Connie Ma, MD
Connie Ma, MD
Otolaryngology (ENT) · Dallas, TX

Antigua Microtia Reconstruction Mission Trip

January 27th
Antigua Guatemala, Guatemala

Project Description

Microtia (underdeveloped or malformed ear) is a type of congenital anomaly that occurs rarely but has significant impact on form and function of the ear. Management of microtia is complex and often requires multidisciplinary and specialized care. Our plan for this medical mission trip is multifaceted and all centered around microtia care in Antigua, Guatemala. The primary goal of our trip will be to perform microtia reconstruction surgery for affected patients in the community. During the first half of our trip, we will evaluate new surgical candidates and perform first stage microtia procedures. During the second half of our trip, we will evaluate patients previously cared for by our group and perform second stage and revision procedures. Additional goals for the trip include teaching community healthcare providers how to care for this patient population and further fostering our group’s relationship with the local community.

Population Served

The primary benefiters of this mission trip will be patients in the Guatemalan community born with microtia. We chose Antigua, Guatemala as the site for this mission trip as our group has previously traveled to the city and has an established relationship with the community and its hospitals. This established relationship will be important in helping us expand our reach and maximize our impact during our time there. Additionally, this population is medically underserved and patients in this community may otherwise have minimal access to specialty surgical care.

Expected Impact

This has been an annually occurring mission trip by a small group of Otolaryngologists from across the United States. Through the course of a week, our group typically performs about twenty microtia procedures. Microtia care is highly specialized, and patients in this community likely would not otherwise have access to a microtia surgeon. As we continue this annual trip, we look forward to further expanding our impact through education both among traveling trainees and within the local community.

Trip Photos & Recap

During this one week mission, we were able to perform life changing microtia procedures for affected patients in the community around Antigua. Microtia is rare, and there is little to no access to this specialized care in the community outside of missions. These procedures improve a child's confidence and appearance and allow for functional use of the outer ear (glasses, etc.). This was an amazing experience for all involved, including myself, and I am grateful to the Dox Foundation for helping to make it happen!