Dr. Joseph Rousso (left) and Dr. Sean Alemi (right) performing microtia repair using autologous costal cartilage.
The Northeast and Northern California divisions of Healing the Children recently completed their third annual cleft lip and palate mission in May. In partnership with the AAFPRS Foundation’s FACE TO FACE Program, the 36-person mission team was led by Dr. Evan Ransom, a double board-certified facial plastic surgeon in private practice in San Francisco, and his friend and colleague Dr. Joseph Rousso, a member of the facial plastic surgery faculty at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary. On their first day, the team was enthusiastically greeted by a waiting room full of families and their children, some of whom traveled up to 40 hours to reach the Hospital Regional de Ica. With the assistance of pediatricians, speech and language pathologists, anesthesiologists, nursing staff, and several local volunteers, the team screened 111 patients this year. From this group, the surgical team successfully completed 57 operations during the week – highlighted by 16 cleft lip repairs, 22 cleft palate repairs, two cleft rhinoplasties, one maxilla advancement, one mandibular distraction, one first stage microtia repair, and an otoplasty for a constricted ear deformity. In addition, the speech and language pathology group was able to work with a large group of previously-repaired patients, as well as children from the community with other oral and speech issues. The team is already planning for next year, with ongoing efforts to expand patient recruitment and surgical care during the mission. To get involved with charitable programs through FACE TO FACE or Healing the Children, or to make a donation, please visit us online at www.AAFPRS.org and www.HTCNorCal.org.
A before and after photo of a young patient who underwent cleft lip repair.
A young patient with a congenital ear deformity reacts after seeing his ear following an otoplasty procedure.
Dr. Evan Ransom (left) and Dr. Sean Alemi (right) performing cleft palate repair.