Local surgeon volunteers to treat wounded soldiers

Vascular surgeon Michael Kikta, M.D., of Rockford, volunteered to spend two weeks treating wounded American soldiers transported from Afghanistan and Iraq to the U.S. Army’s Landstuhl Regional Medical Center (LRMC) in Germany.

As a Navy general surgeon during Operation Desert Storm, I wanted to contribute my vascular surgery skills to help our wounded soldiers,” said Dr. Kikta.

The two-week volunteer experience provided Dr. Kikta with both personal and professional rewards. “The ability to care for the wounded has improved dramatically since Desert Storm,” he said. “Today’s wounded soldiers receive state-of-the-art care from battlefield to stateside. Military trauma protocols allow for system-wide care at a very high level — something to be emulated in the civilian world.”

Dr. Kikta’s time in the military resulted in a renewed appreciation for America’s military. “I learned some new wound treatment techniques,” he said. “Likewise, I enjoyed the professional interaction with members of the highly-motivated military staff. I will probably volunteer again at LRMC, although I hope the need for volunteer surgeons will stop soon.”

Dr. Kikta volunteered at LRMC’s Level 1 Trauma Center July 9-24, 2011. The largest American hospital outside the United States, LRMC medical staff has treated more than 64,000 Wounded Warriors since 2001.

Since September 2007, 72 Society for Vascular Surgery (SVS) members have volunteered to supplement the limited number of vascular surgeons at the medical center. “The Society for Vascular Surgery is proud to have provided continuous two-week rotations of vascular surgeons at LRMC for the past four years,” said 2011-12 SVS President Dr. Richard Cambia. “As vascular surgeons, we help repair damaged arteries and veins of coalition military personnel in the Global War on Terror.”

From the Oct. 5-11, 2011, issue

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