GMAST is pleased to have Lance Dowdle, president of Excel Orthodontics, join us on our surgical mission in Kenya this week. Lance will bring his expertise in orthodontic prosthetics to help further the successful outcomes of cleft palate surgeries.
Earlier this month, a few members of our team spent an afternoon with Lance learning how to make palatal obturators. Similar to a retainer, this small device can be specifically fabricated to fit an individual patient’s mouth and is used seal the gap between mouth and nose that may remain after a surgery – depending on the age of the patient and the particularities of the case. Sealing the gap is critical for the ability to eat and speak well.
Part of GMAST’s mission is to work for sustainable medical and surgical outcomes in a given region by providing training and resources for the local medical teams. We are happy to have Lance along on this trip! He will be able to teach the Kenyan medical staff how to make these palatal obturators and leave fabrication equipment and training resources for their future use.