As part of a larger effort to give back, Dr. Jespersen donates her time and surgical skills to underserved populations internationally and domestically. She performs operations for children who have scars or injuries, as well as genetic disorders such as cleft lip, palate, and alveolus. Dr. Jespersen also provides adults with no insurance with necessary reconstructive surgery following traumatic injuries and breast cancer.
Developing nations frequently lack the resources and skilled professionals to perform complex operations for those in need. To combat this problem, Dr. Jespersen joins Rotaplast International each year in their mission to provide free surgery to children who require surgical treatment. During her most recent two-week long mission to Venezuela, Dr. Jespersen’s team of four plastic surgeons examined 250 patients.
Over a period of seven days in the operating room, Dr. Jespersen treated 30 children. On her first day out of the operating room, she followed up with all 30 patients to check that they were on the road to recovery. One particularly powerful story stood out as a reminder that even access to simple plastic surgery is limited in underdeveloped nations:
On my second trip to Venezuela, I felt the warmth and generosity of the people. They shared their food and opened their hearts instantly to us. I was enchanted by the gratitude and openness that I experienced while there.
One patient who I really connected with was a 17-year-old boy who had burned his hand when he was a year old. The burn adhered his thumb to his hand, preventing him from using that thumb. During an hour-long surgery, I was able to release the scar and restore the function of his hand. When I followed up with him after surgery, seeing his expression of joy after such a brief, simple intervention was the most gratifying moment of my trip.
Dr. Jespersen is part of the INOVA Craniofacial Team, a free clinic that assists children with cleft lip, palate, and alveolus. As part of this team, Dr. Jespersen provides free guidance to parents who need to navigate the surgeries required for their child’s normal development. The INOVA Craniofacial team meets every 2nd and 4th Thursday of the month at 5 p.m. For more information about the clinic, contact Nurse Coordinator Lora Hindenburg at 703-970-2690.
Sometimes reconstructive surgery patients are in urgent need of care that they cannot afford. These patients are often the victims of traumatic injuries or require breast reconstruction surgery after a mastectomy. As an active member of the Fairfax, VA community, Dr. Jespersen provides a certain amount of free care for uninsured patients in the area. Uninsured patients in dire need of immediate reconstructive surgery receive expert medical care from a compassionate plastic surgeon without the worry of incurring medical bills they cannot pay.
Guatemala Mission Trip for Cleft Lip Children – October 2017
To schedule a consultation with Dr. Jespersen, contact her Fairfax, VA office at (703) 992-7969.