Prof. Dr. med. Martin Lacher, founder of the Pediatric Surgery Foundation, traveled to Croatia as a member of a medical team to treat anorectal malformations.

A team of pediatric surgeons from Germany, the Netherlands and the USA worked in a hospital in Zagreb, Croatia from 27th to 31th of May 2016 to carry out complicated interventions on children. The list of malformations Martin Lacher and his colleageus operated on happened to be long. The children suffered from severe malformations of the urinary, reproductive and digestive tract, so that the bladder, vagina or rectum lacked a natural outlet or were misplaced.

The operations have given the opportunity to six children to live an almost normal life. Among other procedures, the team performed a complete reconstruction of the urinary system, vagina and rectum / anus - extremely demanding and difficult interventions, some of which lasted over 8 hours. In Zagreb, the team operated four children with a so-called "Cloacal Malformation", which had a shared body cavity for the reproductive organs, ureter and intestine. In addition, the doctors treated two children with Hirschsprung's disease - a rare condition in which neurons are missing in a final piece of the gut due to a disruption in embryonic development. The missing of neurons leads to contraction of the colon and holds the stool back from entering the rectum and anus. The intestinal contents accumulate in front of the section, the intestine expands. As a result, the child gets a "bloated stomach" and can ultimately die.

Previously, children suffering of this kind of anorectal malformations had to be transported for treatment from Croatia to other European countries or the United States respectively. Thanks to the advanced training that the specialized team has given to the local doctors the first step is taken to ensure that Croatian children can be cured on a higher level of care by local surgeons in the future.


Doctors from the USA and Europe regularly come to China to carry out complicated procedures on newborns and children in the metropolitan areas, being a part of the CTOverseas initiative.

80 million people live in Germany, and many German people consider our country to be densely populated. In China, however, the situation is very different. The area around ​​Guangzhou, the third largest city in China, inhabits three times the total population of Germany - 240 million people.

As huge as the region and the entire country are, there is a lack of special knowledge to carry out complex colorectal procedures on newborns and children. That's why the organization CTOverseas regularly brings specialists of pediatric surgery to China. For example, back in 2013, the experts from US and Prof. Dr. med. Martin Lacher from Germany, treated 20 children in Guangzhou. They suffered anorectal malformations and Hirschsprung's disease. "By coincidence, a child with a congenital occlusion of the esophagus was born in the hospital exactly at this time," says the head of the Department of Pediatric Surgery at the University Hospital Leipzig. "So I was able to carry out the first minimally invasive correction of the condition in Guangzhou and demonstrate this new technique of pediatric surgery in the operating room to our Chinese colleagues." The interventions and the exchange of know-how were supplemented by CTO seminars for the local doctors. On this basis, they will be able to carry out such and similar complex interventions themselves.

"Dear Martin,

It was a great honor for me to hear from you about the minimally invasive treatment of the esophagus. The baby has now fully recovered from the treatment. "

Qiu-ming He, neonatal surgeon at the Guangzhou Women and Children Hospital, in a letter to Prof. Dr. med Martin Lacher.


In February 2017 Prof. Dr. med. Martin Lacher was team member of a surgical mission in Tanzania.

While news spread most quickly across the media and social networks in other parts of the world, important information in Ifunda, in southwestern Tanzania, is best spread across the pulpit. In the Sunday service, the pastor had announced that soon a team with German doctors would arrive, afterwards this news spread like wildfire.

On February 4th, 2017 Dr. Gabriel Tewes and Prof. Dr. med. Martin Lacher alongside with a team of six doctors (also including a third pediatric surgeon, an anesthesiologist, an anesthetic nurse, an operating nurse and an instinctive nurse) began their mission in the small clinic of Ifunda. They found long queues of patients in front of the small building. Some parents had traveled up to 800 kilometers with their children, to be examined by a German doctor.

The building has two operating theaters, 18 beds and several local nurses and midwives. Until now, there is still a lack of well-trained doctors. Therefore, the team of visiting surgeons treated 363 children in two weeks, 64 children were operated on.

It was always a matter of heart to help the children and parents. As a reward, the Germans were given four chickens, a fish and numerous eggs. Of note: A chicken has immense value in Ifunda, because they produce eggs and can supply people for a long time. A sign of infinite gratitude, the team accompanying Prof. Dr. med. Martin Lacher is deeply aware of.

(Source: WA / Hammer Forum)


The CTOverseas with Prof. Dr. med. med. Martin Lacher and other specialists from all over the world were invited to the Children's Hospital No. 1 in St. Petersburg to help the Russian team with difficult interventions. This enabled many children to look forward to a livable future.

A grandmother is taking her granddaughter 1,600 miles to St. Petersburg where the necessary surgical procedure can be performed. The baby showed a double colon and two vaginas, among other malformations. The doctors back in her homecountry Georgia told her: the experts from CTOverseas will come to St. Petersburg - and if anyone is able to help, it´ll be the team around Dr. Levitt (Columbus, Ohio). But the surgeons were not sure if they could schedule the immensely difficult surgery at short notice. But finally, in the last moment the doctors managed to operate this child in an additional operating room. The complex malformation was corrected and the odyssey of grandmother and granddaughter was a happy ending.

Another small success story, not only for CTOverseas, but especially for the parents and the treated children. On behalf of CTOverseas, pediatric surgeons from the Netherlands, England, Israel, USA and also from Germany accompanying Prof. Dr. Lacher flew to St. Petersburg. They performed complicated interventions on children and newborns to cure malformations, tumors or fractures. "The purpose of this is to use the existing medical equipment on site and, parallel to the interventions, show the physicians on site how to master even difficult interventions." Besides of the help on site, the exchange of knowledge is most important. More than 40 surgeons from all over Russia benefited of live operations, that were switched on during procedures. Furthermore there were seminars held by the CTOverseas experts (including anesthetists, surgical nurses and specialized nurses).

What remains is a long-term cooperation between CTOverseas and the St. Petersburg Hospital, fifteen operated young patients, many happy parents, lots of new knowledge in the hands of Russian surgeons - as well as seven bags of stuffed animals brought to the children by doctors from the USA. "You all do such an amazingly wonderful job!" Barbara Amburgey Cook on Facebook

"Thank you for everything you do !!!"

Yuliya Hallowell on Facebook