Dr. Frank A. Vicari is a Pediatric Plastic and Craniofacial Surgeon who, for the past 30 years, has been caring for children with complex congenital and acquired disorders throughout the Chicagoland area, and around the world. During this time, Dr. Vicari has pioneered new techniques and created new programs designed to serve children and families with difficult diagnoses. He was the first in the world to perform minimally-invasive, endoscopic-assisted craniofacial procedures for craniosynostosis. He has also pioneered mandibular distraction for airway management in children with hypoplastic (small) mandibles. Dr. Vicari has been responsible for the creation of such programs as the Congenital Hand Clinic and (more recently) the Head Shape Evaluation Program dedicated to the diagnosis and treatment of children with "flat heads". The patients have facial or cranial asymmetry from positional molding, torticollis, or synostosis.
The craniofacial surgeon is a plastic surgeon with specialized training in the diagnosis and treatment of skeletal abnormalities of the skull and facial bones. This surgeon participates in a broad spectrum of craniofacial problems including craniosynostosis, craniofacial clefts, craniofacial trauma and tumor excision and reconstruction. In patients with syndromic craniosynostosis (such as Treacher Collins, Crouzon, Apert, Saethre-Chotzen or Pfeiffer syndromes, or with simple craniosynostosis) the craniofacial surgeon and the pediatric neurosurgeon perform major facial and cranial osteotomies. Distraction osteogenesis may also be indicated for a variety of conditions. The application of innovative craniofacial techniques to the treatment of post-traumatic facial deformities, tumors of the head and neck, and anomalies of the base of the skull has greatly improved surgical results. One of the most innovative techniques is the minimal incision, endoscopic approach to patients with craniosynostosis. Dr. Vicari was the first in the world to pioneer this exciting and innovative approach. For children with alveolar clefts, he works with pediatric oral and maxillofacial surgeons, pediatric dentists, and orthodontists in planning and performing bone-grafting procedures.
Dr. Vicari is currently Chief of Pediatric Plastic Surgery / Craniofacial Surgery with the new Advocate Children’s Hospital, Lutheran General Hospital. He has been Clinical Asst. Professor of Surgery with the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine since 1991. He has surgical privileges with the following area hospitals: the Advocate Lutheran General Hospital in Park Ridge, Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, Central DuPage Hospital and Highland Park Hospital, part of the Northshore University Hospital system.
Dr. Vicari holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and a Master of Science in Chemical Engineering. He worked as coordinator of R & D for Universal Oil Products, Inc., before attending medical school at Loyola University, Stritch School of Medicine. He then did residencies in General Surgery and Plastic Surgery at Loyola. Following his residencies, he completed fellowships in Pediatric Plastic Surgery and Craniofacial Surgery at the Hospital for Sick Kids in Toronto, Ontario and then at The Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago, now the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital.