Surgical Missions

Systematic review: the impact of reconstructive surgical missions

Although the field of short-term surgical missions is growing, medical literature lags behind, with nearly all of the publications lacking quantitative data collection. Little by little data collection is being implemented into missions but there is still a wide variety in information being collected and how it is shared. This lack of evidence of reconstructive surgical missions limits the accountability of medical missions, towards patients and the donors.

In a systematic review study we aim to compare reports and studies of.non-governmental organizations (NGOs). We aim to evaluate the impact of reconstructive surgical missions. The goal is to identity opportunities how NGO can learn from each other and how they can improve their data output.

Questionnaire: how to improve short-term reconstructive surgical missions?

Many NGOs perform reconstructive surgical missions, for example providing cleft lip surgeries in low-income countries. From our systematic review of Global Surgery Amsterdam we learnt that currently very little is known about these missions.

To better understand what is currently being done and what should be done in the near future, a questionnaire was developed collaboratively with Global Surgery Amsterdam and ICOPLAST. In this questionnaire, expert plastic surgeons are asked how they would improve reconstructive surgical missions. The goal of this study is to provide insight in missions and stimulate collaboration between NGOs to improve missions.

Current activities

The systematic review about reconstructive surgical missions was recently published in the BMJ Global Health. The article can be found here. Regarding the questionnaire, we have finished data collection and have started data analysis. First results are expected Q4 2019.

Main researchers:

  • Fleur Smit, M.D.
  • Anna Keetelaar, M.D.
  • Matthijs Botman, M.D.
  • Thom Hendriks, M.D.