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Mark Masaru Urata, MD, DDS
Professor of Clinical of Surgery
HCC 514 Health Sciences Campus Los Angeles
+1 323 442 7920


Dr. Mark M. Urata is the Audrey Skirball-Kenis Chair and Chief of the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery of the Keck School of Medicine of USC. He is also Head of the Division of Plastic and Maxillofacial Surgery at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles and Director of Craniomaxillofacial Surgery at Cedars Sinai Medical Center. Dr. Urata is uniquely qualified with board certification in both Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery as well as Plastic Surgery and holds faculty appointments at both the Keck School of Medicine of USC and the USC School of Dentistry.
Dr. Urata trained for 18 years following his undergraduate education. He received his dental degree from the USC School of Dentistry and his medical degree from the USC Keck School of Medicine. He completed a residency in oral and maxillofacial surgery before matriculating to general surgery and then completing a residency in plastic and reconstructive surgery at USC. He then moved across town where he completed a fellowship in craniofacial surgery at the University of California, Los Angeles.

He specializes in the most complex craniofacial anomalies, including craniosynostosis, syndromic reconstruction, vascular anomalies, pediatric and adult craniomaxillofacial trauma, post-traumatic reconstruction, orthognathic surgery, aesthetic surgery of the head and neck and jaw deformities.

Dr. Urata has authored numerous scientific articles and book chapters and has been voted amongst the nation’s top surgeons according to multiple sources including U.S. News and World Report, Best Doctors and America’s Best Plastic Surgeons. He maintains NIH funded research within the Center for Craniofacial Molecular Biology related to defining TGF Beta signaling in palatogenesis. He is also interested in computerized planning of Le Fort III and orthognathic surgery and outcomes studies on cleft lip and palate.


Park S, Zhao H, Urata M, Chai Y. Sutures possess strong regenerative capacity for calvarial bone injury. Stem Cells Dev. 2016 Oct 20. View in: PubMed

Christian E, Imahiyerobo T, Johns A, Sanchez P, Krieger MD, McComb JG, Urata M. 310 Predictors of Preoperative Developmental Delay in Nonsyndromic Sagittal Craniosynostosis. Neurosurgery. 2016 Aug; 63 Suppl 1:189. View in: PubMed

Gardner OK, Haynes K, Schweitzer D, Johns A, Magee WP, Urata MM, Sanchez-Lara PA. Familial Recurrence of 3MC Syndrome in Consanguineous Families: A Clinical and Molecular Diagnostic Approach With Review of the Literature. Cleft Palate Craniofac J. 2016 Jun 29. View in: PubMed

Tanna N, Smith BD, Zapanta PE, Karanetz I, Andrews BT, Urata MM, Bradley JP. Surgical Management of Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2016 Apr; 137(4):1263-72. View in: PubMed

Flath-Sporn SJ, Yorlets RR, Rangel SJ, Stey AM, Redett RJ, Urata MM, Meara JG, Taghinia AH. Focusing Quality Improvement Initiatives in Pediatric Plastic Surgery: A Descriptive Study Using the Pediatric National Surgical Quality Improvement Program. J Craniofac Surg. 2016 Mar; 27(2):277-81. View in: PubMed

Liang F, Yen S, Florendo E, Urata M, Hammoudeh J. 3D Cone Beam Computed Tomography Volumetric Outcomes of rhBMP-2/Demineralized Bone Matrix vs. Iliac Crest Bone Graft for Alveolar Cleft Reconstruction. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2015 Oct; 136(4 Suppl):3-4. View in: PubMed

Christian EA, Imahiyerobo TA, Nallapa S, Urata M, McComb JG, Krieger MD. Intracranial hypertension after surgical correction for craniosynostosis: a systematic review. Neurosurg Focus. 2015 May; 38(5):E6. View in: PubMed

