Dr. Merisa L. Piper is a plastic and reconstructive surgeon who specializes in breast reconstruction and general reconstruction, with expertise in all methods. With the goal of restoring appearance after partial or complete breast removal, she focuses particularly on microsurgery and free tissue transfer, using skin, fat and muscle from another part of the body.
Piper's research focuses on improving outcomes after breast reconstruction, particularly after microsurgery and oncoplastic surgery, which combines tumor removal with reconstruction. She is interested in how the timing of breast reconstruction and various interventions may affect the development or prevention of capsular contracture (the body naturally encapsulates a synthetic implant, and the capsule sometimes shrinks and causes discomfort). She also studies how to improve outcomes in patients who have had tumor removal in combination with breast reconstruction.
Piper earned her medical degree from the University of California, Irvine. She completed a combined general surgery and plastic surgery residency at UCSF. During her residency, she spent one year investigating breast reconstruction outcomes and developing a phase II clinical trial, a study that examines a treatment's efficacy and safety. She then completed a fellowship in microsurgery at the University of Pennsylvania.
Piper has authored more than 25 papers and presented her work nationally and internationally. She is a breast section editor for Annals of Plastic Surgery and a guest reviewer for four scientific journals.
In her free time, Piper enjoys running, swimming, baking and being with her husband and two kids.
UC Irvine School of Medicine, 2011
UCSF, General Surgery and Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, 2018
University of Pennsylvania, Microsurgery, 2019