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« January 2010 | Main

Farewell Dinner

Farewell Party Phan Rang, Vietnam-Dr. Joyce Chen, Interplast Webster Fellow.
At the farewell dinner the local government presented each of the team members with certificates of appreciation as well as colorful locally handcrafted scarfs and bags.  In total, approximately 60 people attended the gathering with toasts, music and magic tricks filling the evening festivities.  New and old friends celebrated the successful two-week visit during which more than 70 procedures were performed by the team.

Last Days in Phan Rang

Phan Rang, Vietnam-Steve Garner, Interplast volunteer plastic surgeon.
Starting to wind down. We finished all of our big cases so as to allow adequate time for safe follow-up before the team’s departure.  Delighted to report there was not even one problem during the whole trip.  There was wonderful camaraderie among all the team members.  All our patients did great and could not be more warm and appreciative.  We are taking our host Vietnamese nurses and OR staff to dinner tomorrow night to thank them for all of their hard work and support during our time here. 

Luon Five Days Post-Op

Luon post dressings Phan Rang, Vietnam-Dr. Joyce Chen, Interplast Webster Fellow.
The day Luon has been waiting for has arrived.  Five days after his surgery, Luon’s neck dressings were finally removed.  Everyone is ecstatic that there is 100% take of his skin graft.  Luon will now be able to fully extend and move his neck.  He was very emotional and appreciative of his life changing surgery.

Weekend in Nha Trang

Nha Trang Phan Rang, Vietnam-Dr. Joyce Chen, Interplast Webster Fellow.
The team spent the weekend in the coastal city of Nha Trang.  We spent our time exploring the town’s central market as well as some of the surrounding islands by boat.  Some team members even got to swim in the warm waters of the South China Sea.

Green Hammock

CleftPhan Rang, Vietnam-Dr. Joyce Chen, Interplast Webster Fellow.

Sleeping peacefully on a swinging green hammock is six-month-old Tai.  Tai had a unilateral cleft lip which Dr. Rai and I repaired.  He has done well overnight and will be ready to go home later today.

Luon Update

Luon Phan Rang, Vietnam-Dr. Joyce Chen, Interplast Webster Fellow.

Today while doing rounds in the wards we stopped by to check on Luon. He is doing great and continues to express his appreciation for the team. Next week his dressings will be removed which is something he is really looking forward to.

Patient Consultations

Patient Phan Rang, Vietnam-Dr. Joyce Chen, Interplast Webster Fellow.

In between cases the surgical team, consisting of Dr. Steve Garner (pictured center), Dr. Shankar Man Rai (pictured right) and me, offer patient consultations. Having three surgeons on the trip allows for a rich exchange of ideas, especially beneficial when discussing the treatment options for challenging patient cases.


Hands Phan Rang, Vietnam-Dr. Joyce Chen, Interplast Webster Fellow.

One of our first patients was Quang, a 13-year-old boy who was born with syndactyly (when multiple fingers are fused together) on both hands.  Dr. Shankar Man Rai, director emeritus of Interplast’s surgical outreach center in Nepal, and Interplast Webster fellow, Dr. Joyce Chen, performed the surgery to release his contracted fingers.  In order to protect Quang’s freshly placed skin grafts, Dr. Rai custom fit empty plastic bottles over the dressings, a process that was both creative and efficient.

Hospital Photos

Phan Rang, Vietnam

Here are some more photos from Jeff Speer, Interplast anesthesiology resident from Dartmouth, on his first Interplast trip (see previous blog post). 

The first photo is from the first day at the hospital, when we held clinic to evaluate patients for surgery. IMG_2578
  This other photo is the entrance to the hospital's OR.IMG_2611

First Interplast Trip

Phan Rang, Vietnam-Jeff Speer, Interplast volunteer anesthesiology resident.

IMG_2612I am an anesthesiology resident from Dartmouth on the current trip to Phan Rang. This is my first trip and it has been an absolute privilege to be part of this humanitarian effort. My teammates on this trip are amazing individuals. Our translator coordinators, "Momma Kim" and Thuohy have gone above and beyond the call of duty to ensure a smooth process. As someone unfamiliar with the language and culture of Vietnam, I have learned a lot from them! I've included some photos of some memorable moments.  This photo is a little tyke waking up after anesthesia as I bring him to the PACU.


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