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The nation’s first nonprofit surgery center devoted totally to the surgical and psychological treatment of victims of female genital mutilation is now open in Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. T. Wayne Bloodworth, a cosmetic surgeon and gynecologist who trained in Paris with the pioneer of the reconstruction operation, is the founder and medical director of The Surgery Center for FGM.
“Beyond surgery, these patients need psychological counseling and special care for the trauma they experienced,” states Dr. Bloodworth. The center has psychiatrists and clinical psychologists on staff to provide these services.
The World Health Organization estimates there are 500,000 victims of female genital mutilation currently residing in the United States. “While there are hundreds of great nonprofit advocacy groups working feverishly to get legislation passed against FGM and to raise awareness to this barbaric practice, there were no nonprofit surgical settings available to patients already suffering and who need a specialized procedure,” says Bloodworth. “The most common quote from a patient after having the procedure is ‘I feel whole again.”