Articles, Blog

Peru Medical Mission Part One

October 24, 2019

(Calm Piano Music) (haunting panflute) – [Dr. Ryan Osborne] The city of Cajamarca is known for the Battle of Cajamarca. In 1532, a small Spanish force
using superior weapons of war (arrows whooshing) were able to ambush and
capture the Incan emperor. In an effort to free himself, the Incan emperor told his Spanish captors that if they set him free, he would fill the room
in which he was being held captive full of gold, twice over. The Spaniards accepted those terms. As agreed, the Incan emperor
filled the room with gold. This gold was taken back to Spain and was used to inject significant life into the European economy. Anyway, as the story is told, the Spaniards took the gold, but still assassinated the Incan emperor. And that very room that
held the Incan emperor and was filled with gold still stands in remembrance of these events. I mean, that has to put a little distrust in your blood don’t you think? (Metal cutting through skin) My name is Ryan Osborne. I trained as a Head and Neck surgeon in South Central Los Angeles. Managing the most
complex cancer and trauma patients in the country. I’ve operated across the globe in first and third world countries. My experiences have taught me the value of flexible and innovative thinking. But I realized that our healthcare system doesn’t always allow for that. So I started Osborne
Head and Neck Institute. I made it my mission to find the best, most creative surgeons around, and I gave them the space to excel. Together, we created a
new standard of medicine. These are our stories. (hopeful piano music) So how did we decide on Peru? About two years ago, a patient came into the
office for an evaluation. Her name was Natalia Gunderson. She was my last patient
scheduled for the day. Turns out Natalia was in
the States on vacation. Natalia’s from Peru and she’s
a Pediatrician by training. Her husband John was raised
in Southern California and he’s a chef by trade. Natalia and I got along very well, and she was well aware of
our international work. And she explained that she and her husband would love to invite us to Cajamarca, Peru where they were working to
conduct a medical mission. She explained that Cajamarca was within the mountains of Peru, approximately one hour flight from Lima, and represented one of the
poorest regions of Peru. She felt the mission in Cajamarca would have a meaningful
impact on the citizens. So, I told her I’d look into it, and see if it could be
a potential site for us. (Ryan speaking to team) (airplane taking off) (slow Peruvian music) (bus humming) – We’re in a different environment than we usually go to. So there’s the risk of
having altitude sickness, fatigue, headaches, shortness of breath that we’re not used to that. (slow, suspenseful music) (people talking) (band playing) (parade leader shouting) – It’s always crazy day one. We are running around, trying
to triage all the patients. Our plan here is to get through the entire lot of patients, triage, figure out who’s gonna be best for sort of a local procedure under local anesthesia versus
general anesthesia, and also who’s just safe
to have surgery at all. Once we get that figured out, we’ll get them lined up, put in with the appropriate medical team, and we’ll actually get those procedures scheduled the rest of the week. (people talking) We’ve got 14 of our 31 members who have some sort of blood relation. That’s unusual. So, we’ve got families
here this time around. Which makes it even more special cause it’s families helping families. We have people who flew
in from South America. Got people coming in from the East Coast. We’re coming from the
West Coast United States. All merging here in Peru, in Cajamarca, and it’s going great. – It was funny that when we left I was crying and my son’s like “It’s okay Mommy. You’re
helping the world.” So, yeah. Sorry. (doctors and patients talking) – This is my first experience and it has been amazing. The sensation to give,
the sensation to help, it’s just incredible. – We don’t really work like the corporate world does. We work the way OHNI works. We all are cross trained and we all have to just be able to jump in where help is needed unlike the doctors who just sees patients as a number. We actually treat patients as a human. Like if they’re our family member. – [Ryan] I always come to the sites where we’re gonna do a mission
before the rest of the team. Just to check out the local area and see what equipment we’re gonna need to bring. When I came the first time to Cajamarca, I met with the hospital officials, and they all assured
me that the facilities were able to accommodate the types of surgeries that we typically perform. Unfortunately, in the interim, the country had political elections. There was a change of guard, and all of the appointed
hospital officials I initially met with were replaced. That means all the
people who made promises to me were gone, and the new leadership couldn’t be held responsible for what
they did not agree to. Despite this, the new leadership agreed to honor the previously made arrangements
to host our mission. However, they also informed us that we were misled regarding the facilities. – We have run into a few challenges, some that we haven’t
experienced in the past. – So, we learned that
they have two ORs here, but they’ve actually never done any general anesthesia cases here. – We are unaware if the
anesthesia monitors work properly. – [Ryan] That means we were limited to local anesthesia and
sedation cases only. – So, if we can’t get these anesthesia machines up and running, we wouldn’t be able to do any general anesthesia cases at all. So, that would definitely
change our mission. – [Ryan] Every morning we walked to the hospital to start work. What a change. I mean, from jumping in a
car and fighting traffic like I do every day back home. It just makes me feel more
connected to the city. It’s a familiar feeling. It’s a feeling I had when
I was in elementary school, walking to class through my neighborhood. I love this walk. The team jumped into triaging patients, but more importantly, they jumped into the local
culture without a hiccup. (Peruvian folk music) Despite the fact that
in this hospital here, Simón Bolívar, we are not able to do
any general anesthesia, we’re not letting that stop us. We’re gonna move forward and do everything we can possibly do using local anesthesia. – (speaking Spanish) – We’re about to get started on revising a scar on a young 14 year-old boy who had a trauma when he was
playing with his sibling, ran into a wire and got
a cut across his face. It’s big, it’s hypertrophic,
it’s there, everybody sees it. He covers his face all the time. He doesn’t want anybody to look at him. So, hopefully we can give him
a much better looking scar, and we’re gonna get
started on that right now. (dramatic music) (doctor speaking) (hopeful panflute music) (patients speaking Spanish) – [Ryan] Sometimes babies are born with something called Ankyloglossia, which basically means they’re tongue-tied. This is a situation where they have trouble moving their tongue because it is tethered down by a
band of tissue in the mouth. This can interfere with feeding, and ultimately speech. The treatment is fairly simple. You need to surgically release the tongue. (baby crying) This procedure is called a Frenulectomy. – ¡Muchas gracias! – Why I have a long-standing connection to Osborne
Head and Neck Institute because I am a fellowship director for the American Academy of
Facial Plastic Surgery, and we train one fellow a year
in facial plastic surgery, and in 2005, it was my great honor to
train Dr. Jason Hamilton, who was actually my first fellow, and very quickly I learned that he was just a excellent doctor. So, we had a wonderful year together, learning together, and then he went to Los Angeles, joined Dr. Osborne, and
OHNI began flourishing. And then when I knew that I wanted to start practicing in California again, I approached Dr. Hamilton and asked if the group would have me and they welcomed me with open arms, and so I’ve been working with them
now for about three years. It’s been a great experience, and I’ve known about these missions, and I finally was able to come, and actually to bring my wife, who is a nurse, and participate and see
what it’s all about. She had a cyst in the back of her head, and it was kinda growing
right in the center. (dramatic music) And what you gotta do is you gotta get the whole thing out without breaking any of it, or without going into the wall of it so we’re able to shell it out. (team talking) – [Ryan] The next gentleman that we’re gonna operate on actually
came in with his family, his wives and his daughters and
this really large neck mass. I did an imaging study on him, and I felt pretty comfortable that although the mass was large, it wasn’t involving any really
critical dangerous structures and that we could probably do this under local anesthesia. Back in the States, we would never try this, this would definitely
be done under general, but I think we’re gonna be able to do it. – (Photographer) Okay, smile! – [Ryan Voiceover] This
mission became very complex from a scheduling standpoint. We solved our general anesthesia problem by making arrangements
with the regional hospital. They allowed us to operate
in the middle of the night when they were least busy. So that left us doing clinic and smaller procedures by day at the
first hospital, Simón Bolívar, and more complex cases at the
regional hospital by night. – So, it’s a little frustrating that we had to kinda have a setback, but I’m hopeful that
we’re gonna get through it and the next couple days we’re going to be able to get as many
cases done as possible. (the team talking) – So, it’s really exciting to finally feel like we have one
foot over the threshold. We can get some of these real cases done, and I think we’re gonna
feel tremendous relief when we get that first
major ENT case done to really feel like we’re doing
what we came here to do. – So we finally got to
the regional hospital, and this is our first major case at this hospital under general anesthesia. It’s a parotidectomy on a gentleman who’s come all the way from Bolivia, and we’re helping it goes well. (Patient speaking Spanish) (team cheering) – It’s 20 past midnight. Yes we’re still working. – It’s 1:48 a.m., we have successfully completed a couple of cases, and we’re getting ready
to start a couple more. – [Ryan] We were trying to renovate the recreational room of an orphanage called Las Niñas de Belen. The question was when
would we find the time?


