The Hernia Family Book – interview with António Ferreira from Portugal

Name: António Ferreira

Age: 45 years old

Where do you come from? Portugal

For how long have you been an EHS member?:  For two years

Please describe a day at work as surgeon in your country:
My day starts with a short meeting with all units of the surgery department reviewing the patients operated on the day before by the surgeons in the ER and the ones admitted to the wards. Then we visit all the patients allocated to my unit (Upper GI) and, in my case, also the complex abdominal wall patients that I had operated on. During the week I have a day in the Operating theatre or in ambulatory surgery, in the ER or in outpatient consultation.
What is your favourite AWR procedure/ hernia surgery?

Despite being very long or sometimes fastidious procedures I like to repair big incisional hernias and if I go retro-rectus I want more than one piece of cake. I want it all, with a TAR, what else! (Jokes apart, if indicated of course)

Why is it your favourite procedure?
Combining the retromuscular approach with the TAR is playing almost all the cards. It’s a combination of knowledge and technical skill and that balance is what makes us surgeons! Maybe it reminds me of my early childhood when I loved to disassemble my sister’s toys (and most of the time it didn’t end well). But now we have to disassemble to fix!

Who inspired you to become a hernia enthusiast/ surgeon? 
A colleague, Dra Conceição Lucas, came to my hospital. She performed IPOM like Dr. Ramon Gutierrez. She passed her knowledge when I was a younger consultant. The curiosity about new and fresh procedures in the abdominal wall made the rest and after all this field of surgery has been growing very fast and happening in real time. New solutions came to solve nearly impossible situations in the past and new and fancy ways, with different approaches, makes Abdominal wall surgery one of the most challenging fields of surgery.

Please, give a small tip or trick to share for this or any other hernia procedure?
I could give a tip about a procedure but it will not be different from any other tip given by the very best surgeons in abdominal wall. I think that for every hernia procedure, even for the simplest, it is very important to involve the patients in the process. Side by side with the surgeon the patients are responsible for achieving the goals of treatment optimization. Furthermore, most of the time patients will be better after surgery but not the same as before the hernia. Managing expectations could spare a lot of disgust.

Have you attended an EHS congress, meeting, or course?
Yes I did

If yes, which made the biggest impression on you?
The 45th EHS Congress in Sitges, Barcelona

What made it great?
The excellence of the scientific programme. Lectures were awesome, but the people make it great. All the great experts in abdominal wall are so amenable and friendly, making of utmost value the sharing and networking.

How can the EHS help you in the future?
Keeping the guidelines and recommendations up to date is very important for our daily practice as hernia surgeons. But sometimes evidence is lacking about some issues and still we have lots of questions to be answered with proper support. To fulfil this void EHS is helping us all being a booster for solid investigation.

What is your dream for your future in hernia surgery?
Advances in biocompatible materials and imaging with augmented reality allowing the surgeon to recognize and avoid critical structures like nerves. Also working with AI assisted procedures.


Register now for the EHS 2024 Conference, held 29-31 May 2024


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