The Plastic Surgery Foundation
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Current International Scholars

The American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS) / The Plastic Surgery Foundation's (The PSF) International Scholar Program and the Scholar Program of the American Society of Maxillofacial Surgeons (ASMS) enables plastic surgeons from abroad to study at host plastic surgery institutions in the United States for three to six months.


Afieharo Igbibia Michael MBBS, MSc (Aesth Plast Surg), FWACS, FMCS

Nigeria | Achauer Scholar

  • Cleft lip and palate repair
  • Rhinoplasties (Cleft and Aesthetic)
  • Breast reconstruction
  • Burn and post burn reconstruction

I feel indeed privileged to be a recipient of the International Scholar Program. It is of great benefit not just to me but also to my institution, the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan and my country, Nigeria. The UCH is a hub for plastic surgery trainees from across the nation. We also have a teeming number of plastic surgery patients whose quality of life can be improved by this expertise.

I hope to hone my skills in various areas of plastic surgery by observing the cutting edge practices of the experts at all the prestigious institutions I would visit in the United States of America. On my return to Nigeria, foster further collaborations between these institutions and mine.


Baoguo Chen, MD

China | PSF Scholar

  • Breast plastic surgery
  • Microsurgical reconstruction
  • Aesthetic surgery

I feel it very honored to become a 2018 PSF international scholar. It is a great honor for me and my department. ASPS Provides me a good opportunity to learn advanced skills in America that has the second-to-none standard about practice of Plastic Surgery in the world. I will visit different famous centers and I strongly confirm that it will broaden my vision of my existing boundary of Plastic Surgery and improve my surgical skills, change my ways of thinking. After my return, these newly-learned skills will be beneficial to my clinical work, bettering my patients and our society.


Assoc. Prof. Pawel Szychta, MD PhD DSc

Poland| PSF Scholar

  • Facial aesthetic surgery
  • Rhinoplasty
  • Breast aesthetic surgery
  • Breast reconstruction
  • Microsurgery

Being selected as a 2018 PSF International Scholar of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons is a highest privilege for me. ASPS international scholar initiative enables to learn the cutting-edge knowledge directly from the masters in each field of plastic surgery. The Fellowship will bring excellence to my armamentarium and will sharpen the current surgical skills. I will use this prestigious opportunity to improve the surgical abilities, especially in the most up-to-date techniques regarding all apects of facial aesthetic surgery with emphasis on rhinoplasty, as well as breast aesthetic surgery, breast reconstruction and microsurgery. For more precise overall patient management, clinical skills will be deepened in areas of preoperative planning, management of difficult reconstructive and aesthetic cases.

Experience of sound leadership and mentorship will be extended as based on the observations from very experienced senior colleagues, and all the above attributes will be transferred home. As an independent researcher with broad research experience documented in papers published in such journals as PRS, JPRAS, APS or Breast, I will be able to perform efficiently innovative and clinically oriented research during the fellowship. Overall, the skills acquired will be of great value to the Polish plastic surgery patients in particular and to my country in general. Most of all, I hope to build new professional links and friendships for further clinical cooperation and scientific collaborative initiatives.


Denny Irwansyah, MD, Plastic Surgeon

Indonesia | PEER Scholar

  • Microsurgery
  • Craniofacial Trauma
  • Cleft
  • Immunology for Chronic Wound

I believe that the International Scholarship Program is the perfect avenue for a Plastic Surgeon in the Indonesian Army Medical Corps like me. I work at Gatot Soebroto Army Hospital as a Top referral army hospital in Indonesia. Working in such a top referral hospital, we have to deal with tremendous and complex cases, especially in the microsurgical reconstruction, thus requiring advanced plastic surgical intervention.

Furthermore, I will be able to learn the ground-breaking system and ways of thinking, besides the knowledge and skill in plastic surgery. Since the practice of plastic surgery overlaps with other surgical subspecialties and also requires close interaction with non-surgical professionals in multi-disciplinary/interdisciplinary settings, my experience as international scholar will be invaluable. It will enable me to build bridges of friendship with colleagues across various institutions of excellence in the USA for continuous exchange of ideas and possible future collaborations.