Zhao H, Feng J, Ho TV, Grimes W, Urata M, Chai Y. The suture provides a niche for mesenchymal stem cells of craniofacial bones. Nat Cell Biol. 2015 Apr; 17(4):386-96. View in: PubMed

Hammoudeh JA, Howell LK, Boutros S, Scott MA, Urata MM. Current Status of Surgical Planning for Orthognathic Surgery: Traditional Methods versus 3D Surgical Planning. Plast Reconstr Surg Glob Open. 2015 Feb; 3(2):e307. View in: PubMed

Wong AK, Joanna Nguyen T, Peric M, Shahabi A, Vidar EN, Hwang BH, Niknam Leilabadi S, Chan LS, Urata MM. Analysis of risk factors associated with microvascular free flap failure using a multi-institutional database. Microsurgery. 2015 Jan; 35(1):6-12. View in: PubMed

Slavkin HC, Sanchez-Lara PA, Chai Y, Urata M. A model for interprofessional health care: lessons learned from craniofacial teams. J Calif Dent Assoc. 2014 Sep; 42(9):637-44. View in: PubMed

Srour MK, Fogel JL, Yamaguchi KT, Montgomery AP, Izuhara AK, Misakian AL, Lam S, Lakeland DL, Urata MM, Lee JS, Mariani FV. Natural large-scale regeneration of rib cartilage in a mouse model. J Bone Miner Res. 2014 Aug 20. View in: PubMed

Wong AK, Davis GB, JoAnna Nguyen T, Hui KJ, Hwang BH, Chan LS, Zhou Z, Schooler WG, Chandrasekhar BS, Urata MM. Assessment of three-dimensional high-definition visualization technology to perform microvascular anastomosis. J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg. 2014 Jul; 67(7):967-72. View in: PubMed

Costa MA, Borzabadi-Farahani A, Lara-Sanchez PA, Schweitzer D, Jacobson L, Clarke N, Hammoudeh J, Urata MM, Magee WP. Partial craniofacial duplication: A review of the literature and case report. J Craniomaxillofac Surg. 2014 Jun; 42(4):290-6. View in: PubMed

Toranto JD, Ward SD, Lin A, Urata MM. Freeman-sheldon syndrome and respiratory obstruction: a novel use of distraction osteogenesis. J Craniofac Surg. 2014 May; 25(3):e287-9. View in: PubMed

Eisemann B, Eisemann M, Rizvi M, Urata MM, Lypka MA. Defining the role for submental intubation. J Clin Anesth. 2014 May; 26(3):238-42. View in: PubMed

Iwata J, Suzuki A, Yokota T, Ho TV, Pelikan R, Urata M, Sanchez-Lara PA, Chai Y. TGFß regulates epithelial-mesenchymal interactions through WNT signaling activity to control muscle development in the soft palate. Development. 2014 Feb; 141(4):909-17. View in: PubMed

Carey JN, Rommer E, Sheckter C, Minneti M, Talving P, Wong AK, Garner W, Urata MM. Simulation of plastic surgery and microvascular procedures using perfused fresh human cadavers. J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg. 2014 Feb; 67(2):e42-8. View in: PubMed

Fang J, Yang Z, Tan S, Tayag C, Nimni ME, Urata M, Han B. Injectable gel graft for bone defect repair. Regen Med. 2014 Jan; 9(1):41-51. View in: PubMed

Sheckter CC, Kane JT, Minneti M, Garner W, Sullivan M, Talving P, Sherman R, Urata M, Carey JN. Incorporation of fresh tissue surgical simulation into plastic surgery education: maximizing extraclinical surgical experience. J Surg Educ. 2013 Jul-Aug; 70(4):466-74. View in: PubMed

Francis CS, Mobin SS, Lypka MA, Rommer E, Yen S, Urata MM, Hammoudeh JA. rhBMP-2 with a demineralized bone matrix scaffold versus autologous iliac crest bone graft for alveolar cleft reconstruction. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2013 May; 131(5):1107-15. View in: PubMed

