Urethral Reconstruction Workshop

From Dr. Youry Dreux to Dr. Frank Burks and team following the recent urethral reconstruction workshop at Hopital St. Francois de Sales in Port-au-Prince:
On behalf of the attendees, I would like to thank each of you for making yourself available to come down in Haiti to help us out with our patients suffering with urethral stricture.
I would like to let you know how grateful and joyful we are because we spent this whole week with you guys and, as usual ,the ambiance was very good ,you were teaching us with patience ,enthusiasm ,wisdom and humility .
We do hope you will make it  safely back home and may the Lord keep protecting your family and preserving you life .
Once again thank you so much ,guys ,please feel free to come back any time  you will be always  welcome.

Surgery Week at the Hopital Bienfaisance de Pignon

Plastic surgeon, Dr. Fogarty has had a long relationship with Project Haiti and Hopital Bienfaisance de Pignon. He has returned after a several year hiatus. Here is a brief summary of his week:
Dr. Guy and All,Just to inform you that we (the hospital) received today a donation of US $ 10,000.- from Dr Fogarty / Interplast West Virginia for the surgery week at the Hopital Bienfaisance de Pignon.  Attached you will find a copy of the check.

They have seen patients in outpatient clinic on Saturday and during the week.  From Monday to Wednesday, the group performed 18 surgeries (plastic surgeries).

They have 8 cases scheduled for today.

Tomorrow afternoon (Friday 16, 2018) there will be teaching (lectures) for the medical staff. (see attached subjects list).

The group (Interplast West Virginia) willeave Pignon on Saturday (March 17, 2018) at 6:00AM .

They plan to come back to Pignon next year (March 08 – 16-, 2019).  They would like to see a lot of patients.  We will made appropriate arrangement in order to have more many patients for them next time as we know a year in advance.  Also we have been informed that some of the patients does not come because they do not have money to cover their travel fees (transportation, lodging, etc..) .

A million of thanks to the Interplast West Virginia team.
Lucy, the team coordinator, is copied in this email.

Noel Marie Adele

Hopital Bienfaisance de Pignon

Summary Report for Dr. Osiris – Haitian urologist who received training

Summary Report.

Dr. OSIRIS Marc Aurele Joseph.

Fellowship in Endourology

Place: Hôpital General de Grand Yoff (HOGGY) , Dakar, Senegal

Dakar Partner: Institut de Formation et de Recherche Universitaire (IFRU) and GRAND YOFF HOSPITAL.

Haitian Partner:  Société Haïtienne d’Urologie (SHU) and Hôpital de  l’Université d’Etat d’Haïti (HUEH).

Financial Partners: International Society of Urology (SIU) and Project Haiti

Duration of Training: 3 Months

Started: July 6, 2017

Ended: September 26, 2017


Outpatient Clinic _ international meeting and Workshop (URO-DAK) _ endosurgery_ open surgery.



  • Monday : 

Morning: exploration department (cystoscopy_ urethral dilatation_ prostate biopsy_ JJ Stent training)

Afternoon: Outpatient clinic

  • Tuesday_Wednesday_Thursday_Friday: surgery/Operating Room.



(1_ first surgeon, 2_first assistant, 3_second assistant, 0_watcher)


TOTAL  | SCRUBBING (0   1   2   3)

TURP 10 | 4 (2-2-2-2)

TURV 7  | 3 (2-2-2)

URS+ LASER 8  | 6 (2-2-2-2-2-2)

URS+ SW+LASER 2 | 2 (2-2)

PCNL 2 | 1 (3)

EIU 1 | 0

POST.Ur. VALVE RESEC. 2 | 1 (2)



TOTAL: 33 | 17 (scrubbing)



TOTAL | SCRUBBING (0   1   2   3)

ADENOMECTOMY 6 | 3 (3-1-2)


TOTAL PROSTATEC. 6 | 3 (2-2-3)

HERNIA 7 | 5 (2-2-1-1-1)

URETROPLASTY 5 | 2 (2-2)



VARICOCELE 1 | 1 (1)







TOTAL: 37 | 18 Scrubbing




Mentor /Teacher: Dr. Mohamed JALLOH and the surgical STAFF.



