Dr. Regan Guilfoyle is a pediatric plastic and reconstructive surgeon at the Stollery Children’s Hospital. She works as one of three pediatric plastic surgeons at the Stollery and has been on the team since 2014.
Regan’s job as a pediatric plastic and reconstructive surgeon involves caring for children born with cleft lip and palate, vascular malformations and congenital ear and hand anomalies. She also cares for traumatic injuries of the hand, face and wounds affecting all areas of the body.
In her spare time, you’ll find Regan going on small-scale adventures with her two year old son. Bike rides in the river valley with chariot in tow, enjoying the “big slide” together at the Commonwealth pool and taking very slow walks in the dog park are some of their favourites!
Let’s find out more about Regan:
What do you like most about your job?
It is such a joy to work with children — they really make wonderful patients! The surgical aspect often requires creativity and problem-solving; this makes the job fun and challenging but sometimes stressful. As such, it is very rewarding when you arrive at a good outcome that the patient and their family is happy with.
Do you have a standout Stollery memory?
From a very early stage in my training, I was interested in pursuing pediatric plastic surgery. To be honest, the biggest inspirations from the Stollery were the two plastic surgeons who mentored me in residency: Dr. Gordon Wilkes and Dr. Jaret Olson. They are both exceptional surgeons, and there is honestly nothing like a watching a cleft lip repair for the first time. The dramatic difference that you can make in a child’s life in just two hours is awe-inspiring. They both have a wonderful bedside manner and cared very much for their patients. I wanted to emulate that.
Do you have a personal connection to the Stollery?
I have taken my child to the Stollery for a minor procedure that involved sedation with imaging. It is hard to be objective about this experience, as I knew the anesthetist and felt very comfortable in the space. The experience was very positive and I felt comfortable knowing my child was in expert hands.
Are you a Foundation donor or volunteer?
I do donate to the Foundation. I think it would be hypocritical to work here and be proud of the work that is done and not feel like the Foundation is important! Certainly, we benefit from the Foundation on an annual basis in regards to needed equipment.
Have donor funds directly impacted the area you work in?
We have received requested surgical instruments and equipment for the operating theater. Recently we received a 3D camera for our cleft lip and palate clinic that will help us follow long-term results for our patients and aid in research.
What is your favourite kid’s book?
One of my child’s favorites right now is The Very Cranky Bear by Nick Bland. It is a fun one with great illustrations and a thoughtful message (and I think we can all relate with being cranky when we don’t get enough sleep!). Runner ups include: The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson, I Knew You Could Do It! by Nancy Tillman and any of the Sandra Boynton books.
Do you have a favourite Disney Princess or superhero?
As a child I loved the Little Mermaid, so I think I will have to go with this one. I liked her because I thought she was tenacious and I loved the ocean and water. Of course, in retrospect there are some serious holes in the plot line. Why she didn’t simply communicate with paper and pen, for example, remains an unresolved issue. If nothing else, it does illustrate the importance of literacy and reading the fine print prior to signing any contract.
Thanks to your support, pediatric surgeons like Regan are a making a life-changing difference for the kids and families who rely on the Stollery’s world-class care. You can continue to support the purchase of new and innovative equipment by donating today.Donate now