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How a Greenwich doctor gives back on Giving Day

March 5, 2015 | By Anne W. Semmes


If all goes according to plan Greenwich plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Mark Melendez will take off on Saturday for a week’s medical mission to Vietnam where he will be performing life-changing surgery. Melendez is to be part of a team of doctors and nurses who will provide free surgical procedures to a wide variety of adults and children in the city of Hanoi.

This is Melendez’s third medical mission to Vietnam where he participates in what is called Reconstructive International Cooperative Exchange, or RICE., along with Remote Interaction Consultation Epidemiology. Patients travel from all over Vietnam to be evaluated by the surgical team and scheduled for surgery by the American surgeons.

Dr. Mark Melendez, on left, and Dr. Jonathan Zelken operating during last year’s RICE medical mission to Vietnam.

A year ago Melendez and his surgical team operated on a dozen patients during the week in Hanoi, performing surgeries of the head/neck, breast and body, such as nasal and ear reconstruction, removal of tumors, cancer surgery, and facial reanimation. One innovative surgery was performing an extraordinary toe-to-thumb procedure for a patient.

This year, Dr. Melendez will perform breast reconstruction, using excess skin and fat from the abdomen to create a natural looking breast for a patient who has had a mastectomy.

Melendez’s giving back includes volunteering his surgical services to patients at St. Raphael’s Plastic Surgery Clinic in New Haven. He is one of the supervising attending doctors at this clinic, which is run by Yale-New Haven Plastic Surgery Residents.

Melendez is married to Dr.  Renee Baranin- Melendez,  emergency room physician at Greenwich Hospital, and they have a young son. They reside in Wilton, but Melendez’s office is in Greenwich as well as in Shelton and Woodbridge.  To learn more about Melendez’s volunteer efforts call 203-935-8160 or visit

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