Stefan Hofer

Stefan Hofer

MD, Ph.D., FRCS(C)

Wharton Chair in Reconstructive Plastic Surgery
Division Head, Department of Surgery and Department of Surgical Oncology, University Health Network


• Clinical Research Unit
• Clinical Studies Resource Centre
• Ontario Cancer Institute (OCI)

Dr. Hofer obtained his medical degree from the University of Amsterdam in 1992. He then completed his PhD studying tissue oxygen tension as an indicator of tissue perfusion in the Department of Surgical Research, Academic Medical Center, Amsterdam. He obtained his board certification in Plastic Surgery from the Netherlands in 2000 and became the first Plastic Surgeon to be awarded the highly prestigious Dutch Cancer Society clinical fellowship, which funded his one-year Microsurgery Research fellowship at the Bernard O’Brien Institute of Microsurgery at St. Vincent’s Hospital and the University of Melbourne in Melbourne, Australia. Dr. Hofer is internationally recognized for his outstanding contributions in the areas of clinical service, education, and research. Prior to becoming the Division's first international candidate to be recruited in over a decade, Dr. Hofer was an Associate Professor in the Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam and the Head of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgical Oncology.

Areas of Specialty

Plastic & Reconstructive Surgical Techniques and Tissue Engineering, Microsurgery, Breast, Face, Head & Neck Reconstruction, Functional Restoration

Practice Hospital

Toronto General Hospital (UHN)




Katrina Aquino

Practice Location

UHN - Toronto General Hospital
N8-865, 200 Elizabeth St.
Toronto, Ontario
M5G 2C4


(416) 340-3449


(416) 340-4403

Referral Instructions
Research Interests

Innovative Surgical Techniques
My main clinical research interest is in the development, refinement and evaluation of innovative plastic & reconstructive surgical techniques for the face, head & neck and breast following oncology surgery. An example of the development and refinement of innovative flap procedures is the Deep Inferior Epigastric Perforator Flap (DIEP) breast reconstruction technique that involves dissection of the skin and fatty tissue in the abdomen to restore the breast mound while maintaining the integrity, function and strength of the donor abdominal site compared to other procedures.

Tissue Engineering
While my clinical research focuses on technical improvements of reconstructive techniques, I am also involved in tissue engineering of adipose tissue and mucosa using living cells in artificial supporting scaffolds to replace missing tissues. This is a technology that uses the patients’ own cells in the lab and transplants the engineered living tissue back into the body. We have developed a 3-dimensional tissue engineered mucosa substitute, which we use to study radiation effects. The ultimate goal of this research is to maximize the reconstructive outcomes and quality of life while minimizing the disability caused to the donor tissue sites.

Functional, Aesthetic and Quality of Life Outcomes
I have a strong interest in the functional, aesthetic and quality of life outcomes after reconstructive surgery and have received grant funding for research projects investigating these outcomes. In addition, I am developing prospective, outcomes databases for Breast Restoration as well as Head & Neck Cancer Reconstruction at UHN.