Travel Grant Report: Belgium, January-February, 2024

"Having had this experience will for sure help me in my future and improve my patients’ results"....

From 15th January 2024 to 15th February 2024 I had the opportunity to work with Dr. Philip Muysoms, one of the most innovative hernia surgeons. During this time, thanks to the EHS grant, I was able to visit AZ Maria Middelares Gent & AZ Sint Vincentius Deinze, the two hospitals where he performs surgeries. I had the chance to observe robotic groin TAPPs, TARUPs, the technique described be Dr. Muysoms himself, roboTARs and robotic Pauli parastomal hernia repairs.

I’m a last-year resident wanting to specialise on abdominal wall surgery in the future and thanks to this experience I have learnt to approach hernia surgey with both Da Vinci™ and Hugo RAS™ robotic platforms. Watching and assisting Dr. Muysoms in these surgeries has been an invaluable opportunity to further my training on this field.

I attended to one of the minimally invasive clinical immersion courses he organises, in which you can watch him perform in a day robotic TAPPs and TARUPs, with lectures on the evidence of the techniques. On the following day, we went to Orsi Academy to try the Hugo RAS™ simulator and do a hands-on course on laparoscopic groin and ventral hernia repair, performing laparoscopic surgeries on a pig.

On 31 January-2nd February I assisted the AWRE Conference that took place in Ghent, an interdisciplinary meeting with Plastic surgeons, Radiologists and world-renowned hernia surgeons such as Todd Heniford, Jeff Janis, Eric Pauli, Filip Muysoms, Yohann Renard and many others. Insightful case studies, interactive discussions and brilliant talks on the hot topics of hernia repair: robotic surgeries, new techniques, prehabilitation in Abdominal Wall Repair patients, challenging hernia repairs and innovation and research.

During these 5 weeks I also accompanied Dr. Muysoms in his proctoring activities, watching how he monitors surgeons during their learning curve in robotic surgery, taking advantage of watching other surgeons perform these procedures and the tips and tricks on the surgical techniques he shares.

I also had the opportunity to attend to a traumatic ventral hernia repair on a horse. Dr. Muysoms performed a laparoscopic IPOM+ repair, assisting the vet surgical team in these approaches to them.

Many thanks to the EHS and in particular to Dr. Muysoms and his team for this priceless opportunity that has made me been able to progress in my training to become a hernia surgeon. Having had this experience will for sure help me in my future and improve my patients’ results.

Kind regards,
Jose Castillo



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