Mission: Restore Volunteer surgeons have made three trips to Myanmar in 2013, where they trained and operated alongside doctors at Yangon General Hospital and lectured at Yangon University.

Dr. Joshua Zuckerman, a hand surgeon, worked and trained with a local surgeon to operate on 20 patients and rounded with hundreds of others.

“The major problem that they’re facing is trauma – severe hand trauma from unsafe agricultural practices and trauma of all kinds from motorbike and traffic accidents,” said Dr. Zuckerman. “There are a lot of burns, usually from fires in the home, but more often than not, they present not in the acute phase but later – we saw a large number of debilitating burn scar contractures.”

Resources are very limited in Myanmar, a nation of 63 million people with only 5 plastic surgeons for the entire population. The volume that these surgeons see on a daily basis is overwhelming. Training remains a critical issue as is a lack of supplies.

Dr. Louis Riina, a burn specialist, who also participated in a recent mission to Myanmar, noted, “The situation over there is difficult but not without hope – they require training, resources, and manpower.”

Through Mission: Restore’s Medical Education and Surgical Training Program, Mission: Restore’s volunteer surgeons will continue to work with the doctors in Yangon via telemedicine and on future missions.

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