Report on hernia mission Brazil July 2018- Dominique Robert
Brazil is a bit far away from Australia but worth the trip, lovely people, good surgical setting and competent surgical teams. Joao Pessoa is a big town, 1,800,000 inhabitants mainly living in blocks of flats around 30 levels. There are food outlets and fruit and vegie shops everywhere. Their beer is light and their Caïpirinas are absolutely delicious.
Day one was at teaching hospital Santa Isabel, 5 operating theatres well equipped, day 2 at Itabaiana, a rural local hospital one hour out of town, day 3 at Mamanguape, another rural hospital, one hour out of town but very active, day 4 hospital Santa Isabel, day 5 hospital Universario a very big teaching unit with everything available, day 6 at Santa Isabel. There are long working days because of the time spent in transportations around. Recruitment of patients does not seem to be an issue as the cities are big. I did or assisted for 23 hernias on 22 patients. There was no hernia done under local anaesthesia as the Brazilians Anaesthetists are in favour of spinal analgesia which they master very well, no problem on my side and it seems easier for their recovery units.
We were very well treated and fed in every hospital, the Juniors have an active role and are very keen on learning, ask questions and do not hesitate to challenge our techniques. I was a bit surprised we did not have to operate on more children. I think this was worthwile both for them and us. There was good companionship during all these days and I am quite keen on returning next year After time was very good too with plenty more restaurants, drinks and good food, quite often with the surgeons we worked with during the day.Excellent ambiance.
Thanks to Christiano and Christiano, Pericles the local surgeon organiser and all the Junior and senior surgeons Brazilian or from overseas we worked with, Andrew, Leo and Gail accomplished anaesthetist and Whatsapp Champion.