DORCAS MEDICAL MISSION, INC.
"DARE TO CARE!"
Latifa Yussef was brought to Dorcas Medical’s clinic on its mission to Tamale, Ghana in April 2011. She was a 4 year old
from the village of Jelo who was inflicted with a congenital condition known as Cystic Hygroma affecting the lymphatics of
the axilla (underarm) and the left upper back.
A cystic hygroma is a congenital malformation of the lymphatic system akin to a tumor of the lymphatic channels. It is also
called Lymphangioma. It is benign and infiltrates all tissues because lymphatic channels are found in all tissues. Cystic
hygroma may develop as a result of a genetic disorder or due to environmental factors.
Cystic hygromas are managed either by surgery or sclerotherapy; the method depends on its nature. A cystic hygroma
has a possibility of recurring if not completely removed hence the need to be meticulous when removing it. In some
instances, because of how badly it interweaves with other important structures, there is a risk of damage to those
structures, therefore incomplete excision is an option. Chemotherapy, radiation therapy or steroid medication, may be
used to shrink the cystic hygromas. These methods are not very effective in treating small cystic hygroma, but they may
be useful in shrinking large growths. Once the growth is small enough, it is easier to be surgically removed.
For what Latifa had, the best option was surgery. Through the generous donations of friends and volunteers, Dorcas
Medical contracted with the surgical department of Accra Ghana's Korle-bu Teaching Hospital for Latifa's treatment. On
August 29, 2011, Dr. Albert Bedford Paintsil and his surgical team including Dr. Quarshie-Sam, Dr. Victor Etwire undertook
an eight hour surgical procedure and successfully removed Latifa's hygroma. Although we cannot tell of microscopic
remnants, it is our hope that Latifa has had her first and last surgery for this condition. Today all her surgical wounds
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