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Plastic Surgeons Play Pivotal Role in War Injury Research
Date:4/17/2008

$85 Million in Federal Funds Awarded to Reconstruct Devastating Injuries;

Not all about Facelifts and Liposuction

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill., April 17 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Members of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) will play a pivotal role over the next five years developing groundbreaking therapies to better treat U.S. soldiers critically injured in Iraq and Afghanistan. The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has awarded $85 million in grant funding to the Armed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine (AFIRM), a multi-institutional network of plastic surgeons and other physicians who specialize in tissue engineering and regenerative medicine. An announcement made today at the Pentagon stated the grant will be used for pioneering medical research and innovations to repair battlefield injuries.

"Reconstructive plastic surgery is critical in treating wounded soldiers and the types of injuries sustained on the battlefield," said Richard D'Amico, MD, ASPS president. "Blast injuries from roadside bombs and high velocity guns are common and affect almost every part of the body. Plastic surgeons are uniquely qualified to perform reconstructive surgery on all areas of the body."

The federally funded research will involve investigating surgical innovations to improve wound healing and tissue repair through adult stem cell and other technologies that will allow new bone, skin, nerves, tendons, muscles, and blood vessels to form. Much of this research is related to the specialty of plastic surgery. The five major areas of research include limb salvage, reconstruction, regeneration, and transplantation; craniofacial reconstruction; burn repair; scar reduction; and treatment for compartment syndrome.

"This funding will serve as a vital step toward improving treatments for devastating injuries to the lower and upper extremities as well as the face," said ASPS Member Surgeon and AFIRM physician Joseph Rosen, MD.
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SOURCE American Society of Plastic Surgeons
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