Richard Alan Hopper, MD

Richard Alan Hopper, MD

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

On staff since September 2001

Children's Title: Division Chief, Craniofacial and Plastic Surgery

Foundation Title: Marlys C. Larson Endowed Chair in Pediatric Craniofacial Surgery

Research Center: Center for Clinical and Translational Research

"Each day I count myself fortunate to be able to work with children with craniofacial challenges. Their spirit, courage and dignity give me the energy to always do my best in the clinic and the operating room. We take our faces for granted when we see, breathe, talk and smile. These children do not. So when they smile, and you’ve been able to help that smile, it lights up the room."

    • Kara Auburn, WA 09.18.23

      Dr. Hopper hasn't just been a 'plastic surgeon' for my daughter born with a bilateral cleft lip & palate. He has been a lifelong partner in her journey. Before my daughter was even born in 2009 Dr. Hopper was already part of her team, telling us what to expect & how to prepare for every surgery with compassion for our individual situation. You always feel you have 100% of Dr. Hopper's attention during appointments. He speaks to my daughter with respect & consideration for her personal concerns & questions. One time we had to take her to the ER there when she was an infant, she is now 14...Dr. Hopper was notified we were in the ER. He personally came & removed the object that was stuck in her palate. The comfort felt as a parent that a known physician was coming to help was beyond words. I'm so proud that my daughter is getting her care at Seattle Children's & specifically that Dr. Hopper is her surgeon. I know she is in hands that care for her as family. Thank you.

    • Christina Rotenburg/Germany 04.01.17

      Dr.Hopper operated on my son Collin 14 years ago, together with Dr. Ellenbogen, on isolated Trigonocephaly. They did a great job, sad, we could not return to SCH for check-ups, due to our move to Germany....

    • Barbra Auburn WA 08.27.14

      Dr. Hopper fixed my son's face! He was born with a bilateral incomplete cleft lip and palate in early January and after stabilization with the NAM appliance, the surgery for the lip and nose was done last week. He looks so good! Dr. Hopper and his team did an amazing job for my baby. I couldn't be more pleased. He is a very, very good plastic surgeon and and I can't say enough good things about his compassionate care, genuine interest in the progress of my child, and his straight forward nature. My son is full of energy, is working through learning how to eat with his new mouth, and is having a much better experience overall with feeding and play time. Thank you for being awesome Dr. Hopper! We appreciate you.

    • Kathryn Bothell, WA 05.21.14

      My son was born with a rare condition called Metopic Craniosynostosis, where the metopic suture between the plates in his skull fused prematurely. Because his skull could not expand to accommodate his growing brain the condition caused his head to grow into an abnormal shape, and if left uncorrected could lead to serious brain problems. My husband and I were absolutely terrified about the surgery, but Dr. Hopper was wonderful about answering all our questions and explaining exactly how they would reconstruct his skull. In January 2014, Dr. Hopper worked in tandem with Dr. Ellenbogen to perform a 6+ hour procedure called a Cranial Vault Reconstruction and Frontal Orbital Advancement. He and his team did beautiful work! My son recovered quickly and is now a perfectly happy, healthy, and very handsome 16 month old. We are so pleased with the results (and all that extra space for his brain to grow!) Strangers tell me what an adorable baby he is, and they have no idea that there was ever anything different about him. We cannot thank Dr. Hopper enough!

    • Jenny Phx az 08.03.13

      My daughter was born with very little air to breath in with her nose. She had a hard time breathing, her eyes were also not normal they were 2 as big as a normal our year old kids as should be. I took her to her doctor that work at Phoenix Children's hospital, they recommended that I take her to Seattle children hospital.. we spend 3 Months in seattle for my daughter health. Dr. Hopper was the doctor that did my daughters surgery, now she is a happy, healthy 7 yr old kid.

    • Renee Yakima, WA 01.19.13

      We came to Dr. Hopper by a local recommendation of a Public Health Nurse when our son was born with unilateral partial cleft lip weeks after birth. Surgery was set for his 4 month birthday. It was scary but I have never felt more supportive from the entire team, but especially Dr. Hopper and his colleagues. We cannot thank them enough and will not forget how perfect our child's smile is now, the fact that he will learn to blow bubbles with ease, play a flute if he wants, and how is kisses mean so much more. Thank you!

