In My Own Words: Dr. Poore’s Trip to Vietnam

On March 7, 2024, myself and a group from our Division of Plastic Surgery began our journey to Nuoy Reconstructive International in Hanoi, Vietnam. The UW Cohort included faculty member Dr. Brett Michelotti, two chief residents and two research fellows. We were there through March 16 and during our time we performed operations at several hospitals, and taught the first Hanoi microsurgical training course.

Our team performed surgery across Hanoi and Ho Chi Min City. This included all aspects of reconstructive surgery, including upper and lower extremity reconstruction, craniofacial surgery, hand surgery, and cancer reconstruction. Each site involved a preoperative clinic, followed by surgical care and follow up. We only performed cases on patients who had an established Vietnamese surgeon to provide back up.

One very exciting part of our trip was that we taught the first-ever microsurgical training course in Hanoi, Vietnam. This involved one full day of lectures by both local Vietnamese faculty as well as faculty from Northwestern, Sloan Kettering, University of Chicago, and University of Wisconsin. The second and third days involved hands-on workshops where the participants learned to suture blood vessels and nerves. This year we took eight portable surgical microscopes that were specifically designed for this purpose. The microscopes (patented by WARF) are 3D printed in the lab and serve to provide magnification for those learning microsurgery in resource constrained countries. They are extremely inexpensive, portable, and user-friendly. The participants went from not being able to sew blood vessels together using microsurgery to doing independent anastomoses.

All in all, this trip was an incredible experience.

Dr. Samuel Poore is the Chair of the Division of Plastic Surgery.