Karen E. Wells, M.D.


Bachelor of Science Summa cum Laude, Zoology, Ohio University, Athens, Ohio

Doctor of Medicine, The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Columbus, Ohio



General Surgery, University of Pittsburgh Hospitals

Plastic Surgery, University of Pittsburgh Hospitals




Chief, Section of Plastic Surgery
H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center & Research Institute
Tampa, Florida

1992 –98

Chief, Plastic Surgery Service
James A. Haley Veterans Administration Hospital
Tampa, Florida

1990 -92

Assistant Director, Tampa Bay Regional Burn Center
Tampa General Hospital
Tampa, Florida

1989 -92

Assistant Professor and Associate Professor of Surgery
University of South Florida College of Medicine, Division of Plastic Surgery
Tampa, Florida





Affiliate Associate Professor of Surgery
Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
University of South Florida College of Medicine
Tampa, Florida 

1999 - present

Associate Professor of Surgery

1996 - 98

Assistant Professor of Surgery                                   

1989 - 96




Phi Beta Kappa

Castle Connelly “Best Doctors in America” and “Top Doctors” every year 1996 to 2023

Tampa Bay Metro Magazine 2021 Top Doctors List

Tampa Magazine 2018 #1 in Plastic Surgery Top Doctors List

Tampa Bay Business Journal 2014 Health Care Heroes nominee

Redbook magazine 10/2003 Top Breast Cancer Doctors

Plastic Surgery Educational Foundation Senior Award 1998 for Survival from Breast Carcinoma Following Augmentation Mammaplasty




American College of Surgeons

American Society of Plastic Surgeons

American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery

Southeastern Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons

Florida Society of Plastic Surgeons

Tamp Bay Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons

Hillsborough County Medical Society




Commission on Cancer, American College of Surgeons representative 1995-2005

American College of Surgeons, Northern Florida District # 4
Committee on Applicants

1996 – 1999,



1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003




H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute, Tampa, Florida

St. Joseph’s Hospital and St. Joseph’s Women’s Hospital, Tampa, Florida

Tampa General Hospital

Tampa Outpatient Surgery Center

Memorial Hospital of Tampa
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Peer-Reviewed Papers:

1. Wells KE, Steed DL, Zajko AB and Webster MW.  Recognition and Treatment of Arterial Insufficiency from Cafergot.  Journal of Vascular Surgery 4(1): 8-14, 1986.

2. Rabinovitz M, Stemple JF, Wells KE, and Stone BG.  Yersinia Enterocolitica Infection Complicated by Intestinal Perforations. Archive of Internal Medicine 147(9): 1662-3, 1987.

3.Norman J, Cox C, Cruse CW, Wells KE, Reintgen DS. A Myocutaneous Flap for Closure of Upper Arm
Amputations for Uncontrolled Axillary Tumors.  Journal of Surgical Oncology  47(4): 239-242, 1991.

4. Heller R, Becker J, Wasselle J, Baekey P, Cruse CW, Wells KE, Cox, C, King B, Reintgen DS. Detection of Submicroscopic Lymph Node Metastases In Patients with Melanoma.  Archives of Surgery 126(12):1455-1460, 1991.

5. Norman J, Cruse CW, Espinosa C, Cox C, Berman C, Clark R, Saba H, Wells KE, Reintgen D. Redefinition of Cutaneous Lymphatic Drainage with the use of Lymphoscintigraphy for Malignant Melanoma.  American Journal of Surgery  162: 432-437, 1991.

6. Cruse CW, Wells KE, Reintgen DS.  Treatment of the Primary in Malignant Melanoma of the Skin. Annals of Plastic Surgery 28(1): 22-25, 1992.

7.Cruse CW, Wells KE, Schroer KR, Reintgen DS.  Etiology and Prognosis of Local Recurrence in Malignant Melanoma of the Skin.  Annals of Plastic Surgery 28(1): 26-28, 1992.

8. Stankard C, Cruse CW, Cox C, Wells KE, King J, Reintgen DS.  The Concept of Lymph Node
Dissections in Patients with Malignant Melanoma. Annals of Plastic Surgery 28(1): 33-38, 1992.

