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Prof Tan Bien Keem

Prof Tan Bien Keem

​MBBS, FRCS (Edin), FAMS (Plast Surg)

Senior Consultant

Specialty: Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery, Cleft & Craniofacial Surgery

Sub-specialties: Reconstructive Microsurgery, Lymphoedema Surgery, Aesthetic

Conditions Treated by this Doctor:
Aesthetic Surgery, Lymphoedema, Reconstructive Surgery.

Clinical Appointments

  • Director of Tissue Transplant, SD Transplant Centre SingHealth Duke-NUS Transplant Centre
  • Programme Director of Skin Transplant Programme SingHealth Duke-NUS Transplant Centre
  • Senior Consultant SingHealth Duke-NUS Transplant Centre
  • Senior Consultant Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery Singapore General HospitalSingapore General Hospital


Assoc Prof Tan BK is Senior Consultant of the Department of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery, Singapore General Hospital, where he is also the Programme Director of the SGH Skin Bank Unit. Since January 2015, Assoc Prof Tan started serving as the Deputy Director, Cell and Tissue Transplantation in SingHealth Transplant. He is also member of the Advisory Committee on Transplantation at SGH, member of the SingHealth Duke-NUS Surgery Academic Clinical Programme and Associate Editor for the Archives of Plastic Surgery Journal.

Assoc Prof Tan BK has been involved in research, education and clinical treatment related to microsurgery for more than 10 years. He has been the Organising Chairman of the Biannual Microsurgery Course for more than 5 years and a trainer in the Basic Surgical Skills Course for close to 10 years. He was also the Organising Chairman of the Flap Course in September 2013. He is an internationally recognised speaker, clinician and researcher, and has published extensively in numerous medical journals and books.


  • Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (Spore)
  • Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons (Edin)
  • Fellow of Academy of Medicine Singapore (Plastic Surg)

Professional Appointments and Committee Memberships

  • Member, Singapore Association of Plastic Surgeons
  • Member, Singapore Society of Cosmetic (Aesthetic) Surgeons
  • Member, Association of Burns Injuries Singapore
  • Member, Wound Healing Society Singapore
  • Deputy Director, SingHealth Transplant, SingHealth
  • Member, the Advisory Committee on Transplantation, SGH
  • Associate Editor, Archives of Plastic Surgery Journal
  • Programme Director, SGH Skin Bank Unit, SGH


  • ​Young Investigator Award, Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Tan Tock Hospital Annual Scientific Meeting, 1995
  • SGH Scientist Award, SGH Annual Scientific Meeting, 1997
  • Best Free Paper, Hand Surgery and Plastic Surgery Annual Combined Scientific Meeting, Singapore, 2000
  • SGH Young Investigator Award, SGH Annual Scientific Meeting, 2000
  • 8th Yahya Cohen Memorial Lectureship, 37th Annual Combined Surgical Meeting, Singapore, November, 2003

Research Interests



  1. Lymphedema: Free Transfer of Cervical Lymph Nodes to a Lower Limb Lymphedema. Editors: Tan-BK, Hsieh-Michael, Fumio Onishi, 2020
  2. Breast Augmentation. Wong CH, Tan BK, Song C. 2008  
  3. Flaps: Techniques and Applications. Editors: Tan BK, Lim J, Song C. 2008

