Dr. Travis Tollefson received his medical degree with honors from the University of Kansas School of Medicine. He completed a head and neck surgery residency at Kansas University and then went on to complete a fellowship in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery at the University of California, Davis in 2003.
After his fellowship, Dr. Tollefson began as an Assistant Professor at the UC Davis Medical Center in facial plastic and reconstructive surgery where he specializes in cleft lip and palate, microtia, reconstruction of cancer defects as well as rhinoplasty and cosmetic surgery of the face.
At the completion of his fellowship, he participated in a two week pro-bono surgical mission to treat children with cleft lip and palate in rural China with the organization Smile China. These children were not treated previously because of lack of financial resources or medical facilities. It was after this trip that he committed himself to volunteer on an annual basis with Smile China team and soon after became involved with the Operation of Hope team that serves Ecuador and Africa.
Since his appointment at UC Davis Medical Center, he has participated in over ten surgical trips with Smile China and Operation of Hope caring for hundreds of children in four provinces of China, three cities in Ecuador, and Hare, Zimbabwe. He currently serves as the Associate Medical Director for Operation of Hope and will return to South America and Africa annually for surgical correction of facial deformities in children and adults. His research endeavors at UC Davis also revolves around improving surgical outcomes in cleft lip and palate deformities as well as minimizing scars after surgical procedures. He has received funding for his research with his partner, Dr. Craig Senders, to develop an artificial muscle that can be used in children and adults who no longer can use muscles in their face.