Joseph S. Gruss, MD

Joseph S. Gruss, MD

Plastic Surgery, Craniofacial, Vascular Anomalies

On staff since February 1991

Children's Title: Marlys C. Larson Endowed Chair in Pediatric Craniofacial Surgery

Academic Title: Professor, University of Washington Division of Plastic Surgery

Research Center: Center for Clinical and Translational Research


  • Vicki American Fork, Utah 04.29.14

    Three of my four children with cleft lips and palates have had the privilege to have Doctor Gruss as their surgeon. Dr. Gruss is a generous man with his time. He went to the Mayo Clinic for two weeks to teach a group of students who choose him. I met one of these doctors after their studies at the Mayo Clinic and he is a young doctor with great skills. These are the words he told me "Whenever you see Dr. Gruss again, tell him thank you." We have seen good work from a few surgeons after moving away from Seattle area--having been deeply spoiled by Dr. Gruss for many surgeries and many years we kept looking for a close to Gruss' gift. We selected the top in Utah to finish our oldest and we almost have the level of Gruss. Gruss has deeply impacted our family with his skills and kindness. We deeply appreciate his personality and friendship. He is my first choice and I know Gruss has earned this respect and referrals in every way. Dr. Gruss is one who takes his skills to a new high frequently and the whole community is blessed by his advancement in his field, as so many study his work. Our children have had the privileged to have His best--The Best! Thank you very much! Mother of 10 and 5 effected with clefting, ranging from teeth to bi-lateral cleft lip and palate.

  • Shelleigh Zillah WA 07.14.13

    Dr. Gruss is the most amazing Surgeon I have ever seen. He did 2 surgeries on my son Chance in 2001 and 2005. My son was born with a cleft lip. He is the most beautiful person inside and out due to Dr. Gruss and his amazing work. He looks as normal as they come. Thanks Dr. Gruss.

  • Zobaria Seattle, WA 03.15.13

    Dr. Gruss is an amazing surgeon. I was born with a treble cleft-lip and palate along with other cranio-facial issues. He did such a good job with me through a series of 10+ surgeries! He is an good person and if he's your doctor than you're in good hands.

  • Lindsey Washington 09.21.12

    Dr. Gruss rebuilt my face over a series of six surgeries. I could not have asked for a better surgeon, and am so thankful that I was lucky enough to have him. If he is your doctor, you are in good hands.

  • Kevin Everett, WA 05.08.12

    Dr Gruss is the best surgeon in the northwest for Craniosynostosis surgery. He did an awesome job on my daughter back in 1994.

  • Nancy Ravenna, OH 12.19.11

    Dr. Gruss performed a Craniectomy on my daughter Sarah when she was five, after it became evident that her condition due to Saethre-Chotzen syndrome was impairing proper growth developement, despite a previous craniectomy years earlier. I am happy to report that not only is my daughter now age 22, but she has a daughter of her own who is now 13 months old. Without Dr. Gruss and his team, I don't know if we would be able to enjoy this small miracle.

  • Michelle Lake Stevens, WA 11.04.11

    My son had Dr. Gruss as his surgent for Metopic Cranio, and I am so grateful he was the one to do it! He is an amazing Dr. and we are lucky to have had him work on our son. It is because of Dr. Gruss that our son is living the life he was so meant to have!

  • Michelle Danville, CA 10.12.11

    Dr Gruss comes very well praised by many of his collegeues. I had a terrible time after cheek lifts and a neck lipoma removal. Many doctors told me that Dr Gruss was the guy to see to resuspend the tissues/muscles in my face to their proper placement so that I may lead a somewhat more comfortable life. I have a fabulous husband and family.I just want to be active again. To walk exercise and heal. I can deal with pain I think but it is the loss of physical ability that frightens me most. To get old, sick because I can not take care of myself...I am praying that Dr gruss has a plan for me. With Dr Anthony from SF, I keep my prayers and thoughts up and trusting. Dr Gruss is a wonderful, honest, talented doctor. I do believe that I can trust him.

  • Nancy Bellevue, Wa 12.01.10

    My daughter has been a patient of the Craniofacial Center for almost 14 years. Dr. Gruss has done a fabulous job on all of her surgeries. I feel privileged to live in the Seattle area and have access to such a wonderful doctor and craniofacial team.

