Ukrainian Surgeons to Undergo Specialized Training at OU Health

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Ukrainian Surgeons to Undergo Specialized Training at OU Health

The war in Ukraine has hastened a need for surgeons to undergo specialized training to better treat patients with severe war-related facial injuries, and experts at OU Health have answered the call, inviting Ukrainian surgeons to train and learn in Oklahoma with an interdisciplinary group of experts.

It is estimated that the ongoing war has resulted in more than 13,000 individuals injured, many with severe and life-altering head and neck injuries. OU Health is the only academic health system in the United States training Ukrainian surgeons in advanced head and neck reconstruction techniques.

Three surgeons trained with OU Health through June and a second cohort will arrive in August. The surgeons live with Oklahoma families while undergoing training here.

Working with the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Mark Mims, M.D., facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon at OU Health, specializing in surgical and non-surgical cosmetic and reconstructive techniques of the face, head, and neck, has led the initiative to bring Ukrainian surgeons to Oklahoma. Other organizations, including Razom for Ukraine, INGenuis and Sooner Hope for Ukraine have also facilitated in the effort.

“Multiple rounds of surgeons will come to OU Health in regular intervals to allow for availability of these techniques across Ukraine, and the eventual development of a sustainable model of care for head and neck trauma,” said Mims.

While at OU Health, the visiting surgeons will receive instruction in surgical specialties including plastics, oral and maxillofacial surgery, ear, nose and throat services (ENT), and ophthalmology. The Ukrainian surgeons will spend a month at OU Health observing surgeries, and under tutelage, will work to hone their surgical skills. After the training they will return to Ukraine accompanied by surgeons from around the United States who will work alongside them for a short period.

“OU Health is leading the way to help injured Ukrainian patients restore their quality of life after devastating head and neck injuries,” said Mims. ‘But as physicians in an academic health system, we’re also interested in creating collaboration and ongoing learning.”

You can learn more about the effort or to donate.