I absolutely love Dr. Li and have nothing but high praise and the best to say about her. …very caring and personal approach …The best doctor I could ask for …
When patients are diagnosed with cancer, many ask, "How will I look once my cancer is taken away?" As a wife and mother of two, Dr Wai-Yee Li M.D., Ph.D., recognizes the importance of restoring patients after cancer surgery. “Whether it’s the face or the breast, people want to look and feel as normal as they can after their cancer is removed. Surviving cancer is about having a good quality of life and feeling great about yourself."
Dr Li specializes in post-cancer reconstruction all over the body, including breast, chest and abdominal wall, vaginal reconstruction and skin cancer resection and reconstruction. She recently set up a Skin Cancer Excision Clinic, at the City of Hope Duarte campus, allowing patients easier access to one-stop outpatient surgery.
Dr. Li also specializes in the treatment of lymphedema, a swelling that develops due to the abnormal collection of fluid beneath the skin, most commonly in an arm or leg. This can occur when lymph nodes are removed or damaged during cancer treatment.
A board-certified diplomat of the American Board of Plastic Surgery, Dr Li obtained her membership of the Royal College of Surgeons of England in 2001. Born and raised in London, England, Dr Li is of Chinese origin and is fluent in Cantonese. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Pathology, with honors, from the University of Birmingham, England, where she also completed her Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery.
Following an internship in Internal Medicine and General Surgery, Dr Li first encountered breast cancer patients as a general surgery resident at the world-renowned Royal Marsden Hospital. However, instead of performing mastectomies, she was far more interested in how to reconstruct patients’ breasts. This was the trigger to embark upon Plastic and Reconstructive surgery training at the Queen Victoria Hospital, East Grinstead. She went on to pursue a PhD in wound healing and craniofacial development, at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, granted by the University of Manchester.
During this time she was awarded multiple fellowships including The Joint American College of Surgeons and Royal College of Surgeons of England USA Fellowship, the CHLA Research Institute Career Development Award and the Wound Healing Foundation/3M Fellowship. Dr. Li then completed her 6-year residency in Plastic and Reconstructive surgery at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles. This was followed by a pediatric plastic surgery fellowship at the University of British Columbia, Canada.
During her training, Dr. Li was the recipient of several honors, awards and scholarships and holds active memberships with the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the Wound Healing Society and the World Association of Plastic Surgeons of Chinese Descent. She has authored numerous peer-reviewed publications, two book chapters, and is frequently invited to present her work at international conferences and meetings. Most recently, she presented work on nipple-sparing mastectomy reconstruction in Wuhan, China and Hong Kong. She also serves on the editorial board for the Annals of Plastic Surgery journal.