Some of us awoke to warm showers today. The rest of us were left in the cold. A friendly feud was had between the have’s and have not’s! After a breakfast of fresh fruit, delicious omelets, and warm unknown juice we headed to the public hospital of Riobamba, Ecuador. Twenty four of us split into 5 different cars and arrived at the hospital lobby where patients were quietly waiting for us. It is Sunday morning and aside from our surgical mission group, the hospital staff assisting us, and the patients the hospital was eerily vacant in the morning. Our first mission was to unload our 54 crates and bags of surgical equipment to the operating room. We were excited to get underway!
The surgical teams split up into urology, general surgery, and plastic surgery and headed toward the consultation rooms. The urologists, Drs’ Brad and Pradeep (Michigan), had a busy morning coordinating care with local urologist Dr. Garcia Wilson. He kept the atmosphere light joking with patients and staff, reminding them that international experts on ‘all things below the belt’ had finally arrived. 15 surgeries ranging from uterovaginal prolapsed to prostate cancer were boarded for surgery starting the next day. Drs’ Pravin (Iowa) and Helen (Ireland) identified three patients including a twelve year old who needed colostomy reversals. Plastic surgeons, Drs’ Parit (Chicago) Mehul (Michigan) and Loren (Michigan) identified large number of microtia and complex cleft palate.