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Hilinski Foundation for Surgery

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The Hilinski Foundation for Surgery is a non-profit entity established by Dr. John Hilinski and his wife to provide complimentary surgery to boys and girls in the greater San Diego region. Both Dr. Hilinski and his wife are native San Diegans and feel blessed to grow up in America’s Finest city. In an effort to give something back to the San Diego community, they established the Hilinski Foundation for Surgery as a means to provide charity facial plastic surgery to those who could not otherwise afford these types of services.

Impact of Facial Plastic Surgery

So why did Dr. Hilinski and his wife establish their foundation? Research studies over the past decade have documented that the effect of a visible disfigurement can be devastating for a child’s development particularly when the disfigurement is on the face. As one of our patients with a sizable birthmark on her face said, “……other students tease and bully me and say things that hurt my feelings and make me cry”.

A child’s development, self-confidence, and self-esteem can be greatly impacted when they experience constant ridicule, teasing and embarrassment and the impact can be life-long. There are few solutions for kids that are socially or economically disadvantaged if they have deformities from birth defects, abuse or accidents. Many children are not insured, underinsured or not covered by their insurance because the deformities are considered cosmetic in nature. Often insurance companies do not take into consideration the mental and emotional impact a disfigurement can have on a child.

This is the very reason why Dr. Hilinski and his wife founded The Hilinski Foundation For Surgery.

They had a vision of providing charitable plastic surgery services to disadvantaged boys and girls and bringing more happiness and joy to those less fortunate. The Hilinski Foundation for Surgery hopes to provide these youth an improved sense of spirit and confidence enabling them to live life to the fullest.

Charitable Plastic Surgery Provided

The Hilinski Foundation for Surgery provides a wide range of cosmetic and reconstructive facial procedures that includes but is not limited to the following:

For each surgery, the foundation will provide cost coverage for the surgeon, anesthesia staff, nursing staff, surgical technicians and ambulatory surgery center supplies. Routine post-operative care is also provided by the foundation.

Unfortunately, the foundation is not able to provide coverage for medical services delivered at an outside facility (such as a hospital).

Case Example of Otoplasty

Here is a classic example of how otoplasty, or ear pinning, surgery can have such an incredibly positive impact on a young child’s life. This young lady and her family were concerned how her congenital ear deformity was starting to affect her outlook. When younger kids get to the age where they begin socializing with more of their peers, such as around the first grade, their prominent ears can be a focus of unwanted attention. This then triggers brutally honest questions from their classmates that make them feel even more insecure. As we all know, younger kids can simply be rude – especially when it comes to making unsolicited comments. In situations like this where a young child’s ears are excessively prominent because they stick out too far, otoplasty surgery can have a monumental positive impact on their life.

As you can see below, this young patient’s ears were quite prominent and stuck out asymmetrically – meaning, one ear (her left) stuck out further than the right one.


Eligibility for Facial Plastic Surgery

To be eligible for surgery, patients must be between 5-18 years of age and demonstrate some type of facial abnormality that is amenable to surgery. In addition, candidates will be screened thoroughly to confirm they are financially unable to afford such corrective surgeries on their own.

Application for Surgery

Please submit an application for potential surgery using the instructions shown here. Please note that we cannot accommodate all applicants to the Hilinski Foundation for Surgery – as much as we would love to offer surgery to all comers.

Foundation Form


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