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Venkat K Rao, MD, MBA

Contact Dr. Rao


(608) 263-1223

600 Highland Avenue
Box 3236, Clinical Science Center
Madison, WI 53792

Venkat K Rao, MD, MBA

Division of Plastic Surgery


  • MD, University of Madras, India, 1970
  • Master of Surgery, University of Madras, India, 1975
  • Internship and Residency in General Surgery, Beth Israel Medical Center, New York, NY, 1973-1978
  • Residency in Plastic Surgery, Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Hospital and Medical Center, Bronx, NY, 1978-1980
  • Research Fellow, Microsurgery, St. Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne, Australia, 1980-1981
  • Fellow, Hand Surgery, University of Kentucky, Louisville, KY, 1981-1982
  • MBA, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL, 1989

Clinical Specialties

Dr. Rao is certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. He specializes in breast surgery, cosmetic surgery, hand and microsurgery. Dr. Rao provides a wide range of services at UW Hospital, Transformations and Meriter Hospital which include breast reconstruction, breast reduction, breast augmentation, body contouring, liposuction, hand injuries and Carpal Tunnel surgery.

Dr. Rao provides a wide range of services including Arthritic Reconstructions, Brachial Plexus Surgery , Breast Reconstruction, Brow Lift, Carpal Tunnel Release , Digital Replantation , Extended Efforts in Limb Salvage, Hand Arthroplasty, Lower Eyelid Tuck, Microvascular Reconstruction , Nerve Repair, Rhinoplasty, Tendon Repairs, and Upper Eyelid Tuck.

Research Interests

Dr. Rao’s current research interests include breast reconstruction and outcomes in cosmetic surgery.

Recent Publications
  • Watch Out for Wild Animals: A Systematic Review of Upper Extremity Injuries Caused by Uncommon Species.
    Israel JS, McCarthy JE, Rose KR, Rao VK
    Plast. Reconstr. Surg. 2017 Nov; 140(5):1008-1022.
    [PubMed ID: 29068939]
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  • 10 Years Later: Lessons Learned from an Academic Multidisciplinary Cosmetic Center.
    Chen JT, Nayar HS, Rao VK
    Plast Reconstr Surg Glob Open 2017 Sep; 5(9):e1459.
    [PubMed ID: 29062640, PMC ID: 5640337]
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  • The Role of a 'Holistic' Journal Club.
    Christie BM, Rao VK
    Plast. Reconstr. Surg. 2017 Jul 17.
    [PubMed ID: 28753148]
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  • A Prospective Randomized Trial Comparing the Effects of Lidocaine in Breast Reduction Surgery.
    Christie BM, Kapur S, Kempton SJ, Hanson SE, Ma Y, Rao VK
    Plast. Reconstr. Surg. 2017 May; 139(5):1074e-1079e.
    [PubMed ID: 28445354]
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  • Seeing is Believing? Preoperative Magnetic Resonance Imaging for Pressure Ulcers: Implications for Surgical Management.
    McCarthy J, Hartmann E, Bentz ML, Rao VK, Jee Y, Rivedal D, Poore SO
    Plast Reconstr Surg Glob Open 2017 Mar; 5(3):e1263.
    [PubMed ID: 28458977, PMC ID: 5404448]
    More Information Copyright © 2017 The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System