You are using an unsupported browser. Please use the latest version of Chrome, Firefox, Safari or Edge.
The one hundred honoree: William Gerald (Jay) Austen Jr., MD

Profile in Medicine

The one hundred honoree: William Gerald (Jay) Austen Jr., MD

Mass General Giving

William Gerald (Jay) Austen Jr., MD, Mass General’s chief of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery and a dedicated researcher and surgical innovator, has pioneered a number of leading-edge techniques to preserve breast tissue and minimize a breast cancer patient’s visible scars. Dr. Austen understands better than most how these advanced methods enable breast cancer patients to resume their daily lives with an improved self-image and renewed confidence.

Mass General’s Chief of Surgery Keith Lillemoe, MD, describes Dr. Austen as a “compassionate physician who empathizes with the suffering his cancer patients have experienced and works diligently to reassure them while explaining fully what he can do to help them.”

Dr. Austen has served as chief since 2007, and in 2013, was appointed the first Mass General Trustees Chair in Plastic Surgery. Under his leadership, novel clinical programs have been established, including composite tissue transplantation and nerve decompression to treat patients with migraines.

A multi-talented surgeon, Dr. Austen also heads the Division of Burn Surgery at Mass General, and for two weeks each year he leads a group of volunteer physicians to Cartagena, Colombia where they perform surgery on children with burns and cleft lip and palate deformities. In 2016, the Cartagena Surgical Mission team saw more than 200 young patients and completed 60 successful operations in a 10-day period.

Dr. Austen’s commitment to seeking new surgical methods gives his patients a staunch ally in their fight to move beyond breast cancer.