Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery
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Dr. Kenneth Yu is an elite San Antonio, Texas Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon. He is one of the few San Antonio plastic surgeons who are double Board certified in both Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery – and Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.
Dr. Kenneth Yu is not only a surgeon but has served the United States military with distinction for over twenty years. His decision to join the U.S. Air Force was influenced by his father, a retired Air Force colonel. The elder Dr. Yu taught his kids the importance of duty and service. Dr. Yu grew up wanting to be a surgeon—becoming an Air Force physician allowed him to do something he loved while serving our country. Having decided to join the Air Force, Dr. Yu attended the United States Air Force Academy right out of high school. He received his medical degree from Boston University School of Medicine. After graduation, Dr. Yu completed his surgical internship in San Antonio, at Wilford Hall Medical Center. After the internship, he got an opportunity to serve as a flight surgeon. As a flight surgeon, Dr. Yu provided medical care directly to pilots, airmen, and their families. He got to experience the operational side of the Air Force and was assigned to a reconnaissance squadron. During the 1 ½ years as a flight surgeon, Dr. Yu deployed and flew combat missions in support of Operation Deny Flight.
After a brief stint as a flight surgeon, Dr. Yu went on to complete residency training in Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery at the world-renowned University of California San Francisco, ranked 8th in the nation by U.S. News and World Report.
After residency, Dr. Yu was assigned at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Alaska and Travis Air Force Base, California, where he served as chief of otolaryngology-head and neck surgery. Dr. Yu had the privilege of deploying to Bagram, Afghanistan (Operation Enduring Freedom), where he acted as the theater’s sole head and neck surgeon. Serving the men and women of our military, coalition, Afghan allies and locals was a tremendous experience for Dr. Yu. The deployment stands as one of Dr. Yu’s most cherished military experience. Not only did Dr. Yu provide critical head and neck surgical care to our troops and allies, but he was also only one of two Air Force surgeons trained to perform “battle field neurosurgery.” There was a high incidence of head injuries during the war in Afghanistan. Without a neurosurgeon in theater yet, Dr. Yu provided key life-saving measures. One of Dr. Yu’s most rewarding experiences was saving a small Afghan boy’s life who was injured when he inadvertently played with an explosive device. He developed a subdural bleed, an emergency life threatening condition. Dr. Yu was the only surgeon on site who could perform the life-saving surgery. Seeing the boy awake and interacting with hospital staff was a truly gratifying experience. Another unexpected benefit of deployment was the opportunity to interact with coalition medics—the South Korean physicians were a group of friendly partners. Socializing with our allies was a pleasant and culturally rewarding experience that helped motivate Dr. Yu while working in a bleak and dangerous environment.
While practicing as an otolaryngologist for several years, Dr. Yu became more drawn to aspects related to facial cosmetics and reconstruction. He successfully applied for a fellowship focused solely on facial aesthetic and reconstructive surgery and completed his fellowship training in Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery with Dr. Corey S. Maas at the Maas Clinic, University of California San Francisco, and Dr. Sheldon Kabaker, two internationally renowned surgeons. Upon graduating from fellowship, the Air Force assigned Dr. Yu to San Antonio.
Dr. Yu served as the Chief of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at San Antonio Uniformed Services Health Education Consortium (SAUSHEC). Within two years, he was appointed Chief of the Department of Otolaryngology. Dr. Yu’s reputation as a trusted leader prompted the Air Force to select him as a squadron commander, and he was assigned to Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, where he commanded a squadron of nearly 300 people. Though this tour was not expected, it turned out to be another fantastic and educational experience for Dr. Yu. The assignment gave him daily opportunities to learn and continuously improve as a leader. Particularly rewarding was seeing the real impact a squadron leader can have on the mission, but more importantly on guiding our tremendous Airmen that dedicate their lives to serving our great nation. Dr. Yu got to share in the successes and joys of his members’ achievements but also had the unfortunate experience of presiding over two tragic deaths during his tenure. The highs and lows taught Dr. Yu that people were the most important part of our military. After a distinguished tour, Dr. Yu returned to San Antonio to resume his duties in the division of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, SAUSHEC.
Throughout his career, Dr. Kenneth Yu has received numerous awards and honors for serving with valor and distinction. These achievements include receiving the Meritorious Service Medal, the Air Force Commendation Medal, and the Army Commendation Medal.
Dr. Yu’s commitment is to make all of his patients feel confident and look their very best. Dr. Yu is both an artist and a detailed perfectionist. His artistic drive is perhaps influenced by his father, who has found a second career as an artist after he retired. Dr. Yu strives to consistently balance the cosmetic and functional aspects of his patient’s needs. His goals are to produce results that are harmonious and natural, while improving his patient’s quality of life.
It is very important for Dr. Kenneth Yu to give back to his local San Antonio community. He is an advocate for domestic violence prevention and donates his time and services to FACE TO FACE: The National Domestic Violence Project (www.facetofacesurgery.org). In his free time, Dr. Yu’s passions are spending time with his family, playing golf, tennis, the piano, and cooking with his family. Though he was never an athlete, Dr. Yu is happy to see his sons pick up sports. Isaac is progressing well in competitive soccer with Classics Elite, while Kaleb has dedicated himself to playing tennis. Their youngest brother, four-year-old Matteo, wants to play soccer like Isaac. Recently, recalling his father’s great photographic skills and realizing the camera is a key recorder in facial plastics, Dr. Yu has picked up photography as a hobby. He now also spends time trying to master photography by using a Leica M, a completely manual camera.
