Letter From 2012 Vietnam Visit

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

We have just returned from Vietnam again on a most exciting trip.  We have happy news to share with you all:  we are now formally designated as part of the University of Medicine and Pharmacy of Ho Chi Minh City as a Center for Vascular Anomalies.  We have a formal and permanent office, operating room and the enthusiastic support of the University Medical Center, Branch No 3.  With this new capacity, we will be able to touch so many more lives and work towards fulfilling the mission of the Vietnam VAC:

  • Continue to provide excellent care for our patients affected by vascular and pigmentary birthmarks
  • Many other dermatologic problems including vitiligo
  • Scholarly research that will enhance the understanding and treatment of these lesions
  • Humanitarian medical collaboration between US and Vietnamese physicians

With the generous support of laser devices from Candela/Syneron and Lumenis Corporations, we were able to offer treatment to many children with vascular/pigmented birthmarks as well as disfiguring scars.  Thousands of children remain untreated in underdeveloped nations around the world where access to care as well as correct treatment is often out-of-reach.  The most striking example as been the continued use of radioactive phosphorus 32 in Saigon to treat hemangiomas in children, an outdated procedure that causes severe scarring and depigmentation, not including the risk of malignancy.  We are working hard with our colleagues in Vietnam to try to change this practice and also are working toward a potential treatment to improve the scars in these children.  Our work in Saigon has touched over  700 children thus far – and with your help, we are expanding the reach of our program. We again would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude for supporting our effort in Vietnam. You are all essential members of our team who have volunteered time, resources, and effort towards this worthwhile cause. Without your support, we would not be able to maintain and expand our clinic.  Thank you again for your generosity.

Here are a few images from our trip. We all had a wonderful time and formed new friendships while working hard in the operating room.  We will also continue to update our website with the latest information about the clinic, including photos, blog, treatment results, future fund raising efforts, etc. Warm regards,

Rox Anderson, MD
Stuart Nelson, MD
Tri Nguyen, MD
Thuy Phung, MD PhD
Thanh Nga T. Tran, MD PhD

PS: Please view the photos from our trip