I have a natural passion for helping people. It’s a large part of what led me to my career as facial plastic surgeon. There’s no feeling quite like the one that comes after watching a patient see smooth skin again where wrinkles used to be or watching a rhinoplasty patient see a reshaped nose for the first time at my Orlando office. But that feeling intensifies when the patient I am working with is a war veteran.
Our nation’s heroes often return from places such as Iraq and Afghanistan with disfigured bodies and faces. They find it difficult to readjust to life back at home when they can’t even go to the grocery store without receiving stares from strangers. They describe a decrease in confidence and well-being.
But there is help available. I am honored to participate in Faces of Honor, a program that offers pro bono medical and surgical expertise to veterans who were deployed in Iraq or Afghanistan and received face or neck injuries. Here are 3 ways my colleagues and I assist veterans through this program:
- Facial plastic surgery: Wounds from war can leave a veteran’s face unbalanced aesthetically. Using chin and cheek implants and a wide variety of reconstructive techniques, I am able to restore symmetry and confidence.
- Scar treatments: Many veterans are self-conscious about their scars. Aside from the way they look, scars can also affect the way the eyes, mouth, and nose function. I offer a number of treatments to reduce the appearance of scars, including light therapy, pulsed dye laser, and microdermabrasion.
- Skin treatments: Soldiers can also return from war with skin discoloration, either from time spent in harsh conditions or from accidental “dirt tattooing” caused by sand or other debris hitting the skin during explosions. I offer an array of non-surgical skin treatments that can correct this damage.
In honor of Veterans Day, I’d like to extend a special “thank you” to our nation’s brave heroes for protecting our freedom. Please join me by leaving a comment of gratitude on this post.