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SICOT e-Newsletter

Issue No. 58 - July 2013

Fellowship News

Report of the SICOT meets SICOT Fellowship at CHOP, United States

Islam Abouyoussef
SICOT Associate Member - Cairo, Egypt

I had the honour of being selected by SICOT for the "SICOT meets SICOT" (SmS) Fellowship Programme at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) during May 2013.

Philadelphia is a pleasant city located in the eastern region of the United States. CHOP is the main paediatric hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. In 2012, CHOP was selected the best children's hospital in the United States. The division of Orthopaedic Surgery in CHOP is always busy in terms of providing quality patient care, training of medical staff and doing research work.

My experience in CHOP was really great, starting from the hospital set-up to the detailed surgical techniques. The team of the Orthopaedic Division is wonderful. They provide integrated care to their patients.

With Prof John Dormans

Prof Dorman's team

Prof John P. Dormans, Chief of the Orthopaedic Surgery Division, is a great mentor and leader. My experience with him in the fields of limb salvage surgeries and spine surgeries was awe-inspiring. Since his clinic always has a high flow of patients, I had the chance to see some rare cases with him. I was also able to learn from him how to approach patients effectively in the clinic, how to teach them about their diseases and how to manage time.

With Prof Campbell

I also got more experience in early onset scoliosis, thoracic insufficiency syndrome and Vertical Expandable Prosthetic Titanium Rib (VEPTR) with the inventor of the VEPTR, Prof Robert M. Campbell, starting from decision making to surgical techniques. I was able to better understand the management of thoracic insufficiency syndrome. It was my first experience with (VEPTR II) which has improved a great deal compared to the older VEPTR version. Prof Campbell taught me to think of the thorax as much as I think of the spine or more when I insert the VEPTR.

In the operating rooms I observed many spine and tumour surgeries using different surgical methods. O-arm navigation is used by many surgeons in pedicle screws insertion. I also had good discussions on growing techniques for management of early onset scoliosis and choosing the level of lower instrumented vertebra in Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis.

On weekends I visited some other American cities such as Atlantic City, Baltimore and Washington DC. The National Mall in Washington DC is a great place for tourists.

I returned to Egypt after the one-month fellowship and I discussed what I had learned in CHOP with my colleagues to spread and maximise the benefit.