💙 Donate now for #GivingTuesday with our special 💙 💛 Join our & 4x your 1st monthly donation! 💛 💙 Donate for #GivingTuesday with our 💙 4x your 1st donation when you join our !
Meet another patient

Watsi logo blueWatsi

Success! Hong from Cambodia raised $657 to fund arm surgery.

  • $657 raised, $0 to go
to go
Fully funded
Hong's treatment was fully funded on July 13, 2021.

Photo of Hong post-operation

June 16, 2021

Hong underwent arm surgery.

Hong’s life has changed for the better since the removal of her tumor. After a brief post-op period and starting to work with the physiotherapy team, Hong is able to return to her province. She continues to improve and hopes that soon she will regain full function of her right hand. Hong is now able to do housework and loves to play with her grandchildren.

Her daughter is so pleased with the results: “I am happy my mother has no more pain in her arm. It is nice to see her smile again and return to her daily life without fear that the tumor will return.”

Hong's life has changed for the better since the removal of her tumor. After a brief post-op period and starting to work with the physiothe...

Read more
April 21, 2021

Hong is a 66-year-old widowed rice farmer. She shared proudly that she has eight children: four sons and four daughters. All of her children are married except the youngest daughter - a factory worker - with whom she lives. She also has ten beautiful, lively grandchildren. When not helping to care for her family, she likes to listen to monks pray on the radio.

Eight months ago, Hong developed a mass on her right elbow. At first, it was small, but it quickly grew larger. Now, the mass on her right elbow is painful and swollen, and Hong is unable to work with her right hand. She visited her local provincial hospital in January for a removal, but the mass has grown even larger since then. Another local hospital referred her to our medical partner, Children’s Surgical Centre, for treatment.

On April 21, surgeons at CSC will perform excision of mass in her right elbow and a flap for a skin graft. These surgical procedures will help her feel comfortable again and regain use of her right arm. Now, she needs help to fund this $657 procedure.

Hong said, “I hope that this treatment will be successful this time, so I can go back home and work as I did as before. I hope I am able to use my right hand without pain, without a recurrent mass, and have full function of my right hand again.”

Hong is a 66-year-old widowed rice farmer. She shared proudly that she has eight children: four sons and four daughters. All of her children...

Read more

Hong's Timeline

  • April 21, 2021

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

  • April 21, 2021

    Hong 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.

  • April 22, 2021

    Hong's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • June 16, 2021

    Hong's treatment was successful. Read the update.

  • July 13, 2021

    Hong's treatment was fully funded.

Funded by 20 donors

Funded by 20 donors

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


Oudam is a 9-year-old student who enjoys math and wants to be a policeman when he is older. Oudam has two older siblings, a 15-year-old brother, and a 16-year-old sister. At home, his favorite meal is soup and fried vegetables. Three months ago, his mother died from an acid burn assault, which was very traumatic for him as he was also splashed with some of the acid. After their mother's death, the three children moved in with their aunt, who now supports them. The acid burned Oudam's body and his right arm. His aunt took him to the local charity hospital for wound care, but he has developed scar contractures and an open wound on his right elbow. It is painful and difficult for him to bend his elbow and to use his right arm due to the burn scars and a chronic wound. He feels ashamed about how his skin looks and doesn't want to attend school. When Oudam's family learned about our medical partner, Children's Surgical Centre, he traveled with his aunt for two and a half hours seeking treatment. On October 17th, surgeons at CSC will perform a procedure to remove the injured tissue and replace it with a skin graft to allow his elbow to heal. He will be able to flex and straighten his arm and to eventually have full use of his arm. Now, his family needs help to fund this $487 procedure. Oudam's aunt said: "We hope the doctors can repair Oudam's damaged skin and he can use his arm again. He would like to ride his bike and play with his friends again."

8% funded

$446to go

Meet another patient you can support

100% of your donation funds life-changing surgery.