Moyobamba, Peru, January 2013 – Our surgical team was invited to participate in the second reconstructive trip in Peru. This time, we chose to visit Moyobamba, the capital of San Martin, in the northeast area of Peru, up in the jungle of Amazon. Moyobamba is a small city on the bank of River Mayo. We worked with the plastic surgeons from Lima, as well as general surgeon and orthopedic surgeon from California, in three separate clinics in the city. Our team operated on the children with cleft lip and palate deformity, microtia, and other congenital defects. After 5 days of surgery, we had an opportunity to visit Tingana National Preserve, where an old village in Amazon was preserved. Think jungle of amazon was simply vast and amazing.
Ethiopia August 2012 – Dr Kim and EHA (Ethiopia Health Aid) team returned to Adama General Hospital to finish the ear reconstruction of the patient. The second stage procedure was completed successfully. During the trip, Dr Kim has performed more reconstructive procedures.
Ethiopia March 2012 –
Ethiopia Health Aid, based in Los Angeles, to provide medical education and medical care to the rural Ethiopia, has asked Dr Kim to collaborate in the effort to improve the level of care at the Adama General Hospital, which was completed August 2011, in Adama, about 100 km from Addis Ababa. A team of 11 healthcare professionals, including Dr Hinika (founder and general surgeon), Dr Doohan (family practice) and Dr Nooryani (radiologist), traveled to Adama, Ethiopia. Dr Kim worked with the general surgeons at the hospital, and treated a number of patients with burn scar contractures. The most memorable procedure was the ear reconstruction, where rib cartilages were harvested to create a new ear. This trip was featured in the Ethiopian media.
Sinaloa, Mexico, March 2011 –
The patient who had a palatal repair returned to see me this time, and she is quite happy with the result. The fistula is very small, although we were not able to close completely, she can have a denture with a lot more ease.
Another challenging case this time is a reconstruction of lip and nose for a patient with mid facial cleft. Nose has no support and lip is short and tight. One of most challenging cases we had in Sinaloa.
Sinaloa, Mexico, December 2010 –
The main procedure performed at this time is the reconstruction of palatal fistula (gap in the palate after repair surgery). This patient had a large defect on the front part of the palate behind the front teeth. We performed a closure procedure using the tissue from the cheek.
December in Sinaloa is a nice time to visit. Weather is warm with cool evenings.
Sinaloa, Mexico, March 2010 – During this trip, we had a series interesting patients including a large palatal fistula, that the dentist and oral surgeon have been working on without success. She will need to have a reconstructive procedure and we planned during the next visit.
Sinaloa, Mexico, November 2009 – The trip to San Blas Clinic in Sinoloa is now planned twice a year. On this trip, Dr KIm’s daughter, Sophia, has joined the trip. With the daughter of the other surgeon, she assisted volunteers in the clinic and the operating room.
Lima, Peru, September 2009 – Dr. Kim was invited by the plastic surgeons at Hospital de la Solidaridad in Lima, Peru, to participate in the care of a number of children with severe congenital deformities. They include cleft lip and palate, syndactyly, facial deformities, and nasal deformities. Over several days, Dr. Kim worked together with Dr. Rubio and his team of plastic surgeons in Lima to treat these difficult cases. Total of 38 patients were treated during this time.
In addition to performing surgery, Dr Kim also gave a lecture to the hospital staff. He presented his experience of volunteer work in other continents, and also showed some of his work in his private practice in Los Angeles.
Dr Kim’s work was recognized by the Mayor of Lima, Dr Luis Castaneda Lossio, and he received a highly honorable medal of recognition of the City of Lima.
Here is a video that Hospital de la Solidaridad made of the trip:
Sinaloa, Mexico February 2009 – Dr Kim returned to San Blas, Sinaloa, Mexico for the second trip. This time, Dr Kim’s friend anesthesiologist, Dr Loan Le, joined the team. Another surgeon from the Bay Area could not make it due to the poor weather in the Northern California. Dr Kim and Dr Le worked together to treat a number of patients at the clinic.
Sinaloa, Mexico, October 2008 – The well-established volunteer organization, “Flying Doctors of Mercy”, has been providing free medical and surgical care to the underprivileged people in Mexico since 1934. They have clinics in Sinaloa, Mexico, as well as in Tijuana and Guatemala. Dr Kim was asked to provide plastic surgery care for the clinic in San Blas, Sinaloa, and volunteered his service at the clinic in October, 2008.
Dr Kim and the medical teams, flew to Mexico in small airplanes run by volunteer pilots. Dr Kim performed 7 procedures, including three cleft lip and palate patients.
Dr Kim will return to Mexico for another day of clinic in February 2009.
Bac Giang-Vietnam, March 2008 – Dr Kim returned to Vietnam after a 2-year-hiatus. This time, the Project Vietnam team travelled to Bac Giang Province, about 40 km north of Hanoi. Dr Kim was the lead surgeon for the trip, and asked a plastic surgeon from Yamaguchi, Japan, to join him. With two plastic surgeons, a total of 25 procedures were performed during a four day stayin Bac Giang. The American medical team was well received from the local officials and hospital personnel, as well as the local community.
Lagos, Nigeria 2006 – Dr Kim returned to Lagos in 2006 to perform additional work. During this stay, a child with a cleft lip, operated on in 2003 as one of the first children cared by the BEARS Foundation, returned to see Dr Kim in Lagos. He was now 3 years old, and traveled from a remote village to show a great smile to Dr Kim.
Lagos, Nigeria – The BEARS Foundation (Lagos, Nigeria) sponsored the first reconstructive trip for children of the remote provinces of Nigeria in 2003. Many children with cleft lip, palate and syndactyly were brought to our team for repair surgery. Though we only had access to a small local hospital with one operating room, the surgeries were a success and everyone was particularly pleased with the results.
Benin, Nigeria – Working with the BEARS Foundation once again in 2004, reconstructive surgeries were provided for the victims of kerosine explosion accidents that occurred throughout remote areas of Nigeria in 2001. Surviving victims suffered severe burn injuries and, without proper medical care, developed severe burn contracture – some cases so severe that they cannot walk, move their limbs, turn their heads or even close their eyes. I assembled a team of surgeons and surgical technicians. We flew to Africa and performed burn reconstructive procedures on several dozen patients in a half-abandoned medical school hospital. Despite the obstacles encountered, we successfully treated all of the victims that showed up for the surgery.
Vietnam – Project Vietnam is an organization run by pediatricians and has provided free primary, medical and surgical care to children in remote areas of Vietnam for over 10 years. I was asked to join their team of plastic surgeons and operate on children in the northern province of Lang Son in 2004. We brought all the equipment, instruments and supplies from the US and used a provincial public hospital for the operations. Due to the limited amount of operating room spaces, three operating tables had to be in one room. We operated side by side and performed over three dozen reconstructive procedures with great success.