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Healing the Children

Cleft Lip and Palate Mission to Ica, Peru

Dr. Evan Ransom with patient
Dr. Evan Ransom with cleft patient

The Northeast and Northern California divisions of Healing the Children recently completed their third annual cleft lip and palate mission to Ica, Peru. The surgical team, led for the second year by Dr. Evan Ransom, a facial plastic surgeon from San Francisco, CA and Dr. Joseph Rousso, a facial plastic surgeon from the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary, was also comprised of Augustine Moscatello MD, an otolaryngologist practicing in Westchester, NY, Gerald Geldzahler DDS, an oral and maxillofacial surgeon practicing in Livingston, NJ, and Sean Alemi MD, an otolaryngology resident from the University of California, San Francisco. Anesthesia care was provided for the third consecutive year by a stellar group from Cook Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth, TX.

On their first day, the team was enthusiastically greeted by a waiting room full of families and their children, some of whom traveled up to 40 hours to reach the Hospital Regional de Ica. With the assistance of pediatricians, speech and language pathologists, anesthesiologists, nursing staff and several volunteers, the team screened 111 patients this year. From this group, the surgical team successfully completed 57 operations during the week – highlighted by 16 cleft lip repairs, 22 cleft palate repairs, two cleft rhinoplasties, one maxilla advancement, one mandibular distraction, one first stage microtia repair, and an otoplasty for a constricted ear deformity. In addition, the speech and language pathology group was able to work with a large group of previously-repaired patients, as well as children from the community with other oral and speech issues.

The team is already planning for next year, with ongoing efforts to expand patient recruitment and surgical care during the week. To get involved or make a donation, please visit us online at www.htcne.org and www.HTCNorCal.org.

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