With the support of Metinvest, doctors from Canada and the US performed 30 reconstructive surgeries on the face and neck for Ukrainians wounded in the war

The Saving Lives humanitarian initiative of Metinvest was one of the organisers of more than 30 reconstructive surgeries on the face and neck for Ukrainians wounded in the war as part of the Face the Future Ukraine mission of Canadian and American doctors in Ivano-Frankivsk from 15 to 22 October. In addition to the surgeries, the world specialists held international symposia on the treatment of war trauma for Ukrainian surgeons and medical staff.

A team of 15 world specialists arrived in Ukraine to perform highly complex surgeries: reconstructive surgeons, oculoplastists, plastic surgeons, otorhinolaryngologists, oncologists, anaesthetists and nurses. Ukrainian specialists from Ivano-Frankivsk, Kyiv, and Zaporizhzhia worked and trained with them.

Ukrainian doctors had been preparing for the surgeries for five months: selecting patients, developing surgery plans, and consulting with foreign colleagues.

"For many patients, bioengineers prepared individual plates that were printed on a 3D printer to restore the integrity of the bones whose fragments were destroyed during the injury," - Natalia Komashko, head of the Ukrainian Association of Endoscopic Head and Neck Surgery, says.

The patients are soldiers from different parts of Ukraine. All of them suffered severe mine-blast wounds to their faces and necks: damage to the orbit of the eyes, complex nose wounds and missing jaw fragments. Among those operated on were two employees of Metinvest mobilised to the Armed Forces of Ukraine and four soldiers from the regions where Metinvest operates - Zaporizhzhia, Dnipro and Donetsk regions.The reconstructive surgeries were free of charge for all the injured.

"This is the 53rd mission conducted by the Face the Future team in different parts of the world. It is in Ukraine that we see the most severe combined cases in all our experience, so we plan to continue to return to Ukraine every six months to help your defenders and train Ukrainian colleagues so that these operations can become available in Ukraine," - Peter Adamson, founder and president of the Face the Future foundation and professor at the University of Toronto, said.

During the symposia, leading specialists from Canada, the United States and Ukraine shared their experience in performing complex reconstructive interventions and the specifics of the care of patients with war injuries. More than 200 surgeons and nearly 300 nurses took part in the training.

"Unfortunately, Ukrainians face a difficult path of treatment and recovery from war injuries. The experience of the world's best reconstructive surgeons will help Ukrainian specialists improve the quality of their work. That is why the Saving Lives humanitarian initiative, which provides prosthetics and rehabilitation for military and civilians, supports the training of our doctors. And surgeries for Metinvest employees and residents of the regions where Metinvest operates have become another area of support for our team," - Yuriy Ryzhenkov, CEO of Metinvest Group, said.

The international symposiums and surgeries were organised by the Face The Future Foundation, Razom for Ukraine, Still Strong in partnership with the  Patients of Ukraine Charitable Foundation, the Rehabilitation of War Injuries project, the Ukrainian Association of Endoscopic Head and Neck Surgery, the Regional Clinical Hospital of Ivano-Frankivsk Regional Council with the support of the Embassy of Switzerland in Ukraine, Ivano-Frankivsk Regional Military Administration, Materialise, Yellow Blue Force Foundation, Transmed, Direct Relief, STORZ Karl-Storz Ukraine, Medtronic, and the Pure Hearts Charitable Foundation.

The Saving Lives initiative was created by Metinvest Group in coordination with Rinat Akhmetov Foundation at the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. From the beginning of the full-scale war, the project has helped almost 500,000 people in 70 territorial communities. Ukrainians have received more than 4,200 tons of foodstuffs and hygiene products, and hospitals have received medicines, consumables, and equipment worth €250,000.

Over 250 companies from around the world, 400 volunteers and 10 foundations and public organisations have joined the project. For more than a year of its activities, the amount of aid from donors has exceeded €2.7 million.

The Saving Lives' main areas of activity include prosthetics and rehabilitation for the military and civilians, as well as psychological recovery of women and children.