Cassandra A. Ligh, MD, FACS, is an attending surgeon in the Division of Plastic, Reconstructive and Oral Surgery at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, specializing in treatment of infants, children, adolescents, and adults with congenital, acquired, and traumatic differences of the body. Dr. Ligh focuses clinically on achieving the balance of function and form of all components of the body that include face, chest/breast, abdomen, and extremities.  She is the Director of the Pediatric and Adolescent Breast and Chest Program and is part of the CHOP Ear Deformities Program, CHOP Vascular Anomalies Program, and CHOP Facial Motion Disorders Program.

Dr. Ligh is passionate about individualizing care for all patients. Her style of communication stems from her initial career as a middle school teacher in San Francisco’s public school system and believes it crucial that patients and families not only understand what their surgical options are, but also the rationale behind each one that is discussed with them. She describes while surgical technique is essential to becoming a surgeon, being able to communicate openly, effectively, and compassionately with patients and families is key to understanding how to provide personalized care.

Dr. Ligh studied Neuroscience and Behavior at Columbia University in New York City and trained as a physician at the Duke University School of Medicine. She completed her plastic surgery training at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. She returned to CHOP after developing a complex pediatric and adult reconstructive practice in Denver, Colorado. Dr. Ligh combines her passion for medicine along with her love of teaching as an Assistant Professor of Surgery at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Ligh sees patients and families with a wide variety of plastic surgery needs all over the body. She specializes in general reconstruction, which includes upper and lower extremities, abdominal wall, chest/breast, and face. She has special expertise in microvascular reconstruction, which involves transferring tissue from one area of the body to another through microsurgical techniques. As the Director of the Pediatric and Adolescent Breast Clinic, she sees boys and girls with a range of breast disorders such as gynecomastia, macromastia, juvenile hypertrophy, as well as a variety of congenital breast anomalies (Poland’s syndrome, hypoplasia, asymmetry, masses, extra breast tissue, tuberous/constricted breast, and other traumatic breast deformities). With the Ear Deformities Program, Dr. Ligh offers a range of ear reconstruction techniques that include autologous cartilage and porous polyethylene (MedPor) ear constructs. As part of the Facial Motion Disorders Program, Dr. Ligh works alongside a multidisciplinary team to provide a comprehensive treatment plan (encompassing the surgical and non-surgical solutions) for patients and families with a wide variety of facial nerve disorders. She also works alongside the CHOP Vascular Anomalies Program to provide an individual design and plan for those who may benefit from surgical intervention.

Dr. Ligh believes that each patient’s experience is complex and multifactorial, and her role is to be a healthcare advocate – to listen, educate, and guide patients and families to a decision that is the best for them. She sees patients at the CHOP Main Hospital, Buerger Center, King of Prussia and Voorhees locations. 

Education and Training

Medical School

MD - Duke University School of Medicine, Durham, NC


Integrated Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery - Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

Board Certification

Plastic Surgery – American Board of Plastic Surgery

Titles and Academic Titles

Director, Pediatric and Adolescent Breast and Chest Program

Attending Physician

Departments and Services




Yan C, Wink JD, Ligh CA, Kanchwala S. “The effects of adjunctive pain medications on postoperative inpatient opioid use in abdominally-based microsurgical breast reconstruction”. Annals of Plastic Surgery. 2020 Feb 5 [Epub ahead of print]. PMID 32028465.

Hernandez JA, Mullens CL, Aoyama JT, Ligh CA, Shaked A, Olthoff KM, Abt PL, Levin LS, Kovach SJ. “Analysis of outcomes in living donor living transplants involving reconstructive microsurgeons”. Journal of Reconstructive Microsurgery. 2020 March; 36(3): 223-227. PMID 31856279.

Ligh CA, Lett LA, Enriquez FA, Jordan A, Percec I, Serletti JM, Butler PD. “The impact of race, age, income, and level of education on motivations to pursue cosmetic surgery and surgeon selection at an academic institution”. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2020 May; 145(5) 932e-939e. PMID 32332533.


Piper M, Ligh CA, Shakir S, Messa C, Soriano I, Kanchwala S. “Minimally invasive robotic-assisted harvest of the deep inferior epigastric perforator flap for autologous breast reconstruction”. Submitted for review. Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive, and Aesthetic Surgery 11/2019.

Shakir S, Piper M, Ligh CA, Kozak G, Spencer A, Soriano I, Kanchwala S. “Minimally invasive harvest of the DIEP flap: A single surgeon comparison of endoscopic, laparoscopic, and robotic techniques”. Submitted for final review. Journal of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery 11/2019.

