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Military Veteran receives Pro Bono Surgery to Repair Nasal Injury By Marti Webb Slay

aware of it so they can give back to those who need it.” The AAFPRS web site When military veteran Don (www.aafprs.org/face-to-face/ Austin, who received trauma to faces-of-honor/) offers details his nose during Desert Storm, about the program: “We want needed a revision of his septoto provide a ‘thank you’ to the rhinoplasty surgery in order to brave men and women who have breathe adequately, he contacted served our country. Some may the American Academy of Facial have already received treatment Plastic and Reconstructive Surin a military hospital while on gery (AAFPRS) and their Faces active duty and may have been of Honor Program. Because discharged. Others may have rehe was about to relocate from located to their home base and Kansas to Birmingham, he was remain on active duty, being referred to Daniel Rousso, MD cared for by a DOD or VA medof Rousso Facial Plastic Surgery ical facility. Some veterans may Clinic and Aesthetic Medical be from the National Guard or Spa. Under the Faces of Honor reserve, some may be geographiProgram, Rousso performed the cally separated from a VA facilsurgery free of charge. ity, and some may just want an The program, started in additional caregiver consultation. 2009, offers pro bono medical “Our volunteer surgeons are and surgical expertise to veteroffering to help complement the ans who received face, head, or care that these facilities provide, neck injuries while serving our From left to right: Daniel Rousso, MD; Nancy Higginbotham; Vera Johnston, RN; Don Austin, the patient; Angela Carlisle, RN; but we are not trying to comcountry. Cam Johnson (Digital Imager); Johnna Prince (Surgery Scheduler); Vikki Little (Patient Liaison). pete with them. We want to help “I’ve been involved in the eligible veterans find a qualified AAFPRS for over 30 years,” clinic comes by to check on his patients patient was tickled because he was breathsurgeon with the best matched skills, and Rousso said. “We have a number of prothat evening as well. ing so much better.” hopefully in a convenient location. grams to help people. One helps victims Embassy Suites donated the room Higginbotham said they hope more “If you are a military service member of domestic violence and this one is for for the recovery, and many of the staff at vets and facial plastic surgeons will learn or veteran who was injured while serving veterans. This is a way for us to give back Rousso’s clinic donated their time. Rousso about the program when they hear about our country and have facial, head or neck to vets who have given up so much. The absorbed all other costs. this case. “Vets don’t use this program very injuries sustained either in combat or nonprogram has a lot of merit.” “The surgery was very successful,” often, because they don’t know it exists,” combat/support activities, you may be eliAustin’s surgery is the first Rousso Rousso said. “At his one-week visit, the she said. “We want to make other doctors gible for these services.” has done under this program, although he once, for another organization, repaired a scalp defect for a young boy whose father was killed in Iraq. Austin’s nose was injured in 1991 and then again in 2003. He originally had his nose rebuilt using a rib cartilage graft, but the cartilage had warped and shifted, causing a 60 percent obstruction which made breathing difficult. “When he came to Dr. Rousso, in addition to the breathing obstruction, he had external dorsal deviation, a widen dorsum, a dorsal hump and a ptotic/ asymmetric tip. He needed a revision rhinoplasty to help him breathe and feel better about himself, and to get him back to square one,” Nancy Higginbotham, practice administrator, said. Rousso removed the original graft and after reshaping it, put it back in to rebuild the bridge of the nose. He then rebuilt the tip of Austin’s nose using cartilage from his septum, and straightened the septum as well. “We use special stitches so we don’t have to pack the nose for this surgery,” Rousso said. “Typically, patients are feeling good and looking good, with little bruising, within a week. We get them back in the swing of things quickly.” To schedule, call 205-802-6900 The surgery was performed at the Rousso Facial Plastic Surgery Clinic. Fax orders to Rousso has his patients spend their first 205-802-6901 night at Embassy Suites with a sitter who brookwooddiagnostic.com provides cold compresses and changes the gauze bandages. A physician from the

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JUNE 2019 • 3

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