Akira Yamada, MD, PhD

Attending Physician, Plastic Surgery; Member, Lurie Children's Surgical Foundation

Professor of Surgery (Pediatric Surgery) and Surgery (Plastic Surgery), Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine



Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago

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Chicago, Illinois 60611

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Northwestern Medicine Lake Forest Hospital Campus
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Lake Forest, Illinois 60045

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Chicago, Illinois 60614-3393

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Akira Yamada, MD, PhD, is a pediatric plastic and reconstructive surgeon, who has been practicing for over 30 years. He is an international expert in microtia ear reconstruction surgery, and at Lurie Children’s, he works closely with a multidisciplinary team to provide a complete spectrum of care for all microtia patients. When reconstructing an ear, Dr. Yamada is able to create a three-dimensional framework of the ear by using the patient’s own rib cartilage. His patients have shown tremendous improvement from before and after ear reconstructive surgery as shown in the photo gallery.

In pursuit of further subspecialty, Dr. Yamada spent one-and-a-half years training in the United States with the late Dr. Kenneth E. Salyer, a world expert in craniofacial surgery and cleft lip & palate surgery. During his craniofacial/cleft fellowship, Dr. Yamada performed over 100 intracranial craniosynostosis cases, 300 cleft-related surgeries and 50 orthognathic surgery (jaw surgery) cases.

After completing the fellowship, Dr. Yamada continued working with Dr. Salyer as medical director of the World Craniofacial Foundation (WCF) for 20 years, until Dr. Salyer passed away in 2020. With the WCF, which aims to help indigent children with craniofacial deformities, Dr. Yamada traveled to many countries including Russia, South Africa, Argentina, Oman, China and Mexico to educate and train local doctors and surgeons.

Dr. Yamada has lectured nationally and internationally at more than 50 academic centers. In addition, he has showcased his techniques around the globe by performing more than 50 surgical demonstrations for microtia and craniofacial surgery. His list of publications is extensive, including 13 chapters in multiple textbooks and numerous scientific articles.

Dr. Yamada is a member of American Society of Plastic Surgeons, American Association of Plastic Surgeons, and the American Society of Maxillofacial Surgeons. He is also a member of the International Society of Craniofacial Surgery. Sitting on the editorial board of several publications, Dr. Yamada has contributed to the Journal of Craniofacial Surgery, European Journal of Plastic Surgery, Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, Journal of Investigate Surgery, and Medical Hypotheses.

Procedures Performed 

Congenital and acquired external ear deformities

  • Microtia (small ear)
  • Secondary ear deformities after unsatisfactory surgery
  • Constricted ear
  • Stahl ear
  • Ear lidding deformities
  • Lop ear
  • Cryptotia
  • Prominent ear
  • Vascular malformation of the ear
  • Traumatic ear amputation
  • Partial ear defect
  • Ear lobule defect
  • Burned ear
  • Cauliflower ear
  • Ear molding therapy
  • Ear reconstruction

Congenital and acquired condition

  • Craniosynostosis
  • Cleft Lip and palate
  • Craniofacial surgery
  • Mandibular distraction
  • Crouzon syndrome
  • Apert syndrome
  • Saethre-Chotzen syndrome
  • Pfeiffer syndrome
  • Nasal reconstruction
  • Facial trauma
  • Facial fractures
  • Congenital nevi
  • Pediatric burn
  • Vascular malformation
  • Polydactyly/syndactyly
  • Scar Revision with Millard Technique
  • Epiblepharon

Clinical Interests

Ear reconstruction, cleft lip and palate, craniofacial surgery, craniosynostosis

Education & Training

Education: Yamaguchi University School of Medicine, Japan, 1987

Postgraduate Training: Fellowship in cleft lip and palate and craniofacial surgery, 2000 –2001; International Craniofacial Institute Cleft Lip and Palate Treatment Center (WCF), Dallas, Texas, 2014-2015; Fellowship in Pediatric Plastic Surgery; Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, 1988-1994; Residency in plastic and reconstructive surgery, Tokyo Metropolitan Police Hospital, Tokyo, Japan, 1992-1994

Board Certifications: Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery

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