PREVIOUS RESEARCH

Dr Dufresne has contributed to diverse areas of medicine and surgery — from craniofacial surgery and plastic surgery to thoracic surgery and anesthesia. Explore highlights from Dr Dufresne’s major research areas of interest.

Contributions to Modern Medical Science

Award-Winning Publications and Presentations

Dr Dufresne’s research has been widely acclaimed as ground-breaking, garnering him top honors in some of plastic surgery’s most prestigious societies and conferences. See the Bibliography for a full list of his publications and presentations. Below are some of his more notable awards:

Highlights from Dr Dufresne's Major Research Areas

Much of Dr Dufresne’s research laid the groundwork for techniques or technologies that are considered part of standard practice today. Although Dr Dufresne’s previous research has traversed diverse areas of plastic surgery, much of his work has been concentrated in three areas, each of which he served as Principal Investigator, Co-Principal Investigator, or project lead.  These projects each resulted in several publications and conference exhibits and presentations. A representative selection of these publications is listed below. See the Bibliography for a full list of publications.

Rigid fixation devices and the growing craniofacial skeleton

An initial area of grant-funded clinical research, on which Dr Dufresne was the PI or Co-PI, focused on the effects of rigid fixation devices on the growing craniofacial skeleton. These projects each resulted in several publications and conference exhibits and presentations. Major principles of surgical practice were outlined in a chapter in his textbook, Complex Craniofacial Problems.

Role of multi-dimensional digital imaging acquisition and reprocessing for the craniofacial skeleton

A second area of grant-funded clinical research, on which Dr Dufresne was the PI or Co-PI, focused on early delineation of the role for multi-dimensional digital imaging acquisition and reprocessing for the craniofacial skeleton. These projects each resulted in several publications and conference exhibits and presentations.

Orbital reconstruction and management of complications

A third area of emphasis in clinical research, in which Dr Dufresne has also served as project head, has been in developing better and more reproducible modalities of orbital reconstruction and management of complications arising from accidental or surgical trauma, disease, or congenital deformity. Dr Dufresne’s current research is exploring the role of free autologous dermal fat grafting in orbital reconstruction.

Biology, treatment, and classification of Freeman-Burian syndrome

A forth area of emphasis in Dr Dufresne’s clinical research, in which he has also served as project head, has been on the biology, treatment, and classification of Freeman-Burian syndrome (FBS), formerly referred to as Freeman-Sheldon syndrome (FSS). FBS is a very rare and poorly understood congenital craniofacial condition affecting the muscles. Emerging molecular genetics research indicated the defect in embryonic myosin played a role in development of observed features but that progression did not occur, as in many myopathies. Because it was so rare and presented very challenging therapeutic problems, suboptimal and sometimes very poor outcomes for patients were common. Work, on which he served as project lead, focused on improving outcomes for patients by creating a body of knowledge that could serve as a reference for diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment decisions. This effort has included a meta-analysis, and two systematic reviews, and produced a comprehensive biopsychosocial clinical practice guideline summarizing the core areas necessary for optimal patient care. Much of this decade-long project has been published, but a minority of it, including the clinical practice guideline, has remained in development or under review at various journals. These contributions have already impacted patients and changed the informational landscape and will hopefully improve referral, encourage insurance payments for needed care, improve patient outcomes, and encourage further study.

Anesthetic management in complex traumatic and congenital craniofacial and arthrogrypotic conditions

A fifth area of emphasis in clinical research, in which Dr Dufresne has also served as project head, has been on the varied clinical problems of anesthetic management in complex traumatic and congenital craniofacial conditions and arthrogrypotic conditions. Each condition presents with a unique set of challenges, complicated by highly heterogeneous patient populations. To improve the care for these patients, Dr Dufresne’s textbook, Complex Craniofacial Problems (1992), includes a chapter on anaesthetic management, and he has presented his experience of difficult airway management in peer-reviewed journal publications. In an effort to disseminate (1) early findings from a meta-analysis and (2) collected clinical experience of he and his colleagues, Dr Dufresne partnered with OrphanAnesthesia to produce clinical recommendations for Freeman-Burian syndrome (formerly, Freeman-Sheldon syndrome) and distal arthrogryposis types 1, 2B, and 3, which he ensures remain up-to-date.

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