Ligh CA, Butler PD. “Acne keloidalis nuchae is not the same as a keloid: a case report of successful excision with healing by secondary intention”. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Dermatology Research. 2019 March; 10(1): 487. doi:10.4172/2155-9554.1000487

Ligh CA, Magoon K, Butler PD. “Perineal keloids: several case studies highlighting a successful approach to treatment”. Submitted for review to Archives of Plastic Surgery 12/2019.


Naran S, Swanson JW, Ligh CA, Shubinets V, Taylor JA, Bartlett SP. “Sphenoid dysplasia in Neurofibromatosis: Patterns of presentation and outcomes of treatment”. Plast Reconstr Surg. 2018 Oct; 142(4):518e-526e. PMID 30020238.


Ligh CA, Swanson J, Yu JW, Samra F, Bartlett SP, Taylor JA. “A morphological classification scheme for the mandibular hypoplasia in Treacher Collins Syndrome”. J Craniofacial Surg. 2017 May;28(3): 683-687. PMID 28468148.

Ligh CA, Nelson JA, Fischer JP, Kovach SJ, Levin LS. “The effectiveness of free vascularized fibular flaps in osteonecrosis of the femoral head and neck: A systematic review”. J Reconstr Microsurg. 2017 Mar;33(3):163-172. PMID 28092922.


Ligh CA, Fox JP, Swanson J, Yu JW, Taylor JA. “Not all clefts are created equal: Patterns of hospital-based care utilization among children with cleft lip and palate within 4 years of first surgery.” Plast Reconstr Surg. 2016 Jun;137(6):990e-998e. PMID 27219268

Ligh CA, Nelson JA, Wink JD, Gerety PA, Fischer JP, Wu LC, Kanchwala SK. "An analysis of early oncologic head and neck free flap reoperations from the 2005-2012 ACS-NSQIP datasets." Journal of Plastic Surgery and Hand Surgery. 2016;50(2):85-92. PMID 26571114.

Pien I, Caccavale S, Cheung MC, Butala P, Hughes DB, Ligh C, Zenn MR, Hollenbeck ST. “Evolving trends in autologous breast reconstruction: Is the deep inferior epigastric artery perforator flap taking over?” Ann Plast Surg. 2016 May;76(5):489-493. PMID: 25180959.


Peled AW, Foster RD, Ligh CA, Esserman LJ, Fowble B, Sbitany H. “The impact of total skin-sparing mastectomy incision type on reconstructive complications following radiation therapy.” Plast Reconstr Surg. 2014 Aug;134(2):169-175. PMID: 24732652.

Cho EH, Ligh C, Hodulik K, Hollenbeck ST. "The role of platelet inhibition in microvascular surgery". Journal of Reconstructive Microsurgery. 2014 Nov;30(9):589-98. PMID: 25089565.

Speicher P, Ligh C, Scarborough JE, Thacker JM, Mantyh JM, Turley RS, Migaly J. “A simple scoring system for risk-stratifying rectal cancer patients prior to radical resection”. Tech Coloproctol. 2014 May;18(5):459-65.


Mook W, Ligh CA, Moorman, CT III, Leversedge FJ. “Nerve injury complicating multiple ligament knee injury: Current concepts and treatment algorithm.” JAAOS. 2013 Jun; 21(6): 343-354. PMID: 23728959.2


Kappel L, Goldberg G, King C, Suh D, Smith O, Ligh C, Holland A, Grubin J, Mark N, Liu C, Iwakura Y, Heller G, van den Brink M. “IL-17 contributes to CD4-mediated graft-versus-host disease”. Blood. 2009 Jan; 113(4): 945-95. PMID: 18931341.

Ligh C, Schulman B, Safran M. “Unusual cause of shoulder pain in a collegiate athlete: a case report”. Clinical Orthopaedics and Related Research Journal. 2009 Oct; 467(10):2744-2748. PMID: 19588212.




Ligh CA. “Carpal bone fractures”. Janis Essentials of Plastic Surgery, 3rd edition. Published Oct 25, 2022.


Ligh CA. “Surgical Approaches”. American Society of Maxillofacial Surgeons Medical Student/Resident Handbook. Published 4/2019.

Awards and Honors

2020, University of Pennsylvania Resident Teaching Award
2019, Aesthetic Surgery Education and Research Foundation (ASERF) Travel Scholarship
2013, Duke Davison Travel Award
2013, Duke Medical Scholarship for Travel
2010-2013, Duke Medical Faculty Wives Scholarship
2010, Sue B. Lehmann Award for Excellence in Teaching Finalist
2008, Arthur Ashe, Jr. Sports Scholar Award
2007, USA Volleyball Nationals – 2 gold medals, All-Tournament & MVP

Leadership and Memberships

Memberships in Professional Organizations

2016-present, American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association
2014-present, American Society of Plastic Surgeons
2013-present, American College of Surgeons