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Division of Surgical Subspecialties

The Division of Surgical Subspecialties in the Department of Surgery and Perioperative Care is home to faculty in three subspecialties: urology, otolaryngology and plastic surgery. Division faculty are committed to patient care and clinical excellence in an academic setting that fosters education and research.



Urologists provide medical and surgical treatment of the genital tract of men and the urinary system of all people. They are certified by the American Board of Urology following a minimum of five years of training and treat patients of all ages with disorders of the adrenal gland, kidney, ureter, bladder, prostate, urethra and male genital structures. Urology is sometimes referred to as “GU,” which stands for genitourinary.

Clinical Programs

All urology faculty members provide general urologic care.

Stuart Wolf, M.D., leads comprehensive urinary stone management, applying both state-of-the-art surgery to remove stones and medical therapy to prevent further stone formation.

With advanced fellowship training, Charles Osterberg, M.D., provides anatomical reconstruction of the genital tract of men and the urinary system of all people, including repairs needed due to complications from prior urologic surgery.

The most recent addition to the urology section is Aaron Laviana, M.D., MBA, a urologic oncologist who specializes in bladder cancer, kidney cancer, prostate cancer, testicular cancer, penile cancer, complex kidney surgery and robotic surgery. Laviana has been pivotal in orchestrating the initiation and expansion of multiple cancer-related treatment protocols and integrating evidence-based medicine into clinical pathways.


Otolaryngology (also known as ear, nose and throat, or ENT) specialists are certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology following a minimum of five years of training after medical school. ENT specialists treat sinus infections, breathing difficulties, voice and swallowing problems, ear infections, hearing loss, sleep apnea, tumors of the head and neck, and facial deformities, among many other conditions.

Treatment may involve directed medical therapies or involve delicate operations that restore hearing, open blocked airways, allow proper sinus drainage, remove head, neck, and throat cancers, improve swallowing, remove chronic infections of the ears, sinuses, and throat, and correct defects of the face, mouth, throat and neck. Established in 1896, otolaryngology is one of the oldest medical specialties in the United States.

The ENT faculty members at Dell Medical School are an extension of the strong community of otolaryngologists in Austin. They come from several different independent groups in Austin and collectively have expertise across the wide range of conditions and surgeries that comprise the practice of otolaryngology. The division’s otolaryngologists are deeply committed to providing the highest quality of ear, nose, and throat care to Austin and its surrounding areas.

Clinical Programs

Hearing and balance are critical to how we conduct our daily lives. ENT specialists treat conditions such as ear infection, hearing loss, dizziness, ringing in the ears (called tinnitus), tumors in or adjacent to the ear and more.

Noses facilitate breathing by helping to keep out potentially harmful dirt, allergens and other agents. In addition to allergies, ENT specialists treat deviated septum, rhinitis, sinusitis, sinus headaches and migraines, nasal obstruction and surgery, skull-base tumors, including those inside the cranial cavity, and more.

Disorders that affect our ability to speak and swallow properly can have a tremendous impact on our lives and livelihoods. ENT specialists treat sore throat, hoarseness, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), infections, throat tumors, airway and vocal cord disorders, and more.

The head and neck include some of our body’s most vital organs, which can be especially susceptible to tumors and cancer. In addition to cancers of the head and neck, ENT specialists treat benign neck masses, thyroid disorders such as benign and malignant tumors, Grave’s disease, enlarged thyroid glands, parathyroid disease, head and neck pain, and more.

Being able to breathe and sleep well through the night has an impact on the way we experience life and perform our work. ENT specialists treat sleep-disordered breathing, nasal and airway obstruction, snoring and sleep apnea, and more.

ENT specialists in facial plastic surgery treat drooping eyelids, hair loss, ear deformities, facial paralysis, trauma reconstruction, and head and neck cancer reconstruction, and perform cosmetic surgery of the face.

Children and their developing bodies and senses often need special attention. ENT specialists treat birth defects of the head and neck, developmental delays, ear infection, tonsil and adenoid infection, airway problems, head and neck tumors, and more.

Plastic Surgery

Plastic surgeons are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery following a minimum of six years of training. Plastic surgeons repair and reconstruct physical defects of the skin, musculoskeletal system, craniomaxillofacial structures, hand, extremities, breast, trunk and external genitalia. Cosmetic surgery is a core component of plastic surgery.

Clinical Programs

The division is home to plastic surgeons with expertise in general plastic surgery and all subspecialized areas within plastic surgery. The group now features 15 surgeons, including six fellowship-trained hand surgeons and five fellowship-trained craniofacial surgeons. The division’s plastic surgeons work across five hospitals.

The division includes a team of fellowship-trained hand surgeons with years of experience treating the entire spectrum of hand conditions, including bone, joint, tendon, skin and nerve disorders. The team provides Level I Trauma coverage at Dell Seton Medical Center and Dell Children’s Medical Center and manages degenerative and congenital hand conditions.

The division includes a team of craniofacial surgeons who are leaders in cleft lip and palate reconstruction, other congenital craniofacial problems, pediatric and adult facial trauma, adult orthognathic surgery and head and neck cancer reconstruction.

The division includes faculty members who focus on breast reconstruction, wound reconstruction and cosmetic procedures.

Educational Programs

Division faculty contribute to the department’s educational mission through the program offerings below.

Undergraduate Medical Education

The division’s service provides a selective rotation that includes two- and four-week experiences in the second and fourth years dedicated to career exploration in:


Faculty members within the division collaborate with The University of Texas at Austin students in the Department of Biomedical Engineering on Senior Design projects, allowing rapid translation of ideas to solve real clinical problems.

Explore Dell Medical School’s research groups for information on faculty members’ research areas of interest.


The division hosts quarterly urology grand rounds on the last Wednesday of the month, from 6 to 7 p.m., in the Health Learning Building Auditorium. To be added to the invitation list, please email the department.

Additionally, the division partners with the department to host faculty development events and continuing medical education offerings. See the Dell Med calendar for listings.