One of the most fulfilling aspects of my work as a facial plastic surgeon is using my Orlando-area practice to help military veterans and domestic violence victims. I’m honored to participate in both the Faces of Honor and FACE to FACE programs that offer reconstructive facial plastic surgery at no charge to these patients.Both programs are coordinated by the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS), which serves as a resource to connect patients with face and head injuries with surgeons participating in the programs.The Faces of Honor program assists veterans deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan who suffered facial injuries. It’s a way to say “thank you” to the men and women who serve our country by restoring a sense of normalcy to their lives after injuries that can be quite traumatic.Through FACE to FACE, the AAFPRS puts victims of domestic violence in touch with local shelters, where counseling and support is provided. They are then given a referral to a plastic surgeon in the area who participates in the program.
As a specialist with more than 2 decades of facial reconstructive surgery experience, I see these programs as providing a unique opportunity to give back to our community. Healing the external reminders of violent injuries is a crucial part of the internal healing process that both veterans and domestic violence victims experience.
I also think my work in these programs benefits all of my patients at Primera Plastic Surgery. Reconstructive surgery is challenging and requires surgeons to stay current with the latest techniques, refining our skills. It also requires problem-solving skills, because no 2 cases are identical and devising a treatment plan often demands a creative approach.