Cortlandt Manor, NY - (May 4, 2012) – When Dr. R. Michael Koch traveled to Ecuador two years ago to do plastic surgery, he and his team of surgeons were greeted by more than 700 children all hoping to undergo life changing procedures. He expects a similar scene tomorrow when he lands in Ghana.
Dr. Koch, a board certified plastic surgeon with HVHC’s Institute for Aesthetic and Reconstructive Surgery, will be traveling to Accra in Ghana with the Health and Humanitarian Aid Foundation from May 4 to May 13 to do reconstructive surgery on children and adults.
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“Reconstructive surgery is just not available either because local doctors don’t have the expertise or people cannot afford it,’’ said Koch. “If you are poor, there is just no medicine available.’’
Koch said that he has done several such missions, traveling to Vietnam, Ecuador and Columbia in past years. On his trip to Ghana with the Health and Humanitarian Aid Foundation he expects to perform surgeries on cleft palates, cleft lips and other facial deformities as well as micro surgery to save limbs.
“You never know what you will encounter. Sometimes you end up doing the unexpected. You do whatever you can to help, ’’ he said.
In addition to performing surgery at the 37th Military Hospital in Accra, surgeons on the trip will work to train local doctors and medical students to try to improve medical care in Ghana after they leave. A separate team with the HHAF will distribute donations of fortified rice and other staples as well as work on wells to provide clean drinking water for the local residents. The HHAF has completed more than 65 surgical missions in Ghana. To find out more about HHAF visit http://hhafonline.org/home
Dr. R. Michael Koch is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery with the New York Group for Plastic Surgery and specializes in cosmetic surgery, breast surgery and microsurgical reconstruction. He received his plastic surgical training at the UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles and also completed an additional yearlong Fellowship in Aesthetic Plastic Surgery at the Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City.
Born in London, raised in Perthshire, Scotland, and transplanted to Southern California, Dr. Koch attended the University of California at Santa Barbara (BA 1989) and Hahnemann University School of Medicine (MD 1993). To learn more about the Institute for Aesthetic and Reconstructive Surgery, visit www.hvhc.org.