• Verchere, Cynthia

    Investigator Emeritus, BC Children's Hospital
    Director, Burn Unit, BC Children's Hospital
    Clinical Professor and Head, Division of Plastic Surgery, Department of Surgery, University of British Columbia
    Degrees / Designations
    Primary Area of Research
    Evidence to Innovation
    Secondary Area(s) of Research
    Lab Phone
    Norine Mayede
    Assistant Phone
    Mailing Address
    BC Children's Hospital

    Plastic Surgery Clinic
    Room K3-131, Ambulatory Care Building
    Box 625, 4480 Oak Street
    Vancouver, BC  V6H 3V4

    Affiliate Websites
    Research Areas
    • Pediatric plastic surgery
    • Clinical and functional outcomes
    • Cleft lip and palate
    • Brachial plexus reconstruction
    • Burns

    My research areas reflect my main clinical practice sub-specialities. I have three main areas of research focus including brachial plexus injuries in infants; burns in children and adolescents; and the reconstruction procedures of the cleft lip and palate.

    I am interested in how well children function and recover after a surgical procedure. Because children come to me for treatment from all over the province, I have a representative sample of patients from which to draw meaningful conclusions in my research endeavors. As well, I have a strong trainee component to my research and ensure that all appropriate projects have a medical student, resident or fellow involved.

    Current Projects

    Teaching Practices among Cleft Lip and Palate Surgeons in North America
    Previous studies have suggested that success rates after cleft lip and palate surgery correlates with experience of the operating surgeon.  It is also well known that poor outcomes and complications of cleft palate surgery, such as fistula can have profound, permanent effects on a child’s speech. This has led to controversy about whether or not resident trainees should be performing cleft lip and palate procedures.  The overall purpose of this study was to obtain information on the current teaching practices and opinions amongst North American cleft surgeons. One hundred and fifty cleft lip and palate surgeons from across North America were surveyed and the results of this study will be published in a peer-review medical journal.

    Brachial Plexus Birth Palsies
    The brachial plexus is a group of nerves that originate in the spinal cord and branch out towards the hands of each arm. During labour, sometimes the infant will become trapped behind the mother’s pubic bones or the doctor needs to assist with the delivery by pulling on the infant’s arm or head. This can lead to tearing of the nerves of the brachial plexus and will result in an arm that is paralyzed with poor circulation. This is called a brachial plexus birth palsy and can range from mild to severe. Children with severe brachial plexus birth palsies can have serious long term side effects such as an increased risk of injury, burns to the affected arm or long term pain.

    The use of Sup-ER Splints to Improve Shoulder External Rotation in Children with Brachial Plexus Injuries
    Kim Durlacher, BScOT, is an Occupational Therapist in the Department of Rehabilitation Therapy who has devised a special splinting technique to improve the range of motion of infants with brachial plexus birth palsies. This splint encourages the proper placement of the child's affect arm in supination and external rotation.

    Selected Publications

    Durlacher KM, Bellows D, Verchere C. 2014. Sup-ER orthosis: An innovative treatment for infants with birth related brachial plexus injury. J Hand Ther 27(4):335,39; quiz 340. PMID: 25042285. DOI: 10.1016/j.jht.2014.06.001.

    Malic C, Verchere C, Arneja JS. 2014. Inpatient silver sulphadiazine versus outpatient nanocrystalline silver models of care for pediatric scald burns: A value analysis. Can J Plast Surg 22(2):99-102. PMID: 25114622. PMCID: PMC4116324.

    Verchere C, Durlacher K, Bellows D, Pike J, Bucevska M. 2014. An early shoulder repositioning program in birth-related brachial plexus injury: A pilot study of the sup-ER protocol. Hand (N Y) 9(2):187-95. PMID: 24839420. PMCID: PMC4022961. DOI: 10.1007/s11552-014-9625-y.

    Wang JC, Malic C, Reilly C, Verchere C. 2014. Microtia reconstruction and postsurgical grisel's syndrome: A rare cause of torticollis in a child. Plast Reconstr Surg Glob Open 2(6):e176. PMID: 25289369. PMCID: PMC4174248. DOI: 10.1097/GOX.0000000000000117.

    Burnell L, Verchere C, Pugash D, Loock C, Robertson S, Lehman A. Additional post-natal diagnoses following antenatal diagnosis of isolated cleft lip +/− palate. Arch Dis Child Fetal Neonatal Ed. 2014 Jul;99(4):F286-90. PMID: 24625434.

    Breugem, C, Fitzpatrick DG, Verchere C. Monozygotic twins with Apert Syndrome. Cleft Palate Craniofacial Journal 45(1): 101-4, Jan 2008. PMID: 18215098. DOI:  10.1597/06-149.1.

    Jones NW, Verchere C. The Dirty Lip Trick. Canadian Journal of Plastic Surgery 16(4): 228, Winter 2008. PMID: 19949503. PMCID: PMC2691029.

    Bristol S, Verchere C.  The Transverse Figure of Eight Nail Suture. Journal of Hand Surgery 32A, (1): 124-25, Jan 2007. PMID: 17218185.

    Peters D, Verchere C. Healing at Home: Comparing cohorts of children with medium-sized burns treated as outpatients with in-hospital applied Acticoat to those treated as inpatients with silver sulfadiazine. Journal of Burn Care and Research 27 (2): 198-21, March/April 2006. PMID: 16566565.

    Demianczuk ANA, Verchere C, Phillips JH.  The effect on facial growth of paediatric mandibular fractures.  Journal of Craniofacial Surgery 10(4):323-328, 1999 (July). PMID: 10686881.

    Pasternak S, O'Connell JX, Verchere C, Rootman J. Enchondroma of the orbit.  American Journal of Ophthalmology 122(3) Sept 1996. PMID: 8794727.

    Honours & Awards
    BC Children’s Hospital Excellence in Education Award (Production of Burn Unit Video), 2005  
    Research Group Members

    Dr. Marija Bucevska, Research Coordinator