News / Health

Vietnamese-American Doctor Helps Rebuild Bodies, Lives

Vietnamese-American Doctor Helps Rebuild Bodies, Livesi
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
Greg Flakus
September 20, 2012 10:52 AM
As plastic surgeon, Dr. Tue An Dinh often operates on patients who have been disfigured or medically compromised by accidents or even by other medical procedures
Greg Flakus
Plastic surgery is often associated with celebrities getting cosmetic face lifts and other procedures to make them more attractive.  But plastic and reconstructive surgery can also help people who have been disfigured by birth defects, accidents or disease.  There are also cases in which plastic surgery can save a life.

To his patients at the Methodist Hospital of Houston, Doctor Tue Dinh is a miracle worker.

Barbara Martinez came to him for help after surgery to fix a hernia left her with a painful and dangerous hole in her abdomen.

"He could see the pain, I could see the compassion in his face and he said, 'I can help you,'" she said.

She is also impressed with the doctor's modesty.

"I try to tell him 'thank you' and he just says he is doing his job, but… his heart is in it, not just a scalpel in his hand," she said.

Dr. Dinh says the challenge of plastic and reconstructive surgery often involves improvising solutions to life-threatening conditions.

"Plastic surgery not only improves the quality of life of a patient, but sometimes it can save the patient's life," he said.

Dr. Dinh often operates on patients who have been disfigured or medically compromised by accidents or even by other medical procedures.

Today, Dr. Dinh is trying to fix a problem created by surgery at another hospital.

In this case, the patient's spinal cord was left exposed when infected tissue was removed.

Dr. Dinh uses a tissue replacement technique he has used many times to cover life-threatening openings in patients' chests

"We have a procedure to bring a muscle flap to cover the exposed heart and to reconstruct the chest wall, for example, and reconstruct the sternum, and that keeps the heart covered," he said.

Tue Dinh was born in Vietnam and came to the United States with his family in 1975.  But since he left medical school he has returned to his birth country many times with his siblings, who are also doctors/plastic  surgeons to help people there.

"I just have an emotional attachment, my brother and I and my sister, to go back to Vietnam and we try to go back practically every year," he said.

In one well-known case in Vietnam, Dr. Dinh helped this seven-year-old boy, Thien Nhan, who was mutilated by wild animals when he was a baby.

Dr. Dinh says restoring the boy's physical appearance helps him psychologically, as well.

In the near future, Dr. Dinh says, advances in the use of stem cells and other techniques may allow him to do even more for such patients.

“Hopefully, in the near future we can create something that is completely new from the lab and transfer and create. This is an exciting time to be a plastic surgeon," he said.

But for now, Dr. Dinh continues to innovate with traditional techniques to help his grateful patients.

You May Like

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid