Evans Tran, Physician Assistant at Pacific Coast Urology Medical Center and Western States HIFU embarked on her fourth consecutive medical/surgical mission to the Philippines. “I can’t thank Dr. Pugach enough for sponsoring my trip,” says Evans. “With his generous financial support, and donation of time and materials, I can once again use my surgical expertise, especially in the area of common urological conditions.”
The medical mission is sponsored by the Philippine Medical Society of Northern California missionary group includes a diverse group of medical volunteers. “It is exciting and very moving to work alongside such an incredible group of professionals who un-selflessly devote their skills and talents,” says Evans.
Evans began her journey with a grueling 33 hours of traveling time to a small province in the Philippines called Candon, Ilocos Sur. She was excited this year to work alongside two remarkable urologists Dr. Mark Gonzalgo from UHealth University of Miami Health System, FL and Dr. Kelly Morgan from San Francisco. Together, they treated five large kidney stone cases and one enlarged prostate case.
Treatments for enlarged prostate and kidney stones have come a long way. In the past, removal of large stones required major open surgeries with longer hospital stays and increased morbidity. The current approach now focuses primarily on minimally invasive techniques that offers a high success rate with low morbidity and minimal to no hospital stay.
Unfortunately, the urologists and Evans did not have access to this modern advancement. “It is not a luxury available when practicing in a third world country,” says Evans. “For the very first time, and perhaps what may be the only time in my career, I got to participate in the so-called “old school” surgery to remove complex large kidney stones and a prostate for enlarged prostate treatment.” Each case lasted 4 – 5 hours and the team and patients were happy with the incredible results.
“It never ceases to amaze me how resilient the people are in the Philippines,” says Evan. “The patients were able to walk the day following surgery and were discharged in no more than 3 days. Though, undoubtedly, in great pain they seemed to recover with a twinge of discomfort. Once again, I am beyond blessed to be able to serve the indigenous people of the Philippines.”
About the Philippine Medical Society of Northern California
The Philippine Medical Society of Northern California assists the indigent communities who have little or no access to medical care. They have been conducting community outreach programs and medical missions to selected rural areas in the Philippines since 1986. This amazing organization relies mostly on volunteer hours and donations from private individuals, hospitals, and pharmaceutical companies.