Physicians Travel Across the World to Provide Care for Refugees

How far would you travel to help someone in need? For two Henry Ford facial plastic surgeons, the answer is more than 5,800 miles – across the Atlantic Ocean and onto another continent.

Volunteering through the Syrian American Medical Society Foundation (SAMS), Robert Deeb, M.D. and Tamer Ghanem, M.D., Ph.D. spent a week in Turkey providing facial reconstructive surgery for Syrian refugees at Al-Amal Hospital, which is located only a few hundred feet from the Turkey-Syrian border. SAMS organizes and facilitates medical and surgical missions, allowing doctors, students and volunteers to support ongoing medical relief programs for Syrian refugees.

“The procedures Dr. Ghanem and I completed included reconstruction of the eyelids, nose, face, cheeks, lips and scar revision. In total, we completed 35 surgical procedures in three days,” Dr. Deeb said. “All patients at Al-Amal Hospital are Syrian refugees, many of whom were injured as a result of the violence in the region.”

According to Amnesty International, Turkey hosts approximately 2.7 million Syrian refugees – more than any other country in the world. In addition to the recent medical mission trip to Turkey, Dr. Deeb and Dr. Ghanem have completed mission trips to Vietnam and Kenya, respectively.

“I really enjoy giving back,” said Dr. Ghanem. “Many of the patients we saw in Turkey were delayed cases, meaning they had lived with their injuries for an extended amount of time. Dr. Deeb and I were happy to provide them with the care they needed.”

The Henry Ford Department of Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery is one of the most respected and clinically-experienced programs in the nation, providing innovative solutions ranging from minimally-invasive procedures to the most complex cases involving the head and neck.

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