Guatemala: Day Eight & Day Nine

Source: Blog Post

OR Day #5

Highlights in the OR on Friday included a dressing change for the girl who had a large nevus removed from her forearm earlier in the week and observing her astonished look when she saw her changed arm for the first time. Also, twin boys with polydactyly underwent surgery at the same time to remove extra digits on seven out of eight extremities.

The last surgeries were completed before noon, then the packing of all of the hospital supplies began. The packing and inventory operation ran smoothly, starting with groups boxing and counting supplies in the OR, which were then carried out to the courtyard and organized into labeled suitcases for our next mission. Then, a group would shrink-wrap the suitcases for safe storage at a local facility, and lastly, they were all brought down to be taken to storage for 18 months. Many hands made for light work in packing up a great deal of donated supplies.

The mission was concluded Friday night with another large team banquet. Many tears flowed as each participant had the opportunity to speak to the group about the impact of the mission on their lives. We are all counting down the days until the next mission... Spring 2021.


  • Dressing Change FTSG
  • Right removal of hardware, median  nerve neurolysis
  • Right ORIF proximal phalanx fracture non -union with Trimed 3x20 intramedullary screw
  • Polydactyly excision x 7
  • Left ring finger Z-plasty, FDS tenotomy, pinning
  • Ganglionectomy
  • Tendon transfer PT to ECRB


This trip was particularly special for me, as it was my 5th trip to Guatemala, but my first trip involved in the medical aspect of the mission as I am now in medical school. It was incredible to be so welcomed into the OR by the medical team, the same team that inspired me years ago during my earlier trips to want to go into the medical profession. I was very lucky to be able to fit this trip in during my third year at Temple Medical school as an elective with Dr. Kozin, and to learn from him and all of the other surgeons and therapists during this week. Some highlights during the week have been learning suturing techniques from Dr. Levis during the nevus excision with skin grafting, observing over the shoulder of nearly all the surgeons during the course of the week, learning from and being randomly “quizzed” by anesthesia, and lastly being able to scrub and assist into a few cases with my dad for the first time. I am already thinking about how to schedule my fourth year so that I can make it back for the next trip in April 2021.

-Alec Talsania, medical student Temple University