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We were welcomed with open arms. It is amazing the quality of care the hospital team provides despite limited resources. There are so many children in need of airway surgery because the tubes that the Dominican Republic has to put children on breathing machines predispose the airway to a lot of scarring.
We were able to do three cases (two airway reconstructions and one bronchoscopy). The team in the OR was great. We even had the opportunity to work with two of the ENT residents. They were very excited to learn the new procedures.
Unfortunately, the young man who had the bronchoscopy performed had to much airway inflammation to do his airway reconstruction at this time. He was already asking when we would be able to come back and help him.
The first case was a 9-year-old girl with a big scar in her airway who had a very poor voice quality. Her brother had a similar condition and passed away at 10 months of age. She had surgery performed 2 years ago but had a lot of swelling afterward and had to have an emergent tracheotomy.
The second airway reconstruction was a 14-year-old who had trauma after a horse accident. He was intubated and on a breathing machine for 23 days, developing pneumonia in the process. Due to the long term intubation, he developed a lot of scarring above his trach and was unable to breathe without the trach.