About

Laura Tom, MD, is an attending physician in MedStar Washington Hospital Center’s Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery department, whose work is all about uplifting patients. As a general plastic surgeon, Dr. Tom uses inpatient and outpatient cosmetic and reconstructive surgical treatments to improve and/or restore the patient’s quality of life that has been affected by a wide range of conditions, including skin cancer, acute and chronic wounds, lymphedema, and hernias.

More specifically, Dr. Tom specializes in microsurgical complex reconstruction techniques, including microvascular reconstruction and super-microsurgery for lymphedema. Surgical treatment for lymphedema—the swelling in limbs that occurs after the damage or removal of lymph nodes—is a relatively new field of surgery because microscope, instrument, and suture technology have all improved to make the necessary techniques feasible. Most providers and patients are more familiar with the non-surgical means of treating lymphedema, such as massage and compression. But promising surgical approaches are now on the horizon: Using microsurgical techniques, it is sometimes possible to move tissue or attempt reconstruction to bypass lymph nodes that are not working.
 
Dr. Tom completed her surgical training at the University of Washington in Seattle ,where she helped treat a high volume of patients from all around the Pacific Northwest. She joined Medstar Washington Hospital Center after completing a specialized fellowship in microsurgery and lymphatic surgery at Hospital de Sant Pau in Barcelona, Spain. During her fellowship, she visited hospitals across Europe and Asia, learning from and networking with experts in complex reconstruction from around the world.
 
Dr. Tom’s practice at MedStar Washington Hospital Center includes pressure wound surgery, breast surgery, body contouring, complex reconstruction for trauma, cancer and limb salvage, and the surgical treatment of lymphedema. She looks forward to expanding the hospital’s practice, focusing on educating patients about new or developing procedures with the potential to save limbs that would otherwise require amputation, as well as prevent advanced lymphedema from occurring through early interventions.

Philosophy of Care
 
“My passion is trying to help patients reclaim some of what they feel they’ve lost. I credit my philosophy of care to one of the pioneers in plastic surgery from the 1500’s, Gaspare Tagliacozzie, who wrote: ‘We restore, rebuild, and make whole those parts which nature hath given, but which fortune has taken away. Not so much that it may delight the eye, but that it might buoy up the spirit, and help the mind of the afflicted.’

“Whatever misfortune, whether it be trauma or cancer, has happened to the patient, our job is about trying to get them back to what and where they were before, or as close to that as possible – back to work, back to fishing, back to being themselves.

“I completed my fellowship training abroad because I wanted to work with some of the world’s leading experts in specialized lymphatic procedures, so that I could bring their wisdom and experience back to my practice here in Washington, DC. I hope to offer patients solutions they didn’t even know existed.

“The patients here at Washington Hospital Center are phenomenal, and our staff is rock solid. It is a pleasure to come to work every day.”

Credentials

Board Certification
  • American Board of Plastic Surgery, Plastic Surgery
Education
  • Medical School: Yale University School of Medicine
  • Fellowship Program: Santa Creu and Sant Pau Hospital
  • Residency Program: University of Washington Medical Center

Insurance

  • COVENTRY HEALTH NETWORK - Coventry Health Care National Network PPO
  • AETNA - Aetna Worker's Compensation Network
  • UNITED HEALTHCARE - Mamsi Life & Health (Indem./PPO)
  • UNITED HEALTHCARE - OneNet PPO, Inc.
  • UNITED HEALTHCARE - Optimum Choice Preferred (POS) & OCI Direct (HMO)
  • UNITED HEALTHCARE - M.D. IPA Preferred (POS)
  • UNITED HEALTHCARE - M.D. IPA (HMO)
  • UNITED HEALTHCARE - United Student Resources
  • UNITED HEALTHCARE - United Healthcare Options (PPO) (includes Empire PPO, GEHA, Compass Rose)
  • UNITED HEALTHCARE - United Healthcare Choice Plus
  • UNITED HEALTHCARE - United Healthcare Select Plus (POS)
  • UNITED HEALTHCARE - United Healthcare Select HMO - EPO/NPP
  • UNITED HEALTHCARE - United Healthcare Core Essential (HMO)
  • PRIVATE HEALTHCARE SYSTEMS, INC. (PHCS) - Private Health Care Systems (PHCS) (PPO)
  • MEDSTAR MEDICARE CHOICE - MedStar Medicare Choice
  • MEDSTAR SELECT - MedStar Select (MedStar Associates' Plan)
  • MEDSTAR FAMILY CHOICE - MedStar Family Choice - Maryland Health Choice
  • TRICARE - Tricare for Life (Medicare Supplemental Plan)
  • TRICARE - Tricare Extra (Indemnity)
  • TRICARE - Tricare Standard
  • TRICARE - Tricare Prime
  • FIRST HEALTH (NOW COVENTRY) - FIRST HEALTH
  • COVENTRY HEALTH NETWORK - First Health PPO
  • COVENTRY HEALTH NETWORK - Coventry of Delaware HMO/PPO
  • COVENTRY HEALTH NETWORK - Coventry Health Care of Virginia
  • CIGNA HEALTH CARE - CIGNA Indemnity
  • CIGNA HEALTH CARE - Great-West Healthcare POS/CIGNA
  • CIGNA HEALTH CARE - CIGNA POS/Network POS
  • CIGNA HEALTH CARE - CIGNA HMO & Network (HMO)
  • CAREFIRST - CFBCBS (NCA) Indemnity
  • CAREFIRST - CFBCBS Maryland Indemnity or PPO
  • CAREFIRST - HealthyBlue PPO
  • CAREFIRST - CFBCBS Federal Employee Program (Std. & Basic PPO)
  • CAREFIRST - CFBCBS Maryland Point of Service Plan (MPOS)
  • CAREFIRST - CFBCBS Blue Choice Opt Out Plus Open Access (POS)
  • CAREFIRST - CFBCBS BlueChoice HMO
  • AETNA - Aetna Medicare Advantage HMO & PPO Plans
  • AETNA - Innovation Health: Indemnity
  • AETNA - Innovation Health: PPO
  • AETNA - Aetna Student Health Insurance
  • AETNA - Innovation Health: POS Plus
  • AETNA - Innovation Health: Open Network Only Plus
  • AETNA - Aetna USAccess (POS)
  • AETNA - Aetna Quality Point of Service (POS)
  • AETNA - Aetna Elect Choice/ EPO (Aetna Health Fund) Innovation Health: Network Only Plus
  • UNITED HEALTHCARE - United Healthcare Compass (HMO)
  • CIGNA HEALTH CARE - POS OA & OA Plus
  • AETNA - Open EPO Plus
  • AETNA - Open POS II
  • CIGNA HEALTH CARE - Choice Fund PPO
  • CAREFIRST - Blue Choice Advantage & Healthy Blue (HMO, POS)
  • AETNA - Aetna Innovations: HMO & EPO Plus