James Chang, MD

James Chang, MD

Hand and upper extremity surgeon

Johnson and Johnson Professor of Surgery and Professor, by courtesy, of Orthopaedic Surgery

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Dr. James Chang is currently the Johnson & Johnson Distinguished Professor and Chief of the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Stanford University. Dr. Chang graduated from Stanford University with a Bachelor of Arts and Sciences with joint degrees in Biology and Economics. He spent a year as a lecturer in English at the Beijing University of Science and Technology in Beijing, People’s Republic of China. Following this, he graduated from Yale Medical School with Alpha Omega Alpha and Cum Laude honors. From 1991 to 1993, he was a Sarnoff Laboratory Research Fellow at the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center. He then completed a residency in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Stanford University Medical Center. Dr. Chang was a Clinical Instructor in Orthopedic Surgery and the Hand & Microsurgery Fellow at U.C.L.A. Medical Center from 1999-2000. He is currently Professor of Plastic Surgery and Orthopedic Surgery at Stanford University Medical Center. He is also an Attending Surgeon at Lucile Salter Packard Children's Hospital and the VA Palo Alto Health Care System, where he serves as Director of the Plastic and Hand Surgery Laboratory.

His basic science research interests include modulation of Transforming Growth Factor-Beta in scarless flexor tendon wound healing and tissue engineered flexor tendon grafts for hand reconstruction. He has expertise in molecular biology and tissue engineering techniques and their applications to plastic and hand surgery research. Dr. Chang is the recipient of numerous grants including two recent multi-year Federal Merit Review Awards on “Tissue Engineered Flexor Tendon Grafts for Extremity Reconstruction” and “Optimization of Bioengineered Tendons Using Bioreactors and Stem Cells”. He has been federally-funded for his research since 1998.

Dr. Chang is the past Editor-in-Chief of the Yearbook of Hand Surgery and an Associate Editor for the journals, Journal of Hand Surgery, Annals of Plastic Surgery, Hand, and Microsurgery. He was the Royal College of Surgeons Foundation traveling fellow and was awarded the 2006 Sterling Bunnell Traveling Fellowship by the American Society for Surgery of the Hand. He was Research Director for the American Society for Surgery of the Hand (ASSH) and managed the grant portfolio and programs of this national organization. He was Treasurer for the ASSH from 2011-2014. Dr. Chang served as President of the ASSH from 2017-18. Dr. Chang was VIce-Chair of the Plastic Surgery Residency Review Committee of the ACGME and the Secretary/Treasurer of the American Board of Plastic Surgery. He was elected to the American Surgical Association in 2010.

Dr. Chang's main surgical interests are in reconstructive surgery of the hand and extremities including microsurgical reconstruction. He also has interest in pediatric hand and microsurgery, post-oncologic head and neck reconstruction, and lower extremity reconstruction.

Professional Summary

Education & Certifications
  • Internship: Stanford University Dept of General Surgery (1994) CA
  • Medical Education: Yale School Of Medicine (1993) CT
  • Residency: Stanford University Dept of Plastic Surgery (1998) CA
  • Fellowship: UCLA Medical Center Fellowship Programs (2000) CA
  • Board Certification: American Board of Plastic Surgery, Plastic Surgery (1999)
  • Board Certification: American Board of Plastic Surgery, Surgery of the Hand (2002)
  • MD, Yale Medical School, Medicine (1993)
  • BAS, Stanford University, Biology & Economics (1987)

Awards & Memberships
  • Andrew J. Weiland Medal for Research Achievement, American Society for Surgery of the Hand (2011)
  • Leslie M. Hovey Teacher of the Year Award, Stanford Plastic Surgery (2003)
  • Royal College of Surgeons Foundation Traveling Lectureship, Royal College of Surgeons (2003)
  • Scholarship Essay Award - First Place, Plastic Surgery Educational Foundation (1999)
  • Stanford University Asian-American Faculty Award, Stanford University (2011)
  • Sterling Bunnell Traveling Fellow, American Society for Surgery of the Hand (2006-07)

Administrative Appointments
  • Associate Editor, Microsurgery (2002 - 2010)
  • Associate Editor, Journal of Hand Surgery (2003 - 2013)
  • Associate Editor, Hand (2006 - 2020)
  • Associate Editor, Annals of Plastic Surgery (2007 - 2020)
  • Board Member, American Board of Plastic Surgery (2010 - 2017)
  • Board of Directors, American Association for Hand Surgery (2007 - 2009)
  • Chief, Division of Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery (2006 - Present)
  • Editor, Yearbook of Hand Surgery (2005 - 2009)
  • Johnson & Johnson Distinguished Professor of Surgery, Stanford University (2015 - Present)
  • Plastic Surgery Residency Review Committee Member, Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education (2010 - 2017)
  • President, American Society for Surgery of the Hand (2017 - 2018)
  • Program Director, Plastic Surgery, Stanford University Medical Center (1999 - 2008)
  • Research Director, American Society for Surgery of the Hand (2007 - 2010)
  • Senior Fellow, Center for Innovation in Global Health, Stanford University (2015 - Present)
  • Treasurer, American Society for Surgery of the Hand (2011 - 2014)
  • Undergraduate Advisor, Stanford University (2004 - Present)


