Surgeons from Norway visited Walsall Manor Hospital earlier this month for a two day workshop focusing on Complex Abdominal Wall Reconstruction. This is a specialised procedure for very large and complex incisional hernias that is only carried out in a few centres in the UK.
Mr Steve Odogwu, Consultant Surgeon with Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust has been performing these since 2009 and teaches surgeons who wish to carry out these procedures. He has been running practical workshops with live operating since 2015.
He said: “Incisional hernias occur through a previously made incision in the abdominal wall – the scar left from a previous surgical operation. The incision will have been made to access an internal organ such as the appendix, or a caesarean section.
“Large hernias are very difficult to treat satisfactorily by techniques other than abdominal wall reconstruction. They have a significant impact on a patient’s quality of life; sometimes presenting as life-threatening emergencies. The operation can take anything from four to six hours and essentially involves dismantling and reconstructing the entire abdominal wall aided by the use of a mesh.
“We have run six Complex Abdominal Wall Reconstruction courses here at the Manor Hospital over the last few years attended by surgeons from Norway, Denmark, Republic of Ireland, Italy and other parts of the UK.
“My colleagues in Theatre 10 are an integral part of the sessions and for the last few years they have played a major part in developing our expertise in complex abdominal wall reconstruction.”
The team comprises of Mr Odogwu Consultant Colorectal Surgeon, Sarah Morris Surgical Care Practitioner, Lynn Howard Anaesthetic practitioner, Nicky Mushtaq Scrub Practitioner, Karl Mason Operating Department Support Worker, Team Leader Bev Turner and Mr Cristian Prescornita SAS doctor.
“We are really proud of the fact that visiting surgeons have repeatedly commented and congratulated us on the outstanding skill, organisation and professionalism of the Theatre 10 staff.”