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Transforming Lives Around the World

Since 2007, The Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Center has provided volunteer surgical and support services to patients in underserved areas of the world, transforming lives and ensuring a healthier future.

These medical mission trips have brought together expert surgeons from our center as well as nutritionists, speech therapists, nurses, anesthesiologists, as well as students, residents and fellows.

The trips are self-funded, with no formal outside support and a strong, shared vision of bringing world-class medical care to where it is needed most. Together we provide multi-faceted treatment — and hope — to those whose facial deformities threaten their well-being and survival.

Using technology such as telemedicine to reach remote areas, we envision a future where patients everywhere have access to surgery, speech therapy, and all the expertise they need for the best possible result.

What we hope to create is a program that provides access to patients, supports continuity of treatment, standardizes protocols and measurements, and obsessively tracks results. These steps will help us pepetuate meaningful quality improvement in all the areas we serve.

Honoring a Personal Promise

Patrick Byrne

When I was a kid, my parents instilled in me the importance of serving the less fortunate. I actually made a promise, that if I was fortunate enough to get into medical school, that I would forever devote a significant portion of my life providing pro bono services for the neediest patients.

My initial interest in volunteer trips was to travel to developing countries and provide free excellent surgical care. I have been going on medical missions one to three times per year since I was in medical school, joining others offering surgical care to needy kids in Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, Kenya, Vietnam, China and Nicaragua.

-Patrick Byrne, M.D., Director of the Division of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

Faculty Projects

Learn more about the life-changing surgeries our experts perform around the world.

Multidisciplinary Cleft Lip and Palate Clinic in Nicaragua

Patrick Byrne, M.D., M.B.A.

In 2008, Patrick Byrne, M.D., director of the Johns Hopkins Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery center established a pro bono multidisciplinary clinic in Nicaragua. This clinic addresses the needs of children born with a cleft lip and palate or other facial deformities. Traditionally, care has been very difficult in developing countries for a variety of reasons. Through partnerships in Central America the team made the commitment to systemically overcome these challenges with much success. 

Learn more about the clinic in Nicaragua and why we love what we do.

A Medical Mission to Pune

Shaun Desai with volunteers while in Pune

Shaun Desai, M.D.

Dr. Desai is a member of the non-profit organization Healing the Children, which provides critical medical care for underserved children all over the world, regardless of their ability to pay. Accompanied by Johns Hopkins speech therapists, nurses, pediatric anesthesiologists and administrators. Dr. Desai volunteers annually in Peru where he performs facial reconstructive surgery on children with craniofacial diseases, including cleft lip and palate, as well as other congenital deformities such as vascular malformations and trauma. He also led mission trips to Pune, India. Dr. Desai’s work has earned him a humanitarian grant from the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS). 

Learn more about Dr. Desai's work in Pune.

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