Mao, Dominican Republic, November 2015

2015 HRFU Dominican Republic Mao Trip Summary

The trip was held in Mao at the Luis L. Bogaert Hospital for a second straight year. This repeat site for HRFU in the Dominican Republic trip once again was truly a tremendous success.  During 5 consecutive days in November we performed approximately 72 hernia operations on 66 individual patients of which 25 were pediatric hernias.

Aside from the operations that were performed numerous other patients were examined and benefited by being referred for additional medical, cardiac and even oncologic workups as a result of items identified pre­operatively and intraoperatively while we were at the site.

As always our team members were grateful for the experience. We had team members representing Jersey Shore University Hospital (Neptune, NJ) , Lankenau Medical Center ( Wynnewood, PA) , Centrastate ( Freehold, NJ) , Swedish (Seattle), CHOP (Philadelphia) Hospitals as well as an Italian team from Milan Istituto Clinico Sant’Ambrogio ­ Milan & Multimedica Hospital, University of Insubria­Varese.

Drs. Jarrod Kaufman, Giampiero Campanelli and Marta Cavalli were the adult surgeons and Dr. Robert L. Weinsheimer was our pediatric surgeon. Dr. Kaufman acted as team leader for the second year and brought many new first time physicians. Dr. Kari Palmer an Internal Medicine physician facilitated the pre­op and post op evaluations. Dr. Michelle Barnes joined to help provide high level anesthesia for the pediatric patients.

The anesthesia team consisted of Drs. Michelle Barnes (peds) and Dr. Anthony Fugaro.

The entire team of nurses, scrub technicians, sterile processing and translators performed well under more predictable, but less than perfect conditions. As this was our second time returning to the site we tried to help correct some of the needs and as a result we donated 2 new electrosurgical units and had 2 new sterilizers also donated which greatly facilitated the operative flow and instrument sterilization.

There is continued enthusiasm on the part of the team members and local hospital staff members to continue our work at this Mao based hospital. The Timmy Foundation, Banelino and the HRFU Local staff truly helped round out the team for our second successful mission at this location.

There were many good moments and below are but a few.


Below two of our pre-operative patients are waiting for their procedures.


Surgeon Training:  Two fully trained local surgeons were trained by Drs. Campanelli on the Lichtenstein repair.  Both surgeons did very well and were awarded 10 pieces of donated mesh for future Lichtenstein repairs on poor patients.  This was done after watching the trainer operating on one patient and then after completion of 5 other groin hernia operations performed by the doctors with Dr. Campanelli first assisting each of them for the remaining cases.  After each of the 5 operations a written rating form was used to assess surgical performance and has been standardized by HRFU.

Training has become an important part of the HRFU mission.  Many additional successful hernia repairs will need to be performed by these surgeon we have trained. We believe that this training will eventually lead to the training of these surgeons to become trainers for hernia repair in their local area.