Russell Edward Ettinger, MD

Russell Edward Ettinger, MD

Plastic Surgery, Craniofacial Center

On staff since August 2018

"I feel extremely fortunate to be involved in the lives of my pediatric and adolescent patients that I treat at Seattle Children’s. As a parent of young children, I strive every day to provide the same individualized and compassionate care to my patients and their families that I would want for my own children. Whether it is treating a newborn infant with cleft lip and palate or an adolescent patient with gender dysphoria my goal is always to ensure that the patient and family needs come first as we develop a shared care plan and approach to surgery. Being in the service of others is one of the most rewarding aspects of my job as a craniofacial and plastic surgeon and continually inspires me to strive for the best outcomes for each of my patients."

  • Biography

    Russell E. Ettinger, M.D., is an Assistant Professor of Surgery within the Division of Plastic and Craniofacial Surgery at Seattle Children’s Hospital and the University of Washington and the developer of the Adolescent Plastic Surgery Gender Program. He is also service chief of Craniofacial Surgery at Harborview Medical Center and the Medical Director of the Burn & Plastic Surgery Clinic.

    Dr. Ettinger’s clinical focus includes treatment of congenital, traumatic, and secondary craniomaxillofacial deformities in children and adolescent patients. His practice encompasses the care of patients with cleft lip and palate, dentofacial discrepancies (jaw surgery), acute facial trauma, complex facial burns, and gender dysphoria through gender affirming surgical care for the face (facial feminization surgery, FFS) and body (chest surgery, top surgery).

    Dr. Ettinger is a native of the Pacific Northwest and since joining the faculty, he has enjoyed re-exploring the region with his wife, son, and daughter and sharing all the experiences and natural beauty that Seattle has to offer.



  • Patient Testimonials

    • Jasmine Pullman Washington 01.18.24

      My son was born with a Unilateral Cleft lip. At 8 months old he had his lip repair. Dr. Ettinger did an absolutely incredible job. I couldn’t be happier with the results, although I will always miss my son’s original smile. He took his time and I could not have imagined a better result.

  • Awards and Honors

    Award Name Award Description Awarded By Award Date
    Medical Student Teaching Award (2018) University of Michigan Plastic Surgery Residency Program
    Bernd Spiessl Outstanding Grant Award, (2016) American Society of Maxillofacial Surgeons (ASMS)
    Best Basic Science Paper Award (2016) Michigan Academy of Plastic Surgery (MAPS)
    Kawamoto Award, Best Craniofacial Paper (2018) American Society of Craniofacial Surgeons (ASCFS)
    NIH T-32 Training Grant Award Recipient (2016) National Institutes of Health
  • Publications