    • Denise Federal Way, WA 09.08.12

      My son was born with a Cleft Lip and Palate. His Cleft lip and Palate repairs were done at Seattle Childrens in 2000 and 2001. When my son was ready for his 3rd Surgery a bone graft, his former Surgeon was no longer at Seattle Childrens and we were placed in the Care of Dr. Hopper. I can't say enough wonderful things about Dr. Hopper. He was very reassuring, very kind and patient with us. He explained in a way we could understand what the surgery entailed. I highly recommened anyone with any type of facial challenge to put his/her care into the very capable and gifted hands of this Surgeon. Thank you to Dr. Hopper and Seattle Childrens Hospital for being there for my son. I am so grateful for all you have done for us.

    • Barbara Kinnear, Wyoming 09.19.11

      When our son Sean was born with a cleft lip and palate, we were full of questions, concerns and fears. Dr. Hopper (and the whole team) made us feel comfortable with their caring approach immediately. Believe me, there isn't anything more scary than handing our five-month-old baby over for an operation. Our son is now nine years old and has two operations behind him, with another yet to come. It's wonderful to have Dr. Hopper as his lead doctor all through my son's treatment and not have to start over building trust in a new doctor every time we visit. We know Dr. Hopper genuinely cares, we trust him, and the results have been nothing short of amazing. Thank you Dr. Hopper!

    • Allison Zillah, WA 04.14.11

      Our son was referred to Dr. Hopper at five months of age. We were overwhelmed and terrified. We were scheduled to only meet with the pediatrician from Craniofacial but had so many questions about the surgery that she asked Dr. Hopper to come in and visit. He was in surgery but more than willing to meet with us once he was done. He completed surgery and then came in to answer our long list of questions. No appointment, just a good kind heart to ease a couple of very worried parents. We were confident that our son was in great hands and never doubted that from the first time we met him until we checked out after surgery. Absolutely amazing doctor! We feel blessed to have had such a great doctor in such a scary situation to brand new parents. Our son is happy, healthy, and beautiful!

  • Award Name Award Description Awarded By Award Date
    SEATTLE TOP DOCTOR - 2022 Seattle Magazine 2022
    Seattle Top Doctor - 2019 Seattle Magazine 2019
    SEATTLE'S TOP DOCTOR - 2018 Seattle Magazine 2018
    Seattles Top Doctor 2016 Seattle Met Magazine 2016
    SEATTLE'S TOP DOCTOR - 2015 Seattle Met Magazine 2015
    SEATTLE MAGAZINE TOP DOCTOR - 2015 Seattle Magazine 2015
    SEATTLE'S TOP DOCTOR - 2014 Seattle Metropolitan Magazine 2014
    SEATTLE MAGAZINE TOP DOCTOR - 2014 Seattle Magazine 2014
    Seattle Magazine Top Doctor - 2013 Seattle Magazine 2013
    Seattle's Top Doc Seattle Met Magazine 2013
    U.S. News Top Doctor U.S. News and World Report 2012
    2009 Seattle Magazine Top Doctors Seattle Magazine Jan 1, 2009
    2009 Best Doctors in America Best Doctors in America Jan 1, 2009
  • Other Publications

