Power of Plastic Surgery: Foundation for Reconstructive Surgery transforms 111 lives in Senegal amidst the Omicron Panic

The R.E.S.T.O.R.E Worldwide Inc. team of healthcare volunteers in collaboration with Hôpital Principal de Dakar (HPD), and LocAfrique, a leading leasing financial institution in Senegal has impacted lives and left many communities in Senegal with smiles and hope.

This year’s team comprised of 26 healthcare volunteers from five different countries and three different continents. The team screened 293 patients and performed reconstructive surgeries on 111 patients, all FREE of charge.

Screenings commenced on Sunday, 5, December 2021, and surgeries took place from December 6-10, 2021. Patient evaluations and all operations (surgeries) took place at HPD in Dakar, Senegal.

Due to the current wave of COVID-19 Omicron variant, safety precautions were amplified and implemented on site. Of the 111 patients who had surgery, none tested positive for COVID-19.

This was the 14th consecutive year that R.E.S.T.O.R.E has embarked on such a humanitarian mission. Other countries in the past have included Gabon, Ghana, Guatemala, Laos, Mexico, Nigeria and Vietnam. To date, R.E.S.T.O.R.E has performed almost 1,000 surgeries free of charge in three different continents, the monetary value exceeds $75 million USD.

The procedures performed on this trip included;

  • Cleft lip and palate repair
  • Head and neck tumour resection and reconstruction
  • Burn reconstruction
  • Craniofacial surgery
  • Breast surgery including mastectomies, reductions, and reconstruction
  • Trunk, upper and lower extremity reconstruction
  • Abdominal wall reconstruction
  • Surgery to correct ambiguous genitalia
  • Urological reconstruction

This mission to Senegal was made possible by LocAfrique, a leading financial institution which is headed by Mr. Khadim BA.

“Through this selfless humanitarian medical mission, we are thrilled to have given a new lease on life to families who are among the world’s estimated eight billion who do not have access to safe, affordable and timely surgery”, says Mr. BA, General Director at LocAfrique.

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This year’s mission included five surgeons;

  • Dr. Michael K. Obeng, a Plastic Surgeon, and Director of MiKO Plastic Surgery in Beverly Hills, California
  • Dr. Paa-Ekow Hoyte-Williams, Chief of Plastic Surgery at Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi, Ghana. Williams also serves as the Director of Medical Affairs for R.E.S.T.O.R.E
  • Dr. Bertin Dembele, Head of Plastic and Oncologic Service in Dermatological Hospital of Bamako, Mali
  • Dr. Clement Qaqish, a Maxillo-facial Surgeon from San Diego, California
  • Dr. Navanjun Grewal, a Plastic Surgeon, and Director of RockStar Beauty in Beverly Hills, California

“The exchange of knowledge between RESTORE and the local team at HPD was unparallel”, says Dr. Hoyte-Williams. 

These surgeons were supported by a superb group of healthcare professionals and administrators. Dawn Sutherland, Director of International Relations led the support team, while Dr. Barry Freeman, Chief of Anesthesia services at MiKO Plastic Surgery in Beverly Hills, led the anaesthesia and peri-operative team.

“Hôpital Principal de Dakar, is one of the best hospitals I have seen so far in Africa, the entire staff embraced the R.E.S.T.O.R.E team and worked so diligently to ensue everything went well for the volunteers and patients served. We are filled with emotions as we prepare for home, but the risks taken were well worth the smiles left on the people whose lives were changed”, says Director Dawn Sutherland.

The local team at Hôpital Principal de Dakar, was led by Col. Dr. Sow Alamasso, Chief of General Surgery Department; Lt. Col. Dr. Cheikh Lam, Chief of Ear, Nose and Throat services and Dr. Kone Madjiguene, Chief of Anaesthesia services. A total of 56 healthcare professionals from Hôpital Principal de Dakar, lent their support to make this mission a success.

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“Our local team is very grateful to have had the R.E.S.T.O.R.E team in Senegal, they surely brought smiles to a lot of patients and their families. The local team has learnt immensely from the R.E.S.T.O.R.E team, we hope to collaborate with them again very soon and may God bless each and everyone of them”, says Col. Dr. Sow Alamasso, Chief of General Surgery Department at Hôpital Principal de Dakar.

This year’s trip was also very unique as the leader of the group, Dr. Michael K. Obeng addressed 11th and 12th grade students at Cours STE Marie, a local boys and girls school, that received the first UNESCO prize for Peace Education. This was in attempts to inspire and encourage young boys and girls to pursue medicine and surgery as a whole.

This humanitarian mission officially concluded 14th December and all parties involved were pleased not mention the lasting smiles that were left on the faces in this community.

“I couldn’t be much happier. The impact of the works of R.E.S.T.O.R.E has been felt across this continent, and that brings joy to my heart and the Lord we serve. To date, this has been one of our best missions in part because of the financial support from LocAfrique. All the volunteers are pleased about their contribution, and I cannot thank them enough for their selfless deeds and for serving the people of Senegal. Capacity building in plastic and reconstructive surgery on this continent cannot be overemphasized, and I will not rest until it reaches ‘western’ standards”, concludes Dr. Michael K. Obeng, Founder of R.E.S.T.O.R.E Worldwide, Inc.

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About R.E.S.T.O.R.E Worldwide Inc.; The Foundation for Reconstructive Surgery

R.E.S.T.O.R.E is an acronym that stands for Restoring Emotional Stability Through Outstanding Reconstructive Efforts is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit medical service organisation that provides free plastic and reconstructive surgery and related medical services to children and adults with disfiguring deformities from birth, accidents and diseases involving not only the head and neck region, but also the extremities, trunk, and breast. It was founded in 2007 by Dr. Michael K. Obeng, a plastic surgeon, a humanitarian, and a global strategist. As part of his mission, R.E.S.T.O.R.E also educates and trains local medical professionals on the latest techniques and safety measures in plastic and reconstructive surgery, effecting change long after the R.E.S.T.O.R.E team departs.

Source: 3news.com|Ghana