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Practice News


Dr. Kaufman Quoted in Rutgers Magazine

Dr. Kaufman was quoted in a recent Rutgers magazine article on a new procedure that might solve the issue of “long-gap” nerve injuries. Click the image below to read the original article.

Iowa Man Hopes to Celebrate Phrenic Nerve Surgery by Running a Marathon

Dr. Matthew Kaufman of The Institute for Advanced Reconstruction, Only Known Expert, Performs the Surgery


Kurt Matthewson went out for his typical run one morning, and quite suddenly, had trouble breathing. “I couldn’t take a deep breath,” was how he felt. When the problem persisted, he went to his family physician, and then to a specialist, who determined the 48-year-old Madrid, Iowa resident was working on only 50 percent lung capacity.

Tests revealed the left side of his diaphragm was not functioning. The diaphragm muscle is the primary muscle involved in breathing. Contraction of the diaphragm muscle permits expansion of the chest cavity and inhalation of air into the lungs. The cause of phrenic nerve damage is sometimes very easy to pinpoint, such as surgery to the neck or chest, or an accident; however sometimes, as in Matthewson’s case, it can be difficult to discern.

Over the next several years, Matthewson twice traveled to a very famous major medical center. After the first time, he waited for two years, hoping the problem would abate. When he returned to the same center for testing, they found no change in his diaphragm function, and suggested plication, a surgical procedure that pulls the diaphragm down. Matthewson was not inclined to do that surgery, and when he asked the specialist at this renowned institution about nerve grafting, the doctor answered back, “There is no such thing.”

Four years removed from the problem, Matthewson found Dr. Matthew Kaufman on the Internet, for whom phrenic nerve surgery is, in fact, a reality. Among his nerve surgery expertise which he performs at the Institute for Advanced Reconstruction in Shrewsbury, NJ, Dr. Kaufman is the only known surgeon to perform specialized phrenic nerve surgery. He has performed the surgery over 75 times, on patients from age 11 to over 70 and from all over the USA and one from Australia.

In addition to a career as a commercial lender in the banking industry, Kurt Matthewson is a lifelong athlete whose resume includes a career as a collegiate golfer and a period of time in his 40s as an amateur competitive natural body builder.

He traveled to New Jersey in 2012 to undergo surgery with Dr. Kaufman, who as part of his usual procedure, did a nerve transplant with a graft taken from Matthewson’s ankle.

According to Dr. Kaufman, “We are optimistic that Mr. Matthewson will regain substantial diaphragm function after undergoing phrenic nerve surgery and that he will see progressive improvements over the next two to three years as the regenerated nerve leads to gradual muscle recovery.”

Kurt Matthewson’s surgery was six months ago. Reports Matthewson, “Today I’m feeling better. I feel my breathing is improved. I’m going to fight the good fight.” To that end, Matthewson, who is now regularly running, has set himself a goal. Since he believes long distance running is the ultimate test of breathing, his goal is to run a marathon (26.2 miles) on the one year anniversary of his surgery, July 20, 2013. “Hopefully, I’ll be able to celebrate my improvement.”

Nerve Graft Transplant Helps Eliminate Life-Threatening Pressure Ulcers

SHREWSBURY, N.J. – February 08, 2010 – The Plastic Surgery Center today announced that an innovative nerve graft transplant performed by Dr. Andrew Elkwood has proven to be successful in treating and preventing posterior pressure ulcers – one of the leading causes of mortality among paraplegics. 49-year old Tory Cavalieri, who underwent the procedure last January, has regained sensation in his posterior and is free of acute pressure sores, which had left him bedridden for years.

“We are absolutely thrilled with Tory’s results and the incredible implications for the wheelchair-bound community at large,” said Dr. Elkwood.  “The success of this procedure can prove to be life-changing for tens of thousands of people worldwide whose lives are subjugated by acute posterior sores.”

