Where We've Been

  • Mission Wrap-up: Honduras 2014

    Tags: Past Missions

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  • Mission Update: Philippines 2014 - WSF vs. Old Man Winter

    Tags: Past Missions

    In spite of Winter Storm Pax causing flight cancellations as far away as Tokyo (NRT) to Manila (MNL) and forcing the World Surgical Foundation crew in Pennsylvania to venture out ahead of the storm on Wednesday, 12 February 2014 to Detroit (DTW), MI by bus or plane, and winter storms in Japan canceling the flight from Los Angeles (LAX) to Tokyo (NRT) on Thursday, 13 February, all the doctors, nurses, and volunteer staff were able to travel safely to General Santos City for WSF’s 2014 Philippines Surgical Mission.

    Sunday screening and stock room setup went smoothly as 250+ patients were placed on the schedule for the eight (8) OR stations, and 51 balikbayan boxes were inventoried and catalogued for this 6-day surgical camp. The entire crew was finally assembled on Monday at General Santos City District Hospital as the first day of surgery was well underway.

    Day 1 of surgery for this 6-day mission has come and gone with at least 40 major procedures already completed with another 200+ scheduled for the remainder of the week. WSF would like to thank Kendra Nichols and Jon Eirkson from abc27 News in Harrisburg for accompanying us. We need all the help we can get in spreading the word about the work World Surgical Foundation is doing to help reduce the surgical burden of disease in developing countries. And abc27 has been instrumental in reporting the growing and continuing need for such work in places like Honduras and the Philippines.

    Check back here for updates as the week continues. Thank you for all your help and support. Remember to tell your friends and family about WSF so we can continue to heal the world one patient at a time.


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  • WSF Philippines Mission 2013: The Power to Change Lives

    Tags: Past Missions

    Bernie Lopez, a Filipino journalist and videographer, accompanied the World Surgical Foundation on its medical mission to Coron, Palawan, Philippines from 24 - 28 February 2013. The following documentary showcases WSF's Adopt-a-Hospital program, highlights the importance of collaboration with local physicians and gives the viewer an up-close look at a World Surgical Foundation mission and its volunteers.



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  • Mission Focus: Philippines 2013 - Pinpointed Surgery

    Tags: Past Missions

    As medical care needs of the poor across the globe continue to rise, the World Surgical Foundation's work never ceases. Once the larger mission in Coron, Palawan was complete, Drs. Domingo and Veneranda Alvear along with a contingent of local Filipino physicians headed to Cagayan de Oro City in Northern Mindanao for WSF's 2nd Annual Pull-through Mission in the Philippines on 6 - 8 March 2013.

    This mission was sponsored locally by the Philippine College of Surgeons chapter in Northern Mindanao at the Xavier University Community Health Care Center. Because of the complexities and follow-up care needed for the procedures, WSF can only hold these missions in geographically desirable areas with adequate medical facilities and available specialists. Again, collaboration is the key.

    Pull-through missions focus primarily on Hirschsprung's disease and anorectal malformations/imperforate anus. Anorectal malformations occur once in every 4,500 live births and many of these defects can be corrected at birth or soon after. But in the Philippines sometimes all that can be done to save a child's life is performing a colostomy. And these children are why the World Surgical Foundation exists. By holding these focused missions, WSF is able to completely change lives. Instead of staying home or being ashamed because they have a colostomy, children can go on to lead happy, normal lives.

    WSF was able to help 16 patients including 2 young adults aged 19 and 26 who now have a second chance at life without a colostomy. In addition to teaching new techniques or showing how to correctly use a Peña Muscle Stimulator for detecting the location of the anus, Dr. Alvear also performed a rather uncommon procedure called a colon interposition. By taking a section of the colon and using it to bridge a gap between the esophagus and the stomach, Dr. Alvear was able to give this 1-year-old patient a working digestive system thus saving him from a lifetime of tube feedings.

    If you haven't already, read Jennifer's Blog entries for more stories and in-depth interviews about the Philippines 2013 Mission in Coron.

    Next stop for the World Surgical Foundation is Honduras in September 2013.


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  • Mission Update: Philippines 2013 - A Calling to Order

    Tags: Past Missions

    Monday was the first day of surgeries for the World Surgical Foundation mission in Coron, Palawan. The team arrived on schedule and spent much of the morning working out the logistics of the hospital, assigning duties for the volunteers and locating all of the equipment and supplies stored in various rooms.

    Surgeries were scheduled to begin at 8:00 AM but many of the patients arrived later due to the long distances they had to travel. Other surgeries were delayed because patients did not fast 6-8 hours prior to their operations requiring anesthesia. Something as simple as a chicken nugget or the regular feeding of a baby pushed procedures off until the afternoon or next day.

    OB/GYN cases were the first to begin at 8:30 AM with general following at 9:30. Pediatric and plastic surgery cases could not start until 1:30 PM waiting for the patients who ate or drank to be ready. But by the end of the day only one pediatric case had to be rescheduled. In total 77 procedures were performed including 42 minor surgeries, 22 OB/GYN plus 13 plastic and pediatric surgeries.

    Remember to Like Us on Facebook and read the Philippines 2013 Blog written by our resident blogger, Jennifer Prudencio!

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