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The Butterfly Foundation’s Scoliosis Mission surgery team celebrated 18 successful spine surgeries in Mandalay in June.

Mandalay Scoliosis Mission in Myanmar

The Butterfly Foundation (Fundacion Mariposa) is a non-profit organization bringing deformity focused academic spine surgeons and comprehensive teams to developing countries to teach local spine surgeons corrective spine surgeries on some of the most difficult cases in the Third World.

Cadwell and our distributor Advamed supported the Mandalay Scoliosis Missions in November 2015 and June 2016. Cadwell and Advamed each provided a Cascade PRO to the mission in June, which allowed 18 complex spine surgeries to be done with IONM.

Bryan Lee, founder of Neuromonitoring Specialists, trained the Mandalay staff on Cascade PRO IONM. “All the surgeries worked out well,” Bryan said.

2016-06_Report_Scoliosis_Mission_Mandalay2Scoliosis is a curvature of the spine that, left untreated, can result in significant deformity. Symptoms include back pain, leg length discrepancy, an abnormal gait and uneven hips.

Scoliosis can cause psychological distress and physical disability. As the vertebrae rotate, the rib cage can compromise the heart and lungs and cause debilitating pain.

Scoliosis surgery can involve rods, hoods screws and wires to straighten and balance the spine and fuse it into place to stop progression. Use of the IONM during spine surgery helps monitor and maintain the integrity of the nerves, spinal cord and parts of the brain.

2016-06_Report_Scoliosis_Mission_Mandalay“It can be quite challenging to put together all the components to make these missions happen year after year, and we hope to continue to motivate others to contribute to our cause,” Lee said. “Hopefully we can continue to collaborate to improve patient care in and around Asia for years to come!”

“It is rewarding to be part of a mission to make the world a better place, and making a patient’s life better is a step up from ‘just’ the world,” said Cadwell co-owner John Cadwell.

Above left: This nurse is a fast learner; she was trained to operate the Cascade PRO for this mission. Above right: The scoliosis surgery on this patient took an entire day.