    • Susarla SM, Evans KN, Kapadia H, Vasilakou N, Egbert ME, Hopper RA
      Distraction Osteogenesis Normalizes Mandibular Body-Symphysis Morphology in Infants With Robin Sequence.
      28734994 Journal of oral and maxillofacial surgery : official journal of the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, 2017 Jun 30
    • Oh E, Comstock BA, Gruss J, Hopper R, Birgfeld C, Tse R
      Response: Crowdsourcing as a Novel Method to Evaluate Esthetic Outcomes of Treatment for Unilateral Cleft Lip.
      28590972 Plastic and reconstructive surgery, 2017 Jun 6
    • Susarla SM, Vasilakou N, Kapadia H, Egbert M, Hopper RA, Evans KN
      Defining mandibular morphology in Robin sequence: A matched case-control study.
      28407354 American journal of medical genetics. Part A, 2017 Apr 13
    • Cain AJ, Lemley CO, Walters FK, Christiansen DL, King EH, Hopper RM
      Pre-breeding beef heifer management and season affect mid to late gestation uterine artery hemodynamics.
      27577985 Theriogenology, 2017 Jan 1 : 879-15
    • Mundinger GS, Latham K, Friedrich J, Louie O, Said H, Birgfeld C, Ellenbogen R, Hopper RA
      Management of the Repeatedly Failed Cranioplasty Following Large Postdecompressive Craniectomy: Establishing the Efficacy of Staged Free Latissimus Dorsi Transfer/Tissue Expansion/Custom Polyetheretherketone Implant Reconstruction.
      28005736 The Journal of craniofacial surgery, 2016 Nov. : 27(8)1971-1977
    • Tse RW, Oh E, Gruss JS, Hopper RA, Birgfeld CB
      Crowdsourcing as a Novel Method to Evaluate Aesthetic Outcomes of Treatment for Unilateral Cleft Lip.
      27673519 Plastic and reconstructive surgery, 2016 Oct. : 138(4)864-74
    • Hopper RM
      Management of Male Reproductive Tract Injuries and Disease.
      27039689 The Veterinary clinics of North America. Food animal practice, 2016 July : 32(2)497-510
    • Putnam LR, Richards MK, Sandvall BK, Hopper RA, Waldhausen JH, Harting MT
      Laboratory evaluation for pediatric patients with suspected necrotizing soft tissue infections: A case-control study.
      27233372 Journal of pediatric surgery, 2016 June : 51(6)1022-5
    • Pusch A, De Luca A, Oh SS, Wuestner S, Roschuk T, Chen Y, Boual S, Ali Z, Phillips CC, Hong M, Maier SA, Udrea F, Hopper RH, Hess O
      A highly efficient CMOS nanoplasmonic crystal enhanced slow-wave thermal emitter improves infrared gas-sensing devices.
      26639902 Scientific reports, 2015 Dec 7 : 517451 PMCID:PMC4671012
    • Birgfeld CB, Dufton L, Naumann H, Hopper RA, Gruss JS, Haberkern CM, Speltz ML
      Safety of Open Cranial Vault Surgery for Single-Suture Craniosynostosis: A Case for the Multidisciplinary Team.
      26468785 The Journal of craniofacial surgery, 2015 Oct. : 26(7)2052-8 PMCID:PMC4610150
    • Swanson J, Oppenheimer A, Al-Mufarrej F, Pet M, Arakawa C, Cunningham M, Gruss J, Hopper R, Birgfeld C
      Maternofetal Trauma in Craniosynostosis.
      26218396 Plastic and reconstructive surgery, 2015 Aug. : 136(2)214e-222e
    • Weiss AH, Kelly JP, Hopper RA, Phillips JO
      Crouzon Syndrome: Relationship of Eye Movements to Pattern Strabismus.
      26176876 Investigative ophthalmology and visual science, 2015 July : 56(8)4394-402
    • Swanson JW, Smartt JM Jr, Saltzman BS, Birgfeld CB, Hopper RA, Gruss JS, Tse R
      Adopted children with cleft lip and/or palate: a unique and growing population.
      25068349 Plastic and reconstructive surgery, 2014 Aug. : 134(2)283e-293e
    • Hopper RA, Tse R, Smartt J, Swanson J, Kinter S
      Cleft palate repair and velopharyngeal dysfunction.
      24867745 Plastic and reconstructive surgery, 2014 June : 133(6)852e-864e
    • Hopper RA, Al-Mufarrej F
      24607191 Clinics in plastic surgery, 2014 April : 41(2)233-40
    • Chauhan VM, Hopper RH, Ali SZ, King EM, Udrea F, Oxley CH, Aylott JW
