SouthPark & Ballantyne

Charlotte Plastic Surgeon
Dr. Kara Criswell

Charlotte female plastic surgeon
Female plastic surgery specialist
Charlotte female plastic surgeon

Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery

RealSelf Profile

As the daughter of a surgeon, Dr. Kara Kane Criswell understood the demands of a career in medicine from a very early age.  She developed a deep respect for the life-altering results achieved by the surgical specialties.  This admiration and understanding led her to pursue a career in surgery.  Dr. Criswell’s love of her profession fosters a positive and pleasant environment.  As one of the few female plastic surgeons in the country, Dr. Criswell offers her patients a uniquely feminine perspective.  Her sensitivity and warmth promote the development of an open and relaxed relationship with her patients.  

Since she was a child, Dr. Criswell has been an artist, concentrating specifically on portraiture.  This focus sharpened her observational and problem-solving skills, and instilled a fine attention to detail.  Dr. Criswell applies her artistic talent and meticulous method to her surgical technique and patient care. Dr. Criswell feels “the field of plastic surgery provides the perfect combination of my two passions, surgery and art.”

Dr. Criswell received her college degree with a major in both studio art and biology with a pre-medical emphasis. She then attended medical school, followed by five years of general surgery training. Dr. Criswell then completed a plastic surgery fellowship dedicated to both cosmetic and reconstructive surgery. In her practice, Dr. Criswell offers a comprehensive range of cosmetic and reconstructive surgery procedures. She performs state-of-the-art surgical and non-surgical procedures, personalizing every treatment to the individual.  She understands that each of her patients has different needs, desires and goals and she tailors her practice to cater to every patient.

Dr. Criswell was recently named Chairman of the Department of Plastic Surgery at Presbyterian Hospital in Charlotte, NC. She is active in reconstructive and cosmetic surgery and is a leader in the community. Through her community work in the Junior League of Charlotte and her position of Chairman of the Department of Plastic Surgery, Dr. Criswell is a strong advocate for breast cancer patients and survivors.

Dr. Criswell and her husband, Dr. Bryan Criswell, live in the SouthPark area of Charlotte, North Carolina with their young sons, Jack and Wyatt. The four of them like to take walks together with their English bulldog, Bruno. In her free time she enjoys drawing, running, and playing with Jack and Wyatt.

Board Certifications and Licenses

Dr. Criswell is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and is a licensed physician by the North Carolina Medical Board. 

Professional Associations and Societies

  • American Board of Plastic Surgery
  • American Society of Plastic Surgeons
  • American Society of Maxillofacial Surgeons
  • Fellow of the American College of Surgeons
  • North Carolina Medical Society
  • North American Burn Society
  • American Medical Association
  • American College of Surgeons, Candidate Member
  • Association of Women Surgeons
  • Kappa Alpha Theta National Sorority
  • Junior League of Charlotte

Hospital Appointments and Affiliations

  • Chairman of the Department of Plastic Surgery, Presbyterian Novant Charlotte
  • Presbyterian Novant Matthews, Division of Plastic Surgery
  • Ballantyne Surgery Center, Presbyterian Novant, Division of Plastic Surgery 
  • Carolinas Medical Center, Associate, Department of Surgical Specialties, Section of Plastic Surgery
  • Carolinas Medical Center Pineville, Associate, Department of Surgical Specialties, Section of Plastic Surgery
  • Carolinas Medical Center Mercy, Associate, Department of Surgical Specialties, Section of Plastic Surgery

Dr. Kara Kane Criswell’s Academic History

Education and Training

  • Graduated from Colgate University with a BA in Biology and a BA Studio Art
  • Performed graduate research in Biology at Tufts University
  • Completed medical school through the Universidad Autonoma de Guadalajara and New York Medical College with Honors in the Department of Surgery
  • Surgical internship and residency at Upstate Medical University in Syracuse, NY
  • Completed five years of general surgery training as chief resident at Loyola University, Stritch School of Medicine, Chicago, IL
  • Completed three years of plastic surgery training with the division of Plastic, Reconstructive, and Cosmetic Surgery at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Dr. Criswell has also attended and completed multiple specialty courses including: Contour Threadlift training, the ASMS Specialty Course in Maxillofacial Surgery, BAHA and dental osseointegrated implants, Inamed and Mentor saline and silicone breast implants, Allergen (Botox and Juvederm), Restylane, Radiesse, Sculptra, Coapt Systems Endotines, and others.