FELLOWSHIP—Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery. The Maas Clinic, San Francisco
RESIDENCY—Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery. University of California, San Francisco
INTERNSHIP—General Surgery. Wilford Hall Medical Center, San Antonio
DOCTOR of MEDICINE—Boston University School of Medicine
BACHELOR OF SCIENCE—United States Air Force Academy
Meritorious Service Medal
Air Force Commendation Medal
Army Commendation Medal
Academic Distinction graduate (top 10% academic), U.S. Air Force Academy
Fellow, American College of Surgeons
Fellow, American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
Member, San Antonio Society of Otolaryngologists
Member, American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery
Member, Association of Graduates, U.S. Air Force Academy
Yu, Kenneth, Nettar K, Bapna S, Boscardin J, & Maas CS. “Split face double-blind study comparing the onset of action of onobotulinum toxin type A and abobotulinum toxin type A.” Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery 2012; 14(3): 198-204.
Yu, Kenneth, Small R, & Maas CS. “Skin Resurfacing with Ablative Lasers.” In: R. Usatine (ed), Dermatologic and Cosmetic Procedures in Office Practice. Philadelphia: Elsevier Saunders, 2012: 351-366.
Nettar, K. Yu, Kenneth C.Y., Bapna S, Boscardin J, & Maas CS. “An internally controlled, double blind comparison of the efficacy of onobotulinumtoxin A and abobotulinumtoxin A.” Archives of Facial Plastic Surgery 2011; 13(6): 380-386.
Kabaker SS & Yu, Kenneth C.Y.. “Flaps.” W. Unger (Ed), Hair Transplantation. New York: Informa Healthcare, 2011: 496-504.
Yu, Kenneth, Nettar K, & Maas CS. “Neuromodulators and Fillers for Periorbital Rejuvenation.” In: G. Massry, M. Murphy, & B. Azizzadeh (Eds), Master Techniques in Blepharoplasty and Periorbital Rejuvenation. New York: Springer, 2011: 289-296.
Maas C.S., Yu, Kenneth C.Y., & Egan K. “Neuromodulators and injectable soft tissue substitutes.” In: I. Papel (Ed), Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. New York: Thieme Medical Publishers, 2009. 337-353.
Yu, Kenneth. “Airway Management & Tracheotomy.” In: A. Lalwani (Ed), Current Diagnosis & Treatment in Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2008: 515-522.
Yu, Kenneth & Cheung S. “Implantable Middle Ear Hearing Devices.” In: A. Lalwani (Ed), Current Diagnosis & Treatment in Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2008: 873-876.
Cheung S, Yu, Kenneth, Nakahara H. “Implantable Hearing Devices.” In: R. K. Jackler & D. E. Brackmann (Eds), Neurotology. Philadelphia: Elsevier-Mosby, 2005. 1295-1300. .
Coling D.1, Yu, Kenneth C.Y.1, Somand D, Salar B, Bai U, Huang T, Seidman M, Epstein C, Mhatre A, & Anil Lalwani A. “Effect of SOD1 overexpression on age- and noise-related hearing loss.” Free Radical Biology & Medicine 2003; 34: 873-80.1 Contributed equally to this work.
Yu, Kenneth & Lalwani A.K. “Conservative management of infections in Cochlear implant recipients.” Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery 2001; 125(1):66-70. Presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Washington DC, September 2000.
Dedo, H.H. & Yu, Kenneth C.Y.. “CO2 laser treatment of 244 patients with respiratory papillomas.” Laryngoscope 2001; 111:1639-1644. Presented at the Western Section Meeting of the Triological Society. Palm Springs, California, 2001.
Yu, Kenneth & Lalwani A.K. “Inner ear malformations and hearing loss in Linear nevus sebaceous syndrome.” International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology 2000; 56: 211-216.
Yu, Kenneth & Arriaga M. “Cerebellopontine angle tumor outcomes in patients with hazardous occupations.” Laryngoscope 1997; 107:1610-13. Presented at the Middle Section Meeting of the Triological Society. Kansas City, Missouri. 24-26 January 1997.
2010 “Split face double-blind study comparing the onset of action of onobotulinum toxin type A and abobotulinum toxin type A.” American Academy Facial Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery. Boston, Massachusetts.
2007 “Air Force Otolaryngology/Neurosurgery experience in Afghanistan”. 13th Annual San Antonio Trauma Symposium. San Antonio, Texas.
2001 “CO2 laser treatment of 244 patients with respiratory papillomas.” Western Section meeting of The Triological Society. Palm Springs, California.
2001 “Alar reconstruction using implantable materials: Refining total nasal reconstruction.” Western Section Meeting of The Triological Society. Palm Springs, California.
2000 “Conservative management of infections in Cochlear implant recipients.” American Academy of Otolaryngology—head & neck surgery, Washington DC.
1997 “Cerebellopontine angle tumor outcomes in patients with hazardous occupations.” Middle Section Meeting of the Triological Society. Kansas City, Missouri.
1995 “Nasal mucociliary clearance and the saccharin tablet test. What does it measure?” Poster presentation at the Annual Meeting of the Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Washington DC.