Plastic Surgeon Lends Expertise to Patients, Doctors in Guatemala


A local plastic surgeon was part of a team of medical personnel that left Thursday for Guatemala to provide reconstructive surgery for patients who have birth defects and other physical abnormalities.

Dr. Hootan Daneshmand of Santa Ana was part of a group of 28 surgeons, nurses and support staff to provide free surgical help and share medical information with local doctors at the Hospital de la Familia in Nuevo Progreso.

Daneshmand, who has made similar trips to Mexico, Chile and Argentina the past four years, said that most of the patients are children who suffer from cleft lip.


“Each procedure takes about an hour and a half and I can do about six or seven a day,” said Daneshmand, who will be gone 19 days. “It only takes me an hour and a half, but it will last them a lifetime.”

He said the abnormality is more prevalent in poorer countries such as Guatemala because of nutritional and environmental elements.

“We see cases here in the U.S., but they get treated right away,” Daneshmand said. “But down there nobody can treat them so we do whatever we can.”

All members of the team pay for their own air fare, meals and other transportation costs. Lodging is provided by the hospital.

“Whenever I go on one of these trips it makes me realize what we have here,” he said.