Category Archives: Senegal

Dakar 2011 – Filming in Dakar

Set up in the OR with the whole team. Can you see the concentration of the whole team as we work hard to ensure that we capture the valuable imaging we need to make this project a success!

It has been an incredible trip. We have learned a lot through our collaboration with our Senegalese partners and created relationships that will allow for continued efforts in teaching fistula surgery throughout the developing world.

Our hosts have been incredibly gracious. We have had the pleasure of meeting religious and community leaders, members of the UNAFP, and medical personnel from the entire hospital as well as visiting doctors from the US. It is wonderful to see the excitement of everyone in working on this difficult issue.

Today we had the opportunity to round and interview on our patients and it was amazing to hear their stories again and how happy they are to be dry for the first time in many years.

This has been an amazing trip.

Dakar 2011 – Week of Filming

Hello again all! Sorry for not writing more regularly this week but I figured our update for the end of the week would be more meaningful! We have had a busy week of video recording and directing to obtain all the necessary material for the development of our surgical trainer. We have completed taping about 10 fistula surgeries showing a multitude of variations that will be critical for the learner.

Our hosts Hopital General de Gran Yoff and specifically Dr. Serigne Gueye and his team have been incredible! David and Pete made it here (albeit Pete a day late) with all our equipment in tact and in tow! They have been so accommodating in understanding the video process and ensuring the surgical steps are clearly delineated so that we can capture each step precisely for the trainer.

Here is a picture of our OR set-up which miraculously worked without a hitch! Thank you Tanya from Stryker and kudos to David and his technical genius!

I have lots more to share as our week comes to an end. Will add a longer post tomorrow but I wanted to get something up there to share with you all!

Dakar 2011 – Ranerou Second Day

The second day in Ranerou began with a line of patients waiting to be screened for various medical complaints. After screening the patients we unfortunately did not have any more fistula cases but did schedule surgery for complete uterine prolapse in a young woman after childbirth and two large lipomatous lesions.

We completed our cases with the assistance of our surgical team and rounded on our patients from the previous day who were all doing well. The fistula patients will be cared for by the Ranerou team of doctors and will stay at the hospital till their catheters are removed in 1 week.

It was an enlightening trip to the heart of Senegal and a view of the daily lifestyle of the people here. The work being done by Ranerou’s medical team is impressive and shows their dedication to the care of their people and ability to adapt to limited medical equipment and supplies.

We left Ranerou with warm hearts and a full stomach after sharing in our communal meals and living with the medical team. I also left with some additional memories given to me by the mosquitos of Ranerou who feasted on my foreign blood (my bug spray was in my delayed luggage!).

Au revoir Ranerou and off to Dakar to plan for the filming and fistula surgeries scheduled for next week! (Below is a picture of one of the many small markets en route Dakar).

Dakar 2011 – Ranerou First Day

Hello All! I am back from our outreach trip to Ranerou in central Senegal. What a journey and experience this was! The drive to Ranerou was about 8 hours from Dakar, for the majority of the trip the road was well-paved and the smaller cities and villages a site to see. As we travelled further east the road became more dirt paved with various areas of construction slowing travel and requiring the expert navigation skills of our driver. Our team consisted of Dr. Niang a Urologist from Senegal and a midwife who would be working with the gynecologic team.

We arrived in Ranerou on the evening of the 25th and shared in a joint meal of rice, vegetables, and local chicken. Interestingly the meals are served in a large communal plate with each person sharing from their corner of the plate, delicious!

We met Dr. Rau who runs the hospital in Ranerou and his team of nurses and doctors as well as another physician, a professor of gynecology who works with the nurses in Ranerou regularly. On Day#1 we started the morning conducting clinic to evaluate and screen patients for surgery. We saw a variety of female patients with a number of different complaints. We found 3 women with fistulas and their stories are truly amazing. The picture below is of the women waiting in the hall outside for surgery.

The three women ranged in age from 28-40+. The first patient had been living with her fistula for 25 years without ever having an operation. She was lucky in that she was still married to her husband despite her condition. Our other two patients were divorced. One patient was 28 and had her first pregnancy at the age of 14 and subsequently developed a fistula. Our other patient had been operated on by Dr. Niang 1 year ago at another site and while her incontinence had dramatically improved she was still leaking some. Dr. Niang described that her original surgery had been very difficult as she had a complete transection of her bladder from the urethra requiring a difficult mobilization of the bladder and repair. On examination she now appeared to have only a small residual vesicovaginal fistula that could be easily repaired.

We then booked an additional few gynecologic cases and left for the city center to meet with the chief of the village to bless the opening of the new center.

We completed our 3 fistula cases as well as a repair of an anal sphincter injury during childbirth. All surgeries were completed successfully!

Dakar 2011 – Day 1

We are embarking on the first trip for our Vesicovaginal Fistula (VVF) project. We have an exciting 2 weeks planned! I will be spending the first week performing surgery with Dr. Serigne Gueye one of the world’s experts on fistula repair in an outreach trip in Central Senegal, the second week we will be obtaining live video of surgeries needed to complete our VVF surgical simulator. I am so excited to see this project coming to fruition and the different parties aligning so well.

I made it safely to Dakar with a few hiccups on the way. I arrived at the hotel a few hours late and kindly the hotel restaurant owner has lent me some clothes till my missing bag arrives, so I can leave this morning for our outreach trip to Ranerou. In Ranerou they are planning on beginning a more formal medical program and we will be assisting by performing hopefully some fistula surgeries and other gynecologic procedures.

The team will be joining me this weekend at the Hotel Le Djoloff,  attached is a picture of the view from the rooftop.