The Sissatanak Hospital Plastic Surgery Project
Since 2004, the Lao Rehabilitation Foundation provided support to doctors at Sissatanak District Hospital for their education in plastic surgery. The foundation sponsored and organized the logistics of sending a team of American doctors to Vientiane to provide further training to local surgeons. The project was complex as no equipment was available at Sissatanak Hospital. Three crates of equipment were sent in September 2006 to install a functional operating room. It included an anesthesia machine, patient monitors with EKG, pulse oxymetry and blood pressure, a defibrillator, a suction pump, an autoclave, electrocautery equipment, oxygen tanks and regulators as well as surgical instruments and supplies. Generous of their time and resources, Dr. William McClure, a plastic surgeon in California and Dr. Sarah Jones, an anesthesiologist in Virginia, covered the expense of their own flights for this mission, to arrive in Vientiane on September 14th. They performed surgeries for 12 young Laotians on September 15th and 16th. The foundation is now studying how to further support the development of what would be the first plastic surgery facility in the country.