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Cahn and His Father

  Cahn and His Father 
  Originally uploaded by interplast

Cao Lanh, Vietnam--Dr. Ian Wilson, Interplast volunteer plastic surgeon 

Nguyen Huu Cahn is an 8-year-old boy who was born with his fingers fused together, a condition known as syndactyly. Last year the Interplast team successfully operated on him to release his little and ring finger of his left hand. This year the same fingers were released on his right hand. Nguyen’s father looked after him well after his first surgery and will do the same this year. He will need one final surgery next year to complete the process and have normal appearing and functioning hands for the rest of his life.

Burns and Clefts Keeping Us Busy

My Tho, Vietnam -- Michelle Springer, Webster Fellow  My Tho is very nice, especially with our hotel right on the Mekong River. The people have been friendly and hospitable.

We operated on a young Cambodian woman who was burned by acid in "drive-by" incident; it was apparently a case of mistaken identity. The kids who did it were never identified or caught. The patient had severe contractures of her eyelids and neck, which we operated on. She is very grateful and recovering well. Her cousin speaks perfect English (he lived in Oakland, California for a while), and he is staying with her night and day. He has an interesting story: he was a gang member in California and now lives in Southeast Asia helping drug addicts. He says that his mother helped him realize that the life he was living in a gang was wrong.

Next week we have mostly clefts on the schedule, a mixture of lips and palates. We saw an unexpected number of virgin clefts during clinic. There are a couple of patients (one with a cleft palate and one with a neck burn contracture) who are going to meet me and the next Interplast team in Cao Lanh next week. We will prioritize them and make sure to fit them in the schedule.

The Road Well Traveled

  Originally uploaded by interplast

My Tho, Vietnam -- Michelle Springer, Webster Fellow  This is one of my favorite photos of the trip to Vietnam so far--taken from the van window on the way to Saigon. The traffic here almost compares to India, except I don't fear for my life while driving (like I did in India, due to the number of vehicles bigger than us on the road).  I fear, instead, for the "scooter-ists'" lives.   Walking across the street is a different matter, of course. The biggest object on the road usually wins, I guess.  I have seen five people on one scooter, usually two adults and children of varying ages. It almost hurts just to see the babies and toddlers balancing on someone's leg, weaving in and out of traffic precariously.

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