More than 5 million reconstructive plastic surgery procedures are performed yearly in the United States. Many of them are life-changing for patients and for the surgeons themselves. To better illustrate what types of state-of-the-art procedures are being done every day, ASPS created the Reconstructing Lives Blog, which gives members the opportunity to share their compelling stories with the public.

All Active ASPS Members are invited to participate. Learn how to submit a blog entry, or send questions to

Reconstructing Lives Stories

Reconstructing Lives Blog: Brent Spencer
On March 17, 2009, Brent Spencer was struck by a car while riding his motorcycle. Because of his massive injuries, Brent's doctors first considered amputation - but later decided every attempt should be made to save his leg, which they did.
Reconstructing Lives: Kelsea Henderson
In June 2004, Kelsea Henderson began to complain to her parents of radiating pain in her left chest and side - she was only 13-years-old. By summer’s end, the pain had become so excruciating her parents rushed her to the emergency room. A biopsy revealed a large and very rare type of cancerous tumor located in her left chest, adjacent to her aorta and spinal column.
Reconstructing Lives: Amber Shaffer
As the result of a car accident, Amber Shaffer suffered major tissue and muscle loss to her right forearm, nerve damage, two broken wrists, and numerous lacerations and scratches. Initially, the surgeon at the trauma center recommended amputation of her right forearm, but Amber's ASPS Member Surgeon was able to save her arm.
Reconstructing Lives: Marie "Hana" Gebrewold
At just 6 months old, Marie “Hana” Gebrewold fell out of her bed—beginning nearly three decades of suffering, hope, and—all too often—shattering disappointment. Immediately after the fall, her doctors in Ethiopia treated her two broken hands, but no one noticed her broken jaw.
Reconstructing Lives: A Journey from Chaos to Calm
The story of reconstructive plastic surgery patient Teeba Fadhil, who has in a taxi struck by an improvised explosive device (IED) on a Baghdad street in September 2003. The explosion killed Teeba’s brother and left her with second-degree burns on her hands and head.
Reconstructing Lives: Elaine Ferri
On July 8, 2007, at her parent's farm outside Little Rock, Ark., Elaine Ferri was working with a horse named Forbidden Aly when every trainer's worst nightmare occurred. The young filly became frightened and kicked, shattering all of the bones in the central and left side of her face with one blow.
Reconstructing Lives: Geraldine Rivero
Imagine: throughout your whole life you have been told, "Oh, what a pretty face,"—and then, in a split-second, a bizarre accident puts that face, and your life, at risk.