Humanitarian Outreach Visit to Sri Lanka, November 2017
By Wickii Vigneswaran, MD, MBA, FICS
I went to Sri Lanka by myself. Initially I was going to take an anesthesiologist and a nurse, but decided against it after discussion with the local teams and the program they were developing for me.
Arrived on Sunday morning in the capital, Colombo. On Monday I was the Keynote speaker at the Sri Lankan College of Surgeons and also gave additional lecture in the Course held in The College of Surgeons ‘Thoracic Surgery and Surgical Education’.
On Tuesday travelled to Kandy (135 km 3:40 mins drive), received by the Chief Medical officer of the Kandy General Hospital and participated in the round table discussion of Heart and Lung transplantation with multidisciplinary team of surgeons, anesthesiologist, cardiologist, pulmonologist, critical care specialist and administrators . They have done two heart transplants in the preceding months and they wanted input and troubleshooting of troubling issues for them. Productive discussions and future collaborations were discussed. Then I visited with the Dean of the Peradeniya Medical School (The second National Medical School). Discussed exchange program and also I donated my book ‘Lung Transplantation: Principles and Practice published in 2016, a multi-authored authoritative text on lung transplantation. Then I had discussion with the Board Members of the Faculty of Medicine (Medical School) about future projects of the University, included formal power point presentations and dialogue.
Wednesday was a day of break, traveled to the hill country (elevation – 6129 feet)
Thursday, all day, drove North to Jaffna (392 km, 9-hour drive) with our Olympus equipment brought from USA. On Friday visited the Jaffna Teaching hospital, donated the equipment to the Professor and Head of Surgery (picture below) on behalf of the International College of Surgeons. Then we saw patients and X-rays with junior surgical trainees. Later that day performed a complex surgery removing a large retrosternal goiter from a young woman who previously had partial removal of the neck component. Met with other members of the Department of Surgery and developed collaborative ideas. Visited other local ex-pat surgeons that evening.
Saturday was a day of visits with family and friends.
Sunday, all day, drove back to Colombo (8 hour drive). On Monday morning visited Sri Jeyawardanapura Hospital and discussed protocols and clinical pathways with the cardiothoracic surgical multidisciplinary critical care team (picture below).
Departed for USA later that afternoon.