Iwata J, Suzuki A, Pelikan RC, Ho TV, Sanchez-Lara PA, Urata M, Dixon MJ, Chai Y. Smad4-Irf6 genetic interaction and TGFß-mediated IRF6 signaling cascade are crucial for palatal fusion in mice. Development. 2013 Mar; 140(6):1220-30. View in: PubMed

Sheckter C, Rommer E, Francis C, Block V, Chen J, Rizvi M, Urata MM, Hammoudeh J. Scalp erosion in ankyloblepharon-ectodermal defect-cleft lip and/or palate (AEC syndrome): treatment with acellular dermal matrix. J Craniofac Surg. 2013 Jan; 24(1):e28-30. View in: PubMed

Nazarian Mobin SS, Francis CS, Karatsonyi AL, Hammoudeh JA, Urata MM. Mandibular distraction instead of tracheostomy in pierre robin sequence patients: is it worth it? Plast Reconstr Surg. 2012 Nov; 130(5):766e-7e. View in: PubMed

Francis C, Rommer E, Mancho S, Carey J, Hammoudeh JA, Urata MM. Vector control in internal midface distraction using temporary anchorage devices. J Craniofac Surg. 2012 Nov; 23(7 Suppl 1):2000-3. View in: PubMed

Sheckter CC, Francis CS, Block V, Lypka M, Rizvi M, Urata MM. Multifocal lipoblastoma of the face. J Craniofac Surg. 2012 Nov; 23(6):e585-7. View in: PubMed

Lypka M, Yen S, Urata M, Hammoudeh J. Solving convergent vector problems with internal maxillary distractors through the use of a fixed rapid palatal expander. J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2012 Jul; 70(7):e428-30. View in: PubMed

Borzabadi-Farahani A, Groper JN, Tanner AM, Urata MM, Panossian A, Yen SL. The nance obturator, a new fixed obturator for patients with cleft palate and fistula. J Prosthodont. 2012 Jul; 21(5):400-3. View in: PubMed

Iwata J, Hacia JG, Suzuki A, Sanchez-Lara PA, Urata M, Chai Y. Modulation of noncanonical TGF-ß signaling prevents cleft palate in Tgfbr2 mutant mice. J Clin Invest. 2012 Mar 1; 122(3):873-85. View in: PubMed

Iwata J, Tung L, Urata M, Hacia JG, Pelikan R, Suzuki A, Ramenzoni L, Chaudhry O, Parada C, Sanchez-Lara PA, Chai Y. Fibroblast Growth Factor 9 (FGF9)-Pituitary Homeobox 2 (PITX2) Pathway Mediates Transforming Growth Factor ß (TGFß) Signaling to Regulate Cell Proliferation in Palatal Mesenchyme during Mouse Palatogenesis. J Biol Chem. 2012 Jan 20; 287(4):2353-63. View in: PubMed

Hammoudeh J, Bindingnavele VK, Davis B, Davidson Ward SL, Sanchez-Lara PA, Kleiber G, Nazarian Mobin SS, Francis CS, Urata MM. Neonatal and infant mandibular distraction as an alternative to tracheostomy in severe obstructive sleep apnea. Cleft Palate Craniofac J. 2012 Jan; 49(1):32-8. View in: PubMed

Soltani AM, Francis CS, Motamed A, Karatsonyi AL, Hammoudeh JA, Sanchez-Lara PA, Reinisch JF, Urata MM. Hypertrophic scarring in cleft lip repair: a comparison of incidence among ethnic groups. Clin Epidemiol. 2012; 4:187-91. View in: PubMed

Francis CS, Kim D, Chaudhry O, Rizvi M, Urata MM, Hammoudeh JA. Nasofrontal heterotopic ossification following lymphangioma resection. J Craniofac Surg. 2011 Nov; 22(6):2381-4. View in: PubMed

