With the increasing number of paediatric patients with hand malformations waiting for treatment, FV Hospital invited Dr Stéphane Guero from France to provide examination and surgery from November 18th to November 23rd, 2019. On this occasion, Doctor Guero also offered consultation and surgery for children suffering from symbrachydactyly or syndactyly and, at the same time, those from disadvantaged backgrounds who are sponsored by Children of Vietnam Charitable fund. Knowing that there were still many children waiting for healthcare consultations, Dr Guero expressed his regret; “Next time, I will try to extend my stay in Vietnam to be longer, two weeks perhaps so that I can help more and more children”.
Due to the limited time, Dr Guero was only able to visit 45 of the most urgent cases and perform surgery for 15 children, including 6 cases supported by Children of Vietnam Charitable Fund. He shared; “Due to some complex cases that require a long time for surgery, there are still many patients who have to wait. Next time, I will try to extend my stay in Vietnam to be longer, so that I can help perform surgery to more and more children.”
In 2019, he provided examination and treatment for 15 cases which were received by Children of Vietnam Charitable Fund. All of which were treated and taken care of at FV Hospital in accordance with international standards of healthcare, like other normal patients. In addition, the children also received support for accommodation and travel expenses during the treatment process.
During his recent visit, Dr Guero also operated on cases that needed to be monitored and treated after the previous surgeries, which were conducted in May 2019, due to complex defects that could not be performed in one operation. Among them were the cases of two brothers, Ta Minh Tri, 13 years old, and Ta Minh Tai, 10 years old, who both lived in Soc Trang. A fire caused them to both be burnt badly when they were little. Their hand and leg tendons shrunk to form deformities that made it difficult to exercise. Over time, the scars have healed, and so the treatment had to be implemented in many stages. Specifically, in May 2019, Dr Guero helped Minh Tri to have surgery on his hand and the shrunk tendon on his wrist, while helping Minh Tai to treat one-hand deformity and one leg twitch. During this visit, Dr Guero continued further to help Minh Tri to have surgery on one of his shrunk feet and for Minh Tai on the malformation of his other foot. He meticulously removed skin grafts taken from the patient’s respective abdomens to help return the appearance of the two to normal.
In addition, Dr Guero also performed surgery for new cases, including LTHC, a 16 year old patient from Hai Phong, who has a deformed left hand where 3 fingers from the middle finger to the little finger are stuck together, and a swollen forefinger. Living with the deformities as a teenage girl was a miserable experience for the patient. Hiding her hands in her sleeves all the time, she even cries when being asked about them. Hand deformities in general or symbrachydactyly, and syndactyly in particular, not only cause trouble in daily life activities for children, but also cause inferiority, and can extremely cause a serious psychological impact on them. Therefore, further to the main goal of restoring the hand function, Dr Guero also attaches special importance to ensuring the aesthetic appearance for the children. He shared; “Owning a not so beautiful hand will create self-depreciation for the children. Beautiful hands will help you feel confident and free to use your hands to express your feelings. Therefore, I always try my best so that all my little patients do not have to encounter any barriers anymore.”
Hearing this name that patients had bestowed upon him, he thrillingly expressed, “Thank you for all of your love, but actually I have nothing special. I am just doing my best, spreading the medical knowledge I learnt to bring the best to the children. For me, this is an opportunity to learn and earn more skills from the experts and share my experience with colleagues when participating in the surgery.”
Accompanying Dr Guero on this visit to Vietnam was Professor Terry R. Light who is also a Hand Surgeon, and a professional advisor at the Loyola University Medical Centre, United States (Loyola University Medical Health Centre). As a result, to support FV Hospital medical staff, Dr Guero had an additional partner to join in the discussion of complex surgeries.
Postoperative paediatric patients will be monitored by Dr Guero in conjunction with FV physicians. The process of re-examination and support of hand rehabilitation through physiotherapy is always guaranteed to bring the best treatment for children.
ABOUT THE CHILDREN OF VIETNAM CHARITABLE FUND
The Children of Vietnam Charitable Fund is a charity fund founded and sponsored by FV Hospital, established in 2006. Since then, the fund has helped hundreds of patients with many types of malformations and sequelae, providing them with opportunities for better lives. Children are eligible if they are aged under 16 years old, currently living in Vietnam, in difficult circumstances, exhibiting diseases or malformations – as a result of congenital problems or accidents, such as:
- Heart diseases, such as ventricular septal defects, atrial fibrillation, ductus arteriosus, pulmonary thrombosis, narrowed aorta.
- Vascular disease: vascular anomalies, haemangiomas, lymphomas in the hands, legs, trunk, body and face
- Injuries, orthopaedic conditions, such as syndactylism, dislocated hips or club foot.
- Urogenital problems such as vesico-urethral reflux causing hydronephrosis or cryptorchidism (undescended testes), hypospadias (malformation of the urethral tube) and ambiguous genitalia.
- Abdominal and digestive conditions, such as hernias, intestinal malrotations, anorectal or oesophageal atresias.
- Maxillofacial problems such as haemangioma, cleft lip or palate, malformed ears.
- Neurosurgical diseases such as hydrocephalus.
- Eye problems, such as retinopathy of prematurity (ROP).
- Disabilities caused by accidents or disease, such as burns or malformation resulting from poliomyelitis.
Children of Vietnam Charitable Fund – 6 Nguyen Luong Bang st., District 7, HCMC.