Young Boy Benefits from Birmingham, Alabama Plastic Surgery "Miracle"

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Nine months after a young Filipino boy underwent a highly complex plastic surgery procedure to reverse the effects of severe burns on his right arm and leg, his Birmingham plastic surgeon reports that he is enjoying full functionality in both limbs.

Robert Papong, a young Filipino boy who doctors had declared would never walk again, now enjoys fully restored functionality in his limbs after Birmingham plastic surgeon Dr. Michael S. Beckenstein ( performed a highly complex procedure that local media are calling a "plastic surgery miracle."

"I am extremely pleased with Robert's results," Dr. Beckenstein says. "There was always the possibility that his burn injuries had created too much damage to allow for his limbs to heal fully. However, nine months after his initial plastic surgery in Birmingham, Alabama, Robert is enjoying full functionality in both limbs. He can walk, run, and play soccer and basketball. Frankly, his progress is beyond my wildest expectations."

Dr. Beckenstein has been featured in both Birmingham Magazine and CBS News for his work with Robert, who had lost the ability to walk after sustaining severe burn injuries to his right arm and leg. Without proper medical treatment in his remote Philippine village, Robert's right leg had fused to his thigh while the scar tissue on both his arm and leg contracted his muscles, preventing either limb from functioning properly. When a nurse brought Robert to the United States from his remote island of San Pablo, several doctors declared the damage irreversible.

A board-certified plastic surgeon who operates a full-service plastic surgery practice, Dr. Beckenstein has received recognition for his skill in delicate cosmetic enhancements for the face, breast, and body. Even with his extensive experience and years of specialized training, he still found that Robert's six-hour plastic surgery in Birmingham, Alabama demanded exceptional skill.

"An orthopedic surgeon who evaluated Robert said that he would never be able to walk," Dr. Beckenstein notes. "This was the level of damage that we were working to correct. Given the extent of his injury, we had to be very careful to preserve nerve function, and that demands an extremely high degree of precision."

Dr. Beckenstein is no stranger to complicated procedures such as Robert's. Last year, he reconstructed the torso of a young girl who had been dragged under a school bus. Like Robert, the girl had not received adequate plastic surgery care before Dr. Beckenstein took up her case. He was able to restore her appearance successfully and she has even been featured in People magazine and on national television to share her experience.

Dr. Beckenstein is pleased to see Robert enjoying his newly functional limbs. "When you look at the quality of life he was experiencing beforehand - where his villagers knew him only as a cripple - there really is no comparison," he adds. "His life is completely transformed, and as a surgeon that is very satisfying to see."

Michael S. Beckenstein M.D. ( is a plastic surgeon who is board certified by both the American Board of Surgery and the American Board of Plastic Surgery. The Birmingham, Alabama plastic surgery procedures he offers range from breast enhancements and facial sculpting to reconstructive procedures. Dr. Beckenstein earned his MD from Eastern Virginia Medical School before studying advanced plastic surgery techniques through several residencies and fellowships. He has been recognized as one of America's Top Surgeons by the Consumer Research Council of America.


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