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Jordan W. Swanson, MD, MSc
Plastic Surgery

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Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Colket Translational Research Bldg., 9th Fl.
3501 Civic Center Blvd.                        Philadelphia, PA  19104
Administrative Assistant: Dylan Horn
Telephone: 215-590-2211
Fax: 215-590-2496

Contact Information (internal use only)


Jordan Swanson MD MSc is an attending surgeon in the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, and an Assistant Professor of Surgery. He has special expertise in cleft, craniofacial, and pediatric plastic surgery, as well as cosmetic and reconstructive surgery of adults. He focuses clinically on achieving optimal function and appearance of the face and body. His practice areas include cleft lip and palate care, craniofacial surgery, orthognathic surgery and craniofacial distraction osteogenesis, facial trauma, rhinoplasty, otoplasty and microtia reconstruction, extremity reconstruction, and general plastic surgery.

Prior to practicing at Penn, Dr. Swanson lived and worked in Nicaragua, collaborating with Operation Smile and the Nicaraguan Ministry of Health to build a joint Comprehensive Cleft and Craniofacial program. The program, based in Managua, treats children throughout the country with adaptive clinical and outreach programs staffed by an interdisciplinary team of Nicaraguan clinicians. He also serves as Director of Surgical Innovation at Operation Smile, in which he co-leads development of clinical training programs, surgical research, and clinical program design specific to lower-resource settings. He has lectured and led surgical training programs in Latin America, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East, and is a Scholar at the Penn Center for Global Health.

His innovation and research initiatives are focused principally on how surgical care can be better adapted to children in low-resource settings, through design of clinical devices and techniques, locally-driven leadership and team capability strengthening, and reorienting care pathways appropriate to local contexts and resources. He is the primary investigator of the Cirugia Para el Pueblo pilot program, implemented by Operation Smile in partnership with the Nicaraguan Ministry of Health to advance the access to and impact of rural surgical care in Nicaragua. In parallel, these initiatives are also generating insight into less-invasive, patient-directed advances for surgical care delivery in tertiary settings. He has pioneered several techniques which improve the detection of craniofacial conditions, such as elevated intracranial pressure associated with craniosynostosis, which enable more expedient diagnosis and less invasive surgical treatment for certain patients.

Dr. Swanson studied the History of Science at Harvard College, and trained as a physician at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. He trained as a plastic surgeon at the University of Washington and Seattle Children’s Hospital, and completed his craniofacial surgery fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. He was also the recipient of the Tsao Fellowship in Global Surgery, and holds an MSc in International Development Management from the London School of Economics. He sees patients at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania hospitals, and is a plastic surgeon at the Shriner’s Hospital for Children.

Faculty Appointments
Nov. 1, 2017 - present  Assistant Professor of Surgery
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Hospital and/or Administrative Appointments
2017 - present   Active Surgeon
Penn Presbyterian Medical Center
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
2017 - present   Active Surgeon
Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
2017 - present   Active Surgeon
Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
2016 - present   Director of Surgical Innovation
(Training and Clinical Research)
Operation Smile International
2016 - 2017  Associate Director of International Programs
Children's Hospital Los Angeles
University of Southern California School of Medicine
Los Angeles, California
2015 - present  Director of Special Programs, Operation Smile Nicaragua, McGregor Integral Cleft and Craniofacial Center, Managua, Nicaragua
