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Practice areas

  • Cosmetic Surgery Associates
  • Pediatric Plastic Surgery
  • Plastic Surgery

Faculty rank

Associate Professor of Surgery

Clinic information

Clinical interests

  • Aesthetic Surgery
  • Cleft Lip and Palate
  • Congenital Anomalies
  • Craniofacial Reconstruction
  • Craniomaxillofacial Surgery
  • Pediatric Plastic Surgery
  • Reconstructive Surgery



University of Kentucky, College of Medicine


University of Kentucky


University of North Carolina Hospitals at Chapel Hill

Certifications or Special training

American Board of Plastic Surgery
American Society of Plastic Surgeons
American Society of Maxillofacial Surgeons
American Association of Pediatric Plastic Surgeons

Additional information


Dr. James Liau practices the complete spectrum of plastic and reconstructive surgery. He also specializes in pediatric plastic and reconstructive surgery and craniofacial surgery, focusing on comprehensive treatment of children with cleft lips and palates, congenital craniofacial deformities, as well as other more unique congenital problems requiring pediatric plastic surgery.

After graduating from medical school at UK, Liau went onto his internship at UC-Davis Medical Center in Sacramento. He returned to UK to complete a plastic and reconstructive surgery residency and then pursued his fellowship in pediatric reconstructive surgery and craniofacial surgery at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Dr. Liau and Frankie
Frankie visits with his surgeon, Dr. James Liau, at the UK Chandler Hospital. Read story »

Personal statement

What really attracted me to plastic surgery was being on the recovery side, whether it's after cancer surgery or a trauma. It's about trying to restore what patients had before. When I take care of a patient, my philosophy is more about the patient - it's about their goals and what they want. We identify what it is that bothers them and what are they looking for to help them continue on with their lives. That is what I really enjoy about plastic surgery - being on that other side and getting people back to normal.


Visit UK HealthCare Blog - A Passion for Cleft Care

Research publications

Radabaugh JP, Zhang P, Wang D, Lin PL, Shelton J, Liau JY, Cunningham LL, Gal TJ. Barriers to Repair in Maxillofacial Trauma. JAMA Facial Plast Surg. 2016 May 1;18(3):177-82.

Rinker B, Liau JY. A prospective randomized study comparing woven polyglycolic acid and autogenous vein conduits for reconstruction of digital nerve gaps. J Hand Surg Am. 2011 May;36(5):775-81.