  • Janelle Richland WA 03.01.11

    Dr. Gruss has been one of my doctors here at Children's Hospital for almost 14 years. 13 years ago last month he fixed my skull because the plates had closed before I was born. He is a very nice doctor, who makes me smile. He remembers who I am every time I see him. He also remembers that someone taped my surgery with him. Thank you Dr. Gruss for making me who I am today.


Board Certification(s)

Plastic Surgery (Non-ABMS)

Medical/Professional School

University of Witwaterstrand, Johannesburg

Research Focus Area

Translational Research

Awards and Honors

Award Name Award Description Awarded By Award Date
SEATTLE'S TOP DOCTOR - 2014 Seattle Metropolitan Magazine 2014
SEATTLE MAGAZINE TOP DOCTOR - 2014 Seattle Magazine 2014
Seattle's Top Doc Seattle Met Magazine 2013
Seattle Magazine Top Doctor - 2013 Seattle Magazine 2013
U.S. News Top Doctor U.S. News and World Report 2012
Seattle Magazine Top Doctor - 2012 Seattle Magazine Top Doctor - 2012 Seattle Magazine 2012


  • 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.
    The Cleft palate-craniofacial journal : official publication of the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association , 2009 Mar. : 173-8
  • 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.
    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.
    Plastic and reconstructive surgery , 2009 Jan. : 300-9
  • Heike CL, Cunningham ML, Steiner RD, Wenkert D, Hornung RL, Gruss JS, Gannon FH, McAlister WH, Mumm S, Whyte MP
    Skeletal changes in epidermal nevus syndrome: does focal bone disease harbor clues concerning pathogenesis?
    American journal of medical genetics. Part A , 2005 Dec. 1 : 67-77
  • Sze RW, Hopper RA, Ghioni V, Gruss JS, Ellenbogen RG, King D, Hing AV, Cunningham ML
    MDCT diagnosis of the child with posterior plagiocephaly.
    AJR. American journal of roentgenology , 2005 Nov. : 1342-6
  • Manning SC, Bloom DC, Perkins JA, Gruss JS, Inglis A
    Diagnostic and surgical challenges in the pediatric skull base.
    Otolaryngologic clinics of North America , 2005 Aug. : 773-94
  • Perkins JA, Lewis CW, Gruss JS, Eblen LE, Sie KC
    Furlow palatoplasty for management of velopharyngeal insufficiency: a prospective study of 148 consecutive patients.
    Plastic and reconstructive surgery , 2005 July : 72-80; discussion 81-4
  • Ploplys EA, Muzaffar AR, Gruss JS, Ellenbogen RG
    Early composite cranioplasty in infants with severe aplasia cutis congenita: a report of two cases.
    The Cleft palate-craniofacial journal : official publication of the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association , 2005 July : 442-7
  • Yeung LC, Cunningham ML, Allpress AL, Gruss JS, Ellenbogen RG, Zerr DM
    Surgical site infections after pediatric intracranial surgery for craniofacial malformations: frequency and risk factors.
    Neurosurgery , 2005 Apr, : 733-9; discussion 733-9
  • Ehret FW, Whelan MF, Ellenbogen RG, Cunningham ML, Gruss JS
    Differential diagnosis of the trapezoid-shaped head.
    The Cleft palate-craniofacial journal : official publication of the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association , 2004 Jan. : 13-9
  • Sze RW, Parisi MT, Sidhu M, Paladin AM, Ngo AV, Seidel KD, Weinberger E, Ellenbogen RG, Gruss JS, Cunningham ML
    Ultrasound screening of the lambdoid suture in the child with posterior plagiocephaly.
    Pediatric radiology , 2003 Sept. : 630-6
  • Grant JH 3rd, Roberts TS, Loeser JD, Gruss JS
    Onlay bone graft augmentation for refined correction of coronal synostosis.
    The Cleft palate-craniofacial journal : official publication of the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association , 2002 Sept. : 546-54
  • Sie KC, Gruss JS
    Results with Furlow palatoplasty in the management of velopharyngeal insufficiency.
    Plastic and reconstructive surgery , 2002 June : 2588-9; author reply 2590-1
  • Grant JH 3rd, Patrinely JR, Weiss AH, Kierney PC, Gruss JS
    Trapdoor fracture of the orbit in a pediatric population.
    Plastic and reconstructive surgery , 2002 Feb. : 482-9; discussion 490-5