Mission Plasticos was founded in 1999 by Orange County plastic surgeon Dr. Larry Nichter. In subsequent years, Dr. Jed Horowitz joined forces to help expand the non-profit program. In the beginning, Mission Plasticos only performed surgery in poverty-stricken, underdeveloped countries outside of the United States. In these regions, children are frequently born with congenital disfigurements. These children are often perceived negatively by their society, thus resulting in a life filled with shame, pain, and hopelessness. In some areas, these children are hidden from others and never allowed to run, play, laugh, and thrive as normal children.
Acute burns are another common disfigurement in impoverished areas. The use of kerosene to cook and heat can result in unintentional injury. Astonishingly, in some areas, girls are intentionally set ablaze as punishment. Mission Plasticos provides corrective surgery so these children can work towards having happy, healthy lives.
In early 2016, Mission Plasticos expanded its efforts by performing post-mastectomy breast reconstruction surgery on recovering cancer patients. Reconstructive surgery is not typically offered in impoverished countries, and like the children mentioned above, society tends to reject these women, affecting their ability to work and support their families.
“Thank you for everything you have done for me in my recovery. Reconstruction has been, for me, a not only physical but emotional transformation. God put in my way angels who helped my body and my heart. You are true heroes and examples of life and profession, its commitment goes beyond the limits. Thanks, Dr. Larry Nichter and Plasticos Foundation (Mission Plasticos).”
– Mary, Baja, Mexico
Reshaping Lives America
Pacific Center for Plastic Surgery, in partnership with Mission Plasticos and other local agencies, launched a new medical initiative aimed at providing much-needed reconstructive surgical care to individuals throughout the United States. The aptly named Reshaping Lives America mission offers reconstructive plastic surgery to residents who cannot receive these life-changing procedures. This could be due to unstable housing, no health insurance, and ineligibility for publicly sponsored programs. It’s the first nationwide program providing reconstructive surgical care to people living in poverty in the United States.
Reshaping Lives America is an expansion of Reshaping Lives California, the pilot program created in 2016 to provide life-changing reconstructive surgery for California patients in need at no cost. To date, over 1,000 patients have received life-changing care from the board-certified volunteer surgeons through the Reshaping Lives California program. The national expansion was made possible by a $1 million donation to Mission Plasticos from Sientra, a medical aesthetics company uniquely focused on plastic surgery, and by the leadership of Sientra CEO Ron Menezes, who serves as the chairman of Reshaping Lives America Corporate Council (the funding arm for the program).
“Sientra is proud to support the Mission Plasticos Reshaping Lives America program. Connecting patients in need with outstanding board-certified reconstructive surgeons will make a significant difference in the lives of not only patients, but also their families and communities.”
– Ron Menezes, Sientra CEO
If you are in a situation where you need reconstruction surgery but cannot afford the costs associated with having it, please click here to complete an application for consideration. All applicants will be screened by the doctors. Those selected will be contacted by a member of the Mission Plasticos team with further details.
Help Support Our Mission
Are you interested in donating? Outside funding is crucial to the success of our programs. We gratefully accept donations in any amount. Your donation helps us provide life-changing interventions to patients throughout the United States and around the world. Click to Donate.