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Success! Polen from Cambodia raised $606 to fund repair surgery.

  • $606 raised, $0 to go
to go
Fully funded
Polen's treatment was fully funded on June 12, 2019.

Photo of Polen post-operation

April 22, 2019

Polen underwent repair surgery.

Polen’s surgery went well, and she has now returned home to Kampong Thum Province to recover. Polen’s tumor was entirely removed, which now will allow her to breathe and open her mouth without any difficulty. The doctors look forward to seeing her again in a few weeks for her follow up appointment.

Polen's surgery went well, and she has now returned home to Kampong Thum Province to recover. Polen's tumor was entirely removed, which now ...

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March 17, 2019

Polen is a 38-year-old noodle seller from Cambodia. She enjoys taking care of her daughter, watching television, and listening to the radio in her free time.

She developed a tumor below her nose that has since increased in volume over time. She finds it difficult to breathe normally, and experiences mild pain and lack of confidence.

When Polen learned about our medical partner, Children’s Surgical Centre, she traveled for three hours seeking treatment. On March 18, surgeons at CSC will perform a skin flap procedure to help eradicate the pain and breathing interference. Now, she needs help to fund this $606 procedure.

She says, “I hope that after my surgery, I will no longer have any more pain and will look back to normal.”

Polen is a 38-year-old noodle seller from Cambodia. She enjoys taking care of her daughter, watching television, and listening to the radio ...

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Polen's Timeline

  • March 17, 2019

    Polen was submitted by Lindsay Bownik, Stakeholder Relations Officer at Children's Surgical Centre.

  • March 18, 2019

    Polen received treatment at Kien Khleang National Rehabilitation Centre in Cambodia. Medical partners often provide care to patients accepted by Watsi before those patients are fully funded, operating under the guarantee that the cost of care will be paid for by donors.

  • March 18, 2019

    Polen's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • April 22, 2019

    Polen's treatment was successful. Read the update.

  • June 12, 2019

    Polen's treatment was fully funded.

Funded by 12 donors

Funded by 12 donors

Excision and Flap Surgery
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $606 for Polen's treatment
Hospital Fees
Medical Staff
  • Symptoms
  • Impact on patient's life
  • Cultural or regional significance

​What kinds of symptoms do patients experience before receiving treatment?

Flap surgery is used for large or complex wound repair. The wound may be too large to be closed directly or may not be amenable to grafting due to poor vascularization. A flap may also be favorable to grafting due to function or aesthetics. Such a wound can be caused by trauma, cancer, or burns, which may bring about disfigurement, pain, and exposure to infection.

​What is the impact on patients’ lives of living with these conditions?

Large wounds are disfiguring, and patients may face stigmatization and social rejection. Wounds will be prone to recurrent infections, which may cause further damage to the underlying tissue. Depending on the site of the wound, there may be functional loss and the patient may lose the ability to perform tasks independently.

What cultural or regional factors affect the treatment of these conditions?

For many Cambodians, the primary mode of transport is the motorcycle. Coupled with unregulated traffic and dangerous driving practices, motorcycle accidents are very common. Soft tissue injuries arising from these accidents are often large and complex, with flap surgery being the best approach to avoid skin necrosis or infection.

  • Process
  • Impact on patient's life
  • Risks and side-effects
  • Accessibility
  • Alternatives

What does the treatment process look like?

Analysis of the wound location, vascularity of the wound bed, comorbidities, and cosmetic and functional significance must first be performed. Flaps can then be selected accordingly, with local and regional flaps being preferred over distant pedicled or free flaps. Prior to the skin transfer, debridement may be needed to remove dead or damaged skin. Local and regional flaps use adjacent tissue that is mobilized then advanced or pivoted into place. Distant flaps transfer tissue from a different part of the body and can be pedicled to preserve its original blood supply. The blood supply is cut off in free flaps and therefore will need to be joined to the local blood supply via microsurgery. Flap surgery can take anywhere from a short procedure for the most basic local flap, to many hours for the complex microsurgery associated with free flaps.

What is the impact of this treatment on the patient’s life?

Flap surgery allows the wound to heal much faster, avoiding infection risk and a long wait for the defect to develop scar tissue. In flap reconstructive surgery of an area of the body more aesthetically sensitive, such as the face, disfigurement is reduced and patients feel more confident.

What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?

The most common cause of flap failure is vascular compromise. Loss of blood supply to the flap could lead to partial flap loss or even total flap necrosis. In the latter, the flap must be removed. Other complications include haematoma, seroma, surgical site infection, and complications specific to the donor site. However, all these complications can be avoided with regular post-op checks of the flap and acting quickly on any foreboding signs.

How accessible is treatment in the area? What is the typical journey like for a patient to receive care?

Flaps and other reconstructive surgical procedures are accessible at local clinics and hospitals at a cost, and patients also often turn to traditional healers. Inadequate treatment or poorly designed flaps can contribute to unnecessary complications and prolonged suffering. Patients travel as much as twelve hours to reach Children's Surgical Centre for free surgery, arriving by bus, motorbike, or taxi.

What are the alternatives to this treatment?

Regular dressings with gauze and bandages can take many months and has a significant risk of infection, which may result in cutting away more tissue to treat it. Traditional medicine is available, but with unsuccessful results.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.


Maria is a 70-year-old farmer. She shared that she lost her husband in 1999 and is the mother of six children who she has worked hard to raise well. She has three daughters and three sons, all married and small-scale farmers. Maria was not able to attend school when she was young because she was a refugee from Congo. Her family was always on the move, so she never had the opportunity to attend school. She's earned a living from farming and grows food crops like sorghum, maize, and rice. She has limited land, but when she has a small surplus, she is able to sell the crops to generate income for her family. Maria is a religious, jolly, and happy person and is proud to serve as a leader of the Holy Mary community in her village. She shared that praying the rosary is her passion. Two years back, Maria started feeling her uterus drop. It wasn’t painful, which never made her seek medical treatment, but recently, the pain became worse, accompanied by backaches, abdominal pain, and other symptoms. She first went to Kambuga hospital, where she was examined, diagnosed, and recommended for surgical treatment. However, she never managed to undergo her surgery due to limited finances. After sharing how she feels with a friend, she learned of our medical partner's surgical support program at Nyakibale Hospital, and this gave her a breath of hope that she could be supported. She traveled there and after examination, she was diagnosed with uterine prolapse. The doctors have recommended a total hysterectomy treatment to heal her condition. However, her income is too limited to enable her to afford the cost of her surgery and she appeals for support. Maria says, "I believe that the Lord will again do for me as he has always been for me. I hope to get much better once operated and continue with farming to sustain my family. "

23% funded

$187to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.