Lypka M, Urata M, Hammoudeh J. Delayed middle cranial fossa perforation after autologous temporomandibular joint reconstruction. J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2011 Jun; 69(6):1613-6. View in: PubMed

Lypka MA, Melrose R, Rizvi M, Urata M, Hammoudeh J. A mandibular mass in a pediatric patient. J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2011 Jun; 69(6):1661-7. View in: PubMed

Nazarian Mobin SS, Karatsonyi A, Vidar EN, Gamer S, Groper J, Hammoudeh JA, Urata MM. Is presurgical nasoalveolar molding therapy more effective in unilateral or bilateral cleft lip-cleft palate patients? Plast Reconstr Surg. 2011 Mar; 127(3):1263-9. View in: PubMed

Sharma G, Mobin SS, Lypka M, Urata M. Heteropagus (parasitic) twins: a review. J Pediatr Surg. 2010 Dec; 45(12):2454-63. View in: PubMed

Murphy DA, Shetty V, Herbeck DM, Der-Martirosian C, Urata M, Yamashita DD. Adolescent orofacial injury: association with psychological symptoms. Psychol Health Med. 2010 Oct; 15(5):574-83. View in: PubMed

Ray E, Wu T, Nazarian Mobin SS, Reinisch J, Urata MM. Review of options for burned ear reconstruction. J Craniofac Surg. 2010 Jul; 21(4):1165-9. View in: PubMed

Hosokawa R, Oka K, Yamaza T, Iwata J, Urata M, Xu X, Bringas P, Nonaka K, Chai Y. TGF-beta mediated FGF10 signaling in cranial neural crest cells controls development of myogenic progenitor cells through tissue-tissue interactions during tongue morphogenesis. Dev Biol. 2010 May 1; 341(1):186-95. View in: PubMed

Iwata J, Hosokawa R, Sanchez-Lara PA, Urata M, Slavkin H, Chai Y. Transforming growth factor-beta regulates basal transcriptional regulatory machinery to control cell proliferation and differentiation in cranial neural crest-derived osteoprogenitor cells. J Biol Chem. 2010 Feb 12; 285(7):4975-82. View in: PubMed

Nazarian-Mobin SS, Simms K, Urata MM, Tarczy-Hornoch K, Hammoudeh JA. Misleading presentation of an orbital lymphangioma. Oral Surg Oral Med Oral Pathol Oral Radiol Endod. 2010 Feb; 109(2):e82-5. View in: PubMed

Murphy DA, Shetty V, Der-Martirosian C, Herbeck DM, Resell J, Urata M, Yamashita DD. Factors associated with orofacial injury and willingness to participate in interventions among adolescents treated in trauma centers. J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2009 Dec; 67(12):2627-35. View in: PubMed

Rovelo MO, Kim R, Mascarenhas L, Hammoudeh J, Urata MM. Recurrent and refractory giant cell tumor of the jaw. J Craniofac Surg. 2009 Nov; 20(6):2245-8. View in: PubMed

Hosokawa R, Deng X, Takamori K, Xu X, Urata M, Bringas P, Chai Y. Epithelial-specific requirement of FGFR2 signaling during tooth and palate development. J Exp Zool B Mol Dev Evol. 2009 Jun 15; 312B(4):343-50. View in: PubMed

Hammoudeh JA, Kleiber GM, Nazarian-Mobin SS, Urata MM. Bilateral complex odontomas: a rare complication of external mandibular distraction in the neonate. J Craniofac Surg. 2009 May; 20(3):973-6. View in: PubMed

Vachiramon A, Urata M, Kyung HM, Yamashita DD, Yen SL. Clinical applications of orthodontic microimplant anchorage in craniofacial patients. Cleft Palate Craniofac J. 2009 Mar; 46(2):136-46. View in: PubMed

Patel AC, Hammoudeh JA, Urata MM. Pneumosinus dilatans: a rare cause of frontal sinus expansion--case report and review of literature. J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2008 Nov; 66(11):2380-6. View in: PubMed

