Venkat K Rao, MD, MBA


  • Division of Plastic Surgery
(608) 263-1223

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


  • 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.

Research Interests

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

Recent Publications

  • The Management of Postsurgical Pyoderma Gangrenosum following Breast Surgery.
    Edinger KM, Rao VK
    Plast Reconstr Surg Glob Open 2022 Apr; 10(4): e4282
    [PubMed ID: 35494881]

  • Dermatologic Complications Following Cosmetic and Reconstructive Plastic Surgery: A Systematic Review of the Literature.
    Nicksic PJ, Farmer RL, Poore SO, Rao VK, Afifi AM
    Aesthetic Plast Surg 2021 12; 45(6): 3005-3018
    [PubMed ID: 34231016]

  • University of Wisconsin Guidelines for Treatment of Facial Trauma While Minimizing the Risk of COVID-19 Transmission.
    Elmaraghi S, Rao VK, Garland CB, Marcus BC, Mount DL
    WMJ 2020 Sep; 119(3): 202-204
    [PubMed ID: 33091290]

  • Re: "Maxillofacial Trauma Management During COVID-19: Multidisciplinary Recommendations," by Edwards et al. and "A Guide to Facial Trauma Triage and Precautions in the COVID-19 Pandemic" by Hsieh et al.
    Elmaraghi S, Rao VK, Mount DL
    Facial Plast Surg Aesthet Med 2020 Jul/Aug; 22(4): 313-314
    [PubMed ID: 32525711]

  • Medicaid for the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon.
    Firouzbakht PK, Shaum KM, Israel JS, Rao VK
    Plast Reconstr Surg 2020 03; 145(3): 637e-646e
    [PubMed ID: 32097335]

All Publications on PubMed