Operation Babahoyo in Ecuador

<h3 class="subhead">Medical Mission with Our Residents</h3>

<div class="photobox2"><a href="/sdmpubfiles/BABAHOYO-2-large.jpg" rel="lightbox[group1][Patient about to undergo cleft palate repair.]"><img title="Patient about to undergo cleft palate repair." class="imagecache-220" alt="Patient about to undergo cleft palate repair." src="/sdmpubfiles/BABAHOYO-2.%252327_0.jpg"></a>
<br><div class="caption">Patient about to undergo cleft palate repair.<br><div class="byline">Courtesy of Blanca's House</div></div></div>
<p>In August 2010, three members of our faculty — Drs. Todd Rosengart, Alexander Dagum, and Philip Bao — and three of our general surgery residents — Drs. Soojin Ahn, Joshua Karas, and Brett Phillips — traveled to Babahoyo, Ecuador, as part of a medical team to help needy patients there.</p>
<p>Three thousand miles away from Stony Brook, Babahoyo is a small provincial city flanked by two rivers that join to form the Babahoyo River, which eventually flows into the Pacific.</p>
<p>The city is surrounded by open country, where the way of life is very traditional, with farmers sowing crops, working the land, and cattle herds dominating the pastures.</p>
<p><strong>The Cascada Milagrosa — “Miracle Falls” — is a nearby waterfall believed to have healing powers, but it does not provide the modern healthcare that many people need.</strong></p>
<p>Our physicians and members of Stony Brook’s operating room staff went to Babahoyo as part of the team sent by Blanca’s House, a Long Island-based organization of volunteer healthcare professionals who provide free medical treatment to people without access to good healthcare.</p>
<p>Stony Brook third-year medical student Christine Malino also went with the team, as part of her training and learning experience.</p>
<p><strong>In Babahoyo, during their weeklong visit, our surgeons performed a total of nearly 50 operations, both general surgery and plastic/reconstructive surgery.</strong></p>
<div class="alignright"><br><a href="/sdmpubfiles/BABAHOYO-1-large.jpg" rel="lightbox[group1][Banner in front of clinic in Babahoyo.]"><img title="Banner in front of clinic in Babahoyo." class="imagecache-220" alt="Banner in front of clinic in Babahoyo." src="/sdmpubfiles/Untitled-2.jpg"></a><br><div class="caption">Banner in front of clinic in Babahoyo.<br><span class="byline">Courtesy of Blanca’s House</span></div></div>
<p>Having traveled to Africa as a resident on a similar mission many years ago, Dr. Rosengart felt the experience he had there was important for up-and-coming doctors.</p>
<p>“The experience gained cannot be replicated,” says Dr. Rosengart, about what doctors learn on these missions. “Their flexibility as physicians is reinforced, and their ability to adapt to a variety of surgical situations is both tested and made stronger.”</p>
<p>“The sense of helping those who otherwise have no access to the resources we have available left a lasting impression on me. It will always be a highlight of my career.”</p>
<div class="callout">
<p>The gratitude expressed by the patients and their families was tremendous. It was truly a great reward for our surgical care.</p>
<p>In Babahoyo, our surgeons performed a total of nearly 50 operations; namely, laparoscopic gallbladder removals, hernia repairs, cleft palate and cleft lip repairs, cleft fistula closures, scar revisions, and for burn victims other plastic surgery procedures.</p>
<p>Plans are currently underway for our faculty, together with residents and students, to go on another mission to Ecuador, which will take place in October 2011.</p>

<p><span class="pointer"> <a href="http://youtu.be/TwpVs_8bHdI&quot; target="_blank">Click here</a> to see videos of the Blanca's House medical mission to Babahoyo.

<strong>See blog about <a href="/surgery/blog/mission-accomplished-in-ecuador-helping-needy-patients">our second Operation Babahoyo</a>, in October 2011.</strong>