Preah Vihear Cambodia, February 2019
We were able to treat a 62 year old female with a cleft lip. She lived her entire life with this congenital deformity. Her family was from one of the poorest areas of Norther Cambodia, north west of Preah Vihear. She never had access to consistent medical care. Repair of these types of deformities was considered low priority by the health system. She did not have aresources nor could her family afford the cost the surgical procedures required to correct her defect. In 2018, she found out about our surgical camp. She traveled over 4 hours to meet our team. In our original interview, she remarked that she was not able to participate in normal social activities throughout her life due to the fact that she was considered deformed. She had limited friends and did not attended school. Instead, she livedmost of her life as a farmer on her family’s land and never married. Now at 62 years of age she is consider surgery.
We performed the procedure successfully without complications thanks to the generous donations of supplies from Americares. On our last trip in 2019, she visited our camp again. She greeted our team with pure elation. Her demeanor was quite more outgoing and confident than the year past. During our 2019 surgical camp she underwent a second procedure to correct the deformity that the cleft caused on her hose using a portion of her rib. Again, her operation was successful. We eagerly anticipate our return to Preah Vihear to follow up with her and many others that we have treated in our camp.
The hospital we visited had very few resources. The supplies from America allowed us to perform 62 operations. We utilized all the supplies. The anesthesia medications and equipment were crucial to our success.Date May 5, 2019
Egypt Mission Report
The surgical mission at Mansoura University Children’s Hospital in Egypt was a success! The team was able to transform the lives of 24 pediatric patients with cleft lips/cleft palates. In addition, laparoscopic surgery was perform on 12 patients who needed significant surgical intervention. All the patients did very well and were discharged with no complications from the surgeries. We were also able to provide education and training to the local surgeons, residents, medical students, and nursing students. In addition, Dr Azita Madjidi gave a presentation on cleft lips/cleft palates, and Dr Sabina Siddiqui did a workshop on ultrasonography. The SVI team was enthusiastically received by the University Hospital have been requested to continue the cooperative efforts in the future.Date May 5, 2019
Date December 13, 2018
The Karsog Mission
It was no small feat to arrive at our final destination, Karsog, a picturesque village in the lap of the Himalayas in India. It involved an international flight to Delhi, followed by another short flight to the city of Chandigarh, then 9 hours of driving up the mountainside with harrowing hairpin turns that had volunteers falling out of their seats and regurgitating their lunches. The roads often became one lane and unpaved, and we had the pleasure of sharing them with commercial truck drivers seemingly with death wishes.
Along with the remoteness of the location came significant challenges that had to be addressed, such as the lack of adequate equipment and supplies and issues of safety. What can be done when there are no side rails on the beds or no regulators on the oxygen tanks? No surgical retractors? No problem. There was definitely a lot of gerryrigging and MacGuyvering going on, that’s for certain! The highly skilled team of medical professionals handled all these challenges with aplomb.
Had I known of all these difficulties beforehand, would I have still gone on the mission? The answer is a resounding “Yes”! I consider it a huge a privilege to be able to work with such a dedicated, compassionate, and generous group of people.The life lessons they have taught me are immeasurable.And what a profound and humbling feeling to know that I was part of a team that was able to respond to the needs of this special group of people.
The Karsog mission was memorable not only for it’s scenic location of majestic mountains and terraced plains, but for also for the people we served. The hospitals rooms were the most colorful I had ever seen with patients and family members in bright colored garments and even brighter smiles. Their blankets were vivid hues of red, yellow, and orange. More impressive was the graciousness and kindness of these vibrant people and their beautiful traditions and customs.
This Karsog mission has been an unforgettable one. Thank you Surgical Volunteers International for the priceless gift.
Julie Nguyen, RNDate December 1, 2016
Recovery room nurse
Trip Report : Vietnam Cho Ray Hospital Burn Center
My Vietnam trip was booked simply on the whim of knowing that I wanted to use the skills and knowledge I have obtained in my training to help children and adults across the world. The SVI trip indeed provided that and so much more. Having never been to Southeast Asia, I had no idea what to expect.
At Cho Ray Hospital the staff, the patients and their family members were easily some of the most appreciative individuals I have come across in my career. Defects and wounds ranged from congenital cutaneous lesions to burn contractures of any and every joint. This provided a unique learning environment for a someone in my position.
Ho Chi Min City was full of beautiful sites beginning in the early morning hours with delicious food at every street corner, market squares full of goods for bargain and an exciting nightlife. The SVI group was filled with amazing individuals who worked well together as a team.
I have taken with me, new knowledge on plastic surgical planning and operative technique, the taste of a country’s rich culture and historical influence, discovered new friends from all parts of the world, and felt the sincere appreciation of children and adults in dire need. Truly a rewarding experience. I would like to thank SVI for making all the above possible.
Faryan JalalabadiDate April 8, 2016
Plastic Surgery Resident Physician
Baylor College of Medicine