University of Wisconsin–Madison

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:

    • 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]
    • 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]
    • The Role of a 'Holistic' Journal Club.
    • Christie BM, Rao VK
    • Plast. Reconstr. Surg. 2017 Jul 17;
    • [PubMed ID: 28753148]
    • 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]
    • 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]

All Publications on PubMed