Dr. Ritesh Shah Returns From Mission Trip to Vietnam

Play Video
Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Ritesh Shah recently returned from his first medical mission trip with Operation Walk Chicago. The group visited Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, in March 2024, where Dr. Shah worked alongside the OWC team to provide medical assistance and perform 50 Total Hip Replacements to Vietnamese patients. In this video, Dr. Shah shares his impressions of the trip and his experience working with the patients.

How did you get involved in Operation Walk Chicago?

I have wanted to get involved with Operation Walk Chicago for several years. I was finally able to take some time away from daily patient care and surgery to make that happen.

What is Operation Walk Chicago?

Operation Walk Chicago

Operation Walk Chicago is a non-profit, volunteer medical services organization that provides free surgical treatments for patients in developing countries. My surgeon mentor and friend, Dr. Stulberg, developed the program, and I was fortunate to go to Vietnam to provide quality care and hip replacements to many patients.

How many other Orthopedic Surgeons joined you on this trip?

Additional surgeons from Chicagoland who accompanied me on this trip include Dr. David Stulberg, Dr. Lalit Puri, and Dr. Scott Cordes.

Why was this mission trip meaningful?

For me, this mission trip was not just a duty but a deeply fulfilling experience. It was a moral obligation to help patients who have significant pain and limitations but do not have access to contemporary hip care. The opportunity to work with other Orthopedic Surgeons, Anesthesiologists, Skilled Medical Professionals, and Physical Rehabilitation Colleagues from the US in Vietnam to provide modern hip care was truly gratifying.

The gratitude expressed by patients with their eyes, words, and hearts was overwhelming. Despite the challenges of limited resources and appropriate inventory management, we were able to provide exceptional care to these patients. The heat and humidity in Vietnam posed additional challenges during the surgeries, but our team’s dedication and expertise ensured successful outcomes.

Additionally, we educated Vietnamese surgeons during operations and held a nationwide symposium with lectures for Vietnamese doctors.

What was your specific contribution?

I had the opportunity to perform several total hip arthroplasties, conduct patient examinations before and after their surgeries, teach surgeons in the OR, and lecture on total hip arthroplasty management. The patients I operated on were suffering from severe hip pain and limited mobility, which significantly affected their daily lives. After the surgeries, they experienced a remarkable improvement in their conditions, with many expressing their gratitude for the life-changing surgeries.

What are the long-term impacts of your visit?

The long-term impacts of our visit are truly transformative. Patients who were once burdened by pain and limitations will now be able to walk and work without any hindrance. Some of the patients who have contralateral hip problems expressed their desire for me to return next year.

The education we provide for surgeons will equip them with contemporary techniques and patient care management, promising a brighter future for hip care in Vietnam.

Reflecting on a Mission of Healing and Hope

Dr. Ritesh Shah’s mission trip with Operation Walk Chicago is a monumental testament to the impact of global medical outreach. This mission transformed the lives of 50 patients in Vietnam and enriched the participating medical professionals with unparalleled experiences of compassion, resilience, and international collaboration. The ripple effects of this venture reach far into the future, promising enhanced care, education, and a connected world where help knows no boundaries.

Rapid Recovery RealityFeel Better & Recover Faster

Latest Posts

Minimally Invasive Miracles: Dr. Shah’s Approach to Hip Arthroscopy

Success of Hip Resurfacing: Insight into Andy Murray’s Comeback

Medical Tourism for Orthopedic Care: Why Patients Worldwide Choose Dr. Shah

What is Hip Preservation? Avoiding Hip Replacement Surgery

Your Guide To Joint Replacement & Transitional Care