When we are out in the field, we occasionally need help when we are faced with a problem out of our area of expertise. Recently, I was dealing with a thumb problem. While investigating this problem on the internet, I came across the name Louis Carter, MD, an orthopedic surgeon. I contacted Dr. Carter and he was amazingly helpful. He has also written a book on Reconstructive Surgery called Principles of Reconstructive Surgery. this book is available online FREE as a download. I would recommend every surgeon read this book.

Dr. Carter and his wife Anne

Operation Giving Back


Louis L. Carter, Jr., MD, FACS, of Chattanooga, TN, is presented the 2011 Surgical Humanitarian Award in recognition of a veritable lifetime of service to the underserved spanning nearly five decades, 20 countries, and 74 mission trips. Following his 1964 medical school graduation, he and his new bride, Anne, spent five months at a mission hospital in Tanzania. After residency and two years of military service including a tour in Vietnam, Dr. Carter returned to Africa in 1974 as a board-certified general surgeon. Accompanied by his wife and two children, he served as a full-time medical missionary at Egbe Hospital in Nigeria for seven years. In the early 1980s, Dr. Carter became board certified in plastic surgery to address the reconstructive surgical needs he encountered abroad and was later also certified in hand surgery. He returned to missionary service in Jos, Nigeria, from 1985 to 1987 at Evangel Hospital. From 1987 to 1996, he continued to make frequent visits to remote mission hospitals in Africa and other underserved regions while practicing and serving as a faculty member at the University of Tennessee in Chattanooga. In 1996, Dr. Carter returned to full-time medical missionary service with Serving In Mission U.S.A. as the sole American full-time missionary plastic and hand surgeon. As part of their “Home Schooling for National and Missionary Doctors” program, he and his wife teach local national and missionary doctors basic techniques in plastic and hand surgery to raise the skill levels of local providers, as well as provide donations of needed books, equipment, and supplies. Dr. Carter has left a legacy of surgeons, nurses, and other medical professionals who are equipped with the knowledge and skills to care for hand injuries, burn contractures, cleft lips and palates, and other correctable debilitating conditions.


Readers may remember a girl we treated in the past who had necrosis of her nose  and necrotizing fasciitis of the face. We thought she had mucormycosis, so we treated her with antifungals as well as antibiotics. A recent article that I read read makes it clear that she had NOMA-also called cancrum oris- a necrotizing stomatitis that affects the face and is associated with aerobic organisms. Unfortunately, this girl died, despite our efforts. With more aggressive antibiotic treatment and debridement , she may have survived.



Its about 3 weeks until my next trip to Nigeria. There are already more than 50 patients waiting for surgery. I have 210 lbs of luggage! Hopefully the internet will be good enough to blog in real time.