Research Trials

  1. Preferred Use of the Ipsilateral Pedicled TRAM Flap for Immediate Breast Reconstruction: An Illustrated Approach.  Tan BK, Joethy J, Ong YS, Ho GH, Pribaz JJ. Aesthetic Plastic Surgery Feb 2012; 36(1): 128-33
  2. Use of the Fix and Flap Approach to Complex Open Elbow Injury : The Role of the Free Anterolateral Thigh Flap. Chui CHK, Wong CH, Chew W, Low MH, Tan BK . Archives of Plastic Surgery, March 2012, Vol 39 (2), pp 130-6
  3. A Novel Approach to the Treatment of Lower Extremity Lymphedema by transferring a Vascularized Submental Lymph Node Flap to the Ankle. Cheng MH, Huang JJ, Nguyen DH, Saint-Cyr M, Zenn MR, Tan BK, Lee CL. Gynecol Oncology July 2012, Vol 126, (1), pp 93-98
  4. Cultured Epithelial Autografts for the Coverage of Large Wounds: Minimizing Skin  Graft Donor Sites in the Sick Patient. Wong MZ, Chua AWC, Tan BK. Eur J Plast Surg Sep 2012.
  5. Surgical Anatomy of the Medial Sural Artery Perforator Flap. Wong MZ, Wong CH, Tan BK, Chew KY, Tay S, Crowther K. J Reconstr Microsurg Oct 2012 Vol 28 (8) pp 555-560,
  6. Radical Surgical Excision and Use of Lateral Thoracic Flap for Intractable Axillary.      Hidradenitis Suppurativa  . Teo WL, Ong YS, Tan BK.  Arch Plast Surg Nov 2012 Vol 39 (6), pp 663-6,
  7. Sternoclavicular Joint Infection : Classification of Resection Defects and Reconstructive Algorithm. Janna J, Lim CH, Koong HN, Tan BK.  Arch Plast Surg Nov 2012 Vol 39 (6) pp 643-8
  8. Lower Gluteal Muscle Flap and Buttock Fascio-cutaneous Rotation Flap for Reconstruction of Perineal Defects after Abdomino-perineal Resections. Tan BK, Goh TLH, Wong H, Sim R. J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg Dec 2012 Vol 65 (12) pp 1678-83
  9. The Chicken Aorta as a Simulation-Training Model for Microvascular Surgery Training. Ramachandran S, Chui CK, Tan BK. Archives of Plastic Surgery July 2013 Vol 40 (4) pp 327-329
  10. Vascularization of Urethral Repairs with Gracilis Muscle Flap. Kua EH, Leo KW, Ong YS, Cheng C, Tan BK.  Archives of Plastic Surgery September 2013 Vol 40 (5) pp 584-588
  11. Nipple Reconstruction with Rolled Dermal Graft Support. Chia HL, Wong M, Tan BK Archives of Plastic Surgery March 2014 Vol 41 (2) PP 158-162
  12. Neuropathic Dermatitis After Flap Surgery. Evelyn Yuxin Tay, Bien-Keem Tan, Ronald Chin Hong Goh.  J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg February 2014 Vol 67 (7) pp 1013-1015
  13. Stepwise Training for Reconstructive Microsurgery: The Journey to Becoming a Confident Microsurgeon in Singapore. Ramachandran S, Ong YS, Chin AY, Song IC, Ogden B, Tan BK. Archives of Plastic Surgery May 2014 Vol 41 (3) pp 209-212
  14. Aesthetic Design of Skin-Sparing Mastectomy Incisions for Immediate Autologous Tissue Breast Reconstruction in Asian Women. Tan BK, Chim H, Ng ZY, Ong KW. Archives of Plastic Surgery July 2014 Vol 41 (4) pp 366-373
  15. Subunit Principle of Vulvar Reconstruction: Algorithm and Outcomes. Tan BK, Kang GW, Tay EH, Por YC. Archives of Plastic Surgery July 2014 Vol 41 (4) pp 379-386
  16. Use of the Anterolateral Thigh and Vertical Rectus Abdominis Musculocutaneous Flaps as Utility Flaps in Reconstructing Large Groin Defects. Aslim EJ, Rasheen MZ, Lin F, Ong YS, Tan BK. Archives of Plastic Surgery September 2014 Vol 41 (5) pp 556-561
  17. Rectus Sparing approach to left ventricular assist device exchange and use of the omental flap for coverage. Cheryl Hui, Adrian Ooi, Teing Ee Tan, Bien Keem Tan.  J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg October 2014 Vol 68 (2) pp 278-280
  18. Distally Based Sural Artery Adipofascial Flap based on a Single Sural Nerve Branch: Anatomy and Clinical Applications. Mok WL, Por YC, Tan BK .  Archives of Plastic Surgery November 2014 Vol 41 (6) pp 709-715