Craig Brendon Birgfeld, MD

Craig Brendon Birgfeld, MD

Plastic Surgery, Craniofacial Center, Vascular Anomalies, Cranial Base, Endoscopic Strip Craniectomy, Facial Reanimation

On staff since July 2006

Children's Title: Director, Plastic Surgery Education

Academic Title: Associate Professor, Plastic Surgery

Research Center: Center for Clinical and Translational Research

"I consider myself lucky every day be a part of my patients’ lives. I am fortunate to work in an environment, with a dedicated team of physicians who are as committed as I am to providing the best possible care for our children with craniofacial differences. We are dedicated to improving their lives as they improve ours."

  • Dr. Birgfeld grew up in Littleton Colorado where he played football and was an Academic All American swimmer. He went on to the College of William and Mary where he became the president of his fraternity, the captain of his swim team and held a number of school records. After 2 years of research, he matriculated to the Medical College of Virginia where he met Dr. Isaac Wornom, a craniofacial and pediatric plastic surgeon. The experience of treating patients with craniofacial conditions while in medical school, led Craig to the University of Pennsylvania and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), where he learned from world experts in craniofacial surgery. This surgical training led to Seattle, where Dr. Birgfeld spent a year fellowship with Dr.’s Gruss and Hopper learning the techniques of craniofacial surgery. After fellowship, Dr. Birgfeld was offered a faculty position at the University of Washington and Seattle Children’s Hospital and moved his family to Seattle where he has practiced since 2007. Here in Seattle, he enjoys hiking, biking and skiing with his wife, son and twin daughters and can often be found cheering on his kids at their own local swim meets.

    • Ruvim federal way Washington 09.05.23

      Best plastic surgeon in the pacific northwest for young adults.

    • A Seattle,WA 11.25.17

      I highly recommend Dr. Birgfeld for any skull operations. I was very nervous after dealing with a large tumor that had been removed and other surgeries. The last thing I thought would ever happen is an infection to my cranium. When I first met Dr. Birgfeld he was kind and caring. He took my case and recommended taking part of my skull off to clean the wound as this would be the best way to cure the infection. It worked and I am grateful to this day for his skilled hands that helped to heal me.

    • Jane Spokane Washington 07.18.14

      Dr. Birgfeld and his team were instrumental in reconstructing my face after domestic violence trauma. He is an amazing man and put my face completely back together again. I unfortunately had 6 bones broken in my face and now have six plates holding my face together. Several surgeries later people say you can't even tell there was damage. I recommend him highly! He testified about my injury in court and was instrumental in the public service announcement we made for domestic violence advocates in King County. What a humble man I was so blessed with to be my surgeon. Dr. Birgfeld has a gift, and he uses it to repair and rebuild families lives. I am honored to have him on my team, and thankful beyond words. My life is better because our paths crossed in an unfortunate yet inspiring chance. I want to say that this man has inspired me to further my education and be a blessing to someone who might need me like I needed him at such a critical crossroad in my life. Remember Dr B......strength is nothing more than how well you hide the pain. Remember my tattoo is for us! Thank you for being my hero. I will Never forget you.

    • Susan Kennewick, Washington 01.09.13

      Dr. Birgfeld put my 22 year-old son back together after he dove into a dock and shattered his forehead. Evan was in surgery about 6 hours and overnight at Harborview. Dr. Birgfeld and his amazing team repaired his brow bone, rebuilt his sinus, etc. through a tiny incision in the eyecrease. Dr. Birgfeld was totally amazing - years later I can still remember his gentle very reassuring bedside manner. His assistants were equally exceptional. Dr. Birgfeld is truly gifted and we in the Northwest are blessed to have such a skillful and talented medical professional.

    • Heather Seattle, WA 01.25.12

      What can I say about Dr. Birgfeld that hasn't been said already? He is an amazing doctor. Not only is his bedside manner compassionate but his work is wonderful. His approach to our infant son's surgery was well planned, well researched and very thoughtful. I was amazed at how quickly our three month old recovered and how well he looked in such a short time. We are thrilled he is our little guy's surgeon. He has taken such good care of our family. Thank you Dr. Birgfeld!

