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In plastic and reconstructive surgery our goal is to understand and to help fulfill our patient’s aesthetic and reconstructive goals.  Our relationship with the patient is just as important as our ability to perform the operation.

Dr. Tae Woon Chong, MD
Division Chair

An International Journey to Receive Care

Dr. Tae Chong, the Division Chair of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at VCU Health, exemplified the institution's commitment to improving and restoring the health of patients worldwide through his treatment of an international patient. The remarkable success story began in Ghana when Derrick Boakye-Yiadom, a Ghanaian citizen, was involved in a motor vehicle accident that resulted in significant bone, tissue, and skin damage to his left arm. Derrick underwent several surgeries in Ghana to address the initial injuries, but subsequent infection necessitated additional procedures that threatened amputation of his arm.

Kwame Akuamoah-Boateng, one of VCU Health's lead Advanced Practice Providers (APPs), had previously conducted training in Ghana and played a pivotal role in extending VCU Health's outreach program there. It was through this connection that Derrick's case was brought to the attention of Dr. Chong. Upon receiving the message from Kwame, Dr. Chong immediately offered his assistance, stating, "This is a place where patients can have advanced limb preservation and reconstruction."

Under the leadership of Dr. Chong, the Plastic Surgery team at VCU Health provided comprehensive care to Derrick, including replacing an infected bone in his forearm and providing extensive skin coverage for the areas that had been lost after the accident. The coordination required to safely bring Derrick to VCU Health, treat the infection, perform the bone flap and skin grafts, and provide the necessary hospital care was only possible due to the collaborative efforts of the multidisciplinary medical and surgical teams (acute care surgery, infectious disease, orthopedic surgery, and plastic surgery).

After several weeks of dedicated care and rehabilitation, Derrick was able to return home to Ghana. He has been able to return to his family and his prior life and has been able to resume his hobbies. On a recent visit, Derrick expressed gratitude, acknowledging that prior to coming to VCU Health; he believed his only option would be amputation. The well-trained and caring providers at VCU Health offer opportunities for complex cases to receive the specialized treatment they require, regardless of geographical boundaries.

Dr. Chong's commitment to serving patients and his team's expertise in plastic and reconstructive surgery not only provided Derrick with a chance at a better quality of life but also showcased VCU Health's dedication to global healthcare. By extending their reach and leveraging their knowledge and resources, VCU Health continues to impact lives beyond their immediate community, providing hope and transformative care to patients around the world

By the numbers


Mortality O:E


Length of Stay O:E


Focused PSI O:E


7-Day Readmission