How to Get Free or Low-Cost Reconstructive Surgery

Organizations That Help Fulfill a Genuine Need

Reconstructive surgery is generally the most complex of all types plastic surgery. Therefore, it can also be the most expensive. However, many of the people in need of reconstructive surgery do not have the means to pay for it. These people often seek out charitable organizations who perform pro bono reconstructive surgery. Of course, free plastic surgery is not available to everyone. To find out more, check this list of charitable organizations that offer pro bono or reduced cost surgery.

1
Putting Smiles on the Faces of Children Born With Cleft Lip or Cleft Palate

cleft lip and palate surgery on Chinese child
China Photos/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Cleft lip/cleft palate occurs in about one out of every 1,000 children born in developed countries and occurs even more frequently in impoverished areas. This condition not only affects appearance, but also makes breathing and eating difficult, if not impossible, and can cause problems with speech development. These organizations travel the world giving of themselves to help children who have this defect.

2
Helping Disfigured Survivors of Domestic Violence

It's probably safe to assume that all victims of domestic violence suffer from painful memories of their abuse. Imagine how much greater that pain would be when every glance in a mirror leaves the victim with evidence of the abuse staring her in the face. Thankfully, there is help for those disfigured by domestic violence.

  • Survivors of Violence Foundation: They provide an online application for treatment. They provide treatments for survivors of domestic violence, abuse, terrorism, and other violent acts.
  • Face to Face: The National Domestic Violence ProjectThis program is through the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. After an initial call to their hotline, 1-800-842-4546, you will be referred to a domestic violence shelter for an appointment with a counselor. This ensures you are attending a local domestic violence program. When you are out of the abusive relationship, the surgery will be provided at no cost.
  • ​​The National Domestic Violence Project Hotline: This hotline can refer you to further services.

3
Tattoo Removal

While there are no national or international organizations providing this service, there are several locally-operated programs in various parts of the U.S. which offer free or low-cost laser tattoo removal to former gang members with gang-related tattoos, prison tattoos, or tattoos for former sex workers and survivors of human trafficking.

Often, participation in counseling, group therapy, or community service is required to receive the benefits of the programs, which are more widely available in areas with large gang memberships. Here are a few:

4
Hope for War Survivors With Disfiguring Injuries

Doctors Without Borders is known for delivering humanitarian aid throughout the world by addressing all manner of healthcare needs in developing nations. Many people, however, don't think about the fact that delivering medical care in war-torn countries also means performing reconstructive surgery on victims of wartime violence.

5
Help for Survivors of Trauma, Cancer, War, Domestic Violence and Birth Defects

These internationally active organizations are made up of many doctors, nurses, and others who donate their time and talents to help those suffering from disfigurement as a result of birth defects, cancer excisions, accidental trauma, burns, acts of war and domestic violence.

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