Meet the Doctor

Dr. Joe

 "Dr. Joe"

Joseph Mlakar, MD, FACS  

The single most important factor in the success of plastic surgery is the surgeon you select. That is why you need to know about the qualifications and the experience of Dr. Joseph Mlakar (known to his patients as “Dr. Joe”).

“Dr. Joe” has been board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery since 1994. He grew up in Amherst, Ohio, in a family of eight kids. His father was a dentist. He finished high school at age 17 years, college at age 19 years, and med school at age 23 (1985). He married his wife Lori at the age of 25. After completing his formal surgical training in 1990 (see below), he served as the Blodgett Burn Center director in Grand Rapids, Michigan (1992-1994), then as the Cleft Clinic director at the Shriners Hospital in Galveston, Texas (1994-1996).

  “Dr. Joe” moved back to the Midwest to be closer to his extended family after his son was born, and began his plastic surgery practice in Fort Wayne in 1996. He has served as the director/co-director of the St. Joseph Hospital Regional Burn Center (1996-2006) and as the St. Joseph Hospital Chief of Surgery (2000-2006). He founded Plastic Surgery Innovations in 2006.

He is also a co-founder of the Kids-First Cleft/Craniofacial Clinics, a multi-disciplinary team of healthcare professionals who are dedicated to the treatment and care of children with birth anomalies. Kids-First Clinics is nationally verified by the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association and one of three verified cleft care programs in Indiana .

“Dr. Joe” has extensive experience in performing cosmetic facial, eyelid, and nasal surgery, breast enhancement surgery, and surgical body contouring, as well as breast reconstruction, breast reduction, and pediatric reconstructive surgery. He believes that good communication is the key to a successful outcome and is happy to answer your questions.

Professional Recognition:

  • Listed in "America's Top Plastic Surgeons" (2002-2020) and "America's Top Surgeons" (2007-2021) by the Consumers Research Council of America
  • Listed in "Top Doctors in Fort Wayne" by Upstate Indiana Business Journal
  • Recipient of the American Medical Association's Physician's Recognition Award
  • Recipient of the Bausch and Lomb Science Award
  • Recipient of the Golden Scalpel Award
  • Has won clinical teaching awards as an outstanding plastic surgeon in Michigan, Texas, Pennsylvania, and Indiana
  • Honored with the Krist/Mlakar Endowment for Burned Children 1998
  • Readers Choice Award 2020 & 2021 fort Best Plastic Surgeon


Academic Background:

  • Completed a six-year BS/MD program - Northeastern Ohio College of Medicine (1985)
  • Completed a combined general surgery/plastic surgery residency - Michigan State University and Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan (1990)
  • Completed an advanced fellowship training in Burn Surgery and Critical Care - University of Texas Medical Branch (1991)
  • Completed an advanced fellowship training in Craniofacial and Pediatric Plastic Surgery - University of Southern California, Los Angeles Children’s Hospital (1992)

Office Location

  • Fort Wayne
  • 9933 Dupont Circle Drive West,
  • Suite 120
  • Fort Wayne, IN
  • 46825
  • Map & Directions
  • Call: (260) 490-4673


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