Alexander M. Spiess, MD

Assistant Professor of Surgery
Alexander M. Spiess, MD - headshot


Fax: 412-648-1987

Scaife Hall, Suite 6B

3550 Terrace Street

Pittsburgh, PA 15261, 


Alexander M. Spiess, M.D. is the Division Chief of Hand in the Department of Plastic Surgery.  He is also the Program Director of the Plastic Surgery component of the Plastic Surgery Hand and Upper Extremity Fellowship, as well as intimately involved with the Hand Transplantation Program at UPMC. 

Dr. Spiess trained in Plastic Surgery at Wayne State University in Detroit, MI.  He completed fellowships in Hand and Upper Extremity surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and Thomas Jefferson University/Philadelphia Hand Center.  Prior to coming on as the Division Chief of Hand Surgery, he was part of the teaching faculty at Allegheny General Hospital Department of Orthopaedics, where he treated of all types of complex hand, wrist, and elbow fractures, ligament, and tendon injuries.  Over the past few years, he has had the opportunity to develop an adult peripheral nerve and post traumatic brachial plexus injury practice, through which he has been able to employ the latest in nerve repair and transfer techniques, as well as tendon transfer techniques.  These patients will be evaluated at the new UPMC Center for Nerve Disorder at Mercy Hospital, opening this fall.

Dr. Spiess plays a very active role in the VCA (vascularized composite allotransplantation) lab and also has an interest in peripheral nerve research.  Among his many clinical interests, he is involved with clinical outcome studies regarding UPMC’s hand transplant patients.


Spiess, AM., Losee, JE., Foust DE., Gorantla, VS. Donor and Recipient Considerations in Upper Extremity Allotransplantation. PSEN Website, May 7, 2012.

Spiess AM, Clemente J, Schmidt CC, Baratz ME. Restoration of thumb function after partial or total amputation. Ch. 97 in Hunter, Maklin, and Callahan’s Rehabilitation of the Hand and Upper Extremity.  6th Edition. 2008.

Spiess AM, Baciewicz, Jr FA, Gursel E. The Deltopectomyomammary Flap:  A New Flap For Use In Coverage Of Large Anterior Chest Wall Defects. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.  121(4):226e-227e, April 2008. | View abstract

Osterman AL, Spiess AM. Medial Epicondylectomy. Ch. 8. Hand Clin. 2007 Aug;23(3):329-37, vi. Review.

Azari KK, Spiess AM, Buterbaugh GA, Imbriglia JE. Major Nerve Injuries Associated with Carpal Tunnel Release. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery 2007 119(6):1977-8. | View abstract

Spiess AM, Balakrishnan C, Gursel E. Fascial release of the Pectoralis major: A technique employed in Pectoralis major muscle closure of the Mediastinum in cases of Mediastinitis. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. 119(2):573-577, February 2007. | View abstract

Spiess AM, Istanbullu T, Brown PD, Balakrishnan C, Gursel E. The Utility of Deep Soft Tissue Cultures in Diagnosing the Causative Agent of Sternal Osteomyelitis following Median Sternotomy. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. 119(2):568-572, February 2007. | View abstract

Spiess AM, Gursel E. Entrapment of the Ulnar Nerve at Guyon’s Canal by an Accessory Abductor Digiti Minimi Muscle. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. 117(3):1060-1061, March 2006. | View abstract

Research Lab Affiliation

Lab Role

Principal Investigator