Laparoscopic surgery for women is the standard of care across the world. Compared to open surgery there are known better outcomes for women including faster healing time and decreased risk of infections. Additionally, the ability for women to go home the same day allows both for patients and hospital to decrease their costs from a public health perspective. We will be bringing the standard of care to a public teaching hospital in Santiago, Dominican Republic by training local doctors in laparoscopic surgery. In this return trip, we will continue to work with OB/GYN residents as they continue to develop their surgical skills. In addition, we are excited to bring and install new technology in the ORs in order to help train in laparoscopic surgery remotely. This new technology will allow our team to continue surgical training while we are in the US.
This project will benefit two direct populations. In order to bring the standard of care local doctors must have the skills to perform laparoscopic surgery and our efforts will provide those skills to OB/GYNs in Santiago, Dominican Republic. The women seeking surgeries at this public hospital will then greatly benefit from receiving the standard of care. Additionally, many women travel from Haiti to receive care at this hospital therefore our target population is even larger.
This is a 100% sustainable project as we have partnered with local physicians in Santiago, Dominican Republic in order to build key partnerships and for the surgical training to continue once our team is not on ground.
Our team was able to serve the patients in Santiago, Dominican Republic as well as those who travel from Haiti to receive care, in several ways during this trip. We were able to bring laparoscopic as well as urogynocologic procedures that are not typically available to the largest public women’s hospital in the region. We partnered with the local physicians and residency training programs there so that we were able to educate the OB/GYN and anesthesiology residents about important features of caring for patients undergoing these surgeries. From preoperative evaluation to delivering intraoperative anesthesia care to monitoring patients in the recovery room after surgery, I was able to see and care for patients throughout their perioperative course. One of our patients was so grateful she had her daughter bring our team a gift of fruits before she was discharged, another was so happy to finally be able to get her long-awaited surgery that she danced into the OR and was smiling from ear to ear when she heard it all went smoothly. In addition to direct patient care and clinical education, our team also continued long-term projects to improve simulation education and help reduce maternal mortality from obstetric hemorrhage. This included running interprofessional simulations with debrief and didactic sessions after as well as putting together kits of donated supplies and medications that had been identified as needed during a previous trip.