The mission of Reconstructive Surgery and Transmission of Operative Resources and Education to Central America (RESTORE) is to build sustainable surgical capabilities in resource-limited hospitals in Central America through a combination of education and volunteer efforts.
The foundation of RESTORE began in 2011 through humanitarian work done as part of medical readiness missions in the US Army at Hospital Escuela in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Joseph R. Hsu, MD, orthopedic trauma surgeon and Director of the Limb Lengthening and Deformity Service at Atrium Health’s Carolinas Medical Center, is the founder and director of RESTORE. Dr. Hsu trained in advanced limb reconstruction techniques in Lecco, Italy and Kurgan, Russia utilizing the Ilizarov Method of bone regeneration, to lengthen or reshape bone and soft tissue.
“It is important that hospitals in Central America are equipped with the resources and expertise necessary to treat the high number of injuries, and chronic conditions resulting from these injuries, that they witness on a regular basis,” said Dr. Hsu. “I am hopeful that our efforts with RESTORE will make an impactful difference in the treatment and long-term recovery of these patients, but more importantly, in expanding the surgical capabilities of the local surgeons and hospital.”
The co-director of RESTORE is Brian Brighton, MD.Dr. Brighton is a Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgeon at Atrium Health who has extensive training in complex Limb Deformity correction. He has led the training of the Pediatric division of RESTORE at Hospital Escuela.
While the work of RESTORE is humanitarian in nature, both Joe and Brian have the philosophy of mentorship and local autonomy. Subsequent educational visits to Honduras provided the framework to build a sustainable program in Tegucigalpa.The Head of the Limb Reconstruction Division of Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Hospital Escuela is now Dr. Mirna Ochoa. She was the first “fellow” of RESTORE. Dr. Ochoa has now trained two colleagues who have become high level limb reconstruction surgeons in the past few years. Dr. Guillermo Ramos (Adult) and Dr. Guillermo Bermudez (Pediatric) are now part of the RESTORE team in Tegucigalpa.
Hospital Escuela is a 1,216 bed community hospital and trauma center in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. Congested roadways and violent crime have led to an overwhelming volume of traumatic injuries. Hospital Escuela sees about 25,000 traumatic injuries a year and has approximately 15,000 trauma admissions per year. The hospital serves as the national referral hospital for Honduras, which has a population of 8.5 million people.
Over the course of the next several years, RESTORE plans to increase the two-way educational exchange between our two hospitals. With the maturation of the Limb Reconstruction Division at Hospital Escuela, Drs. Ochoa, Ramos, and Bermudez have the volume and expertise to train North American surgeons in the complex techniques of bone transport, rotational flap coverage, gradual deformity correction, and limb salvage.