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Success! Dickson from Malawi raised $742 to treat an enlarged prostate.

Dickson
100%
  • $742 raised, $0 to go
$742
raised
$0
to go
Fully funded
Dickson's treatment was fully funded on May 4, 2016.

Photo of Dickson post-operation

June 3, 2016

Dickson received successful surgery to treat his enlarged prostate.

Dickson’s prostatectomy will allow him to live his life without the use of a catheter. If he recovers as expected, his catheter will be removed in the next two weeks. His medical team is hopeful that he will be symptom free. Dickson believes his life will be improved due to his access to this surgery.

Dickson says he is “excited to go back and continue doing what he does in his life.”

Dickson's prostatectomy will allow him to live his life without the use of a catheter. If he recovers as expected, his catheter will be remo...

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April 13, 2016

Dickson is a 75-year-old father and grandfather who farms tobacco in Malawi. He came to our medical partner, World Altering Medicine (WAM), seeking treatment for an enlarged prostate gland.

“Dickson’s enlarged prostate has led to urinary incontinence, an embarrassing and inconvenient symptom,” WAM tells us. “He is occasionally unable to go to work in the garden due to his condition.”

The prostate gland surrounds the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder out of the body. An enlarged prostate—known as benign prostatic hyperplasia—is a common condition in older men due to hormonal changes. As the prostate gets larger, it squeezes the urethra, causing problems with urination. Typical symptoms include difficulty starting or stopping urination, weak urine streams, and inability to empty the bladder.

For $742, Dickson will undergo surgery—transurethral resection of the prostate—in which doctors insert an instrument into the urethra to remove the part of his prostate that is blocking urine flow. After surgery, a catheter will be inserted temporarily to remove urine from the bladder. When the urine is free of blood or blood clots, the catheter will be removed, and Dickson can urinate on his own.

Funding for Dickson also pays for a three-night hospital stay, lab tests, medicine, and transportation to and from the hospital for him and two caregivers.

“Following surgery,” says WAM, “Dickson is expected to have his catheter removed and make a full recovery.”

Dickson is a 75-year-old father and grandfather who farms tobacco in Malawi. He came to our medical partner, World Altering Medicine (WAM), ...

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Dickson's Timeline

  • April 13, 2016
    PROFILE SUBMITTED

    Dickson was submitted by Sadie Bazur-Leidy, Director of Operations at World Altering Medicine.

  • April 15, 2016
    TREATMENT OCCURRED

    Dickson received treatment at Nkhoma Hospital in Malawi. 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.

  • May 2, 2016
    PROFILE PUBLISHED

    Dickson's profile was published to start raising funds.

  • May 4, 2016
    FULLY FUNDED

    Dickson's treatment was fully funded.

  • June 3, 2016
    TREATMENT UPDATE

    Dickson's treatment was successful. Read the update.

Funded by 30 donors

Funded by 30 donors

Treatment
Colon / Prostate Resection
  • Diagnosis
  • Procedure
  • Symptoms
  • Impact on patient's life
  • Cultural or regional significance

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

The primary condition treated with this surgery is benign overgrowth of the prostate, called benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). Patients generally present with urinary symptoms, including difficulty or inability to pass urine, urination frequency, passing very small amounts of urine, or passing urine very slowly. Some patients experience pain when trying to pass urine.

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

Most Malawians live in rural areas, and a large percentage of them work as farmers. This is also true of our medical partner's patient population. When men are experiencing symptoms related to BPH, they often have a hard time working on their farms. They are therefore unable to support themselves and their families. Before receiving surgery, many men will have a catheter placed, which can be uncomfortable and embarrassing. Additionally, using a catheter for a prolonged period of time can lead to infection or trauma to the area.

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

Although experiencing symptoms associated with BPH is not commonly viewed as taboo within our medical partner's patient population, it is rarely discussed. Men can feel embarrassment about the condition and the impact it has on their lives. Some men experience psychological effects from the condition.

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

What does the treatment process look like?

The standard treatment is a prostate resection, which is a fairly standard procedure. After the surgery, the patient will use a catheter for 14 days. Once the catheter is removed and the patient can pass urine freely, they can be discharged.

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

If the treatment goes smoothly, it is expected that healthy patients will make a full recovery and not relapse.

What potential side effects or risks come with this treatment?

Although there are risks associated with any surgical procedure, the risks associated with a prostate resection are very low. However, as the patient population tends to be of older age, it is common that patients have other underlying conditions, such as high blood pressure. Patients who are candidates for this surgery are screened and monitored carefully. If a patient is found to have another health condition that could jeopardize their health during or after the surgery, that condition is addressed first.

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

In the area of our medical partner's treatment center, there is one central, public hospital. That hospital provides surgical services, but barriers exist. A patient requiring a hernia repair could be on a waitlist for years at the central hospital, or be sent home and told to return a number of times. For this reason, treatment can be very difficult to obtain at the public hospital. In addition to our medical partner's treatment center and the central hospital, there are private clinics that would provide this service, but at a high fee. Our medical partner's treatment center, Nkhoma, is a great option for patients because they are able to receive quality treatment.

What are the alternatives to this treatment?

Drugs can be used to relieve symptoms for a short period of time, but ultimately, surgery is the only treatment.

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.