Dr. Pearson is an active member of HUGS (helpusgivesmiles.org), an organization whose mission is to deliver medical care to children and adolescents in challenged by a wide array of physical conditions remedied through surgery. HUGS helps children develop into confident, secure and responsible individuals free from their congenital and other conditions. This mission is performed by providing remedial surgery on children in developing countries who have microtia, a congenital condition, facial burns and other health conditions
Last month the HUGS team took their second annual trip to Antigua, Guatemala. As always the mission was a great success and it was full of happy and grateful families, talented surgeons and team members, and very successful surgical results! This year there were 40 scheduled surgeries; unfortunately Guatemala had experienced some terrible rain which resulted in some patients unable to travel to the hospital. Some of the main roads had washed away, making it impossible for these families traveling from hours and hours away to make it to Antigua for the mission. Despite this bump in the road, 30 cases were still successfully performed which is a number the team is very proud of.
The team found that every single child that was operated on last year came back this year for their second surgery! It is always great to see familiar faces, but having every single person come back is an accomplishment. Since microtia is such a rare deformity, it is tough to find hospitals and missions that can take care of it. This is why these families will continually travel to Antigua even if it takes days to get there.
There was an exciting surgical advancement that the HUGS team tried for the first time this year. Recent studies and research has shown that there is a new way to combine both stage 1 and 2 microtia surgeries. Scott Thompson, a surgeon that travels with HUGS on their Ecuador missions, played a role in some of this research for this particular advancement. The HUGS members decided to give it a go and it are very pleased with the results. This is a great advancement because it reduces the course of treatment from 4 years to 3 years. This makes it much easier for the families that are traveling so far; their surgical process is reduced by a year!
read original posting at: https://helpusgivesmiles.wordpress.com/2011/08/10/successful-2011-mission-to-guatemala/
James M. Pearson, MD
Trust Your Face to a Specialist!