I would like to think every personality and organization that contributed to the accomplishment of this program. This training had been very a successful experience, increasing my knowledge and my skill in the urology practice.

Endoscopic procedures are the future of the urology, and I am very determinate to help the Haitian Community by sharing my experience with the young residents.

I want to thank our partners in Dakar for all these human resources that they are providing for the International urology’s gold success.

Best Regards,

Dr. Marc Aurèle Jph. OSIRIS

Thank you letter from Dr. Clervil from World Congress of Endourology

Dr. Clarvil was sponsored by Endourologic Society to attend the World Congress of Urology in Vancouver, Canada.  


Dear Michelle,

First, I must thank Dr. Lanctin, big partner of Haitian Urology for choosing and recommending me to attend this great event, Dr. Denstedt who accepted me immediately and you, Michele, for your assistance which allowed me to effectively get to Vancouver. I congratulate all the committee organizer members for their know-how. Finally, I thank all participants for their role play. I can’t forget the sponsors.

The WCE 2017 meeting was a great experience for me. It allows me to update my knowledge in the field of Endo Urology particularly minimally invasive surgery. I’ve met a lot of VIP in this field from all over the world. I’ve enjoyed the presentations and all the topics. It was even amazing to participate. Also, Vancouver is a beautiful city that I discovered.

This scholarship is important for residents, fellows, Urologist especially from developing countries living with low budget. Now, it is the time to persuade deciders in our country to provide appropriate equipment to practice such surgical techniques and allow patients to benefit from scientific progress.

I promise, I will share these experiences with other colleagues, medical school students and residents. I hope others, either mentors or residents from my team will benefit from such a good program.

My experience will be profitable for my patients and for my country.

I thank Cook Medical for the work shop on PCNL and flexible ureteroscopy.

Thank you, Dr. Ben Chew.

Thank you so much everybody.



Dr. Mitelot Clervil, Urologist

Inauguration of ESWL at Hopital St.Francois de Sales (HSFDS)

Planning for this event began May 2016 in San Diego at the annual meeting of the American Urological Association. At that time I was offered the opportunity to participate in a project to bring ESWL, a non-invasive kidney stone treatment, to Haiti. Long term business associates and friends Chris Gleason (CEO, NextMed Inc,) and Todd Pierce (CEO, Translational Analytics and Statistics Inc.) were aware of our work in Haiti and had a desire to go international with their new decision engine for stone treatment. They felt that Haiti would be an interesting challenge for their first site. They approached Brock Faulkner (CEO Dornier MedTech, America) and they agreed to donate a refurbished ESWL unit. New units are valued at approximately $400,000. After my initial disbelief transitioned into doubts that it could be successfully accomplished, I discussed it with Dr. Pierre-Alix Nazon, a urologist from Haiti who was also attending the AUA in San Diego. At that time Dr.Nazon was the leading kidney stone urologist in Haiti. Todd and Chris met with him to explain the details of their offer and his enthusiasm and excitement following this meeting convinced me that we needed to make it happen. This launched the year-long project. Unfortunately, Dr. Nazon passed away prematurely in January 2017 before seeing it's completion.

The timing of the offer coincided with negotiations between our newly formed Global Association for the Support of Haitian Urology (GASHU) and the governing board of Hopital St. Francois de Sales (HSFDS) for a “Memorandum of Understanding” to develop a urology center of excellence in Port-au-Prince. Our goal was to establish a center which would function as a facility to teach Haitian urology residents and provide contemporary urological care to all patients in Haiti. A number of generous donations have facilitated this: the Global Philanthropic Committee (GPC) of the AUA and the Societie Internationale Urologie provided funding for a full time urology nurse, ForTec Medical Inc. donated a Holmium laser lithotripter, Karl Storz Urology inc. donated a complete set of new adult and pediatric urological endoscopy instruments, and Dr. John Denstedt, the Endourological Society and Cook Medical,Inc. lent expertise and funding to start a percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PCNL) program in Haiti (see report from March 2017 trip to HSFDS). ESWL would be the final piece in the formation of a stone treatment center.

Although the unfortunate loss of Dr. Nazon was untimely, other urologists from the Haitian Society of Urology stepped up to complete the project. This effort was led by Dr. Bernard Brutus, Dr. Youry Dreux and Dr. Reginald Valme. Resident participation by Dr. Christian Valme, in particular, was invaluable.