Tarczy-Hornoch K, Smith B, Urata M. Amblyogenic anisometropia in the contralateral eye in unicoronal craniosynostosis. J AAPOS. 2008 Oct; 12(5):471-6. View in: PubMed

Lypka MA, Yamashita DD, Urata MM. Postoperative alopecia following orthognathic surgery. J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2008 Sep; 66(9):1957-8. View in: PubMed

Bindingnavele VK, Bresnick SD, Urata MM, Huang G, Leland HA, Wong D, Hammoudeh J, Reinisch J. Superior results using the islandized hemipalatal flap in palatoplasty: experience with 500 cases. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2008 Jul; 122(1):232-9. View in: PubMed

Zehnaly A, Hosokawa R, Urata M, Chai Y. TGF-beta signaling and aplasia cutis congenita: proposed animal model. J Calif Dent Assoc. 2007 Dec; 35(12):865-9. View in: PubMed

Lypka MA, Urata MM. Images in clinical medicine. Cocaine-induced palatal perforation. N Engl J Med. 2007 Nov 8; 357(19):1956. View in: PubMed

Hosokawa R, Urata M, Han J, Zehnaly A, Bringas P, Nonaka K, Chai Y. TGF-beta mediated Msx2 expression controls occipital somites-derived caudal region of skull development. Dev Biol. 2007 Oct 1; 310(1):140-53. View in: PubMed

Vachiramon A, Yen SL, Lypka M, Bindignavale V, Hammoudeh J, Reinisch J, Urata MM. A novel model surgery technique for LeFort III advancement. J Craniofac Surg. 2007 Sep; 18(5):1230-5. View in: PubMed

Lypka MA, Urata MM, Yamashita DD. Telogen effluvium following orthognathic surgery. J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2007 Jul; 65(7):1393-5. View in: PubMed

Lypka MA, Urata MM, Yen S, Yamashita DD. Facial nerve paralysis: a complication of distraction osteogenesis of the mandibular ramus in the treatment of temporomandibular joint ankylosis. J Craniofac Surg. 2007 Jul; 18(4):844-8. View in: PubMed

Xu X, Han J, Ito Y, Bringas P, Urata MM, Chai Y. Cell autonomous requirement for Tgfbr2 in the disappearance of medial edge epithelium during palatal fusion. Dev Biol. 2006 Sep 1; 297(1):238-48. View in: PubMed

Sasaki T, Ito Y, Bringas P, Chou S, Urata MM, Slavkin H, Chai Y. TGFbeta-mediated FGF signaling is crucial for regulating cranial neural crest cell proliferation during frontal bone development. Development. 2006 Jan; 133(2):371-81. View in: PubMed

Hosokawa R, Urata MM, Ito Y, Bringas P, Chai Y. Functional significance of Smad2 in regulating basal keratinocyte migration during wound healing. J Invest Dermatol. 2005 Dec; 125(6):1302-9. View in: PubMed

Frazee J, Fried I, Kawamoto H, Lazareff J, Nieto J, Patel S, Urata M, van de Wiele B. The separation of Guatemalan craniopagus twins. Childs Nerv Syst. 2004 Aug; 20(8-9):593-600. View in: PubMed

Rechdouni A, Urata MM, Saadat P, Vadmal MS. Multifocal papillary apocrine adenoma arising in a systematized linear epidermal nevus. Cutis. 2004 May; 73(5):348-52. View in: PubMed

Urata MM, Kawamoto Jr HK. Median clefts of the upper lip: a review and surgical management of a minor manifestation. J Craniofac Surg. 2003 Sep; 14(5):749-55. View in: PubMed

Beanes SR, Hu FY, Soo C, Dang CM, Urata M, Ting K, Atkinson JB, Benhaim P, Hedrick MH, Lorenz HP. Confocal microscopic analysis of scarless repair in the fetal rat: defining the transition. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2002 Jan; 109(1):160-70. View in: PubMed

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