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New year brings new hope to children born with cleft lip, palate
Date:1/7/2009

as, Healing the Children Northeast, Xeroderma Pigmentosa Foundation, and Nicaplast.

ASPS Member Surgeons participating in these medical missions will do so in coordination with one of the above organizations. ASPS Member Christopher Gordon, MD in Cincinnati, Ohio, will be a participant in the first medical mission trip taking place January 17-24 with the Children of the Americas in Guatemala.

"I've volunteered for previous medical missions and there are several things that are always consistentthe medical facilities are primitive, it takes a team of people to make them successful, and the spirit of the children and families are incredible," said Dr. Gordon.

The spirit of giving back didn't begin with the upcoming 2009 mission trips. Over the last two years, ASPS Member Surgeons have donated their time and surgical skills. In fact, 25 mission trips, 812 cleft surgeries, 635 reconstructive procedures and 65 international physicians were trained last year alone through The Smile Train grants.

"I believe there is a calling inside these surgeons. They love the opportunity to get back to the core of what drove them to become plastic surgeons in the first place," said DeLois Greenwood, Vice President of Smile Train. "We are coming up on our tenth year and expect to help our 500,000th child this year. Although our core mission is to train local doctors, sometimes there simply aren't local doctors to train. In these cases, we're proud to be a part of the effort to get these skilled plastic surgeons on airplanes and overseas where they can make a difference in lives of children who really have no place else to turn."

Nearly 5.2 million reconstructive plastic surgery procedures were performed in the United States in 2007, and of those, 28,000 were birth defect reconstructions, according to ASPS statistics.


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Contact: ASPS Public Relations
media@plasticsurgery.org
847-228-9900
American Society of Plastic Surgeons
Source:Eurekalert

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