Free reconstructive surgery done for 200 in Volta


A team led by Dr Michael K. Obeng, a world-renowned plastic surgeon of the RESTORE Worldwide, Inc, the Foundation for Reconstructive Surgery, has conducted free reconstructive surgery for 200 patients in the Volta region.

The Surgeons conducted 135 surgical operations, dental tooth extractions, and chiropractic skeletal manipulations within four and a half working days.

The 33-member team of volunteers comprised a dentist and chiropractor, seven surgeons, an internist, a general practitioner, two anesthesiologists, a nurse anesthetist, a physician assistant, two surgical nurses, three surgical technologists, and four registered nurses.

The team prior to the surgery screened more than 500 patients from across the country.
A statement from RESTORE Worldwide copied to the Ghana News Agency, said the team from different backgrounds met in Ghana from the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Mali, Senegal, and Ghana.

Dr John Tampuori, the Chief Executive Officer, Ho Teaching Hospital and an Urologist said: “When the RESTORE team told me about their lofty target of 120 surgeries, I was a bit skeptical, but they have done what ‘God’ can do.”

Mr Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, Member of Parliament for the North Tongu Constituency, expressed gratitude to the team when he witnessed at first-hand, the lives that were transformed.

“I will make sure the RESTORE team comes to this area every single year whether I am in government or not. I will like to see my people happy.

“I am delighted that a good number of our compatriots outside the Volta Region also benefited. We are eternally indebted to Dr. Obeng and the RESTORE team,” he added.

Dr Obeng said: “I know we can do better as a country. Ghana has some of the most brilliant minds and most of our natural resources are untapped. There is a great amount of wealth in this country and our people should have better access to health. Health is wealth and a healthy nation is a wealthy nation.”

The statement noted that there were a preponderance of thyroid-related diseases (goiters), gigantic facial tumors, burn scar deformities causing functional impairment as well as unprecedented number of ambiguous genitalia, which carried with it social stigmatisation that had prompted most of the subsets of patients contemplating suicide.

On Wednesday, October 12, the team successfully conducted the first gender re-affirmation surgery, the first of its kind in the Region on a 19-year true intersex (hermaphrodite) who had been living as a girl since birth.

Another major procedure executed by the team was a hemi-maxillectomy, followed by
Reconstruction on an elderly woman with a tumor engulfing half of her face.

The team, according to the statement, successfully removed a tumor from an 11-year-old boy that wrapped around cranial nerves 11 & 12 and the common carotid artery at its bifurcation, a surgery that had been attempted twice by local surgeons, but with futility because of the vital structures mentioned above.

Dr Paa Ekow Hoyte-Williams of Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital and Director of Medical Affairs for the RESTORE team, expressed satisfaction with the success chalked by the mission and the safety measures it had implemented to prevent catastrophes.

“All these were life-transforming surgeries, and it is an amazing initiative because all these have been done at no cost to the patients,” he said.

This mission also saw a large number of German volunteers led by Dr. Mehmet Atila of Medical Inn in Düsseldorf, Germany.

The team conducted 111 surgeries in Dakar, Senegal in December 2021 and was expected to perform the next exercise in Cameroon in February 2023.

The trip included a group of surgeons like Colonel Dr Raccine Kane, Professor, and Head of Urology of L’Hopital de Dakar, Senegal, Dr Dembele, Chief of Plastic Surgery in Mali dubbed by the team ‘The Machine’ for his surgical prowess, and Dr Marco from Germany.

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