A multidisciplinary team consisting of approximately 30 CHOP professionals, including anesthesiologists, plastic surgeons, pediatricians, orthodontists, operating room and critical care nurses, and a speech pathologist traveled to Guatemala City on what has become an annual plastic surgery mission trip. In total, 87 procedures were performed on 71 patients.
During the duration of their stay, the team performed surgeries on children with cleft lips and palates and other facial differences. David W. Low, MD, an attending surgeon in the Division of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), served as Medical Director during the trip.
“What makes this mission so special is that our Guatemalan hosts, Asociación Compañeros Para Cirugia (Partners for Surgery), scour the mountain villages for cleft babies and young children and promote nutritional and educational support,” says Dr. Low. “This ensures the patients are well-nourished prior to surgery. Many of our families speak Mayan dialects rather than Spanish, so sometimes we need a series of interpreters to communicate with the parents. Throughout my years of returning to Guatemala for this mission, one thing that remains true is that a big smile after surgery is a universal thank you.”
View a slideshow of images from their trip.
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