2015 - 2017 Plastic and Craniofacial Surgeon, Los Angeles Shriner's Hospital for Children, University of Southern California School of Medicine
Los Angeles, California
2015 - present Plastic and Craniofacial Surgeon
McGregor Integral Cleft and Craniofacial Center and Hospital Aleman Nicaraguenese, Managua, Nicaragua
2005 - 2007 Principal for Strategy, GeneTrade
2005 - 2007 Associate, McKinsey & Company
2001 Research Intern, Oxford/Mahidol Tropical Medicine Unit
Mae Sot, Thailand
1999 - 2001 Coordinator, Honduras Adolescent Health Development Project
Tegucigalpa, Honduras
Other Appointments
2017 - present  Instructor of Surgery
Perelman School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
2016 - present  Co-Director and Faculty
Understanding and Addressing Cleft Outcomes in Latin America
2016 - present  Co-Director, Inaugural Global Cleft Summit
Shriners Hospital for Children
Los Angeles, California
2016 - present Co-Director and Faculty
Cleft Outcomes Educational Program
Operation Smile Nicaragua
Managua, Nicaragua
2007 Coordinator and Faculty
"Mini-MD" Training Program
McKinsey and Company
2006 Research Associate
Program for Appropriate Technology in Health
2003 Research Associate
U.S. National Institutes of Health/Fogarty AIDS Program - Russia
2001 Political Specialist, U.S. State Department - Bangladesh
2008 MD - Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
2006 MSc - London School of Economics
(International Development Management)
2002  AB - Harvard University
(History and Science)
Postgraduate Training and Fellowship Appointments
2015 - 2016 Tsao Fellowship in Global Surgery
University of Southern California
Los Angeles, California
2014 - 2015 Fellow, Craniofacial, Maxillofacial, and Pediatric Plastic Surgery
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
2013 - 2014 Chief Resident, Plastic Surgery
University of Washington School of Medicine
Seattle, Washington
2011 - 2013 House Staff, Plastic Surgery
University of Washington School of Medicine
Seattle, Washington
2008 - 2011 House Staff, General Surgery
University of Washington School of Medicine
Seattle, Washington
2014 - present International Collaboration for Essential Surgery
2014 - present   World Health Organization Global Initiative for Emergency and Essential Surgical Care
2012 - present   AO Foundation, Craniomaxillofacial Division
2012 - present   American Cleft Palate - Craniofacial Association
2012 - present   American Society of Craniofacial Surgeons
2012 - present   American Society of Maxillofacial Surgeons
2014 - present   Pennsylvania State Medical Society
2008 - present Washington State Medical Society
Research Publications, peer reviewed (print or other media)
  1. Swanson JW, Colombani PC: Reactive pectus carinatum in patients undergoing repair for pectus excavatum. Journal of Pediatric Surgery 43(8): 1468-1473, Aug. 2008.
  2. Swanson JW, Avansino JR, Phillips GS, Yung D, Whitlock KB, Redding GJ, Sawin RS: Correlating Haller Index and cardiopulmonary disease in pectus excavatum. American Journal of Surgery 203(5): 660-664, May 2012 Notes: (Epub Mar. 13, 2012).
  3. Swanson JW, Otto AM, Gibran NS, Klein MB, Kramer CB, Heimbach DM, Pham TN: Trajectories to death in patients with burn injury. Journal of Trauma 74(1): 282-288, Jan. 2013.
  4. Redding GJ, Kuo W, Swanson JO, Phillips GS, Emerson J, Yung D, Swanson JW, Sawin RS, Avansino JR: Upper thoracic shape in children with pectus excavatum: Impact on lung function. Pediatric Pulmonology 48(8): 817-823, Aug. 2013 Notes: (Epub Aug. 21, 2012).
  5. Hopper RA, Tse R, Smartt J, Swanson J, Kinter, SL: Cleft palate repair and velopharyngeal dysfunction. Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery 133(6): 852e-864e, June 2014.
  6. Swanson JW, Smartt JM, Saltzman BS, Birgfeld CB, Hopper RA, Gruss JS, Tse R: Adopted children with cleft lip and/or palate: A unique and growing population. Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery 134(2): 283e-293e, Aug. 2014.
  7. Morrison SD, Swanson JW: Surgical justice. Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery 136(2): 291e-292e, Aug. 2015.
  8. Swanson J, Oppenheimer A, Mufarrej F, Pet M, Arakawa C, Cunningham M, Gruss JG, Hopper RA, Birgfeld CB: Maternofetal trauma in craniosynostosis. Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery 136(2): 214e-222e, Aug. 2015.