The nerve graft, which was performed by Dr. Elkwood in January 2009, was intended to restore sensation to the posterior of Mr. Cavalieri, who suffered from acute pressure sores.  As part of the two-hour procedure, Dr. Elkwood and his team removed 12 inches of functioning sural nerve from Mr. Cavalieri’s leg and attached a nerve from his rib area to the sciatic nerve in his leg.  Mr. Cavalieri, of Morganville, N.J., had become paralyzed after breaking his spinal cord in a motorcycle accident on Labor Day weekend 2004.  He was previously a competitive Motorcross racer for more than 12 years, and a former NASCAR-licensed, late-model stock car driver.

About The Plastic Surgery Center

Dr. Elkwood is part of the medical team at the Plastic Surgery Center, which is located in Shrewsbury, New Jersey, and comprised of a group of surgeons who are highly skilled in nerve transplantation and advanced reconstruction. They perform a number of unique operations to help patients suffering from life-altering medical conditions who are often unaware that a treatment is available. Some of these conditions that the Plastic Surgery Center treats include:

  • Paralysis resulting from accidents and strokes
  • Diabetic neuropathy
  • Paralyzed diaphragm/ventilator-based breathing
  • Facial reanimation
  • Nerve decompression for migraine headaches

For further information, please visit www.advancedreconstruction.com.

NJ Medical Team Utilizes Advanced Reconstructive Expertise to Help Wheelchair-Bound Patients

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For Immediate Release

PARAPLEGIC RECEIVES RARE NERVE TRANSPLANT TO RELIEVE LIFE-ALTERING PRESSURE ULCERS

NJ Medical Team Utilizes Advanced Reconstructive Expertise to Help Wheelchair-Bound Patients

SHREWSBURY, NJ – January 21, 2009 – The Plastic Surgery Center today announced that in a highly rare procedure, a paraplegic received a nerve grafting to relieve life-altering posterior pressure ulcers. The surgery was performed by a New Jersey medical team under the direction of Dr. Andrew Elkwood.  World-renowned in the field of nerve transplantation, Dr. Elkwood utilized his expertise in a way that can be life-altering for paraplegics worldwide whose lives are subjugated by acute posterior sores.

During the procedure, which took place on January 13th at Monmouth Medical Center, doctors took nerves from the patient’s paralyzed leg and grafted from the rib to the sciatic nerve.  Dr. Elkwood and Dr. Russell Ashinoff, who helped lead the surgery, are intending for the procedure to restore sensation in the patient’s posterior and prevent acute pressure ulcers -a common side effect associated with paraplegics that can relegate otherwise highly-functional handicapped people to be bedridden. The surgery was performed on 49-year-old Tory Cavalieri, who became paralyzed after breaking his spinal cord in a dirt bike accident ten years ago.

“Nerve transplants have shown incredible success in helping restore movement in paralyses caused by accidents, strokes and other medical tragedies,” said Dr. Elkwood. “We are encouraged by initial results of last week’s procedure, as this surgery has the potential to improve the lives of the tens of thousands of handicapped patients who are affected by these acute pressure ulcers.”

Dr. Elkwood is part of the medical team at the Plastic Surgery Center, which is comprised of a group of surgeons who are highly skilled in nerve transplantation and advanced reconstruction. They perform a number of unique operations to help patients suffering from life-altering medical conditions who are often unaware that a treatment is available. Some of these conditions that the Plastic Surgery Center treats include:

  • Paralysis resulting from accidents and strokes
  • Diabetic Neuropathy
  • Paralyzed diaphragm/ventilator-based breathing
  • Facial Reanimation

About The Plastic Surgery Center

Located in Shrewsbury, New Jersey, The Plastic Surgery Center’s team of doctors has more than 50 years of combined experience performing facial, skin, and body cosmetic surgery. They offer cutting edge cosmetic and reconstructive procedures and have developed a number of innovative surgical techniques offered at few other facilities in the world. The Plastic Surgery Center doctors are committed to excellence providing exceptional, personalized care in a friendly, comfortable setting using the most advanced equipment available. For further information, please visit the Plastic Surgery Center’s website at www.looknatural.com.

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If you are seeking the latest in paralysis treatment and nerve reconstruction, contact the Institute for Advanced Reconstruction today.

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