“Part of my initial motivation to enter the medical field stemmed from a desire to make a contribution to those, both in this country and abroad, without the opportunities that many of us enjoy.” ~ Dr. Scott K. Thompson
With the expansion of technologies that bring the world to our living rooms in an instant, society has become increasingly aware of the plight of individuals in developing countries. Ecuador is one such country. Many people in Ecuador and Guatemala are very poor and have minimal access to medical care. Furthermore, the number of children born with congenital defects is higher in Ecuador than other countries.
My desire to make a contribution through the sharing of my training and skills with others is realized in part each year as I join in Ecuador with experts in the field of facial plastic surgery from around the country. Our objective is to deliver needed surgical care to as many children and adolescents suffering from physical deformities as we can. We typically spend one week each year in Ecuador, where we work long hours each day in order to meet the needs of the throngs of children waiting for us when we arrive. Following our return to the United States, excellent physicians living in Ecuador attend to the post-operative needs of the patients and prepare others for our next mission.
A number of years ago, one of the founders of these medical missions, Dr. Vito C. Quatela from Rochester, New York, established a foundation dedicated to the realization of these goals. The execution of an international medical mission requires a tremendous amount of medical resources, equipment, organization, and dedicated service hours from physicians, nurses, operating room personnel, and other volunteers. I’ve been traveling yearly with this organization Helping Give Children Smiles, HUGS, as well as the organization MMFC (Medical Missions For Children) for a number of years now. You can visit their websites to learn more.
The services we offer help children develop into confident, secure and responsible individuals free from their congenital conditions. One such condition we treat frequently is Microtia, a congenital deformity where the pinna (external ear) is underdeveloped. Currently, Ecuador, Guatemala, and Vietnam have a much higher incidence of Microtia per live births.
I would invite you, if you are in such a position, to consider making a contribution to this worthy cause. Each contribution, no matter how small or large, has the potential to help a less fortunate child. Please ask for information at your next visit or visit www.helpusgivesmiles.org and/or www.mmfc.org.
Made 4 Utah: Doctor helping families with surgical needs
SLC, Utah Plastic Surgeon, Scott Thompson was featured in a Made 4 Utah segment on 9/12/14
You may know Dr. Scott K. Thompson for his surgical work across the valley. He has been specializing in plastic and reconstructive surgery for over ten years. But in addition to the work inside his Utahoffices, he travels the world helping those in need.
“There are a lot of children and adults down in Central and South America that are born with congenital deformities. And particularly the thing that we work on in our group are people who are born without any ears,” Dr. Thompson said.
It’s a fascinating idea. Taking people who are lacking something as basic- but vital- as an ear and literally building them a new one.
“Constructing an ear out of nothing is a big deal because an ear is three dimensional and it sits away from the head. It’s a complicated process,” Dr. Thompson explained.
They harvest a portion of a rib from the chest, shape and form that to look like ear. That it then implanted under the skin. It does take time and further surgeries, but in the end, it all looks as it should.
Dr. Thompson said, “All of these cosmetic things that I do also serve a really useful purpose and help people with self confidence and they help people kind of be their best selves and feel the best about themselves that they can.”
Dr. Thompson and the group “Help us give smiles” go to Ecuador and Guatemala twice a year to perform service surgeries for families in the rural communities.
As he put it, “It is something they really don’t have access to down there and it’s something we can offer. Ever since I went into medicine I wanted to do service.”
A beautiful gift of life and hope from a Made 4 Utah success.
Utah Plastic Surgeon & HUGS in Vietnam Part 1
Dr. Scott Thompson, prominent Utah Plastic Surgeon, joins ‘Help Us Give Smiles’ in Vietnam to repair congenital deformities for children and adolescents who are often shunned by friends and family. Learn more about their mission in part 1 of ‘HUGS in Vietnam’ by Jason Nguyen from Good4Utah.
Utah Plastic Surgeon & HUGS in Vietnam Part 2
Learn more about the HUGS – Help Us Give Smiles – team that Utah plastic surgeon, Dr. Scott Thompson joins in Vietnam to help children with congenital deformities. The team focuses on microtia repair for many constructing ears where they are often missing or deformed from birth.
Utah Plastic Surgeon & HUGS in Vietnam Part 3
Learn all about the patients served in Hanoi, Vietnam by Dr. Scott Thompson, facial plastic surgeon in Utah, and the HUGS team. Many patients suffer from microtia, a congenital condition where the ear is underdeveloped from birth. The team works hard constructing ears from rib cartilage so these patients can live a normal life.
Utah Plastic Surgeon & HUGS in Vietnam Part 4
Learn all about Hanoi, Vietnam with Jason Nguyen, reporter from GOOD4Utah. Jason traveled with Dr. Scott Thompson, facial plastic surgeon in Utah, to document his medical mission with the HUGS team – Help Us Give Smiles.
Medical Mission Photo Gallery