Second Surgical Day

We are falling into a rhythm with regard to delivering surgical services.The day was clinically productive as we were able ego work with podiatry and plastic surgery residents. Soleal sling release and median and ulnar nerve releases were performed by advanced residents under the die toon of the attending surgeons to the great benefit of the patients.

Morning post op rounds revealed a group of happy patients who had remarkable increase in muscle strength and little pain. In particular on of the soleal sling patients was able to stand on his toes one day postoperative. I haven’t seen such recovery of motor function before.

The progression disease was more advanced in today’s patients and the progress of nerve deterioration was visible.

One of the aspects which has made this mission work so well has been the tremendous support of the Damien Foudation staff and the hospital staff on so many levels. Some of these folks are pictured today. Sister Annie who is smiling with Dr Andes Rivadeneira has been caring for these Hansen Patints for 30 years. She has been one the rocks who have made the medical missions work. She has likened Dr Jim Wilton to Paul Brand in his dedication to the surgical rehabilitation of the Hansen’s patients.

The hospital where we are working is the oldest and largest in Equador and dates back to 1564. It has over 800 beds and is reminiscent of USC-LA County medical center with a private wing attached. The breadth and scope of the medical/surgical services offered is impressive. The standards of care and precautions taken are world-class.

What most impresses me the most so far is that the surgery we are doing is making a difference in the lives and health of our patients. It is hoped that we can ultimately teach ourselves out of a job as the neurolyses are learned by this competent cohort residents and fellows here.

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