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Christopher Pannucci, MD MS

Christopher Pannucci, MD MS

Instagram Logo @pannuccimd
Special Clinical Interests: implant and tissue-based breast reconstruction, microsurgery, aesthetic surgery, general reconstruction

Dr. Pannucci is an experienced, thoughtful, and compassionate surgeon


Dr. Pannucci is a plastic surgeon board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery, and is a fellowship-trained microvascular reconstructive surgeon. Dr. Pannucci’s clinical interests include breast reconstruction surgery, general reconstructive surgery, and aesthetic surgery. He offers the full range of reconstructive techniques, including microsurgical free tissue transfer and perforator flaps (such as deep inferior epigastric perforator (DIEP) flap breast reconstruction). Dr. Pannucci is an experienced microvascular surgeon, and has performed hundreds of free flap procedures. He is also an accomplished surgeon educator and sought-after speaker for national meetings in plastic and microvascular surgery.


Dr. Pannucci is a Midwest native and received his Bachelor of Science degree from Indiana University and his Doctor of Medicine degree from Washington University in St. Louis. Dr. Pannucci completed an integrated residency in plastic and reconstructive surgery at the University of Michigan. While in Ann Arbor, he also received a Masters degree in Health and Healthcare Research. Dr. Pannucci subsequently completed a clinical fellowship in microvascular reconstruction at the University of Pennsylvania. Before joining the group at Plastic Surgery Northwest, Dr. Pannucci spent six years on faculty at the University of Utah, where he achieved the rank of Associate Professor with Award of Tenure.

Patient Experience

While on faculty at the University of Utah for six years, Dr. Pannucci was regularly ranked in the top 1% of providers for patient satisfaction and experience through Press-Ganey scores—a metric which is derived from patient experience surveys. During his time in Salt Lake City, the University of Utah encouraged patients to post their comments about Dr. Pannucci on its website, and as a result, you won’t find much about him on other sites.

Click here to review unedited comments from Dr. Pannucci’s University of Utah patients from 2014 to 2019.

Surgical Mythbusting

Dr. Pannucci has an extensive background in clinical trials and clinically oriented research, and has leveraged these skills for “Surgical Mythbusting”. Using a paradigm similar to the popular television show “Mythbusters”, Dr. Pannucci has identified intriguing questions for patients and surgeons alike—questions that are practical in nature, impact patient’s day-to-day care, and have no clear answer–and examined them using a rigorous framework. He has partnered with biomedical engineer Adam Cyr PhD and ballistics expert Martin Szegedi PhD to show that breast implants can protect patients against penetrating trauma, and is currently examining whether breast implants can decrease chest wall trauma in low speed car accidents.

In addition, Dr. Pannucci is co-leading a clinical trial at the University of Michigan to determine whether caffeine (a substance that constricts blood vessels) is safe for patients who have DIEP breast reconstruction (an operation whose success requires keeping 1 millimeter blood vessels flowing).

National Leader in Patient Safety

Dr. Pannucci is a nationally recognized advocate for patient safety, particularly in the realm of venous thromboembolism (VTE). VTE encompasses deep venous thrombosis and pulmonary embolus, both of which are life or limb threatening complications of surgical procedures. Dr. Pannucci’s research over the past fifteen years has worked to identify the optimal paradigm to identify and decrease VTE risk for surgical patients. Dr. Pannucci’s research has been funded by national foundations as well as the federal government. He has previously been the Principal Investigator on 11 clinical trials which examined optimization of post-operative anti-coagulant drugs in surgical patients to minimize risks of VTE and microvascular thrombosis after free flap surgery. Dr. Pannucci has published over 90 manuscripts, the majority of which examine risk factors and prevention of venous thromboembolism in surgical patients, in the peer-reviewed medical literature.

Click here to view Dr. Pannucci’s peer reviewed publications.

Dr. Pannucci is regularly an invited lecturer at national and international academic meetings. Dr. Pannucci is a nationally and internationally recognized expert on venous thromboembolism in plastic surgery patients. He regularly helps to establish specialty specific guidelines for VTE prevention–including participation in expert consensus panels through the American Heart Association and the American Association of Plastic Surgeons.

Dr. Pannucci’s research efforts have made a notable and important impact on patient safety for plastic surgery patients—an impact that has been recognized by his peers. Dr. Pannucci and his research collaborators have won multiple awards for their research. Most notably, they were recognized with the 2012 James Barrett Brown Award from the American Association of Plastic Surgeons. This annual award is given to the best paper in the field of plastic and reconstructive surgery for the previous calendar year — view the article here. More recently, Dr. Pannucci was awarded the Best Research Paper published in 2019 from the Aesthetic Surgery Journal — the #1 ranked aesthetic surgery journal in the world—view the article here.


Dr. Pannucci lives in Spokane, Washington with his wife (who grew up in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho) and two sons. Dr. Pannucci is a graduate of the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) and is a Fellow of the Academy of Wilderness Medicine. He is a fan of anything outdoors, and in his free time can be found in the family tipi on the Spokane River. Although a recent permanent transplant to the Pacific Northwest, he has been skiing annually at Schweitzer Mountain since 2008.

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Christopher Pannucci MD’s Testimonials

  • Dr. Pannucci is absolutely the best Doctor I’ve ever had in my life!…When Dr. Pannucci did my Flap Surgery and Breadt Reconstruction, he made my recovery so easy. I did not have any grief over the loss of my breast and no psychological issues. In fact. it’s like I was given a start on a new life. I can’t explain the feelings but I wish every woman with Breast Cancer could know about Flap Surgery and Dr. Pannuci. My recovery was so easy and everything was so perfect.

  • Dr. Pannucci is always very good about giving me realistic options. He explains the options well and leaves the decision to me without pressure.

  • Dr. Pannucci spent a lot of time with me discussing how I looked and felt and made sure that I was happy with the results and had my questions answered. he did an amazing job with my breast reconstruction and helped make this part of my cancer process much better. I am grateful for his talent and his and his staff s excellent care. Thank you!

  • Dr. Pannucci is an excellent doctor! He explains everything so well and makes you feel so comfortable! He has been so great with reconstructing my breast since been diagnosed with breast cancer. I could not have had a better doctor.

  • Dr. Pannucci spent a long time with me at my post op visit answering all questions that I had. I was very happy with his surgery and the care I received after. he did an amazing job!!

  • Dr. Pannucci is an excellent doctor and surgeon. He has a great manner about him and I am very lucky he was my doctor.

  • Dr. Pannucci is very personable. He has a good bedside demeanor. He smiles from his eyes. That’s what’s important to me. I’m pleased with my breast cancer surgeries results.

  • Dr. Pannucci went above and beyond for me and my daughter and she says he is the nicest doctor she has ever met and makes her feel important and cared for during this traumatic experience she went through, we couldn’t have asked for a better surgeon and are so grateful for all his care and expertise and felt our daughter was getting the best care possible.

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