Myanmar - Operating Room - Part 2

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Despite the differences in certain practices, there is efficiency and order in this system. There is a common language among surgeons that seems universal. Under the microscope and huddled around the surgical field, they enter a sacred space, where with their hands, instruments, and coordinated efforts of a support team, each patient's problems are addressed with focus and care, one step at a time.

Operating Room - Day 2 - Instruments 2


This seems to capture the essence of the purpose of our visit. We are here to improve the vision and eye health of the Burmese people, by evaluating and treating patients, and by educating the doctors who are responsible for their care. By passing on the experience we have, we are planting seeds for the future of health care in this country, at a time of rapid development.

Operating Room - Day 2 - Doctors


Dr. Chu begins by observing the cases going on in the morning. A team of oculoplastic and neurophthalmologist work together on a basal cell carcinoma case. In the dual operating room, cataract surgeries are done by Burmese surgeons. In one of the solo rooms, Dr. Jeffrey Rutgard from San Diego performs small incision cataract surgery, a technique he performs regularly in developing countries such as Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, and Bolivia. In the last room, Dr. Penny Asbell of New York supervises Burmese resident ophthalmologists as they perform corneal transplants.

Operating Room - Day 2 - Doctors 2


One of the technicians pulls me aside to ask if I am Japanese. After explaining that I am American of Chinese origin, he explains why he was hoping I might read Japanese. They received a generous donation of video equipment from a team of Japanese surgeons who visited earlier this year. They left an owners' manual, but only the Japanese language version!


Operating Room - Day 3 - Doctors Shaking Hands

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