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DR. DOWNEY BRINGS MEDICAL ADVANCEMENTS TO ECUADOR

Suzan Filipek
Edition: 2/3/2012


TEACHING IN THE operating room in Porto Viejo is Dr. Downey.

Dr. Susan Downey recently returned from Ecuador where she helped train university residents and area medical personnel in the latest techniques in cleft lip and palette repair and burn reconstruction.

The noted Larchmont plastic and reconstructive surgeon joined a team of 15 experts including surgeon Dr. Jorge Palacios, who has started the first plastic surgery program in Ecuador at the University of Guayquil.
Downey was also joined by anesthesiologists and nurses during the one-week, hands-on surgical training in Porto Viejo.

"In the past 20 years, new techniques have been developed in the U.S. which lead to better outcomes for the patients, and we are trying to bring the surgeons in these countries up to date with their techniques," said Downey. Improved medical attention leads to less residual problems, she added.

She said teaching the latest advancements in medicine to area doctors and nurses is akin to the old adage: you can give a man a fish and feed him for a day, or you can teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime.

It was the fourth trip for the Windsor Square resident for ReSurge International. The volunteer organization is made up of medical professionals who travel to developing countries to provide reconstructive surgeries for the poor who suffer from debilitating injuries caused by industrial or farming accidents, severe burns, or congenital deformities; at no cost to the patient or their families.

Susan writes about the experience on her blog: "I was very impressed with the caliber of the residents, and I must admit the exposure to different types of cases and the complexities of the cases they see is beyond what most residents in the U.S. see in their training.

"As always, I get so much more from these trips than I give."