This April, an interdisciplinary medical team of 19—including four facial plastic and reconstructive surgeons, members of the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS)—will travel to the Ukraine to repair complex facial injuries sustained in war. This is the second FACE TO FACE mission trip to Ukraine in the last seven months; in September 2022, a team of surgeons spent nine days in the country on a similar mission.
“We were all so impressed by the resiliency of the Ukrainian people whom we helped on our last trip and given the on-going and expanding nature of the war, we know there will be an exponentially greater number of patients with devastating facial injuries who need our expertise,” says mission trip leader and FACE TO FACE Committee Senior Advisor Manoj T. Abraham, MD, FACS. “By training the local surgeons to do these complex reconstructive procedures, we hope to have a meaningful impact and hope to continue educational activities through FACE TO FACE and the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.”
The AAFPRS, the world’s largest association of facial plastic surgeons, in collaboration with FACE TO FACE (F2F) Committee Senior Advisor Manoj T. Abraham, MD, FACS. Dr. Abraham has extensive experience in crisis relief and has been instrumental in orchestrating medical trips to Colombia, Peru, Ethiopia, India and multiple other international sites. Other AAFPRS members on the mission trip include John Frodel, MD, Ryan Winters, MD and Grigoriy Mashkevich, MD.
F2F and partners including Razom, the third largest U.S. based aid organization sending aid to Ukraine; Dr. Ivanka Nebor, founder of InGenius, an organization designed to help train Ukrainian doctors; and Healing the Children Northeast, were critical in providing logistical support and funding to obtain the medical equipment and supplies needed for this mission trip.
The F2F humanitarian programs allow AAFPRS members to use their surgical skills and expertise to help those who are in need domestically and abroad. These physicians and support staff provide their services pro bono and self-fund much of the costs for the expensive medical supplies and equipment needed. F2F programs are conducted under the auspices of the Educational and Research Foundation for the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS Foundation).
WHEN: The FACE TO FACE team will travel to Ukraine in late April 2023.
WHERE: The team will travel to Lviv, Ukraine. There, they’ll work alongside Ukrainian physicians by official invitation from the Ministry of Health of Ukraine.
WHY: This mission aims to serve approximately 25-30 patients, mostly soldiers and civilians injured in the war, with complex facial injuries. The travel team of experts will also be teaching local surgeons complex reconstructive surgery techniques including microvascular tissue transplants (for instance using the fibula bone in the leg to rebuild missing parts of the jaw and facial skeleton) using custom 3-D implants to precisely replace missing tissue.
ABOUT THE AAFPRS:
The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery is the world’s largest specialty association for facial plastic surgery. It represents more than 2,200 facial plastic and reconstructive surgeons throughout the world. The AAFPRS is a National Medical Specialty Society of the American Medical Association (AMA) and holds an official seat in both the AMA House of Delegates and the American College of Surgeons board of governors. AAFPRS members are board certified surgeons whose focus is surgery of the face, head, and neck (inclusive of Rhinoplasty and Facial Rejuvenation). More information at www.facemd.org
ABOUT FACE TO FACE
Founded in 1992, FACE TO FACE is a humanitarian and educational surgical exchange program sponsored by the Educational and Research Foundation for the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS). Both in the United States and abroad, AAFPRS surgeons and other medical professionals provide complimentary care to those who suffer from facial deformities caused by birth or trauma. To date, it is estimated that FACE TO FACE volunteers have helped nearly four thousand people worldwide.
For interviews or to cover this story via remote from Ukraine or when the travel team returns to the U.S., as well as for more information or to connect with an AAFPRS spokesperson, please contact:
Patty Mathews: [email protected]
Twitter & Instagram: @AAFPRS