    Other Publications

    • Luby AO, Snider AE, Mandair GS, Urlaub KM, Lynn JV, Nelson NS, Donneys A, Ettinger RE, Gurtner GC, Kohn D, Buchman SR
      Therapeutic Interventions to Reduce Radiation Induced Dermal Injury in a Murine Model of Tissue Expander Based Breast Reconstruction.
      32187064 Annals of plastic surgery, 2020 Nov. : 85(5)546-552 PMCID:PMC7487044
    • Morrison S, Ettinger RE, Kapadia H, Susarla SM
      Bimaxillary Surgery with Occlusal Plane Alterations: A New Frontier for Gender Confirmation?
      32649603 Plastic and reconstructive surgery, 2020 Oct. : 146(4)518e-519e
    • Susarla SM, Cho DY, Ettinger RE, Dodson TB
      The Low Medial Horizontal Osteotomy in Patients With Atypical Ramus Morphology Undergoing Sagittal Split Osteotomy.
      32540322 Journal of oral and maxillofacial surgery : official journal of the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, 2020 Oct. : 78(10)1813-1819
    • Hopper JS, Sobol DL, Ettinger RE, Susarla SM
      Mandibular Foramen Position Predicts Inferior Alveolar Nerve Location After Sagittal Split Osteotomy With a Low Medial Cut.
      33031774 Journal of oral and maxillofacial surgery : official journal of the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, 2020 Sep 11
    • Susarla SM, Ettinger RE, Dodson TB
      Is It Necessary to Free the Inferior Alveolar Nerve From the Proximal Segment in the Sagittal Split Osteotomy?
      32283076 Journal of oral and maxillofacial surgery : official journal of the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, 2020 Aug. : 78(8)1382-1388
    • Susarla SM, Ettinger R, Preston K, Hitesh Kapadia, Egbert MA
      Technical Modifications Specific to the Cleft Le Fort I Osteotomy.
      32282690 The Journal of craniofacial surgery, 2020 July : 31(5)1459-1463
    • Hopper RA, Ettinger RE, Purnell CA, Dover MS, Pereira AR, Tunçbilek G
      Thirty Years Later: What Has Craniofacial Distraction Osteogenesis Surgery Replaced?
      32459782 Plastic and reconstructive surgery, 2020 June : 145(6)1073e-1088e
    • Susarla SM, Ettinger RE, Egbert MA
      Transmucosal Pterygomaxillary Separation in the Le Fort I Osteotomy.
      32332550 Plastic and reconstructive surgery, 2020 May : 145(5)1262-1265
    • Susarla SM, Hauptman J, Ettinger R, Sittler B, Ellenbogen RG
      Acellular Dermal Matrix as a Definitive Reconstructive Option for Management of a Large Myelomeningocele Defect in the Setting of Severe Lumbar Kyphosis.
      31247357 World neurosurgery, 2019 Sept. : 129363-366
    • Bennett KG, Vick AD, Ettinger RE, Archer SM, Vercler CJ, Buchman SR
      Age at Craniosynostosis Surgery and Its Impact on Ophthalmologic Diagnoses: A Single-Center Retrospective Review.
      31461031 Plastic and reconstructive surgery, 2019 Sept. : 144(3)696-701 PMCID:PMC6729144
    • Bennett KG, Ettinger RE, Liang F, Beck PCC, Stoldt MK, McNeely MM, Nabi SR, Vercler CJ, Buchman SR
      Debunking a Surgical Myth: Do Not Touch the Temporalis.
      30640849 The Journal of craniofacial surgery, 2019 March : 30(2)429-432
    • Urlaub KM, Ettinger RE, Nelson NS, Hoxie JM, Snider AE, Perosky JE, Polyatskaya Y, Donneys A, Buchman SR
      Nonvascularized Bone Graft Reconstruction of the Irradiated Murine Mandible: An Analogue of Clinical Head and Neck Cancer Treatment.
      30531286 The Journal of craniofacial surgery, 2019 March : 30(2)611-617 PMCID:PMC6541514
    • Donneys A, Yang Q, Forrest ML, Nelson NS, Zhang T, Ettinger R, Ranganathan K, Snider A, Deshpande SS, Cohen MS, Buchman SR
      Implantable hyaluronic acid-deferoxamine conjugate prevents nonunions through stimulation of neovascularization.
      31123600 NPJ Regenerative medicine, 2019 : 411 PMCID:PMC6529413
    • Snider AE, Lynn JV, Urlaub KM, Donneys A, Polyatskaya Y, Nelson NS, Ettinger RE, Gurtner GC, Banaszak Holl MM, Buchman SR
      Topical Deferoxamine Alleviates Skin Injury and Normalizes Atomic Force Microscopy Patterns Following Radiation in a Murine Breast Reconstruction Model.
      30113984 Annals of plastic surgery, 2018 Nov. : 81(5)604-608 PMCID:PMC6179919
    • Ettinger RE, Kung TA, Wombacher N, Berger M, Newman MH, Buchman SR, Kasten SJ
      Timing of Furlow Palatoplasty for Patients With Submucous Cleft Palate.
      29437520 The Cleft palate-craniofacial journal : official publication of the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association, 2018 March : 55(3)430-436
    • Agarwal S, Ettinger RE, Kung TA, Kozlow JH, Brown DL
      Cohort study of immediate implant exchange during acute infection in the setting of breast reconstruction.
      28478892 Journal of plastic, reconstructive & aesthetic surgery : JPRAS, 2017 July : 70(7)865-870
    • Ettinger RE, Agarwal S, Izenberg PH, Beil RJ, Sherick DG
      Bilateral Reduction Mammaplasty as an Oncoplastic Technique for the Management of Early-Stage Breast Cancer in Women with Macromastia.
      26816558 Eplasty, 2016 : 16e5 PMCID:PMC4714625
    • Ettinger RE, Oppenheimer AJ, Lau D, Hassan F, Newman MH, Buchman SR, Kasten SJ
      Obstructive sleep apnea after dynamic sphincter pharyngoplasty.
      23154358 The Journal of craniofacial surgery, 2012 Nov. : 23(7 Suppl 1)1974-6
    • Khechoyan D, Schook C, Birgfeld CB, Khosla RK, Saltzman B, Teng CC, Ettinger R, Gruss JS, Ellenbogen R, Hopper RA
      Changes in frontal morphology after single-stage open posterior-middle vault expansion for sagittal craniosynostosis.
      22286431 Plastic and reconstructive surgery, 2012 Feb. : 129(2)504-16
    • Ettinger RE, Hopper RA, Sandercoe G, Kifle Y, Saltzman B, Chen M, Perkins J
      Quantitative computed tomographic scan and polysomnographic analysis of patients with syndromic midface hypoplasia before and after Le Fort III distraction advancement.
      21460667 Plastic and reconstructive surgery, 2011 April : 127(4)1612-9
    • 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. : 126(5)1665-74
    • Weinstein JR, Ettinger RE, Zhang M, Andersen H, Hanisch UK, Möller T
      Thrombin regulates CD40 expression in microglial cells.
      18418252 Neuroreport, 2008 May 7 : 19(7)757-60
  • Presentations

