Melinda A. Costa, M.D.

Meet Dr. Costa, a Diplomate of the American Board of Plastic Surgery

Dr. Melinda Costa is one of a handful of double-fellowship trained craniofacial plastic surgeons in the United States, specializing in the most technically demanding facial surgery techniques. Possessing a deft hand, an artistic eye, and years of rigorous surgical training experience,  Dr. Costa provides outcomes to correct, restore, and enhance the face, breast, and body. Patient-centric and a doctor first-and-foremost, she works closely and attentively with patients to understand their individual goals before creating a customized procedure plan that maximizes positive health and aesthetic results. She holds two degrees from the University of Pennsylvania: a BS in Biological Basis of Behavior with a minor in Fine Arts as well as an MD.

Besides helping people look and feel more beautiful — Dr. Costa’s practice and academic/volunteer work are about helping improve children’s lives: she has worked globally as a volunteer surgeon with Operation Smile to deliver life-changing cleft procedures in traditionally underprivileged areas. To keep in shape, Dr. Costa enjoys salsa dancing, hiking, practicing Tae Kwon Do (she achieved her second dan black belt), and traveling. She likes healthy cooking and organic perfume-making.

Education and Training

Dr. Costa completed her residency in plastic surgery in 2012 at University of Southern California and held prestigious fellowships at USC/Shriners Hospital in Los Angeles (Global Health Pediatric Plastic Surgery) and Indiana University School of Medicine (Pediatric Plastic and Craniofacial Surgery). Over the past 14 years, she has authored dozens of publications in the fields of wound healing, breast reconstruction, cleft repair, and fat grafting. Her passion for helping children has brought her across the world to places like Tanzania, where she’s worked as a volunteer surgeon with Operation Smile to deliver life-changing cleft procedures.

Languages

  • Dr. Costa is fluent in Spanish and English.

Professional Memberships

Dr. Costa is a member of several prestigious medical associations, including:

  • American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS)

  • American Cleft Palates-Craniofacial Association (ACPA)

  • California Society of Plastic Surgeons (CSPS)

  • American Society of Maxillofacial Surgeons (ASMS)

Publications

Through her continued contributions to the craniofacial and plastic surgery field, Dr. Costa has authored several papers, book chapters, reviews, review articles/original papers, and abstracts, such as the following:

Articles

  1. Ptasznik A, Urbanowska E, China S, Costa MA, et al. Crosstalk between BCR/ABL oncoprotein and CXCR4 signaling through a Sac family kinas in human leukemia cells.  Journal of Experimental Medicine, 2002; 196(5): 667-8.
  2. Costa MA, Wu C, Pham BV, Chong AK, Pham HM, Chang J. Tissue engineering of flexor tendons: Optimization of tenacity proliferation using growth factor supplementation.  Tissue Engineering, 2006; 12(7): 1937-43.
  3. Kryger GS, Chong AK, Costa M, Pham H, Bates SJ, Chang J. A comparison of tenacities and mesenchymal stem cells for use in flexor tendon tissue engineering. Journal of Hand Surgery, 2007; 32(5): 597-605.
  4. Satterwhite TS, Chong AK, Luo J, Pham H, Costa M, Longaker MT, Wyss-Coray T, Chang J.  In vitro analysis of transforming growth factor-beta1 inhibition in novel transgenic SBE-luciferase mice. Annals of Plastic Surgery, 2007; 59(2): 207-13.
  5. Chong AK, Satterwhite T, Pham HM, Costa MA, Luo J, Longaker MT, Wyss-Coray T, Chang J. Live imaging of Smad2/3 signaling in mouse skin wound healing. Wound Repair and Regeneration, 2007; 15(5): 762-6.
  6. Nguyen J, Costa MA, Vidar MA, Shahabi, A, Hernandez A, Chan L, Sener J, Wong Effect of immediate reconstruction on postmastectomy surgical site infection. Annals of Surgery, 2012; 256(2): 326-33.
  7. Costa MA, Rommer E, Peric M, Nguyen J, et al. Incidence of surgical site infection is not affected by method of immediate breast reconstruction. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, 2013; 132(1): 20e-9e.
  8. Costa MA, Borzabadi-Farahani A, Lara-Sanchez P, Jacobson L, Clarke N, Hammoudeh J, Urata M, Magee III W.  Partial craniofacial duplication: A review of the literature and case report.  Journal of Cranio-Maxillofacial Surgery, 2013; pii:S1010-5812(13)00146-7.
  9. Murage KP, Costa MA, Tholpady SS, Friel M, Havlik RJ, Flores RL. Complications associated with neonatal mandibular distraction osteogenesis in the treatment of Robin sequence.  Journal of Craniofacial Surgery, 2014; 25(2): 383-7.
  10. Costa MA, Tu MM, Murage KP, Tholpady SS, Engle, WA, Flores, RL. Robin sequence: Mortality, causes of death, and clinical outcomes.  Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, 2014; 134(4): 738-745.
  11. Costa MA, Murage KP, Tholpady SS, Flores, RL. Airway compromise following palatoplasty in Robin Sequence: improving safety and predicability. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, 2014; 134(6):937e-45e.
  12. Tholpady S, Costa M, Matt B, Havlik R, Flores, R. Successful neonatal mandibular distraction osteogenesis in patients with concomitant laryngomalacia. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, 2014; 134(4 Suppl 1:8.
  13. Costa MA, Ackerman L, et al. Spring-Assisted Cranial Vault Expansion in the Setting of Multisutural Craniosynostosis and Anomalous Venous Drainage: Case Report. Journal of Pediatric Neurosurgery, 2015; 10, 1-6.
  14. Tholpady SS, Costa MA, Matt B, Socas J, Haddad I, Flores, RL. Mandibular distraction for Robin sequence associated with laryngomalacia. Journal of Craniofacial Surgery, 2015; 26(3):826-30.
  15. Costa MA, Yao C, Gillenwater J, Ho G, Abrishami S, Magee WP. Telemedicine in Cleft Care: The experience at Shriners Hospital for Children, Los Angeles. Journal of Craniofacial Surgery, 2015; 26(4): 1116-20.
  16. Flores RL, Greathouse ST, Costa M, Tahiri Y, Soleimani T, Tholpady SS. Defining failure and its predictors in mandibular distraction for Robin sequence. Journal of Craniomaxillofacial Surgery, 2015 43(8):1614-9.
  17. Greathouse ST, Costa M, Ferrera A, Tahiri Y, Tholpady SS, Havlik RJ, Flores RL. The Surgical Treatment of Robin Sequence. Ann Plast Surg, 2015 Sept 28(epub ahead of print).
  18. Yao CA, Taro TB, Wipfli HL, Gillenwater JT, Costa MA, Gutierrez RD, Magee W 3rd. The Tsao Fellowship in Global Health: A Model for International Fellowships in a Surgery Residency.  Journal of Craniofacial Surgery, 2016; 27(2):282-5.

Book Chapters:

  • Costa MA, Chapter author, USMLERx Step 2 Question Review, edited by Le T, Shivaram A, Klein J, et al. 2007.
  • Costa MA, Chapter author, USMLE Step 2 Online Test Bank, edited by Le T, Shivaram A, Klein J, et al. 2007. 