The Haiti ESWL project included crating and shipment of the equipment (totaling 2532 lbs.) to Coconut Creek , FL after complete refurbishment. This was organized and funded by Dornier who have proven to be dedicated partners. With the help of HSFDS and Dr. Bernard Brutus, arrangements were made to have the equipment shipped by sea from Florida to Haiti by Food For The Poor Inc. This process, which included clearing customs was accomplished smoothly.

Dr. Dreux and the GPC funded nurse, Japhare Joseph, were chosen to be the ESWL technicians and their training was meticulously planned, funded and undertaken by NextMed. They both completed an internet based training course before attending an intense specially designed simulation and live training course over a 2 week period in Tucson, AZ and Dallas, TX. Dr. Brutus and Dr. Reginald Valme also spent time observing at a NextMed ESWL center in Fort Lauderdale, Fl.

Following the 2017 annual meeting of the AUA in Boston Todd Pierce, Chris Gleason, Brock Faulkner, Mary Butler (Chief Technology Officer, Dornier MedTech International), my wife Pat and I flew to Port-au-Prince for the inauguration of the ESWL unit and treatment of the first cases.

Our arrival was preceded for several days by the arrival of Dornier engineer Patrick Dixon, whose task it was to install the unit and deal with the complexities of an unpredictable power supply. Being experienced with installations in multiple countries, as well as a great team member, he proved to be the perfect person for the task.

The day prior to our arrival, the lead trainer for NextMed, Paul Starr arrived to inspect the equipment to ensure a successful launch. He worked with Patrick, and the Haitian ESWL “techs” Dr. Dreux and Japhare to familiarize them the the nuances of the Compact Delta I. He also coached them on the complex computer based data reporting program that they had learned about in Tucson. Completion of this data entry to record patient outcomes data is the only expectation that was requested in return for the generous donation.

By the time we arrived all was set from the equipment perspective and the Haitian urologists had lined up a number of stone patients who eagerly awaited non-invasive treatment of their kidney stones.

On Thursday May, 18th, 1 year after the initial offer, a reception was held at HSFDS in conjunction with a press conference with the national Haitian media to celebrate the launch of the ESWL program at the stone treatment center. The enthusiasm and pride of the hospital staff and administration was palpable and we know from the number of patients who presented at the hospital the next day looking for treatment of their kidney stones that the word was disseminated by the news media.

After the ceremony, we successfully screened a large number of patients, reviewing each case with the local urologists and teaching appropriate work up, evaluation and patient selection. This process will be greatly aided by the Translation Analytics and Statistics decision engine.

Over the next 2 ½ days we did 15 successful ESWL treatments (14 patients with kidney stones and 1 with a distal ureteral calculus). Dr. Dreux and Japhare proved to be very capable and knowledgeable from their training and Paul was a seasoned, laid back teacher who allowed them to work through the complexities of operating the system. Patrick stayed back an extra day to support and work on power issues. Several items that need to be adapted were identified and will be addressed, demonstrating Dornier’s long term commitment to the program's success. The hospital electrician and Bio-Med technician were trained and familiarized with the system and with the help of “Zoom conferences” technical support will be accomplished remotely as much as possible.  Dr. Dreux and Japhare will participate in the data retrieval program and regular internet based bi-monthly conferences with US NextMed technicians for ongoing training and feedback on their outcomes.

Upon departure the consensus was that the stone center had a viable ESWL program to offer Haitian patients and the core urologists and technical support staff were well positioned to provide outcomes that would rival top US treatment centers. The dedication of Todd, Chris, Brock and Mary along with the staff of their companies, NextMed and Dornier was inspirational.
HSFDS is proving to be a very willing and enthusiastic partner in this project to form a urology center of excellence. From the opening reception we felt welcomed. We were served lunches daily which included very appetizing Haitian dishes and on the last day we were presented with gifts. The nursing staff in the OR, and on the wards were enthusiastic and willing to learn. On Saturday morning we were pleased to have Mgr. Serge Chadic, a hospital board member, come to observe one of our cases.