I have keen interest in reconstructive microsurgery, Craniofacial Surgeries like cleft lip and palate and maxillofacial trauma. I would like to widen my clinical horizon and surgical skills to help patients especially those living in underprivileged parts of my country as part of our People – Army Programs.

Overall, the skills acquired will be of great value to the Indonesian Army in particular and to my country in general. After my return, I look forward to translating all those great learnings into achievable actions for the betterment of our hospital and society, not to mention to stimulate younger minds into thinking and performing brighter things.


Juan Carlos Zambrano Bürgl, MD, FACS, MsC

Colombia | Smile Train Scholar

  • Cleft lip and palate surgery
  • Microsurgery
  • Maxillofacial trauma
  • Ortohgnathic surgery
  • Composite tissue allotransplantation

By participating in this program, I hope to strengthen the knowledge in cleft lip and palate surgery and get to learn from the surgeons I admire, from whom I have read the papers, and learned so much from books. In particular since I work in University Hospitals where we get so many difficult cases, I plan to learn valuable skills that will make me a better surgeon, to get my patients the best treatments and pass these lessons learned on to colleagues in Colombia and our Region; spread that new knowledge.


Cheng-hao Li M.D., Ph.D.

China | Smile Train Scholar

  • Cleft Lip
  • Palate Surgery

Cleft lip, with or without cleft palate, is the most common of these facial clefts. Team approach is the most effect management about cleft care. Team approach allows the care to focus on the whole child, and not just the cleft. Not only does the interdisplinary team care provide the best overall outcomes for the patient, but this approach is also the efficacious and cost-effective way to manage the treatment. However, due to the lack of health insurance in developing country such as China, most families could not afford the whole team care about cleft. Meanwhile, most junior surgeons need to be trained in the team approach system. Since Smile Train comes into China, it offers the fantastic chances and benefits for cleft families and junior surgeons in the two parts. When graduated from medical college in 2006, it is my honor to have the chance to be a member of the most famous cleft center in China. At that time, it is my first time to realize that there are so many cleft patients to need help and what a wonderful job which Smile Train does. With mentors' help, I learn how to treat the cleft patients which supported by Smile Train, and how to be a worthy role in the team in our cleft center. Meanwhile, with Smile Train support, I have the chance to do the surgery and help cleft patients in different cleft center and poor economic distracts in China. With Smile Train help, I already finished more than 400 cleft surgeries as the surgeon and help more than 1500 cleft families since 2006. Additionally, got more than 20 peer-reviewed publications. Especially, I am so happy to get the warm and touching feelings when have the ability to transform the cleft patients' life as a surgeon. As mentioned above, team approach is the most effect management about cleft care. Because our department is the biggest cleft center in China (more than 1500 cleft surgeries per year), we have to develop the suitable team approach in order to benefit the Chinese cleft patients with Smile train's help. So, it is the best way to communicate with matured cleft center and turn for the help and good suggestions in developed countries such as USA.


Rouma Bankole Sanni

Côte d'Ivoire | Smile Train Scholar

  • Cleft lip and palate surgery (secondary surgery, palate fistula, bone graft)
  • Reconstruction of finger amputation
  • Functional muscle transfers for brachial plexus injuries
  • Pediatric urology
  • Pediatric colorectal

My objective is to gradually create a center where all patients of cleft lip and palate will come and have the complete treatment they need (first treatment, secondary treatment, bone graft, speech therapy, orthodontic treatment, psychotherapy).

The participation to this program will help me learn new techniques such as cleft palate treatment with buccal flap, alveolar bone graft, secondary surgery of cleft lip and palate.

It will help me also to know how to organize a cleft lip and palate center. After this program, I will be able to cure many more patients with cleft lip and palate and train more surgeons in Ivory Coast and French speaking countries.