9. Reintgen DS, Cruse CW, Wells KE, Saba HI, Slingluff CL.  Isolated Limb Perfusion for Recurrent Melanoma of the Extremity. Annals of Plastic Surgery 28(1): 50-54, 1992.

10. Reintgen DS, Cruse CW, Wells KE, Saba HI, Fabri PJ.  The Evaluation of Putative Tumor Markers for
Malignant Melanoma.  Annals of Plastic Surgery 28(1): 55-59, 1992.

11. Saba HI, Cruse CW, Wells KE, Klein CJ, Reintgen DS.  Adjuvant Chemotherapy in Malignant Melanoma Using Dacarbazine, Carmustine, Cisplatin, and Tamoxifen:  A University of South Florida and H. Lee Moffitt Melanoma Center Study.  Annals of Plastic Surgery 28(1): 60-64, 1992.

12. Saba HI, Cruse CW, Wells KE, Klein CJ, Reintgen DS. Treatment of Stage IV  Malignant Melanoma with Dacarbazine, Carmustine, Cisplatin, and Tamoxifen Regimens:  A University of South Florida and H. Lee Moffitt Melanoma Center Study.  Annals of Plastic Surgery  28(1): 65-69, 1992.

13. Norman J, Cruse CW, Wells KE, Saba HI, Reintgen DS.  Metastatic Melanoma with an Unknown Primary. Annals of Plastic Surgery 28(1): 81-84, 1992.

14. Wells KE, Reintgen DS, Cruse CW.  The Current Management and Prognosis of Acral Lentiginous Melanoma. Annals of Plastic Surgery 28(1): 100-103, 1992.

15. Riggs D, Weibley R, Daniels SM, Wells KE, Cruse CW.  Hot Embers and Ashes as a Source of Burns in Children.  American Journal of Diseases of Childhood 146(6):657-8, 1992.

16. Reintgen DS, Cruse CW, Wells KE, Stankard CE, Saba H, Schroer K, Cox C, Berman C, Glass F, Alvarez L, Brozena S, Fenske N, Fabri PJ.  The Effectiveness of Skin Cancer Screening and Continuing Medical Education Programs Toward Increasing the Survival of Patients with Malignant Melanoma.  Surgical Oncology 1(6): 379-384, 1992.

17. Stankard CE, Cruse CW, Wells KE, Karl R.  Chronic Pressure Ulcer Carcinomas.  Annals of Plastic
Surgery  30 (3): 274-277, 1993.

18. Norman J, Wells KE, Kearney RE, Cruse CW. Berman C, Reintgen D.  Identification of Lymphatic
Drainage Basins in Patients with Cutaneous Melanoma.  Seminars in Surgical Oncology  9: 1-4, 1993.

19. Wells KE, Cruse CW, Daniels SM, Berman C, Norman J, Reintgen DS.  The Use of Lymphoscintigraphy in Melanoma of the Head and Neck. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery 93 (4): 757-761, 1994.

20. Reintgen D., Cruse CW, Wells KE, Berman C, Fenske N. Glass F, Schroer K, Heller R, Ross M, Lyman G, Cox C, Rapaport DP, Seigler HP, Balch C.  The Orderly Progression of Melanoma Nodal Metastases. Annals of Surgery  220: 759-767, 1994.

21. Wells KE, Cruse CW, Baker JL, Daniels SM, Stern RA, Newman C, Seleznick MJ, Vasey FB, Brozena S, Albers SE, Fenske N.  The Health Status of Women Following Cosmetic Surgery.  Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery  93 (5): 907-912, 1994.

22. McAllister E, Wells KE, Chaet M, Norman J, Cruse CW. Perineal Reconstruction Following Surgical Extirpation of Pelvic Malignancies Utilizing the Transpelvic TRAM Flap.  Annals of Surgical  Oncology 1 (2): 164-168, 1994.

23. Wells A, Daniels SM, Wells KE.  Local Increase in Hyaluronan and IL-2 in the Capsules Surrounding Silicone Breast Implants. Annals of Plastic Surgery  33 (1): 1-5, 1994.

