John Tessier, MD
John Tessier, MD
Orthopaedic Surgery · Saint Louis, MO

Dominican Republic Mission Trip-Prosthetic Lab

January 21st
Santiago, Dominican Republic

Project Description

Over the past 12 years, I have been an annual volunteer Orthopaedic Surgeon for the Institute for Latin American Concern (ILAC) Mission in Santiago, Dominican Republic. Our pre-operative screening clinics revealed many amputees without access to prosthetic services. In 2011, I built & equipped a high-tech Lab, transported it to the mission and hired a certified Prosthetist from Venezuela. The Lab now with a Dominican support staff has been operational since that time. I plan to visit the Lab in January, 2020 to participate in amputee Clinics & to screen patients for surgical revision of their residual amputated limbs.

Population Served

Our Prosthetic Lab has the only certified Prosthetist in northern Dominican Republic serving the indigent children & adult amputees of this region. Prior to 2012, amputees had to take their walker, wheelchair or crutches and take a bus to the capital, Santo Domingo for consultation & treatment. Our original screening Clinic revealed 30 amputee patients that had a connection with the Mission who had lived with their amputation on the average of 7 years, without any access to a prosthetic limb.

Expected Impact

Our Prosthetic Lab does not discriminate. We serve all people of the region, Haitians and Dominicans alike. We also provide upper & lower extremity prosthetics & orthosis regardless of a patients ability to pay. Since inception in 2011, we have evaluated & provided over 600 amputees with life changing appliances to enhance their function & quality of life. With children's rapid growth between age 10 & 18, they frequently need adjustments or alterations of a lower extremity prosthesis every year to 18 months.

Trip Photos & Recap

Amputees can have complex structural obstacles that need special care in order to maintain comfortable prosthetic fittings. Our team surgically evaluated and performed amputation revisions to ultimately allow enhanced functional prosthetic performance. I appreciate the support of the Doximity Foundation to make this care possible.