Honduras Surgical Eye Mission – 2012

2018 Impact Statement Honduras Surgical Eye Mission

August 23 – 28, 2018

A surgical mission was conducted in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, from October 27th to November 2nd 2012. Visionary Ophthalmology Foundation, a 503C exempt organization, which started with the purpose of providing free vision care to people in need outside the United States, sponsored the mission.

J. Alberto Martinez, M.D. and  Anna Pigotti organized the mission.  While in In San Pedro Sula, substantial support was provided by Dr. Marco Antonio Fajardo and his staff at Vision Integral. Significant support was also provided  by the Pan American Medical Society’s Roider Foundation headed by Dr. Bernie Kreutz, M.D. and his technical team, which consisted of Samantha Tuttamore, Katherine Pugh, Heather Kirkland and Steven Wolf. 

The initial plan of the mission was to perform 6 corneal transplant and 30 cataract surgeries. Changes in the surgical schedule resulted in the performance of 7 corneal transplants (4 DSAEK Lamelar keratoplasties and 3 penetrating keratoplasties), and 28 cataract surgeries.  One of the corneal transplants was a triple procedure with “open sky” cataract extraction, intraocular lens implant and penetrating keratoplasty. 

Of the 28 cataract surgeries, 2 of them were extra capsular cataract extractions and one of them was “phaco-trabeculectomy”, a combined phaco emulsification with traveculectomy. In addition 3 intravitreal injections of Avastin were given for the treatment of diabetic retinopathy. 

All the patients were carefully examined at postoperative day one. Visual acuity, slit lamp exam, and intra ocular pressure were performed. 

Overall, the rate of surgical complication was extremely low and they are described as follows:

  • One Capsular tear during phaco, which required weck cell mechanical vitrectomy with a sulcus placement of the intraocular lens. One day post op patient was doing well with excellent lens position and visual acuity. 
  • A DSAEK button was not completely attached requiring “re-bubbling” twice.. One day post op the button was well apposed and in excellent position. 
  • A seidel positive hypotonic eye with a partially detached button was treated with a bandage contact lens.
  • A DSAEK procedure was complicated by posterior pressure and a  hemorrhage intra operatively. The endothelial button could not be well positioned and the procedure was aborted.  Two days post op the anterior chamber and pressure had decreased. 

A careful analysis by Dr. Fajardo and Dr. Martinez concluded that surgical mission was an excellent success. Dr. Fajardo gracefully invited us to other missions in the future. Planning for such mission has already begun. 

It is important to properly thank the organizations that donated and contributed to the success of this mission:

The Pennsylvania Eye Tissue Bank: 7 refrigerated corneas

Alcon: 50+ thousand dollars worth of surgical supplies

Allergan: multiple pharmaceuticals consumables

Retina Associates: examining chair, slit lamp, phoropter, and stand 

Palisades Surgery Center: lending of surgical instruments and donation of surgical supplies. 

Future Plans

Identifying an eye technical person that will help with the logistic of future missions  

Visionary Foundation will engage on fundraiser efforts in attempt to raise funds to pay for future missions

Accomplishments and future plans of the foundation will be publicized locally with the goal of recruiting fellow ophthalmologists to participate and related health care companies to donate equipment and supplies to enhance future missions.

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