24. Payne W, Wells KE. Paget's Disease of Scrotum.  Annals of Plastic Surgery, 33: 669-71, 1994.

25. Wang X, Heller R, VanVoorhis N, Cruse CW, Glass F, Fenske N, Berman C, Leo-Messina J, Rapaport D, Wells KE, Reintgen D.  Detection of submicroscopic lymph node metastases with polymerase chain reaction in patients with malignant melanoma. Annals of Plastic Surgery  220(6): 768-74, 1994.

26. Wells KE, Roberts C, Daniels SM, Kearney RE, Cox CE.  Psychological and Rheumatic Symptoms of  Women Requesting Silicone Breast Implant Removal.  Annals of Plastic Surgery  34: 572-577, 1995.

27. Reintgen D, Albertini J. Berman C, Cruse CW, Fenske N, Glass LF, Puleo C, Wang X, Wells KE , Rapaport D, DeConti R, Messina J, Heller R.  Accurate Nodal Staging of Malignant Melanoma. Cancer Control 2(5): 405-414, 1995.

28. Albertini  JJ, Cruse CW, Rapaport DP, Wells KE,  Ross M, DeConti R, Berman CG, Jared K, Messina J, Lyman G, Glass  F, Fenske N, Reintgen DS.  Intraoperative Radiolymphoscintigraphy Improves Sentinel Lymph Node Identification in Melanoma Patients.  Annals of Surgery 223 (2): 217-224, 1996.

29. Albertini JJ, Lyman GH, Cox C, Yeatman T, Balducci L, Ku N, Shivers S, Berman C, Wells KE, Rapaport DP, Shons A, Horton J, Greenberg H, Nicosia S, Clark R, Cantor A, Reintgen DS. Lymphatic Mapping and Sentinel Node Biopsy in the Patient with Breast Cancer.  Journal of American Medical Association 276 (22): 1818-22, 1996.

30. Glass LF, Messina JL, Cruse W, Wells KE, Rapaport DP, Miliotes G, Berman G, Reintgen D, Fenske NA. The Use of Intraoperative Radiolymphoscintigraphy for Sentinel Node Biopsy in Patients with Malignant Melanoma.  Dermatologic Surgery 22(8): 715-20, 1996.

31. Brobeil A, Kamath D, Cruse CW, Rapaport DP, Wells KE, Shons AR, Messina JL, Glass LF,  Berman CG, Puleo CA, Reintgen DS.  The Clinical Relevance of Sentinel Lymph Nodes Identified with Radiolymphscintigraphy.  Journal Florida Medical Association  84(3): 157-60, 1997.

32. Reintgen D, Joseph E, Lyman G, Yeatman T, Balducci L, Ku NN, Berman C, Shons A, Wells KE,      Horton J, Greenberg H, Nicosia S, Clark R, Shivers S, Weiguo L, Wang X, Cantor A, Cox C.   The Role of Selective Lymphadenectomy in Breast CancerCancer Control  4 (3): 117-125, 1997. 

33. Wells KE, Roberts C, Daniels SM, Hann D, Clement V, Reintgen D, Cox CE.  Comparison of Psychological Symptoms of Women Requesting Removal of Breast Implants with those of Breast Cancer Patients and Healthy Controls.  Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery 99: 680-685, 1997.

34. Roberts C, Wells KE, Daniels SM.  Outcome Study of Psychological Changes Following Breast Implant Removal.  Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery 100: 595, 1997.

35. Wells KE, Cruse CW, Rapaport DP, Reintgen D, Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy in Melanoma of the Head and Neck.  Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery 100: 591, 1997.

36. Walden K, Thompson JK, Wells KE.  Body Image and Psychological Sequelae of Silicone Breast Explantation: Preliminary findings.  Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery 100:1299, 1997.

37. Cruse CW, Reintgen D, Glass F, Messina J, Trotti A, DeConti R, Wells, K.  Neuroendocrine Carcinoma of the Skin. Cancer Control  4 (4): 346-348, 1997.