    Presentations Title Event Location Date
    “Fate of Stem Cells Harvested from Bone Marrow and Adipose Tissue in a Murine Model of Irradiated Mandibular Fracture Repair.” Dingman Society Meeting; Ann Arbor, MI: 6/2/17.
    “Nanoparticle Deferoxamine Restores Bone Mineralization and Bone Density Following Radiation in Segmental Non-vascularized Bone Grafting of the Mandible.” Dingman Society Meeting; Ann Arbor, MI: 6/8/18.
    “Sustained-Release Angiogenic Nanoparticle Increases Union Rates, Vascularity, and Cellularity of the Irradiated Murine Mandible Following Nonvascularized Bone Graft Reconstruction.” 64th Annual Meeting of the Plastic Surgery Research Council; Baltimore, MD: May 2-5, 2019.
    Quantification of Aesthetic Changes to the Temporal Region Through Three-Dimensional Volumetric Photo Analysis Dingman Society Meeting; Ann Arbor, MI: 6/2/17.
    “A Depiction of Racial Diversity in Craniofacial Surgery Literature.” American Society of Plastic Surgeons-89th Annual Plastic Surgery: The Meeting; San Francisco, CA: October 16-19, 2020.


Board Certification(s)

Plastic Surgery

Medical/Professional School

University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle, WA


University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor, MI


University of Washington Plastic Surgery, Seattle, WA

Clinical Interests

Cleft lip and palate, craniofacial surgery, orthognathic surgery (jaw surgery), pediatric plastic surgery, gender affirming surgery of the face (facial feminization surgery, FFS) and body (chest surgery, top surgery) and secondary pediatric burn reconstruction surgery. 

His research interests have focused on translational approaches to the pharmacologic augmentation of bone graft healing as well as clinical outcomes research in cleft and craniofacial surgery. He also maintains a strong interest in medical student and surgical resident education.