When I took on the role of SIM Peru director in 2010 many lamented that the number of gross medical stories and pictures plummeted. I can't guarantee the same number or shock value of the photos, but you can expect to see more interesting stuff! We'll start with an easy one: Today, a woman, who has helped several of our missionaries in their ministries, came to get a hemangioma removed from her thumb. When it appeared a couple of months ago she went to a doctor who sent her to a long list of doctors including an orthopedic surgeon, an oncologist and a vascular surgeon who ordered all sorts of tests including an ultrasound and an MRI. She spent the equivalent of days in waiting rooms until she was told they didn't want to remove it because it could bleed a lot. I took one look at it and her fancy studies and said, "Let's take it out." I cleaned her up, but a small sterile glove on her hand and cut the tip off of the thumb and rolled it down her thumb making its own little tournaquet. Bleeding? Did they think she'd bleed to death from her thumb? Just put your other thumb on it. Several people explained to me that this rigamarole was just to make more money ordering expensive but unecessary studies. I hope she doesn't bleed to death, or I'll look pretty silly.
I made a small (1-cm) incision and the benign-appearing hemangioma popped out of the opening and was easily removed.