Wednesday, March 15

This morning I traveled to the clinic operating room with our team surgeons. It was nice to see the patients we diagnosed yesterday with cataracts already waiting for surgery. The local ophthalmologist, Dr. Guerline Roney, was very welcoming and accommodating. The OR was very different than what we see back at home. Here, three beds were placed in a single OR where surgeries are performed simultaneously. The patients all received a retro bulbar block for anesthesia and after approximately twenty minutes, three were led into the OR. A manual small incision procedure, MSICS, was performed and all patients received an intraocular lens implant. Unfortunately, while operating, one of the microscopes broke down and surgery was finished with a hand-held light. A surgeon needs to be extremely focused and very calm to operate in this environment. Unlike home, there are not spare parts waiting and ready in the storage room.

By the end of the day, I realized that the clinic was in great need of proper operating room beds and two new or repaired microscopes. One of the beds was an actual portable massage table. The surgeons did an excellent job under these conditions, but I couldn’t help but wonder how much better it could be with just a few better pieces of equipment. Now I know what to work on for our next trip.

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