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My Medical Mission to Lima for “Laryngology Teaching”

Craig Zalvan, MD Craig Zalvan, MD January 8, 2021

My mission to Lima was a “Laryngology Teaching” mission. I compiled a team of doctors from our area and we went to Lima and spent 3 days at the largest teaching hospital. We had over 200 Peruvian doctors come to our conference for two days of lectures intermixed with surgical cases in the operating room and a make-shift procedure room. These cases were difficult laryngeal cases that were “saved” up for us over the 6 months prior to our arrival. The cases were broadcast over CCTV and I explained, in Spanish, the technique, indications, risks and benefits, potential complications, and post-op management.

Many of the cases we do here in the US, that we consider routine, are not done in 3rd world nations leading to overuse of radiation, long term tracheotomy use without removal, airway obstruction and significant hoarseness and swallowing issues. Our mission enabled these doctors to see the cases, understand the approaches, and then go back to their area and introduce the techniques to their region. We performed many surgeries on laryngeal tumors, laryngeal stenosis, awake biopsies, awake injection laryngoplasties, medialization thyroplasty, surgery for bilateral vocal fold paralysis, and other laryngopharyngeal cases that had never been done in the state run teaching hospitals.

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