  9. Mitchell BT, Swanson JW, Taylor JA: A new single-stage, distraction-mediated cranial vault expansion technique for the multisuture deformity. Journal of Craniofacial Surgery 26(6): 1923-1925, Sept. 2015.
  10. Tahiri Y, Swanson JW, Taylor JA: Distraction osteogenesis versus conventional fronto-orbital advancement for the treatment of unilateral coronal synostosis: A comparison of perioperative morbidity and short-term outcomes. Journal of Craniofacial Surgery 26(6): 1904-1908, Sept. 2015.
  11. Swanson JW, Bartlett SP: Congenital ocular dystopia from orbitofrontal bone dysplasia. Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery 137(1): 125e-134e, Jan. 2016.
  12. Swanson JW, Mitchell BT, Wink JA, Taylor JA, Bartlett SP: Surgical classification of the mandibular deformity in craniofacial microsomia using 3-dimensional CT. Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery - Global Open 4(1): e598, Feb. 5 2016.
  13. Swanson JW, Skirpan J, Stanek B, Kowalczyk M, Bartlett SP: 30-year international pediatric craniofacial surgery partnership: Evolution from the "Third World" forward. Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery - Global Open 4(4): e671, Apr. 2016.
  14. Ligh CA, Fox JP, Swanson J, Yu JW, Taylor JA: Not all clefts are created equal: Patterns of hospital care utilization among children with cleft lip and palate within 4 years of surgery. Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery 137(6): 990e-998e, June 2016.
  15. Chong DA, Swanson JW: The essential anatomic subunit approximation unilateral cleft lip repair. Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery 138(1): 91e-94e, July 2016.
  16. Xu W, Gerety P, Aleman T, Swanson JW, Taylor JA: Noninvasive methods of detecting increased intracranial pressure. Childs Nervous System 32(8): 1371-1386, Aug. 2016.
  17. Swanson JW, Haas JA, Mitchell BT, Storm PB, Bartlett SP, Heuer GG, Taylor JA: The effects of molding helmet therapy on spring-mediated cranial vault remodeling for sagittal craniosynostosis. Journal of Craniofacial Surgery 27(6): 1398-1403, Sept. 2016.
  18. Swanson JW, Johnston JL, Mitchell BT, Alcorn K, Taylor JA: Perioperative complications in posterior pharyngeal flap surgery: Review of the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program Pediatric (NSQIP-PEDS) Database. Cleft Palate Craniofacial Journal 53(5): 562-567c, Sept. 2016 Notes: (Epub Sept. 24, 2015).
  19. Yao CA, Swanson JW, McCullough M, Taro T, Guitierrez R, Bradshaw A, Campbell A, Magee WM Jr, Magee WP3: The medical mission and modern core competency training: A 10-year follow-up of resident experiences in global plastic surgery. Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery 138(3): 531e-538e, Sept. 2016.
  20. Yao CA, Swanson J, Chanson D, Taro TB, Gura B, Figueiredo JC, Wipfli H, Hatcher K, Vanderburg R, Magee WP 3rd: Barriers to reconstructive surgery in low- and middle-income countries: A cross-sectional study of 453 cleft lip and cleft palate patients in Vietnam. Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery 138(5): 887e-895e, Nov. 2016.
  21. Ligh CA, Swanson JW, Yu J, Samra F, Bartlett SP, Taylor JA: A morphological classification scheme for the mandibular hypoplasia in Treacher Collins Syndrome. Journal of Craniofacial Surgery 2017 (in press).
  22. Swanson JW, Yu JW, Taylor JA, Kovach S, Kanchwala S, Lantieri L: The retroauricular approach to the facial nerve trunk. Journal of Craniofacial Surgery 28(2): 347-351, Mar. 2017.
  23. Swanson JW, Aleman TS, Xu W, Ying G, Pan W, Liu GT, Lang SS, Heuer GG, Storm PB, Bartlett SP, Katowitz WR, Taylor JA: Evaluation of optical coherence tomography to detect elevated intracranial pressure in children. JAMA Ophthalmology 135(4): 320-328, Apr. 2017.
