Mount Sinai has an extensive history in assisting local surgeons in Asia with complex surgical procedures. Our Plastic Surgery Division has been involved in caring for children in Vietnam with cleft lip and other craniofacial conditions since the 1980s. Our urological surgeons from Mount Sinai West and Mount Sinai Morningside have also been teaching urologists in India for the last few decades. Mount Sinai strives to continue building capacity and empowering surgeons of these developing countries.
In March 2008, Sum Tran, MD, and Lester Silver, MD, the former Director of the “Barsky Unit” (also known as the Center for Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery in Saigon) and current System Chief of the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Division for the Mount Sinai Health System, led a group of eight plastic surgeons on a mission trip to Hue, Vietnam. Our team then understood the complexities of the current Vietnamese health care system and the significance of the people’s difficulties in accessing care, especially those living in central Vietnam and Hue. As a result, our surgeons recognized the extent of the need for its services and formed Project Hue.
Project Hue is collaboration between the TranTien Foundation and the Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery Division at The Mount Sinai Hospital, which has provided reconstructive plastic surgery for underprivileged patients and ongoing training to local physicians. Our team has treated conditions, such as brachial plexus palsy; complicated hand problems; devastating post-burn contractions; complex cleft lip palate, nose, and craniofacial deformities; and severe soft tissue defects. Complex cases and yearly symposia afford visiting surgeons the opportunity to provide training for more than 100 Vietnamese surgeons annually. Philip J.Torina, MD, Assistant Professor in the Department of Surgery and plastic surgeon, has traveled to Hue in 2008 and 2011, where he performed complex reconstructive surgeries to the local population.
Manta Gupta, MD, Co-President and Co-Founder of the SaDilKa Foundation, has led teams of residents, medical students, and urologists from around the world on surgical missions to rural India. Performing more than 120 surgical cases, Dr. Gupta and his team completed procedures, such as nephrolithotomies, ureteroscopy, lithotripsy, urethroplasty, and ureteropelvic junction obstruction repair among others. He has offered services otherwise unavailable to most in the community of Mahua, India.
SaDilKa Foundation, Inc., is a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing medical science and alleviating human suffering through a four-fold approach:
- Testing and developing new treatments and techniques through clinical and basic science research;
- Teaching the latest advances in medical and surgical technology;
- Training medical professionals in cutting-edge, minimally invasive techniques;
- Treating patients throughout the world.
When describing his experiences in rural India, Dr. Gupta writes: “The experience has made me realize that medicine as we experience it in the US is a far cry from what can be practiced in third world countries, how much suffering and desperation there is in underserved populations, and how a concerted effort can be so mutually rewarding to caretakers and their patients. The experiences have changed my whole outlook on life and made me a better person. Only a selfless endeavor, such as this, can give one such a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment. This is a feeling that everyone should experience.”