I am Mike Fallon, one of the pediatric anesthesiologists on this trip. Our ultimate goal is to provide a safe environment for the child before, during, and after surgery. We also assist the team pediatrician and surgeons in post-operative pain management.
Providing anesthesia at a high altitude results in some unique challenges, but with the three experienced anesthesiologists on this trip, we have been successful at providing safe and high-quality anesthesia for these life-changing surgeries. Having lived in Alaska for most of my life, I enjoy the altiplano region of Peru because it reminds me of home with its beautiful landscapes and cool weather.
Another challenge of providing anesthesia in developing countries is learning how to be resourceful in using the materials that are available, and not necessarily what we’re used to back at home. I really enjoy the challenge of making things work that otherwise might be problematic – it’s a lot like MacGyver!
It’s always a privilege to come and work with the children on these Interplast trips. Yesterday, I met Cintia, a cute little girl with a cleft palate. Although Cintia could not speak very well because of her palate, she was quite chatty and spoke through her mother, who was more familiar with her speech pattern.
Through her mother, Cintia told us that it was her fifth birthday! She was so excited to celebrate her special day with all of us. Here is a picture of Cintia before surgery. She is holding up her new stickers and wearing the barrettes that Maureen gave her for her birthday.
This morning on rounds, Cintia wanted to be the Interplast doctors’ little helper, so she walked around to each bed with Maja and Kathy in order to say hello to the other children and observe the conversations.