Taking Free Flap Surgery Abroad: A Collaborative Approach to a Complex Surgical Problem

Brian Swendseid, Patrick Tassone, Patrick Jean Gilles, Magda Pavrette, Matthew Stewart, Mercy Babatope, Donald Weed, David Cognetti, Adam Luginbuhl, Joseph Curry

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Accessibility to health care, especially complex surgical care, represents one of the major health care disparities in developing countries. While surgical teams may be willing to travel to these areas to help address these needs, there are many logistical and ethical dilemmas inherent in this pursuit. We reviewed our approach to the establishment of the team-based surgical outreach program, wherein we perform head and neck free tissue transfer surgery in Haiti. We describe the challenges encountered in the delivery of surgical care as well as ethical dilemmas relevant to surgical outreach trips, highlighting an approach reliant on strong local cooperation. Despite the obstacles in place, our experience shows that free flap surgery can be successfully and ethically performed in these areas of great need.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)426-428
Number of pages3
JournalOtolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery (United States)
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2019


  • Haiti
  • free tissue transfer
  • surgical mission trip
  • surgical outreach

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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