Face to Face — Facial reconstructive surgery mission. The second mission of American facial plastic surgeons

The mission named “Face to Face” - is the humanitarian project created in cooperation with American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS)Razom for Ukraine and the medical NGO INgenius. The main sponsors of the project are also Healing the Childrens Foundation and Materialise

The Face to Face mission of American facial reconstructive surgeons took place in a Lviv hospital on April 22-29. Nine doctors and eight nurses from the United States, along with their Ukrainian colleagues, performed free reconstructive and plastic surgeries on soldiers who had suffered face and neck injuries on the front line during russia's war against Ukraine.

Great thanks to the team of 

Surgeons: Drs Manoj Abraham, John Frodel, Augustine Moscatello, Gregoriy Mashkevich, Bruce Moskowitz, Ryan Winters, Boris Chernobilski, and Ivanka Nebor.

Nurses: Susan Ketigian, Teresa O'Malley, Lindsey Norrito, Kirsten Kringle, Joanne Heil, Iryna Frankiv, Yuriy Tsuvanyk, and Mariana Varchuk

Aly Owens and Lisa Kadin

"Drs Winters, Mashkevich, Rudomanenko, Chernobilsky, Moscatello, Panchenko, Abraham and Nebor"Drs Winters, Mashkevich, Rudomanenko, Chernobilsky, Moscatello, Panchenko, Abraham and Nebor

The mission duration was 7 days. Over 5 surgical days, 26 reconstructive surgeries were performed, five of which were unique procedures - bone transplants from legs and arms for the reconstruction of the jaw and nose.

Surgical cases included:

  • 5 free flaps (3 fibular free flap, 1 radial free flap and 1 anterolateral thigh flap) for reconstruction of mandibular, maxillary and midface defects
  • 11 personalized titanium 3D implants for facial bones reconstruction (Materialise)
  • 5 complex rhinoplasties
  • 1 facial nerve reconstruction with graft


Drs Rudomanenko, Mashkevich, Chernobilsky, Moscatello and Nebor are performing flap harvesting from the leg for mandibular reconstruction

Dr Ryan Winters (USA) and Vitaliy Panchenko (Ukraine)

The mission preparation took 3 months. We received more than 100 applications, but were able to select only 30. Following consultations, 26 patients underwent surgeries. There were 5 patients from the previous mission, which took place in September 2022. The American and Ukrainian teams worked side by side.

We are grateful to Ukrainian plastic surgeon Vitaliy Panchenko for his work and courage to host such a complex mission in his department. He, along with surgeons Mykola Syniuk, Tetiana Rudomanenko, Yuriy Herbish and Ukrainian anesthesiologists and nurses, made this mission possible and successful. Special gratitude goes to Hryhoriy Prokhorenko and Volodymyr Knychnytskyy.

Ukrainian team - Drs Syniuk, Knygynitsky, Prokhorenko and Panchenko

Drs Mashkevich and Nebor during patients consultation

First day - Patients consultation

On average, the surgeons operated for 15 hours daily. The total cost of all operations would have been about $1,000,000 in the United States. The team brought with them medical supplies, surgical threads, tools and equipment totaling about $100,000.

The microvascular instruments set was presented to Ukrainian plastic surgeon Dr. Vitaliy Panchenko by American team (Dr Mashkevich, Dr Panchenko, Susan Ketigian and Dr Abraham)

With the help of Materialise, titanium 3D implants for facial bone reconstruction were modeled and printed for patients, although such technologies and production are quite expensive. Professionals from Materialise provided free modeling and printing for Ukrainian patients, and volunteers were present at each surgery to help surgeons with visualization for each case.

Specialists from Materialise - Anastasia Krychun, Oleksandr Kanivets, Olha Horniak

One of the main goals of the Face to Face mission is to train Ukrainian surgeons. On the first day, American surgeons organized a workshop on applying vascular anastomoses under a microscope. They also conducted a training on the basics of scar reconstruction.

With the support of the Karl Storz Ukraine and Bionorica, the three surgical days were broadcast live, with more than 500 Ukrainian otolaryngologists, maxillofacial surgeons, plastic surgeons and ophthalmologists participating. The procedures were commented by Ukrainian specialists - Prof. Kopchak A.V., Bilotserkivsky I.V., Chepurny Y.V., Omerova L.M. and Yushchenko V.M.

Dr John Frodel and Razom for Ukraine team administrator Aly Owens

The Face to Face team was awarded by Lviv Regional State Administration and the Mayor of the City for volunteering efforts and helping Ukrainian victims of war.  Lviv Mayor Andriy Sadovyi also met with the team and thanked them for their support and work.

Face to Face team was awarded by Lviv Regional State Administration for their efforts and met with Mayor of Lviv - Andriy Sadovyi

The project is aimed at helping the soldiers and war-affected Ukrainians who have suffered head and neck injuries. This project is about reuniting caring people to help others. We are already planning our third mission. And we thank every partner and volunteer who makes this project possible!

We would like also to thank Yulia Shama (Razom), Iryna Gudyma (Razom), Ihor Kurylo (INgenius), Ihor Solovei (INgenius) and Oleksandr Zakorchenyi (Materialise) for their significant contribution to the mission.

The first Face to Face mission took place in September 2022 in Ivano-Frankivsk, where the team conducted 31 operations for soldiers and civilians who suffered from facial and neck injuries during the Russian-Ukrainian war. Details are here.

Photo report: Sa Va (Vasyl Salyha)