    • Judy Everett Washington 11.04.11

      Our family has been so Blessed to have Dr. Birgfeld as our daughter's surgeon. She was born with a significant bilateral cleft lip and palate she is 5 years old. (so far she has had 6 surgeries with Dr. Birgfeld.) He has done such a wonderful job with Tammy. We fully and totally trust that he always has our daughter's best interest at heart. He has a gift for explaining procedures so that we fully understand the scope of the procedures and the reasons behind them. We have seen the amazing results. He has such a caring way with his patients. We could never express our appreciation and gratitude enough. Now that Tammy is getting older and has had so many surgeries it gets harder and harder to tell her the next one is coming up (she will be having surgery again in 4 days)so when she looks at me with those eyes and tells me "I won't be ready on Tuesday and I don't want you to leave the surgery room" my heart sank. I tell her "I am not allowed to stay with her during surgery" so the only thing I could think to say was "Dr. Birgfeld will be with you." At that moment she felt very comforted knowing that he was going to be with her. My daughter Tammy holds a very special spot in her heart for Dr. Birgfeld. I can say with confidence that we recomend Dr. Birgfeld but most importantly Tammy recomends Dr. Birgfeld.

    • Ciara Bainbridge Island, Washington 10.17.11

      Dr. Birgfeld is a wonderful surgeon. He did my 5 month old sons cleft lip repair and we are now 1.5 weeks post-op and you can't tell that he had surgery at all. He is very calm and compassionate. He was very reassuring that everything would come out perfectly, and it has.

    • michelle browning montana 01.23.11

      Dr. Bergfeld is an amazing surgeon! My son has had facial trauma to his eye and through his procedures completed here at children's hospital he is doing great. Dr. bergfeld has done an outstanding job on winning my confidence as a parent that he would take good care of my son and that the surgery would be successful!

    • Desiree Catania, Sicily, Italy 01.18.11

      We are a military family, thus the international address. At the time of our son's surgery, we lived in Northwest Washington. My dear son, James, is now 1 year post-op. He had his metopic craniosynostosis repair done by Dr. Birgfeld and Dr. Ojemann (neurosurgery) on Dec. 1, 2009. Of course, the surgery and recovery was an incredibly stressful time for my family, but Dr. Birgfeld and James' entire surgical team were amazing. James' healed so well after his surgery with minimal swelling and discomfort; he is now a happy, healthy, very active toddler. Nobody would ever guess he had such an intense operation at 9 months of age just by looking at him. His head is perfectly shaped; there are no fears of ICP now that the fused suture has been repaired by such expert hands. If you find yourself at Seattle Children's Craniofacial Clinic and Dr. Birgfeld is your surgeon, rest assured that you are in great hands.

  • Award Name Award Description Awarded By Award Date
    SEATTLE TOP DOCTOR - 2022 Seattle Magazine 2022
    Seattle Top Doctor 2016 Seattle Met Magazine 2016
    SEATTLE TOP DOCTOR - 2015 Seattle Magazine 2015
  • Other Publications

    • Birgfeld CB, Luquetti DV, Gougoutas AJ, Bartlett SP, Low DW, Sie KC, Evans KN, Heike CL
      A phenotypic assessment tool for craniofacial microsomia.
      21200224 Plastic and reconstructive surgery, 2011 Jan. : 313-20
    • Scott JR, Isom CN, Gruss JS, Salemy S, Ellenbogen RG, Avellino A, Birgfeld C, Hopper RA
      Symptom outcomes following cranial vault expansion for craniosynostosis in children older than 2 years.
      19116564 Plastic and reconstructive surgery, 2009 Jan. : 289-97; discussion 298-9
    • Birgfeld CB, Chang B
      The periglabellar flap for closure of central forehead defects.
      17572554 Plastic and reconstructive surgery, 2007 July : 130-3
    • Birgfeld CB, Glick P, Singh D, LaRossa D, Bartlett S
      Midface growth in patients with ectrodactyly-ectodermal dysplasia-clefting syndrome.
      17572556 Plastic and reconstructive surgery, 2007 July : 144-50
    • Birgfeld CB, Low DW
      Total face reconstruction using a pre-expanded, bilateral, extended, parascapular free flap.
      16641638 Annals of plastic surgery, 2006 May : 565-8


Board Certification(s)

Plastic Surgery

Medical/Professional School

Virginia Commonwealth University Medical School, Richmond, VA


Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

Clinical Interests

Craniofacial surgery; craniosynostosis; facial growth in clefting; orthognathic distraction and facial trauma

Research Description

My research interests include outcomes of craniofacial surgery utilizing facial CT scans and three-dimensional analysis of the growing face. My clinical interests align with my research efforts and include cleft and craniofacial surgery as well as microsurgical facial reanimation surgeries for patients with facial paralysis and soft tissue augmentation for patients with hemifacial microsomia.

Through my research and clinical pursuits, my goal is to make the Craniofacial Center at Seattle Children's a world leader and to optimize the care for all children born in the Northwest with craniofacial difference who are treated in our Center.

Research Focus Area

Translational Research, Craniofacial