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Success! Somaly from Cambodia raised $657 to fund a tumor removal.

  • $657 raised, $0 to go
to go
Fully funded
Somaly's treatment was fully funded on December 23, 2021.

Photo of Somaly post-operation

December 29, 2021

Somaly underwent a tumor removal.

Somaly had an extensive surgical procedure to remove the tumour from her mandible and apply a skin flap to reconstruct the affected area. She will remain in the hospital until surgeons are sure the skin flap is successful and she is able to care for herself. Somaly is hopeful the tumour has been completely removed and her face will heal. She misses her children who stayed in their province to attend school and looks forward to seeing them again when she returns home.

Somaly said: “I am grateful to the surgeons and the CSC staff for my operation. I hope I will return home and care for my children and husband, and my face will look normal again. I am thankful to the people who funded my surgery and hope that they continue to help Cambodians who need help.”

Somaly had an extensive surgical procedure to remove the tumour from her mandible and apply a skin flap to reconstruct the affected area. Sh...

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November 29, 2021

Somaly is a 27-year-old woman who is married and lives in Banteay Mean Chey Province in Cambodia. Her husband is a construction worker, and they have two active sons. The first is 10 years old and in grade 5, and their second is 2 years old. When she is not cooking or cleaning for the family, she likes to watch TV and listen to the radio.

When Somaly was 14, she noticed a small tumor on her face that has now grown. She has had surgery twice, and was scheduled for a mandible resection, but did not have the money. It has continued to grow and she now has an abscess that is causing more symptoms. In March 2021 she went to a government hospital and fortunately, they referred her to our Medical Partner Children’s Surgical Centre. Doctors diagnosed her with ameloblastoma of the mandible and left maxilla. She feels very poorly most of the time. She experiences pain, has discharge from her mouth, and cannot eat.

When Somaly learned about our medical partner, Children’s Surgical Centre, she traveled for ten hours seeking treatment. On November 30th, surgeons at CSC will perform a mandibulectomy and maxillectomy to to allow her face to return to finally heal, and have no more pain or embarrassment. Now, she needs help to fund this $657 procedure.

Somaly shared, “I hope the tumor will be removed, and I won’t have to hide from people and be ashamed of how I look.”

Somaly is a 27-year-old woman who is married and lives in Banteay Mean Chey Province in Cambodia. Her husband is a construction worker, and ...

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Somaly's Timeline

  • November 29, 2021

    Somaly was submitted by Sieng Heng at Children's Surgical Centre.

  • November 30, 2021

    Somaly 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.

  • November 30, 2021

    Somaly's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • December 23, 2021

    Somaly's treatment was fully funded.

  • December 29, 2021

    Somaly's treatment was successful. Read the update.

Funded by 19 donors

Funded by 19 donors

Excision and Flap Surgery
  • Cost Breakdown
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
On average, it costs $657 for Somaly'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.

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.