The only dark cloud that hung over this very satisfying 3 day experience was that Dr. Pierre-Alix Nazon was not present to bear witness to the outcome of his visionary thinking. We anticipate that many Haitians will benefit from the generosity of this donation from NextMed, Dornier, Translational Analytics and Statistics, and all those who helped to make this ambitious project a success.

Henri Lanctin MD, FACS

Dr. Paul Severson Receives SAGES Award

Arnold P. Gold Foundation - SAGES
Award for Excellence in Humanistic Clinical Care Presented by: David Rattner, MD, Awards Committee Chair
Recipient: Paul Severson, MD

SAGES has once again teamed up with the Arnold P. Gold Foundation, honoring practicing physicians who best demonstrate the ideals of compassionate and respectful care for a patient’s physical and emotional well-being. This award is designated for a clinician who is recognized by the surgical/GI community for excellence in patient care and surgical practice and is granted for significant surgical-endoscopic skills, patient care, contributions to community and volunteerism.

Dr. Severson is the Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Minnesota Institute for Minimally Invasive Surgery, Director of the Minnesota Reflux and Heartburn Center and Program Director for Advanced GI MIS/Bariatric and Flexible Endoscopy Fellowship. Dr. Severson is member of SAGES Global Affairs committee, facilitating the Global Surgical Curriculum, which provides SCORE-based tele-education on a regular basis to the residents, faculty and private practice surgeons of Haiti.

Dr. Severson has spent over 30 years educating surgeons and medical professionals on every level imaginable in the U.S. and abroad. Even more impressive than that is that Dr. Severson is the Founder and CEO of Project Haiti. Through this effort, he has personally made over 70 trips to the poorest country in the world, with the sole purpose of teaching laparoscopic and endoscopic surgery. He played a huge role in building a state-of the-art hospital with full minimally invasive surgery capabilities in a town that rarely has running water or power. Not only did he build it, but he taught the people there how to use it. Over the years, he has successfully put on laparoscopic workshops that have allowed people in the poorest country in the world to enjoy the benefits of minimally invasive surgery. The most incredible thing about Dr. Severson though is that he has made all of these incredible contributions to the education of others very quietly, without seeking reward or recognition. He does it because he loves it. He lives for it. His teaching knows no boundaries, and includes medical students, residents, fellows, attendings, in a classroom setting, in the OR, on the podium, in a meeting, on a teleconference, and in the poorest country in the entire world in a building with no power. His dedication is truly inspiring.

SAGES gratefully acknowledges support by The Arnold P. Gold Foundation

In Memory of Dr. Pierre-Alex Nazon

Mar 8, 2017
Academic Eulogy of Dr Pierre-Alix Nazon

Dr Pierre-Alix Nazon, beloved husband and father, died on Tuesday, January 17, 2017, at the age of 56. Born on August 11, 1960, Dr. Nazon had an illustrious career in private and academic urology in Haiti, devoting his life to providing the best urologic care that Haiti can offer. While he was an extremely progressive and talented urologist, his greatest love was for his family, his children, his friends, his colleagues and the Haitian people. He has left a deep void in the heart of his beloved wife Regine, his sons Jean Paul and Samuel, his daughters Kara and Lara – both young physicians, his mother Maud, his brother Claude and his two sisters Marie-Helene and Marie Maude.

He was an avid soccer player and was known for his athleticism. Despite being a calm and mild mannered person, always with a gentle smile on his face, he was a karate teacher. He instructed soccer and karate to his peers, friends, and colleagues.

He attended medical school in Haiti at the Universite D’Etat D’Haiti, and went on to complete his residency training in urology at the same institution. Son of a renowned urologist and pioneer in Haitian Urology, Dr Claude Nazon, he followed the footsteps of his father and sought further training abroad. Pierre-Alix was accepted for a fellowship in lower urinary tract endoscopy at the Urology Department of the University Hospital in Lyon, France under the direction of Professor Paul Perrin in 1989-90. To further his training he spent 3 months in Israel mastering upper urinary tract endoscopy and lithotripsy (1995).

When he returned to Haiti, he was actively involved in residency training and the development of a stone management program in Haiti. He attracted a busy clinical practice in Port-au-Prince and surgically treated numerous patients with minimal resources. He had great vision for the future of Haitian Urology. From the onset, he was most receptive to collaborative efforts between international and Haitian urologists. This past May 2016, he traveled to San Diego (USA) to attend the America Urologic Association (AUA) meeting to represent Haiti at the Global Philanthropic Committee meeting. Along with some international urologists he conceived of the required strategies to improve Urologic care in Haiti.

