Travel Grant Report: Madrid, November-December, 2023

"I’m very grateful to the opportunity that I had, an as soon as I came back to North Devon I implicated all the knowledge I gained"...

I’m Iea Alabbasi, a surgeon lived and trained in Iraq, moved to united kingdom in 2021, where I worked and still currently in upper GIT and abdominal wall center in North Devon district hospital. I have FRCS (ENGLAND) finished in 2022, a FEBS/AWS in 2022.

I was privileged to win an extended surgical stay from the European hernia society during 2023 in Barcelona conference, to spend 4 weeks with Professor Miguel Angel Garcia-Urena at Madrid, to have more training in complex abdominal wall hernias and different approached.

I spent the the time from 19th November 2023 till 14th December working with professor Miguel and his team in three different hospitals, and had the privilege to meet observe Dr Javier Lopez-Monclus and Prof. Luis Blazquez in their hospital to operate on laparoscopic and open cases, included hybrid eTEP and open for right and left iliac fossa incisional hernias, and open approached for lateral lumber hernias.

I also was lucky by the timing as Professor Miguel arranged my visit so I can attend the Gore course which include two days, one half days lectures and half theatre time, where I was the first assistant in recurrent left lower intercostal hernia, and day two was cadaver illustration. I was so lucky to see the different layers of abdominal wall and dissection in a away I never seen before, specially the sub diaphragmatic and the Madrid way and Madrid approach in incisional hernia repair.

Professor Miguel and his team including theatre staffs were so caring and considerate, looking to the fact I don’t speak Spanish, they communicate with me in English, trying hard to make I’m in the picture all the time, beside I was lucky to scrubbed in every day case with him, where I seen midline, lateral, subcostal, intercostal hernias.

The dissection was all the time so beautiful and clear and looked so easy, that using Madrid way and approach seems almost the solutions for all cases.

We had also two cases with minimally invasive single port retro rectus repair which was amazing to learn.

I felt like the hospital is another North Devon hospital, from the welcoming and support way, did not feel stranger at all.

I’m very grateful to the opportunity that I had, an as soon as I came back to North Devon I implicated all the knowledge I gained in two big cases we have in the department with my consultant supervisor, Mr. David Sanders.

I would definitely love to go back in future to expand my surgical skills , and thank you again for EHS and the Madrid group for all the support and welcoming they offer to surgeon from all around the world .

Ms Iea Alabbasi
Surgical specialty doctor in upper GIT and abdominal wall surgery



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