Puente Piedre, Lima, Peru. June 2014

Puente Piedre Hospital, Lima, Peru. June 2014

Team members: Dr Arun Baskara (Team Leader, surgeon from USA), Dr Ramon Soliva (surgeon from Spain), Mr Magdi Hanafy (surgeon from UK), Mr Michael Kelly (ST5 registrar from UK), Mr Shahab Khan (ST6 registrar from UK).

The Hernia International trip to Peru was wonderful and it was quite a humbling experience. We (Dr Ramon and myself) were received by Dr Jaime Herrera (who had made all the local arrangements to host the team) late in the night (or early morning) and his hospitality was amazing. We went to his home the next day and spent time with his family. It was so sweet when Dr Herrera’s little kid gave me and Dr Ramon a Father’s day card; I didn’t miss my daughters  on that day.

Our stay at the hostel was comfortable. We were assigned to stay at the 5th floor. Though there were no elevators, the hotel personnel helped us to get the baggage to our rooms. They were very courteous and helpful. They brought breakfast to our rooms and it was a different experience.

We all were received at the Puente Piedra Hospital by the hospital Chief of Surgery, their CEO, and the surgeons working at the hospital. Every one of them were kind and again their hospitality was immaculate. The cases for the day were on a list and our team divided the cases among us on daily basis. The OR staff were kind, helpful and their enthusiasm in helping us amazed me. I wish I could have learnt more Spanish before landing in Peru. The flow of cases was good and I got the opportunity to teach the Surgical Residents. I could see that they are well ahead of the curve when it comes to hands on while doing the cases. Some of the cases were complex but doable. The lunch at the cafeteria was great and the hospital was kind to provide us lunch free of cost. The Chief of Surgery was there every day with us during lunch hours and made sure we were fed well.

Two weeks flew by in the blink of an eye. I felt a lump in the throat on the last day of our surgery when the thoughts of leaving that place crossed the mind. I appreciate Dr Herrera, Dr Miguel & Miguel (Two Surgeons), the Chief of Surgery and all other Surgeons, Staff, Students, Residents, hotel personnel for all their help and hospitality  which made our stay a pleasant and humbling experience; and thanks to our team as well.

I am looking forward to do more work in Peru during the coming years.

Thanks for arranging this trip, Hernia International.

Arun Baskara