      Thermo-optical characterization of fluorescent rhodamine B based temperature-sensitive nanosensors using a CMOS MEMS micro-hotplate.
      25844025 Sensors and actuators. B, Chemical, 2014 Mar 1 : 192126-133 PMCID:PMC4376176
    • Morton RP, Reynolds RM, Ramakrishna R, Levitt MR, Hopper RA, Lee A, Browd SR
      Low-dose head computed tomography in children: a single institutional experience in pediatric radiation risk reduction: clinical article.
      23971634 Journal of neurosurgery. Pediatrics, 2013 Oct. : 12(4)406-10
    • Florczyk SJ, Leung M, Li Z, Huang JI, Hopper RA, Zhang M
      Evaluation of three-dimensional porous chitosan-alginate scaffolds in rat calvarial defects for bone regeneration applications.
      23737120 Journal of biomedical materials research. Part A, 2013 Oct. : 101(10)2974-83
    • Hopper RA, Kapadia H, Morton T
      Normalizing facial ratios in apert syndrome patients with Le Fort II midface distraction and simultaneous zygomatic repositioning.
      23508053 Plastic and reconstructive surgery, 2013 July : 132(1)129-40
    • Forrest CR, Hopper RA
      Craniofacial syndromes and surgery.
      23271559 Plastic and reconstructive surgery, 2013 Jan. : 131(1)86e-109e
    • Birgfeld CB, Saltzman BS, Hing AV, Heike CL, Khanna PC, Gruss JS, Hopper RA
      Making the diagnosis: metopic ridge versus metopic craniosynostosis.
      23348281 The Journal of craniofacial surgery, 2013 Jan. : 24(1)178-85
    • Buchanan EP, Hopper RA, Suver DW, Hayes AG, Gruss JS, Birgfeld CB
      Zygomaticomaxillary complex fractures and their association with naso-orbito-ethmoid fractures: a 5-year review.
      23190812 Plastic and reconstructive surgery, 2012 Dec. : 130(6)1296-304
    • Florczyk SJ, Leung M, Jana S, Li Z, Bhattarai N, Huang JI, Hopper RA, Zhang M
      Enhanced bone tissue formation by alginate gel-assisted cell seeding in porous ceramic scaffolds and sustained release of growth factor.
      22767533 Journal of biomedical materials research. Part A, 2012 Dec. : 100(12)3408-15
    • Hopper RA, Prucz RB, Iamphongsai S
      Achieving differential facial changes with Le Fort III distraction osteogenesis: the use of nasal passenger grafts, cerclage hinges, and segmental movements.
      22878478 Plastic and reconstructive surgery, 2012 Dec. : 130(6)1281-8
    • Naumann HL, Haberkern CM, Pietila KE, Birgfeld CB, Starr JR, Kapp-Simon KA, Hopper RA, Speltz ML
      Duration of exposure to cranial vault surgery: associations with neurodevelopment among children with single-suture craniosynostosis.
      22502768 Paediatric anaesthesia, 2012 Nov. : 22(11)1053-61 PMCID:PMC3404221
    • Hopper RA
      New trends in cranio-orbital and midface distraction for craniofacial dysostosis.
      22894998 Current opinion in otolaryngology and head and neck surgery, 2012 Aug. : 20(4)298-303
    • Hopper RA, Sandercoe G, Woo A, Watts R, Kelley P, Ettinger RE, Saltzman B
      Computed tomographic analysis of temporal maxillary stability and pterygomaxillary generate formation following pediatric Le Fort III distraction advancement.
      21042122 Plastic and reconstructive surgery, 2010 Nov. : 1665-74
    • Czerwinski M, Hopper RA, Gruss J, Fearon JA
      Major morbidity and mortality rates in craniofacial surgery: an analysis of 8101 major procedures.
      20220557 Plastic and reconstructive surgery, 2010 July : 181-6
    • Li Z, Leung M, Hopper R, Ellenbogen R, Zhang M
      Feeder-free self-renewal of human embryonic stem cells in 3D porous natural polymer scaffolds.
      19819007 Biomaterials, 2010 Jan. : 404-12
    • Hing AV, Click ES, Holder U, Seto ML, Vessey K, Gruss J, Hopper R, Cunningham ML
      Bilateral lambdoid and sagittal synostosis (BLSS): a unique craniosynostosis syndrome or predictable craniofacial phenotype?
      19396832 American journal of medical genetics. Part A, 2009 May : 1024-32
