individuals suffering from lymphedema.