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Board certified in plastic surgery by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, Dr. Mimi Chao joined Valley Children’s Pediatric Plastic Surgery Department as a pediatric plastic surgeon in August 2008.

An expert in pediatric plastic surgery and craniofacial surgery, her clinical interests include: craniomaxillofacial trauma, post-traumatic and post-burn facial and skull reconstruction, congenital craniofacial, anomalies including cleft lip and palate, craniosynostosis, facial asymmetry, microtia and misshapen ears and large birthmarks, vascular birthmarks including hemangiomas, venous malformations and capillary malformations (“port-wine” stains), and pediatric hand injuries and congenital hand problems.

Dr. Chao has presented on pediatric facial trauma and pediatric facial reconstruction at national and international conferences. Her work has been published in the “Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Journal” and “Journal of Craniofacial Surgery.” She has appeared in local newspapers and TV interviews.

Dr. Chao is a member of several professional societies including the American College of Surgeons, the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association, the American Society of Maxillofacial Surgeons, and the American Society of Craniofacial Surgery.

Prior to joining Valley Children’s, Dr. Chao was a clinical instructor in surgery in the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. She earned her medical degree from the University of Iowa College of Medicine and was elected into the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society. She completed her surgical internship and plastic surgery residency at Saint Louis University School of Medicine, Saint Louis University Hospital, in Missouri. Dr. Chao did a fellowship in craniofacial/pediatric plastic surgery at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in Pennsylvania. She is fluent in Chinese.

Known for its expertise in the management of cleft lip and palate repair, the multidisciplinary craniofacial anomalies clinic at Valley Children's has been approved by the Commission on Approval of Teams (CAT) of the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association (ACPA) and Cleft Palate Foundation (CPF) to meet their standards for team care.


Medical Education

  • Medical SchoolUniversity of Iowa College of Medicine
  • FellowshipUniversity of Pittsburgh Medical Center
  • ResidencySt. Louis University School of Medicine
  • InternshipSt. Louis University School of Medicine