  • Reply deb tasker July 26, 2019 at 7:29 pm

    I wish I could win the lottery so I could donate a gazillion dollars to your mission. Thank you, all, for the expertise you bring to the table. ✨

  • Reply Rosemary Burr July 26, 2019 at 9:52 pm

    My eyes always swell up with tears! God bless this mission and the doctors and nurses and all the volunteers!

  • Reply Darnia Taylor July 26, 2019 at 11:31 pm

    I love everything that all of you stand for and do! I wish that I was able to help fund your missions and I pray that you all can continue to do this work. I have a brain tumor and every time I start to get concerned about having it removed I think of all of your patients and you and them give me hope. ?

  • Reply ideana gomez July 27, 2019 at 4:35 am

    You guys are sent from heaven god bless you all.❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

  • Reply sandy grunwaldt July 27, 2019 at 5:31 am

    WHAT A FRIEND WE HAVE IN JESUS, HE has HIS HANDS on all of you. May the LORD be with you all and keep you safe as you are so far from your own Home's. I admire everyone of you. Such a Blessing each one of you are.

  • Reply noe hil July 28, 2019 at 11:23 am

    Amazing work, you guys are beyond angels… Thank you for all this great work…

  • Reply Libaan Asad July 31, 2019 at 6:40 pm

    Good doctor

  • Reply Mississippi Woman August 1, 2019 at 2:21 am

    You guys are awesome! May GOD bless you all!

  • Reply Debbie Bailey August 3, 2019 at 10:49 pm

    God bless all of you for taking your expertise and time to help these people. ❤️

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