This post is by Saving Mothers Medical Director Taraneh Shirazian, MD.
We’ve completed our surgical mission in Dominican Republic, and it was a great success! In just four days, we were able to evaluate 119 patients and perform surgery on 40, providing slings for urinary incontinence, anterior and posterior vaginal wall repairs and more.
Our team of 10 looked forward to each day because we were met with such great enthusiasm from the cooperadoras and the patients. No morning could begin without the daily group prayer, consisting of an oration and prayer songs, and a blessing for all participants.
Members of Saving Mothers’ surgical team.
This was followed by the first surgical cases of the day. And before every new patient was taken into the operating room, there were cheers and cries of joy for the next patient who would get the opportunity to have her medical issues resolved. How could we not look forward to every day in such a joyous environment?
In particular, we were struck by the strong sense of community at the ILAC Medical Center. All of the cooperadoras stuck around to help the medical team with the women waiting to be seen, and to help with the flow of the day. The patients themselves were extremely helpful and grateful to every member of the team for taking an interest in and helping them with their gynecologic concerns.
Women waiting to be evaluated at ILAC.
Throughout the mission, we also worked with physicians at ILAC who were supportive and accommodating of us, providing patients with medications they needed but could not pay for, and clinical evaluations if requested as part of pre-operative evaluations.
Several Ob-Gyn residents and students from the Dominican Republic showed up and participated in the clinical evaluations, and in return, we were able to provide them with some training in the various surgical procedures we were performing. It was wonderful to see this sense of camaraderie in action, and we look forward to continuing to see it on future surgical trips to this site!
Thank you so much again to all of our supporters who donated to make this trip possible. Your contributions made a huge difference for women in the Dominican Republic.