  24. Swanson JW, Yao CA, Auslander A, Wipfli H, Nguyen THD, Hatcher K, Vanderburg R, Magee WP: Patient barriers to accessing surgical cleft care in Vietnam: A multi-site, cross-sectional outcomes study. World Journal of Surgery 41(6): 1435-1446, June 2017.
  25. Swanson JW, Mitchell BT, Cohen M, Solot C, Jackson O, Low D, Bartlett SP, Taylor JA: The effect of Furlow Palatoplasty timing on speech outcomes in submucous cleft palate. Annals of Plastic Surgery 79(2): 156-161, Aug. 2017.
Research Publications, peer-reviewed reviews
  1. Brastianos PK, Swanson JW, Torbenson M, Sperati J, Karakousis PC: Tuberculosis-associated haemophagocytic syndrome. The Lancet Infect Diseases 6(7): 447-454, July 2006.
  2. Swanson JW, Watt AJ, Vedder NB: Skin graft loss resulting from collagenase clostridium histolyticum treatment of Dupuytren contracture: Case report and review of the literature. Journal of Hand Surgery (American) 38(3): 548-551, Mar. 2013.
  3. Arko L, Swanson JW, Fierst TM, Henn RE, Chang D, Storm PB, Bartlett SP, Taylor JA, Heuer GG: Spring-mediated sagittal craniosynostosis treatment at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia: Technical notes and literature review Neurosurgery Focus 38(5): E7, May 2015.
  4. Samra F, Bauder AR, Swanson JW, Whitaker LA, Bartlett SP, Taylor JA: Assessing the midface in Muenke syndrome: A cephalometric analysis and review of the literature. Journal of Plastic Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery 69(9): 1285-1290, Sept. 2016 Notes: (Epub July 16, 2016).
Research Publications, non-peer reviewed
  1. Swanson JW: Unnatural disasters: Health lessons from Honduras. Harvard International Review 22(1): 32-35, 2000.
  2. Swanson JW: Acid attacks: Bangladesh's efforts to stop the violence. Harvard Health Policy Review II (2): 85-91, 2002.
  3. Swanson JW: Unveiling the invisible hand: Explaining pharmacies' participation in public-private partnerships for public health in Vietnam."  Working Paper #77.  Development Studies Institute, London School of Economics 2006.
Abstracts (Last 3 years)
  1. Gerety P, Swanson J, Ligh C, Shubinets V, Taylor J, Bartlett S: Sphenoid wing dysplasia in neurofibromatosis type 1: Patterns of disease and outcomes of treatment. Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal 53(4): e114-115, 2016.
  2. Ligh C, Hsu G, Swanson J, Sesok-Pizzani D, Taylor J, Stricker P: Low incidence of transfusion complications in children undergoing craniofacial reconstruction. Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal 53(4): e121, 2016.
  3. Munabi N, Swanson J, Auslander A, Sanchez P, Davidson Ward SL, Magee W: Incidence of congenital heart disease in nonsyndromic cleft lip and/or palate: A systematic review of the literature. Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal 53(4): e128, 2016.
  4. Swanson J, Yao C, Auslander A, Wipfli H, Chanson D, Figueiredo J, Gura B, Hatcher K, Vanderburg R, Magee W: Barriers to accessing timely surgical cleft care in Vietnam: A multi-site, cross-sectional outcomes study. Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal 53(4): e160, 2016 Notes: Presented at the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association, Apr. 2016.
  5. Swanson JW, Xu W, Aleman T, Ying GS, Pan W, Liu G, Lang SS, Gerety P, Heuer G, Storm P, Bartlett S, Katowitz W, Taylor J: Optical coherence tomography can noninvasively detect elevated intracranial pressure in children. Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal 53(4): e101, 2016 Notes: Presented at the American Association of Plastic Surgeons, May 2016.
