Surgery and School Day

The team had a great second day of surgery! The day started by rounding on our patients from the day prior – who all did well. We then continued our day with 10 more surgeries, heavy on scar revisions, while three members of the team visited a local school.

At the hospital, we are realizing that a facial reconstruction camp is what is most needed. Sri Lanka had been plagued by a bitter 30-year civil war that ended only 8 years ago. The results on the population are visible as they visit our cleft camp. Cleft procedures, while important, are superseded by the significant need for a Maxillofacial reconstruction camp. As mentioned in earlier posts, although many people are being screened, this particular team does not have the resources or materials to take on such cases. Facial and body burns, untreated facial fractures, missing ears, eyes and noses are prevalent at this site. This is the reason why we spent much of the second day not only on cleft patients, but also repairing and revising facial scars from shrapnel and bomb blast injuries, as well as burns. In a year when we return, we are planning a lengthy facial reconstruction camp which will require a lot of pre-visit planning, funding, and materials. It will be an unprecedented challenge for us to fund and run a facial reconstruction camp but one we are willing to take on head first. With your support and hard work we can change lives and bring hope.

The school was a change of pace from being at the hospital but equally as rewarding. Over 100 students about the ages of 6 or 7 were given dental consultations, toothbrushes and received oral hygiene education. The school children participating exuded enthusiasm, curiosity, and interest in hearing from our team members. They were extremely eager to learn and receptive to new methods of brushing that will hopefully reduce the amount of cavities found upon examination. The importance of keeping a clean mouth was reinforced with other ways to maintain one besides brushing, such as abstaining from decay-inducing foods.

While here, we are working with limited internet capabilities but rest assured that we are working on getting a gallery up soon! Keep an eye out for that.