A plastic surgeon with a personal touch.
LEAP International Disaster Relief Program – Mission Trip
In August 2016, LEAP’s International Disaster Relief Program sent a group of three plastic surgeons and one anesthesiologist to Beirut to provide care for Syrian and Palestinian refugees at al-Hamshari Hospital located in Saida, Lebanon. I was privileged to be one of the plastic surgeons selected for this mission, which was also my first encounter with international relief work.
During our seven days working at al-Hamshari Hospital, we evaluated over 70 patients and performed almost 40 surgeries on children who had been directly injured by bomb blasts and rockets in Syria, or who had sustained injuries while living in refugee camps in Lebanon. The majority of these injuries were from scald and flame burns to the upper extremities and face, and in most cases patients had not received any care aside from traditional topical treatments to their burn sites. The surgeries we performed included contracture releases of the hands and digits, skin grafting, scar excisions, and even one case of fat grafting for severe volume loss of the face following a rocket blast injury. Dr. Hamawy also performed a heroic latissimus flap in one patient with a significant soft tissue contracture of the axilla. I was struck by how stoic our young patients and their parents were; after having witnessed so much trauma in their short lives, undergoing elective surgery under controlled conditions must have seemed comparatively easy. While we did not have the benefit of seeing most of these patients in follow-up given the relatively short duration of this trip, it is my hope that we were able to make the lives of at least a few of our patients a little bit easier.
To read more about this mission trip, click here.
Donate your bras!
If you have recently undergone breast reduction or augmentation, you may find that your old bras no longer fit you. Instead of throwing them out, please consider donating your used bras to women in need. We will be happy to send the bras on your behalf to a charity which distributes them to women around the world. You can drop off your items at the office, or if you wish, send them directly to Free the Girls, an international 501(c)(3)non-profit organization devoted to freeing women and girls from sex trafficking. Free the Girls collects new and gently used bras and then ships them to ground partners in El Salvador, Mozambique, and Uganda, who then empower girls and women to earn a safe income selling bras in the second-hand market. The goal is to allow these women to achieve economic freedom for a better future. To date they have collected over 600,000 bras from women all over the world, and are currently exploring launching additional pilot programs in other parts of Africa and Central America.
My own breast reduction patients regularly donate bras for us to send to Free the Girls, but if you are in the New York area and would like us to send bras on your behalf, please feel free to drop them off at the office. You can also contribute directly to this wonderful organization. To learn more, please visit freethegirls.org.