Café Scientifique to discuss innovative techniques in reconstructive surgery

April 11, 2016

Rachel Librach
[email protected]

As the complexity of deformities, traumatic injuries and cancer-related illnesses increase, surgeons are challenged to find new and innovative techniques to help those affected regain their confidence.

Café Scientifique, in Clyde’s on April 12 from 6:30 to 8 p.m., will focus on revolutionary techniques in physical reconstruction and the effects these procedures have on patients.

Everyone can enjoy the event because the discussions that come from Café Scientifique events are informing, compelling and original, according to geography and environmental studies professor Tom Huber.

Huber created Café Scientifique in 2004 and has invited faculty, community members and other experts to present their research at UCCS.

Past events have been centered around topics such as anthropology, geology and medicine. Huber has also invited groups in charge of the mission to Mars.

“Students should come because this event satisfies the main purpose for any university: curiosity and learning,” said Huber.

“I like it because it’s basically pure education,” he added. “People can come because they want to be here, they don’t have to pay for it, they buy a glass of wine, a hamburger. It’s really pure university; it’s what we should be doing.”

Each speaker has 30 to 45 minutes to present, then the audience can participate in an open discussion for up to 45 minutes.

The keynote speaker attending the event will be Tae Chong.

Chong has practiced reconstructive plastic surgery for the last six years at University of Colorado Hospital and UCHealth – Lone Tree Health Center.

People may not be aware of the revolutionary nature of reconstructive procedures and the impact that they can have on people’s mental and emotional state, according to Chong.

“Plastic surgery is about restoring people’s lives. So many have suffered from cancer, traumatic defects, firefighting injuries, accidents and war wounds,” Chong said.

“These people have lost their identity and are largely labeled as social outcasts and often go into isolation. Reconstruction gives them their face back and that can’t be measured.”

Chong has contributed to developing what he described as a “super micro” surgery, meant to combat the effects of lymphedema, which occurs when fluid high in protein settles under the skin. This operation will redirect the fluid into veins to allow fluids in one’s limb to drain more easily, which reduces swelling and pain.

“Not a lot of centers out there are providing this treatment, because it is so cutting edge,” Chong said. “The benefits to patients are innumerable. It’s not a cure, but a really good treatment and sometimes that’s enough.”

Chong hopes this event will inspire students, spark discussion, and make people aware of all the possibilities that are out there or waiting to be discovered.

For more information about Café Scientifique events, visit

The Lowdown:
What: Café Scientifique
When: April 12, 6:30-8 p.m.
Where: Clyde’s
Cost: Free to Students