  6. Yao C, Swanson J, Chanson D, Auslander A, Figueiredo J, Wipfli H, Gura B, Hatcher K, Vanderburg R, Magee W: Patient perceptions of barriers to cleft care in low-and middle-income countries. Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal 53(4): e161, 2016.
  7. Mcclure E, Goldenberg R, Swanson D, Saleem S, Esamai F, Garces A, Chomba E, Tshefu A, Moore J, Swanson J, Liechty E, Bose C, Krebs N, Carlo W, Koso-Thomas M, Miodovnik M, Nathan R: Routine antenatal ultrasound in low/middle income countries: A cluster randomized trial. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology 216(1 Suppl 1): S3, 2017.
  8. Yao C, Swanson J, Imahiyerobo T, Auslander A, Figueiredo J, Vanderburg R, Magee W: A simple, prognostic severity scale for unilateral cleft lip. Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Journal 53(4): e114, 2017.
Editorials, Reviews, Chapters, including participation in committee reports (print or other media)
  1. Swanson JW, Watt AJ, Vedder NB: Refining the indications for collagenase treatment of Dupuytren Contracture near skin grafts (reply). Journal of Hand Surgery (American) 38(6): 1264-1265, June 2013.
  2. Swanson JW, Klein MB: Upper extremity burns and tissue injuries. Hand and Upper Extremity Surgery Weiss APC (eds.). Chicago: American Society for Surgery of the Hand, 2014.
  3. Swanson JW, Smartt JM, Taylor JA: Craniofacial distraction osteogenesis: Basic science. American Society of Craniofacial Surgeons Fellow Curriculum. Taylor JA, Goldstein J (eds.). Beverly, MA: American Society of Craniofacial Surgery, 2014.
  4. Swanson JW: Anatomical cadaveric dissection of flaps for facial cleft repair. University of Southern California/Operation Smile International Flap Course Manual. Carey J (eds.). Los Angeles: USC Press, 2016.
  5. Swanson Jordan W, Liu Grant T, Taylor Jesse A: "Clarification on Using Ultrasonography to Detect Intracranial Pressure"-Reply. JAMA Ophthalmology Aug. 3 2017 (Epub).
  6. Kotagal M, Swanson JW, Avansino J: Correlating Haller Index and cardiopulmonary disease in pectus excavatum Chest Wall Deformities. Saxena AK (eds.). New York: Springer International, 2017 (in press).
  7. Swanson JW: Craniofacial and midline clefts. Comprehensive Cleft Manual. Campbell A (eds.). Philadelphia: Elsevier, 2017 (in press).
  8. Swanson JW, Taylor JA: Distraction of the cranial vault. Craniofacial distraction. McCarthy J (eds.). New York: Springer, 2017 (in press).
  9. Swanson JW, Taylor JA, Bartlett SP: Costochondral rib graft reconstruction of the mandible. Atlas of Craniofacial Surgery. Mesa, Persing, Meara, Losee (eds.). Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press, 2017 (in press).
  1. Swanson JW: Interfaces of Dilemma in a Global Society: A Textbook of Briefings in International Policy. Interfaces of Dilemma in a Global Society: A Textbook of Briefings in International Policy. Cambridge, MA: Harvard Model Congress Europe, 2001.
Awards, Honors and Membership in Honorary Societies
2017  Young Investigator Scholarship, International Cleft Congress
2015 Lead Author, Daniel Marchac Award for Best Paper, International Society of Craniofacial Surgeons Biennial Congress
2015 - 2016 Tsao Fellow in Global Surgery
2014 Regan Fellow, Operation Smile
2007 Katz Award in Surgery, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
2006 Valedictorian. London School of Economics, Development Studies Institute
2005 First Place, Baltimore Technology Council Business Plan Competition
2003 Hopkins Fogarty AITRP New and Minority Investigator Award
2001 John Harvard Scholarship
2001 Howard R. Swearer Humanitarian Award
1999 Harvard College Scholarship


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