    • Hopper RA, Lewis C, Umbdenstock R, Garrison MM, Starr JR
      Discharge practices, readmission, and serious medical complications following primary cleft lip repair in 23 U.S. children's hospitals.
      19407628 Plastic and reconstructive surgery, 2009 May : 1553-9
    • Hopper RA, VerHalen JP, Tepper O, Mehrara BJ, Detch R, Chang EI, Baharestani S, Simon BJ, Gurtner GC
      Osteoblasts stimulated with pulsed electromagnetic fields increase HUVEC proliferation via a VEGF-A independent mechanism.
      19194859 Bioelectromagnetics, 2009 April : 189-97
    • Hopper RA, Aspinall C, Heike C, Andrews M, Sittler B, Saltzman B, Ose M
      What the patients and parents do not tell you-recollections from families following external LeFort III midface distraction.
      19528775 Plastic surgical nursing : official journal of the American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgical Nurses, 2009 April : 78-85; quiz 86-7
    • Dashow JE, Lewis CW, Hopper RA, Gruss JS, Egbert MA
      Bupivacaine administration and postoperative pain following anterior iliac crest bone graft for alveolar cleft repair.
      19254053 The Cleft palate-craniofacial journal : official publication of the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association, 2009 March : 173-8
    • Moulton K, Ryan P, Christiansen D, Hopper R, Klauser C, Bennett W, Rodts-Palenik S, Willard S
      Hormonal profiles of late gestation ewes following intra-uterine inoculation with and without lux-modified Escherichia coli.
      18997446 The Journal of reproduction and development, 2009 Feb. : 55-62
    • 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
    • Ploplys EA, Hopper RA, Muzaffar AR, Starr JR, Avellino AM, Cunningham ML, Ellenbogen RG, Gruss JS
      Comparison of computed tomographic imaging measurements with clinical findings in children with unilateral lambdoid synostosis.
      19116566 Plastic and reconstructive surgery, 2009 Jan. : 300-9
    • Imahara SD, Hopper RA, Wang J, Rivara FP, Klein MB
      Patterns and outcomes of pediatric facial fractures in the United States: a survey of the National Trauma Data Bank.
      18954784 Journal of the American College of Surgeons, 2008 Nov. : 710-6
    • Kelley P, Hopper R, Gruss J
      Evaluation and treatment of zygomatic fractures.
      18090725 Plastic and reconstructive surgery, 2007 Dec. : 5S-15S
    • Seto ML, Hing AV, Chang J, Hu M, Kapp-Simon KA, Patel PK, Burton BK, Kane AA, Smyth MD, Hopper R, Ellenbogen RG, Stevenson K, Speltz ML, Cunningham ML
      Isolated sagittal and coronal craniosynostosis associated with TWIST box mutations.
      17343269 American journal of medical genetics. Part A, 2007 Apr 1 : 678-86
    • Hopper RA, Salemy S, Sze RW
      Diagnosis of midface fractures with CT: what the surgeon needs to know.
      16702454 Radiographics : a review publication of the Radiological Society of North America, Inc, 2006 May : 783-93
    • Hopper RA, Grayson BH, Dayan J, Altug A, McCarthy JG, Sato Y, Khorramabadi D, Oliker A, Cutting CB
      A virtual reality tracking system for distal mandible movement during distraction osteogenesis.
      16462344 Plastic and reconstructive surgery, 2006 Feb. : 590-4; discussion 595
    • Sze RW, Hopper RA, Ghioni V, Gruss JS, Ellenbogen RG, King D, Hing AV, Cunningham ML
      MDCT diagnosis of the child with posterior plagiocephaly.
      16247160 AJR. American journal of roentgenology, 2005 Nov. : 1342-6
    • Tepper OM, Callaghan MJ, Chang EI, Galiano RD, Bhatt KA, Baharestani S, Gan J, Simon B, Hopper RA, Levine JP, Gurtner GC
      Electromagnetic fields increase in vitro and in vivo angiogenesis through endothelial release of FGF-2.
      15208265 The FASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, 2004 Aug. : 1231-3
    • Hopper RA, Woodhouse K, Semple JL
