Posted by Stephen Dixon on Jul 03, 2019
An Interplast team of 7 volunteer medical professionals from Australia (3 plastic and reconstructive surgeons, two anaesthetists, one theatre nurse and one nurse educator) delivered a week long surgical mentoring and nurse education program  within the Department of Plastic, Maxillofacial and Oral Surgery at the Yangon General Hospital in Myanmar in June 2019.  The team were sponsored by Rotary district 9455, which covers Western Australia north of the river.
The team worked closely alongside the local surgical unit, delivering clinical, hands-on training for the local plastic surgeons, and Masters and Doctorate level plastic surgery trainees, as well as the consultant and trainee anaesthetists and theatre nurses. Nurse educator Sarah also delivered training to the local ward nurses, focused around post-operative care. During the week, 14 patients were seen for consultation and 11 received complex reconstructive surgery for a range of conditions, including major head and neck cancers, burns injuries and conditions requiring craniofacial reconstruction. On the final day of the program, the Interplast team delivered a full-day workshop for all local trainees, with sessions both relating to their clinical focus, as well as team-building activities and scenario training to build advanced life-support skills. Overall this was a very successful visit.
The work Inperplast does makes an immediate and huge difference to the lives of the people they operate on, who are usually stigmatised in their community because of their condition.  In addition, the training given to the local surgeons allows their work to be multiplied and continued within the community.