Happy Thanksgiving from Tel AvivNovember 25, 2019
This week felt very much like a homecoming.
It began with me operating with the first person that took the time to teach me how to stitch a patient. Jacob Frand, MD (with me in photo) was a young resident when I was a medical student. Now he is the Chief of Plastic Surgery at the Edith Wolfson Hospital on the outskirts of Tel Aviv, Israel. Jacob and I reconnected some twenty years later at the Israel Society of Plastic and Aesthetic Surgery (ISPAS) 44th Annual Conference back in 2018. At the time, I gave a talk on research our group had done in breast reconstruction. Several months later, Dr. Frand came to visit our practice in New York, and invited me to be a visiting professor at his institution.
I came full circle this week by operating with his residents and students on a patient with a congenital breast deformity, with Jacob looking on, and another old medical school friend coincidentally operating on an Ethiopian child in the neighboring operating room. Later that day we exhibited Project Reconstructed at the 45th ISPAS conference which was branded throughout in the gold and black of Reconstructed.
Having been asked by ISPAS leadership to display our artwork in my home town Tel Aviv was another circle completed – but not the only one. My last morning in Israel I went to say hello to one of my earliest friends and role models from medical school. Dr. Sagi Assa introduced me to the worlds of plastic surgery, photography, and elite military service. In school he thought he was headed into plastic surgery, but somehow ended up the chief of pediatric interventional cardiology. Today, I thought I was headed for a nostalgic brunch, but somehow ended up assisting him in a novel procedure that he does to repair heart defects. We operated on a fifteen-year-old Palestinian boy, along with Dr. Assa’s fellow from Tanzania, and the boy’s own cardiologist from the Gaza Strip, who cheered and spontaneously (but sterilely) slapped my back in exalted camaraderie when Sagi completed the crucial and tricky part of the procedure.
Resensation and Axogen Host Educational Symposium
This weekend I had the opportunity to participate in a symposium hosted by Axogen and Resensation. I shared my experience with sensory restoration of the…