Meet Dr. Kenkel
With decades of experience and an established record of leadership in the field of plastic surgery, Dr. Kenkel is recognized as one of the best plastic surgeons in Dallas and Fricso, Texas. And when it comes to caring for his patients, he puts his extensive knowledge and innovative thinking into practice, combining the latest and best science with refined surgical techniques for optimal safety, comfort, and results.
A Trusted Authority
Dr. Kenkel is the past president of the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), the leading professional organization of plastic surgeons who are certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and specialize in cosmetic plastic surgery. In addition, he is the past president of the Dallas Society of Plastic Surgery and also serves as a director of the American Board of Plastic Surgery.
He actively advocates for new technologies, speaking around the country about lasers and light-based technologies and teaching excisional and liposuction based techniques and safety considerations for body contouring ultrasound-assisted liposuction to plastic surgeons around the world. At our practice, new technologies give Dr. Kenkel more treatment options for our patients, thanks to our location on campus at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.
Dr. Kenkel has authored more than 150 peer-reviewed publications and numerous book chapters, and co-authored a book on ultrasound assisted liposuction. His research focuses primarily on laser and light based devices and their tissue interaction, as well as safety surrounding body contouring procedures. He is in the process of developing a non-invasive imaging center to help assess the aging process and the effect of devices on aging.
His clinical practice focuses on nonsurgical and surgical aesthetic procedures of the face, breast, and body. He sees patients at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center Outpatient Surgery Center. He operates primarily there and at Clements University Hospital. Dr. Kenkel also serves patients in Frisco at the UT Southwestern Otolaryngology/Plastic Surgery Clinic.
In the Media: In addition to sharing his expertise with his peers and the next generation of plastic surgeons, Dr. Kenkel is often consulted by the media as an authority on plastic surgery.
Patient Testimonials: Patients trust Dr. Kenkel and are happy to share their experiences and reviews.
Dr. Kenkel's Credentials
Noteworthy excerpts from Dr. Kenkel's CV are below. You can also view his full CV.
Board Certification: American Board of Plastic Surgery
Medical Licensure: Licensed in Texas, Florida, and California
- Bachelor of Science, 1985, from Boston College in Chestnut Hill, MA
- Doctorate of Medicine, 1989, from Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington, DC
- General Surgery, 1989 to 1994, at Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington, DC
- Plastic Surgery, 1994 to 1996, at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, TX
Honors and Awards
- D Magazine Best Doctors in Dallas, 2005, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018
- Clinician of the Year 2015. Department of Plastic Surgery at UT Southwestern Medical Center
- ASAPS Jerome R. Klingbell Award for Dedication to Teaching, 2013
- America's Top Doctors 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014
- Top 1% of physicians by U.S. News & World Report, 2012
- Best Doctors U.S. News & World Report, 2011,2012, 2013, 2014, 2015
- Teacher of the Year Award, Dept. of Plastic Surgery UTSW 2012
- Best Doctors in Dallas 2012, 2013, 2014
- America's Top Plastic Surgeons 2008, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
- Who's Who in America 2009,12
- The Ted Lockwood Award for Excellence in Body Contouring, 2009
- Best Doctors in America 2005-2008, 2013, 2014, 2015
- Texas Super Doctors, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016
- Castle Connolly Top Doctors 2015
- Holder of the Rod J. Rohrich, M.D. Distinguished Professorship in Wound Healing and Plastic Surgery, 2005
- Outstanding Mentoring for Plastic Surgery Research at UT Southwestern, 2003
- Plastic Surgery Resident's Excellence in Teaching Award 1996
- Chief Resident Teaching Award presented by fellow residents for outstanding resident education, 1994
- Student Teaching Award presented by the Medical School Class of 1993
- The Marie J. Simonian Award for Outstanding Resident Clinical Presentation, 1992
- Outstanding Service as a Resident at the District of Columbia General Hospital, 1991
- Alpha Omega Alpha, 1989
- American Association of Plastic Surgeons (AAPS), Fellow (2005-present)
- American College of Surgeons (ACS), Fellow (2000-present)
- American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ASAPS), member from 2000 to present, president in 2011, board member from 2005 to 2013, secretary from 2007 to 2009
- American Society for Education and Research Foundation (ASERF), member from 2000 to present, treasurer in 2006 and 2007
- American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery, Inc., Inc. (ASLMS), Member (2005-present)
- Association of Academic Chairmen of Plastic Surgery (AACPS), Associate Member (1998-present)
- Dallas Society of Plastic Surgeons (DSPS), Past President, 2004
- Dallas County Medical Society (DCMS), member from 1998 to present
- International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, (ISAPS), Member (2011)
- Texas Medical Association (TMA), member from 1998 to present
- Texas Society of Plastic Surgeons (TSPS), member from 1998 to present
- Authored over 130 scientific articles and textbook chapters on lasers, facial and body contouring surgery.
