International smiles: Edina plastic surgeon has been doing mission trips for 33 years
For a third of a century, ‘Dr. G’ has been putting smiles on faces around the world.
Dr. Joseph Gryskiewicz, owner of Gryskiewicz Twin Cities Cosmetic Surgery in Edina and Burnsville, is a man of many titles: former president of the Minnesota board of plastic surgeons, Aesthetic Society Education & Research Foundation, and Rhinoplasty Society & Minnesota Society of Plastic Surgeon, as well as an adjunct professor at the University of Minnesota.
For the past 33 years, he has performed surgeries on children and adults suffering from cleft lips and palates during mission trips focused mostly on central and South America.
While he has almost exclusively traveled to Peru for the past 17 years, his drive for service began after a trip to Guatemala while he was in college.
“A priest came and gave a talk, and he went through his mission down in Guatemala,” Gryskiewicz said. “He invited people to see the mission if they wanted to.”
Gryskiewicz agreed to visit and set off to Guatemala, unaware that his career path was about to change. He was greeted by the fact that in the mountain town he visited, 60 percent of children died before reaching age 5. He wanted to do something, but he was still a psychology major.