Dr. Mark Melendez, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon with an office in Shelton, is on a medical mission to Vietnam from March 7 to 14. Melendez is part of a team of doctors and nurses traveling to Hanoi to provide free surgical procedures to a wide variety of adults and children. This will be third medical mission to Vietnam for Melendez, as part of the Reconstructive International Cooperative Exchange (RICE). Patients travel from all over Vietnam to be evaluated by the RICE surgical team and scheduled for surgery by the American doctors. Procedures include surgery of the head\/neck, breast and body, such as nasal and ear reconstruction, removal of tumors, cancer surgery, and facial reanimation. 'Rewarding and gratifying' During the mission, U.S. and Vietnamese doctors and nurses are able to share surgical skills, knowledge, and culture. \u201cIt is extraordinarily rewarding and gratifying to provide so many patients, who are desperately in need of help, with surgical procedures,\u201d Melendez said. \u201cEvery experience is quite humbling, and I feel honored to be trusted by so many patients.\u201d His Shelton office is at Four Corporate Drive. Melendez also has offices in Greenwich and Woodbridge.