In early November of 2016, Steve Kraus, MD, the Division Chief of Fluoroscopy, traveled with two surgeons, an anesthesiologist, a nurse anesthetist, two operating room scrub nurses, a circulating nurse, and three floor nurses from Cincinnati Children’s Colorectal Center on a surgical mission trip to Mwanza, Tanzania, sponsored by Mending Kids, a non-profit organization based in Los Angeles, California. Dr. Kraus’s primary role was to provide the radiologic support to the surgical team to assist in the pre-operative workup of patients with colorectal surgical disease. Most of the patients were born with an anorectal malformation in Tanzania or one of the surrounding countries. Doctors in these countries can perform the first surgery when a child is born, but do not have the expertise to perform the complete repair. During the week-long mission, Dr. Kraus performed a fluoroscopic exam on selected patients to make a roadmap of the large intestine for the surgeon to plan their surgical repair.
In addition to the abnormality on the patients’ bottoms, there are other abnormalities that are commonly associated, such as kidney, spine, and vaginal abnormalities. Therefore, Dr. Kraus also evaluated these areas of the body, using a portable laptop ultrasound unit that was lent to Mending Kids by one of the major ultrasound manufacturers, partnering with them to provide support for our mission.
It is very rewarding not only to help children who would not otherwise have the opportunity to receive this type of specialized care but also to teach the radiologists at this hospital to perform the diagnostic exams required to assist their own surgeons, with the goal of making these surgeons able to operate on straightforward cases independently.
Contributed by Dr. Steven Kraus and edited by Catherine Leopard (Child Life Specialist).