Podium Presentations

  1. Costa MA, Ross H. Hand-Assisted laparoscopic Sigmoid Colectomy: Technique and Result. Pennsylvania Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; 2004.
    Advisor: Howard Ross, M.D., University of Pennsylvania
  2. Costa MA, Sherman R. Pressure Necrosis of the Scalp Necessitating Free Tissue Transfer.  California Society of Plastic Surgeons, Palos Verdes, California; 2010.
    Advisor: Randy Sherman, M.D., University of Southern California
  3. Costa MA, Nguyen J et al. Does immediate breast reconstruction affect surgical site infection? Data from the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP). American College of Surgeons, Southern California Chapter, Santa Barbara, California: Accepted to General Plenary Session; 2011.
    Advisor: Alex Wong, M.D.
  4. Costa MA, Nguyen J et al. Does immediate breast reconstruction affect surgical site infection? Data from the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP). Plastic Surgery Research Council, Louisville, Kentucky; 2011.
  5. Costa MA, Nguyen J et al. Does type of immediate breast reconstruction affect surgical site infection? Data from the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP). American College of Surgeons, San Francisco, California.
    Advisor: Alex Wong, M.D., University of Southern California; 2012.
  6. Costa MA, Magee W. Partial Craniofacial Duplication: A review of the literature and case report. Senior Residents Conference, Tampa, Florida; 2012.
  7. Costa MA, Magee W. Partial Craniofacial Duplication: A review of the literature and case report. 12th International Congress on Cleft Lip/Palate and Related Craniofacial Anomalies, Orlando, Fl; 2013.
    Advisor: William P. Magee III, M.D., D.D.S.
  8. Costa MA, Yao C et al. Telemedicine in cleft care: The experience at Shriners Hospital for Children, Los Angeles.  International Society of Craniofacial Surgery. Jackson Hole, Wyoming; 2013.
    Advisor: William P. Magee III, M.D., D.D.S.
  9. Costa MA, Tu M, Tholpady S, Flores, RL. Robin sequence: Mortality, risk stratification, and clinical outcomes. American Cleft Palate – Craniofacial Association. Indianapolis, IN; 2014.
  10. Costa MA, Tu M, Havlik R, Tholpady S, Flores, RL. Cardiac and neurologic anomalies in Robin sequence: Incidence and clinical implications.  American Cleft   Palate – Craniofacial Association. Indianapolis, IN; 2014.
  11. Costa MA, Murage K, Tu M, Friel M, Havlik R, Tholpady S, Flores, RL. Airway outcomes following cleft palate repair in Robin sequence. American Cleft Palate  – Craniofacial Association. Indianapolis, IN; 2014.
  12. Tholpady SS, Costa MA, Matt B, Socas J, Haddad I, Flores, R. Successful neonatal mandibular distraction osteogenesis in patients with concomitant laryngomalacia.   American Cleft Palate – Craniofacial Association. Indianapolis, IN; 2014.
  13. Costa MA, Murage K, Tu M, Friel M, Havlik R, Tholpady S, Flores, RL. Robin sequence: Redefining treatment recommendations through evidence based outcomes. JK Berman Annual Resident Research Day. Indianapolis, IN; 2014.
  14. Tholpady SS, Costa MA, Matt B, Socas J, Haddad I, Flores, R. Successful neonatal mandibular distraction osteogenesis in patients with concomitant laryngomalacia. Ohio Valley Society of Plastic Surgeons.  White Sulphur Springs, WV; 2014.
  15. Costa MA, Murage KP, Tholpady SS, Flores, RL. Airway compromise following palatoplasty in Robin Sequence: improving safety and predicability. American Society of Plastic Surgeons.  Chicago, IL; 2014.
  16. Tholpady SS, Costa MA, Matt B, Socas J, Haddad I, Flores, R. Successful neonatal mandibular distraction osteogenesis in patients with concomitant laryngomalacia. American Society of Plastic Surgeons.  Chicago, IL; 2014. 
  17. Costa MA, Tholpady S, et al. Predicting Failure of Mandibular Distraction Osteogenesis for Infants with Robin Sequence: A Bi-Institutional Study. American Cleft Palate Craniofacial Association,Palm Springs, CA; 2014.

Poster Presentations

  1. Costa MA, Nguyen J et al. Does type of immediate breast reconstruction affect surgical site infection? American Association of Plastic Surgeons, Boca Raton, Florida; 2011.
    Advisor: Alex Wong, M.D.
  2. Murage KP, Costa MA et al. Outcomes analysis of mandibular distraction osteogenesis in Robin sequence. International Society of Craniofacial Surgery. Jackson Hole, Wyoming; 2013. Advisor: Roberto Flores, M.D.
  3. Costa MA, Tholpady S, et al. Predicting Failure of Mandibular Distraction Osteogenesis for Infants with Robin Sequence: A Bi-Institutional Study. American Association of Plastic Surgeons. 2014. Advisor: Roberto Flores, M.D.
  4. Costa MA, Ackerman L, et al. Cranial Vault Expansion in the Setting of Multisutural Craniosynostosis and Anomalous Venous Drainage: A Method of Avoiding Intracranial Venous Hypertension. American Cleft Palate Craniofacial Association, Palm Springs, CA; 2014.

Education

  • 2013 – 2014Fellow in Pediatric Plastic and Craniofacial Surgery
    Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis
    Director: Roberto L. Flores, MD
  • 2012 – 2013Fellow in Global Health Pediatric Plastic Surgery
    Operation Smile, Inc, Norfolk, Virginia
    Shriners Hospital for Children, Los Angeles
    University Of Southern California, Los Angeles
    Director: William P. Magee III, MD, DDS
  • 2009 – 2012Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
    University of Southern California
    Resident in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
  • 2006 – 2009Department of Surgery
    University Of Southern California
    Intern, Resident in General Surgery
  • 2001 – 2006University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine
    Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
    Doctor of Medicine
  • 1996 – 2000University of Pennsylvania
    Bachelor of Arts and Sciences
    Major: Biological Basis of Behavior, Minor: Fine Arts
    Magna Cum Laude
    Honors Distinction in Major