- Editor, "Selected Readings in Plastic Surgery." SRPS is the most up-to-date teaching tool for plastic surgeons in training and in practice in the United States and thirty-eight foreign countries.
- Associate Editor of the Aesthetic Surgery Journal
An Interview with Dr. Kenkel
Q: What made you decide to go into medicine? What helped you decide to pursue plastic surgery?
I was lucky to have a few friends growing up, whose parents were surgeons. The thought of caring for others as well as my curiosity with anatomy and how the body worked drew me to medicine. Being able to do that in surgery was icing on the cake.
I always had a strong interest in the sciences and mathematics, which was critical. Back then, the pathway to medicine was not as creative as it is today. Once in college, I found a friend of mine who had similar interests and was equally drawn to surgery. We spent the first 2 years of college exploring all of the surgical specialties.
Ultimately it was the artistic side of plastic surgery, its incorporation of anatomy and how it positively changed people's lives that sealed it for me.
Q: What do you love most about being a plastic surgeon? What would you like to change?
I love helping change people's lives and watching the impact of either the surgical or non-surgical interventions on them.
As a surgeon, I love the technical component of our specialty as well as the diversity of the procedures we perform. The planning and execution are exciting and fun. It is dwarfed by the daily interactions I have with our patients, residents, students and staff.
I love my job. How many people get up in the morning excited to go to work?
I would not change a thing. It is a long road but worth every experience I have had. It has defined me professionally, and in many ways personally.
Q: What is your approach to plastic surgery? How do you determine the best approach for each patient?
Plastic surgeons must have a very large toolbox. There are many ways to treat any one problem. After we speak to a patient, examine and analyze them, we work with the patient and determine which procedure will help achieve the appropriate, individual expectations. We do not use a cookie cutter approach but tailor our recommendations to the specific patient needs.
As a plastic surgeon, you are never doing the same thing day in and day out. Developing a patient-specific plan, executing it and caring for the patient after the procedure is simply a joy to do.
Q: You have so many unique credentials that are uncommon among plastic surgeons. What additional training have you had? Do you use your specialized training to train other physicians?
I am so fortunate to have trained in general surgery at Georgetown University at a time where there were so many leaders and incredible surgeons. It was an intense program but in so many ways it defined who I am as a surgeon and a physician. I then moved to Dallas to complete my training in plastic surgery at the best program in the country. After 4 years of college, 4 years of medical school and 8 years of residency, it was time to go to work. I was fortunate to be given an opportunity to stay at UT Southwestern.
Learning is a continuous process. Plastic surgery is full of innovation.
During my 23 years in practice, I hope I have contributed in some small way to that innovation improving our outcomes for our patients.
Finally, working in an academic environment helps keep me on the forefront of plastic surgery. Students and residents are so thirsty for knowledge and help hold us accountable. They ensure that I always practice what I preach!
Q: What is the best piece of advice you can give a patient who's considering plastic surgery?
The best thing patients can do is to do their homework. It is very important to critically review the credentials of the physicians they are seeing to make sure they are board-certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery. Each patient should get a couple of opinions and choose the surgeon who not only can meet their needs but also one they can trust and relate to.
Make sure you write down your questions and have them answered by your plastic surgeon.
Finally, when considering a procedure, one should be 100% committed and ready to move forward. If there is any hesitation at all, then it is best to take a step back and reassess whether or not this is really something one should do.
Q: What sets your practice apart from other plastic surgery practices?
I am one of 21 plastic surgeons at UT Southwestern all with specific expertise and experience. It is an honor and a true privilege to be part of this group and to act as their Chair of the Department of Plastic Surgery. I am so fortunate to have an incredible support team to help me care for my patients who have been working with me for a considerable amount of time. I think it really tells a lot about our team and how much we enjoy caring for patients and working together.
Q: What do you like to do when you're not working?
When not working I enjoy spending time with my family. My wife and I continue to learn and explore the concept of an empty nest. We have a house full of dogs, cats, and fish.
We enjoy fitness, golf, Texas wakesurfing, and traveling. We are at an age now where we love to tackle our "bucket list." Finally, I enjoy being one of the physicians for the Dallas Stars Hockey Club and of course listening to 80's music!
Life Outside the Practice
Dr. Kenkel grew up in the Washington, DC, area. Since moving to Texas, he has been the long-time team physician for the Dallas Stars hockey team (1996 to present). He enjoys spending time with his wife, Suzanne, and their 2 children, Matt and Ashley. Dr. Kenkel and Suzanne both volunteer for the DFW Humane Society, as well. As animal lovers, they cherish the opportunity to help rescue animals and find new homes for them.
Dr Kenkel loves music and incorporates a diverse range of music in his professional and personal life. He enjoys playing golf, wake surfing, crossfit and running the "pups".