38. Reintgen D, Glass F, Fenske N, Cruse CW, Rapaport D, Messina J, Wells KE, DeConti R, Marshburn J. Clinical Practice Guidelines for Melanoma. Cancer Control  4 (1): 45-52, 1997.

39. Kamath D, Rapaport D, DeConti R, Cruse CW, Wells K, Glass F, Messina J, Fenske N, Brobeil A, Berman C, Puleo C, Reintgen D. Redefining Cutaneous Lymphatic Flow:  The Necessity of Preoperative Lymphoscintigraphy in the Management of Malignant Melanoma.  Journal of Florida Medical Association 84(3): 182-7, 1997.

40. Kamath D, Cantor AB, Glass F, Fenske N, Cruse CW, Wells K, Rapaport D, DeConti R, Messina J, Reintgen D.  Florida’s Undeclared Epidemic: Malignant Melanoma. Journal of Florida Medical Association 84(3): 161-5, 1997.

41. Brobeil A, Rapaport D, Wells K, Cruse CW, Glass F, Fenske N, Albertini J, Miliotis G, Messina J, DeConti R, Berman C, Shons A, Cantor A, Reintgen D.  Multiple Primary Melanomas: Implications for Screening and Follow-up Programs for Melanoma.  Annals of Surgical Oncology 4(1): 19-23, 1997.

42. Brobeil A, Berman C, Cruse C, DeConti R, Cantor A, Lyman G, Rapaport D, Joseph E, Wells K, Reintgen D.  Survival Advantages for Patients with Extremity Confined Recurrent Melanoma Treated with Hyperthermic Isolated Limb Perfusion. Annals of Surgical Oncology 5:376 - 3836, 1998.

43. Wells KE, Stadelmann WK, Rapaport DP, Hamlin R, Cruse CW, Reintgen D.  Parotid Selective Lymphadenectomy in Malignant Melanoma.  Annals of Plastic Surgery 43(1): 1– 6, 1999.

44. Roberts CS Ph.D., Wells KE, Walden K, Toward Understanding Women Who Request Removal of Silicone Breast Implants.  Accepted for publication in The Breast Journal September 1998

45. Joseph E. Wells KE, Anastasi GW, Reintgen DS, Cox CE. Survival from Breast Carcinoma after Augmentation Mammoplasty. Accepted for publication in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery October 1998.

46. Pu LLQ, Cruse CW, Wells KE, Cantor A, Glass LF, Messina JL, Reintgen DS.  Lymphatic Mapping and Sentinel Lymph Node Biopsy in Patients with Melanoma of the Lower Extremity.  Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery 104(4): 964, 1999.

47. Joseph E, Brobeil A, Cruse CW, Wells K, Costello D, Reintgen DS.  Lymphatic Mapping for Melanoma of the Upper Extremity.  Journal of Hand Surgery (American) 24(4): 675-81, 1999.

48. Reintgen D, Cruse CW, Wells K.  The Next Revolution in General Surgery: Radioguided Surgery.  Annals of Surgical Oncology 6(2): 125-6, 1999.

49. Kuhn A, Singh S, Smith PD, Ko F, Falcone R, Lyle WG, Maggi SP, Wells KE, Robson MC.  Periprosthetic Breast Capsules Contain the Fibrogenic Cytokines TGF–beta 1 and TGF-beta 2 Suggesting Possible New Treatment Approaches.  Annals of Plastic Surgery 44(4): 387-91, 2000.

50. Payne WG, Kearney R, Wells K, Blue M, Walusimbi M, Mosiello G, Cruse CW, Reintgen D. Desmoplastic Melanoma. The American Surgeon 67:1004-1006, 2001.

51. Pu LL, Wells KE, Cruise CW, Shons AR, Reintgen DS. Prevalence of additional positive lymph nodes in complete lymphadenectomy specimens after positive sentinel lymphadenectomy findings for early-stage melanoma of the head and neck. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery 112 (1): 43-9, 2003

52. Pu LL, Cruse CW, Wells KE, Shons AR, Reitgen DS, Superficial femoral lymph node dissection after positive sentinel lymphadenectomy for early-stage melanoma of the lower extremity. Annals of Plastic Surgery 51(1): 69-76, 2003