Our week went by very quickly and successfully! In total, our group performed 75 surgeries. Our urology team did 41 procedures and our ENTs did 34. Audiology met with 173 patients. They did 111 hearing evaluations, fit 148 hearing aids for 140 people and adjusted hearing aids for returning patients.
We'd like to thank our OR staff and ENT group who didn't get a chance to be featured on the blog this week. They all did phenomenal work, and we wouldn't have been able to accomplish what we did without their help.
If you'd like to see more photos from ...
Our anesthesiology team has been working with all the patients at Las Obras this week to prepare each person for surgery. They work across all teams, and they usually see around 100 patients by the end of the week, according to Dr. Terry. “Our goal is to make people comfortable,” he said.
In addition to helping patients get through their surgeries comfortably, our anesthesiology volunteers have also been taking time to reflect on what brought them here this week. Some of them have had their own battles in the hospital that got them involved in medicine, ...
Our team members working in the recovery room have been helping patients wake up on the right side of the hospital bed this week as they trickle in after surgery.
The volunteers in the recovery room, or Post-Anesthesia Care Unit, make sure each patient is as comfortable as they possibly can be after their operations. “We help people wake up, and we help control their pain,” said Dr. Steve.
Since surgeries have started, our PACU team has been checking patients’ blood pressure as they wake up, making sure patients can wiggle their fingers and ...
Our audiology group has been swiftly moving through their patients this week. So far, they’ve seen 87 patients in total, performed 51 hearing tests and fit 61 people with hearing aids.
Many of the patients this year are returning for checkups, and some need replacement hearing aids that have been ruined by ash from Fuego’s eruption. Most patients are receiving just one hearing aid this week for the ear they struggle to hear with the most, and some of them might return next year for a second one if needed.
Some members on this year's team ...
Team Urology is one of our veteran groups of doctors on the Antigua mission – this is Dr. Scott’s ninth trip, Dr. Marc’s eighth and Dr. Tom’s fifth. But even for veterans, some cases are pretty rare for them to handle in Guatemala. Today all three physicians worked together, along with medical student David, to do a nephrectomy. This is a common procedure for each urologist to do in the U.S., but it hasn’t been done on our group’s mission to Antigua since 2011.
In the U.S., a nephrectomy isn’t very invasive. The whole surgery can be completed ...
After a long day of traveling on our flights that left dark and early, our team arrived safely at our hotel in Antigua. So far, nobody seems to have had any issues with the air quality from the volcanic eruptions, but we’ve brought masks for our volunteers that they can choose to wear just in case. There is ash on the ground between the cobblestones, but that’s really the only effect we’ve seen so far.
This morning we began work at Las Obras Hermano Pedro Hospital. Our medical staff met with patients in the clinics, and tomorrow will pick up as surgeries ...
Our volunteers are anxiously awaiting our 21st mission to Antigua next week – emphasis on the anxious this year with all of the news about Fuego’s volcanic eruption. As of right now, no plans for the trip have changed, but we’re carefully watching the news to make sure we will be able to safely carry out the mission. This year we have 49 volunteers joining us, and many of them are experienced from past trips in Antigua. As we are coming at a very difficult time, we would like to share a few of the happy memories and positive experiences some of our previous volunte...
Introduction by Carmen Gramajo-Moser
For the last nine years, one thing has been a guarantee for Dr. Tun, the hospital, Medical Missions Foundation, and San Lucas: Dr. John Alley will be your surgeon.
For those of us who know him, we know that Guatemala has become his second home. I personally believe that his heart was stolen by this little girl Sucely; he operated on her cystic hygroma during our first trip and has followed up every year since then. Sucely is the same age as his daughter Caroline, both are 12 years old now.
As a volunteer sometimes our work is never done, even when we are not on location with the team, there is work to be done. Many of us have been lucky enough to encounter other volunteers that have shared their compassion and work practices, and have ultimately made us better human beings and better volunteers.
As I said in a post earlier this week, some of my best friends have come from the last ten years of traveling to Guatemala with Med Missions, and one person, in particular, has had a strong impact on me and has contributed to those “lessons of ...
Today is an exciting day for the surgical team; a rarity lies before them.
Dr. Alley, surgeon and longtime San Lucas mission veteran, was quite surprised; “This is special, I have only seen this in a picture in a book!” One patient’s appendix was found in his hernia sack! In medical terms, we call this an Amyand´s hernia, after the French surgeon who discovered it. “He had to have been very uncomfortable, the right side of his colon was in his scrotum,” Dr. Alley adds.
The patient, Felipe, is an 82-year-old father of 12 with 4 ...