Practice Locations

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Clinic in Palo Alto Palo Alto, CA
Palo Alto, CA

1000 Welch Road, Suite 100

Palo Alto , CA 94304

(650) 723-7001

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Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine in Redwood City Redwood City, CA
Redwood City, CA

450 Broadway Street

Redwood City , CA 94063

(650) 723-5643

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Patient Reviews

(52 reviews)

Dr. Chang was very caring and explained my surgery well.
Dr. Chang was amazing! He was extremely professional and friendly. He gave me confidence that my issue can be resolved!
Dr. Chang is the best!!
Dr. Chang is great.
Dr. Chang & his team are very efficient -
Wonderful experience.
Really appreciated Dr. Chang listening to my concerns.
Dr. Chang was wonderful. He explained things in terms you could understand. He made you feel like he would take very good care of your problem.
Dr. James Chang is terrific, very patient-friendly.
I'm very glad that I was referred to Dr. Chang by 2 other doctors that were unable to resolve my hand issues - Thank you Dr. Chang.
Exceeded expectations! Thank you Dr. Chang & team.
Excellent! Dr. Chang is GREAT.
I do recommend Dr. J. Chang!
Dr. James Chang is the best!
Dr. Chang was wonderful. It is amazing - the things he can do for people like me. He was kind and patient with all my questions. I am grateful.
Enjoyed meeting Dr. Chang, he helped me to understand my health issue and clearly presented my options. Highly recommend him to my friends.
The best!
Everyone was excellent - options were presented for care going forward. I felt listened to and my opinion respected.
Dr. Chang is wonderful - I could not believe using my surgery hands days after surgery. I started doing everything with my rt. hand. Dr. Chang covered everything I needed to know thoroughly; words cannot express my gratitude to him.
Dr. Chang presents the options clearly & instills confidence. He is warm & reassuring & clearly knows his work.
Dr Chang is very attentive, knowledgeable, considerate, informative, and compassionate. He is the best doctor I have ever had!!!
Dr. Chang is excellent! His knowledge, confidence and way of explaining everything is comforting. He is an amazing man!
We would recommend Dr. Chang to anyone! The best!
Have already recommended 2 people.
Doctor Chang has been very kind and his knowledge on this area is amazing and after taking and understanding the surgery I felt very hopeful
I would highly recommend Dr. James Chang. He was excellent.
Very thorough on explaining throughout my procedure. Pain management team were great. Thankful for anesthesiologist team for following up on me when I'm in the hospital & even @ home.
Dr. Chang and his staff are absolutely the best!
Dr. Chang is the best! A++ (you are lucky to have him).
Dr. Chang is fantastic!!!
Very knowledgeable on hand surgeries.
I have seen many doctors during my life and several for current issue, Dr. Chang is the best by far.
I've already recommended Dr. Change to a friend. He is very knowledgeable and excellent surgeon.
Dr. James Chang and his assistant were OUTSTANDING! OUTSTANDING.
Dr. Chang is GREAT!
Dr. Chang is very patient and kind. He addresses my concerns appropriately.
Dr. Chang & the NA were wonderful & gave me great care. The gentleman who gave & removed my cast was wonderful too.
Dr. Chang is VERY personable & caring!
Dr. James Chang is an amazing doctor. There is nothing more I can say. Nurse Practitioner Christine Rico- Erb does her job wonderfully, too! She is able to explain everything, answer every question I have and was able to convert the meds I have from the Philippibes.
Top notch provider and staff.
There are no words for the excellent work - thank you for your time.
Excellent care -
Dr. Chang is awesome/attentive focused/concerned/helpful & skillful.
Dr. Chang is an orthopedic specialist - I was referred to hem by my primary care doctor. I visited him once before in 2011.
Lots of information.
Dr. James Chang is the best!
I felt I was wasting the dr.'s time for a second opinion. He certainly did not want to treat me.
Will share Dr. Chang's name with my rheumatologist.
Felt as though Dr. Chang was a long time friend.
Doctor seemed to be in a hurry. It was a distracting mannerism.

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