Dr. Criswell’s Published Books and Papers

  • Ramasastry SR, Criswell KK. Congenital Back Defects. In Bentz, ML, Bauer, B and Zucker, R. (Eds.): Principles and Practice of Pediatric Plastic Surgery. Quality Medical Publishers, 2007.
  • Patel, PK, Criswell KK, Criswell, BK, Cohen, M. Cleft Palate. eMedicine, 2006. 2006       
  • Patel, PK, Criswell KK, Criswell, BK, Cohen, M. Bilateral Cleft Lip. eMedicine, 2006.
  • Patel, PK, Criswell BK, Criswell, KK, Cohen, M. Unilateral Cleft Lip. eMedicine, 2006.
  • Ramasastry SR, Criswell, KK. Scalp Reconstruction. In Weinzweig, J. (Ed.): Plastic Surgery Secrets. Hanley and Belfus, Inc., Medical Publishers. In Preparation.
  • Criswell KK, Kalimuthu R. A Novel Approach to an Old Problem: Treatment of Interdigital Pilonidal Cyst with a Perforator Island Metacarpal Flap. Paper in preparation.
  • Criswell KK, Gamelli R. Establishing transfusion needs in burn patients. Amer J Surg. 2005
  • Criswell KK. Pressure Sores. In Irwin and Rippe’s (Eds.): Manual of Intensive Care Medicine. Lippincott, Williams & Williams. June 2004.
  • Criswell KK. Epistaxis. In Irwin and Rippe’s (Eds.): Manual of Intensive Care Medicine. Lippincott, Williams & Williams. June 2004.

Dr. Criswell’s Recent Presentations

  • Ankle Contracture Release with Rectus Abdominus Free Flap Reconstruction at Chicago Society of Plastic Surgeons, 2008
  • Course of the Anterior Portion of the Inferior Alveolar Nerve: Three Patterns Based on CT Analysis. Midwestern Association of Plastic Surgeons, 2008
  • Shape Analysis of the Facial Profile, Washington, DC, 2008
  • A Novel Approach to an Old Problem: Treatment of Interdigital Pilonidal Cyst with a Perforator Island Metacarpal Flap  at the 44th Annual Midwestern Association of Plastic Surgeons, Oakbrook, IL
  • Establishing Transfusion Needs in the Severely Burned Patient at the Midwest Surgical Association, 47th Annual Meeting, Mackinac Island, MI
  • Establishing Transfusion Needs in Burn Patients at the 36th Annual North American Burn Society Meeting, Squaw Valley, CA
  • Management of Blunt Duodenal Rupture, Management of Multiple Penetrating Abdominal Wounds, The Mangled Lower Extremity at the Chicago Metropolitan Trauma Society, Chicago, IL

Dr. Criswell’s Research

  • Principal Investigator at the Division of Plastic, Reconstructive and Cosmetic Surgery, University of Illinois at Chicago.  Shape analysis of the facial profile
  • Principal Investigator at Loyola Stritch School of Medicine Burn Center. Evaluating transfusion practices in severely burned patients
  • Research Intern, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas
  • Research Assistant in Animal Laboratory Research

Dr. Criswell’s Honors and Awards

  • Honors, Department of Surgery, Westchester Medical Center, NY
  • Honors, Internal Medicine, Mount Vernon Hospital, NY
  • Medical School Honors, Department of Surgery, Guadalajara Mexico

Volunteer Work Experience

  • Junior League of Charlotte
  • Surgical Assistant, Operation Smile Cleft lip and palate repair in rural Mexico
  • Medical Assistant, Cruz Roja, Emergency medical treatment, Zapopan, Mexico
  • Volunteer Liaison, Habitat for Humanity
  • Art Instructor, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Art instructor for pediatric cancer patients


RealSelf Patient Reviews of Kara K. Criswell, MD, FACS

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Our Office Locations

Please visit either of our two locations serving the Charlotte Metro Area

4310 Sharon Road, Suite V02
SouthPark, Charlotte, NC 28211
Ballantyne Village
14835 Ballantyne Village Way
Suite 210, Charlotte, NC 28277