      Acellularization of human placenta with preservation of the basement membrane: a potential matrix for tissue engineering.
      14646657 Annals of plastic surgery, 2003 Dec. : 598-602
    • McCarthy JG, Hopper RA, Hollier LH Jr, Peltomaki T, Katzen T, Grayson BH
      Molding of the regenerate in mandibular distraction: clinical experience.
      14504506 Plastic and reconstructive surgery, 2003 Oct. : 1239-46
    • Mackool RJ, Hopper RA, Grayson BH, Holliday R, McCarthy JG
      Volumetric change of the medial pterygoid following distraction osteogenesis of the mandible: an example of the associated soft-tissue changes.
      12711939 Plastic and reconstructive surgery, 2003 May : 1804-7
    • Hopper RA, Altug AT, Grayson BH, Barillas I, Sato Y, Cutting CB, McCarthy JG
      Cephalometric analysis of the consolidation phase following bilateral pediatric mandibular distraction.
      12733950 The Cleft palate-craniofacial journal : official publication of the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association, 2003 May : 233-40
    • McCarthy JG, Katzen JT, Hopper R, Grayson BH
      The first decade of mandibular distraction: lessons we have learned.
      12447053 Plastic and reconstructive surgery, 2002 Dec. : 1704-13
    • McCarthy JG, Hopper RA
      Distraction osteogenesis of zygomatic bone grafts in a patient with Treacher Collins syndrome: a case report.
      12000886 The Journal of craniofacial surgery, 2002 March : 279-83; discussion, 284-6
    • Deva AK, Hopper RA, Landecker A, Flores R, Weiner H, McCarthy JG
      The use of intraoperative autotransfusion during cranial vault remodeling for craniosynostosis.
      11786792 Plastic and reconstructive surgery, 2002 Jan. : 58-63
  • Presentations Title Event Location Date
    Advances in Cranial Reconstruction Technological Advances in Head and Neck Oncology and Craniomaxillofacial Surgery Unknown Jul 1, 2009
    Facial Reconstruction Following Trauma WAMI 20th Annual Trauma Conference Seattle, WA Jun 1, 2009
    Faces of Courage Circle of Care National Conference Seattle, WA Jan 1, 2009
  • Grant Title Grantor Amount Award Date
    2006 Sinegal fund for craniofacial research Seattle Children's Foundation $150,000.00 Jan 1, 2006 - Jan 1, 2009
    2006 Burgess fund for craniofacial surgical advancement Seattle Children's Foundation $30,000.00 Jan 1, 2006 - Jan 1, 2009


Board Certification(s)

Plastic Surgery

Medical/Professional School

Memorial University of Newfoundland, St Johns, Newfoundland, NL


University of Toronto, Toronto, ON


New York University Langone Medical Center, New York, NY

Clinical Interests

Craniosynostosis, cleft lip and palate, craniofacial syndrome, distraction osteogenesis

Research Description

One of the most important goals of a surgeon is to work towards doing more benefit with less surgery. Dr. Hopper's research interest centers on performing careful analysis of the craniofacial structure of a child before surgery, immediately after surgery and then years later. Using modern digital technology such as image analysis programs and 3-dimensional scanners, Dr. Hopper's team is able to learn which techniques work the best for each individual child. His work to date has focused on the complex surgeries of treating children whose faces have not grown in proportion to the rest of their body resulting in problems breathing, eating and seeing. His clinical research on the cutting edge Lefort III distraction osteogenesis procedure used to help these patients has made him a recognized national expert in the field. Dr. Hopper's other research focus in designing novel medical devices to help children before surgery, such that more can be achieved while they are in the operating room. He is the inventor of the patent pending Seattle Alar Molding (SAM) device for pre-surgery treatment of infants with cleft lip that will be going to trial in 2011.

Research Focus Area