William Townley

William Townley headshot

Consultant plastic surgeon


Mr William Townley has a distinguished academic career having read medical sciences at Clare College, Cambridge and clinical medicine at Brasenose College, Oxford. He returned to London to complete basic surgical training and then undertook a two-year research degree at the RAFT Institute (University College London) leading to the award of MD. He completed specialist training in plastic surgery in London and Oxford.

Mr Townley has trained in several international units to learn new techniques and and ensure that his patients receive the highest quality of care to his patients. This has included a year of further subspecialist training (breast, head and neck) in Toronto, Canada with Professor Stefan Hofer. He has also visited several world renowned experts in facial palsy and aesthetic surgery including in France, Germany, USA and Canada. Prior to starting at Guy's and St. Thomas', he worked as a consultant plastic surgeon in British Columbia, which included working as a pitch-side doctor at international rugby games.

Throughout his career, Mr Townley has been keenly interested in clinical research and improving treatment outcomes. He has published over 35 articles in peer-reviewed journals and is an author of several book chapters. During his time in Oxford, he was appointed an Honorary Fellow in Medicine at Brasenose College.

Mr Townley runs a busy NHS reconstructive surgery practice as a consultant plastic surgeon at Guy's and St. Thomas'. His main area of expertise is in corrective surgery for patients with facial palsy and he has pioneered several new techniques to optimise function and appearance. He is a core member of both the head and neck cancer team and the facial palsy MDT. In addition, he sits on the Medical Advisory Board for the medical charity, Facial Palsy UK. Mr Townley was head of the plastic surgery department from 2016-2019.

Education and training

  • Clare College, Cambridge (pre-clinical medicine, 1995-1998)
  • Brasenose College, Oxford (clinical medicine, 1998-2001)
  • Imperial College London (basic surgical training, 2002-2004)
  • RAFT Institute / University College London (MD research degree, 2005-2007)
  • Oxford (plastic surgery rotation, 2007-2012)
  • University of Toronto (microsurgery fellowship, 2012-2013).

Research interests

  • Facial palsy
  • Effect of radiotherapy on free flap reconstruction


  • Harry Morton Fellowship Award 
  • Royal College of Surgeons of England Research Award
  • Journal of Hand Surgery Prize

Last updated: April 2022

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