Bangkok and rural Thailand. November 2015

Trainee Report by Michael Wong and Benjaporn Nuntasunti

This would be my first trip with Hernia International to Thailand in November this year. It was an absolutely pleasure to be involved in such a meaningful mission.Thailand, also known as the ‘Land of Smile’, is a beautiful country; home to some of the world’s most beautiful tropical islands and famous for its glittering Buddha temple, fascinating culture and amazing food.

The two-week mission, led by Prof. Chinswangwatanakul, was very well organized. During the first week of the mission, there were few surgical conferences held at Bangkok. These were held annually by the Thai Hernia Society and it was well attended by the surgical communities locally.

At the end of week one, residents and clinical fellows had successfully organized a Hernia Workshop at Siriraj Hospital. We had three operating theatres and repaired twelve open inguinal hernias. They were performed under different anesthetic approaches (local, regional, and general anesthesia). The department was well supported by anesthetists and theatre staffs. Since all of those patients were public, they were selected from the general pool of waiting list.

From second week onwards, the team was then joined by volunteer surgeons from United States (Dr Scott Leckman), Czech Republic (Dr Petr Bystricky and Dr Stepan Matoska), France (Dr Denis Blazquez) , and Poland (anaesthetist, Dr Paulina Mysliwy) , led by Prof. Andrew Kingsnorth and Dr Scott Leckman, continued their mission at Chiang Rai and Khanchanaburi province. We went to four rural district hospitals. We were able to perform about 20 cases in each by thed open Lichtenstein’ technique (LA, RA, GA) and laparoscopic hernioplasty [Totally extraperitoneal (TEP), Transabdominal preperitoneal (TAPP), Intraperitoneal onlay mesh (IPOM) repair] with mesh. All the surgical equipment was kindly sponsored by pharmaceutical companies.

We experienced different operating theatre settings, exchanged knowledge and learning experiences on surgical techniques from each other, and enjoyed local food and sight-seeing. We were very well taking care of by the local hospital staffs. It was indeed a fun and friendly trip.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Prof. Chinswangwatanakul and his colleagues for facilitating logistic arrangements locally. I am looking forward to joining similar mission again in Thailand.

Michael Wong, Surgical Registrar, Blackpool Victoria hospital, UK

Benjaporn Nuntasunti, Clinical Fellow in Minimally Invasive Surgery, Siriraj hospital, Mahidol University, Thailand

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