In October 2018, I made my third trip to Lilongwe, Malawi in southeast Africa. This year I attended and taught at an educational symposium, “Plastic Surgery for the Improvement of Obstetric Fistula Repair Outcomes.”
The women of Malawi, and many other poor areas of the
They may be in labor for two or more days without progress, be in severe pain, and many times they lose their baby. Due to the prolonged pressure from the baby’s head in the birth canal, some of the tissue can die, and an abnormal connection can develop between the vagina and the bladder. This abnormal connection is called
Over the past few
I have taught the surgeons working there how to perform some these plastic surgery procedures, and they have become skilled at doing them on their own. They have also been following patient outcomes, and we have published some of our promising results. After my trip last year, we felt it would be beneficial to have an educational symposium to invite other fistula surgeons to learn more about our approach.
From October 8-12, 2018, we held a teaching symposium in Lilongwe with fistula surgeons from around the world. A total of 15 surgeons attended. Our goal was to collaborate and better define which patients and cases are the best candidates for the addition of plastic surgery procedures and to teach our techniques to the visiting surgeons.
The first day of the symposium was dedicated to didactic lectures, during which I gave two lectures on
I would like to thank Freedom from Fistula, Texas Children’s Hospital Women’s Global Health Program, Drs. Jeff Wilkinson and Rachel Pope, and all the team at the Fistula Care Center for hosting this great educational symposium. It was an honor and pleasure to be a part of it, and I look forward to returning in the future