He has been welcoming to changes and educational opportunities in order to improve urologic care in Haiti. He has authored numerous articles in Haitian medical journals and has given several conferences. He has pioneered minimally invasive kidney stone management in Haiti. He was one of the first urologists to introduce transurethral resection of the prostate (TURP), ureteroscopy and extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy in Haiti. He was a leader in the Societe Haitienne D’Urologie (SHU) and the newly created Global Association for the Support of Haitian Urology (GASHU), which he helped name. He was instrumental in drafting the memorandum of understanding that currently governs the SHU and the University Hospital Saint Francois de Salles.
Dr. Nazon was an extraordinary teacher and mentor, having trained countless interns, students and residents in clinical Urology. He was profoundly devoted to helping develop the state of the art management of stone disease in Haiti.

Pierre Alix’s death leaves a great void for his family, his colleagues, and within Haitian Urology. His family will remember his limitless love and the sacrifices he made to provide them with the highest quality of life and the best education possible. His friends will remember him as an avid accordion player and a devoted soccer player. His soccer teammates will remember him for his love of the soccer field where he exhaled his last breaths at the tender age of 56.

A Memorial Service for Dr Pierre Alix Nazon was held on January 21, 2017 at Parc du Souvenir, Tabarre, Haiti. Countless family members, colleagues, and friends were gathered to pay their last respect.

You will be missed Pierre-Alix. Rest in Peace.
Angelo E. Gousse M.D.
American Urological Association
Representative for Haiti

Dr Pierre-Alix Nazon


Laparoscopic Equipment Donation

FROM: Project Haiti, Inc.

Dear Governing Board of Hopital Saint Francois de Sales (HSFDS),
Mgrs. Harris and Chadic
Fr. Roland
Drs. Alouidor, Eustache, and Brutus

Project Haiti is pleased to bestow donations to Hopital Saint Francois de Sales that now enable the hospital to begin laparoscopic surgery. The donations are detailed in the separate attached manifest document and the retail value of the donations, assuming that the hospital ordered this equipment, is $118,800 US. This equipment was successfully installed into Salle d’Operation #3 at HSFDS on Tuesday, April 4, 2017 by Stryker Endoscopy representative and Project Haiti volunteer Jake Boegel. On April 4th and 5th, many laparoscopic surgeries were successfully performed by Project Haiti surgeon Dr. Martin Perez and HUEH surgeon Dr. Sylvio Augustin, under the direction of Dr. Paul Severson and Ron Vitales.

In addition to the Stryker hardware donation, additional laparoscopic tools from Medtronic and surgical supplies from the Minnesota Institute for Minimally Invasive Surgery were donated through Project Haiti as well with an additional estimated value of $9400 US.

We want to thank Riverwood Healthcare Center for processing and shipping to Florida, Food for the Poor for transporting the donations from Florida to Haiti, and HSFDS authorities and Dr. Bernard Brutus for their assistance in acquiring the donations from Haiti Customs. The Project Haiti team appreciates the hospitality of all the wonderful people at HSFDS and the cooperation of all departments to make this initial laparoscopic education a success. We were able to help educate several surgery residents in the basics of laparoscopic surgery and would like to plan expanded courses in the future.

We look forward to a fruitful future relationship with HSFDS, and on behalf of the Board of Project Haiti, Inc., we congratulate you for your beautiful new hospital and appreciate the opportunity to become a small part of your bright future.

Respectfully submitted,

Project Haiti, Inc. Board of Directors
Paul Severson, MD, President
Henri Lanctin, MD, Vice-President
Pat Lanctin, Secretary
Jody Albers, Treasurer
Ron Vitales, Board Member-at-large
Mike Evans, Board Member-at-large


"On behalf of the Haitian people, thank you for the generosity,leadership, and all the good work your team does. I agree with Henri , this is a remarkable project with huge impact on surgical care in Haiti. Ben thank you so much for helping with Haiti Customs."


Angelo E. Gousse, MD
Clinical Professor of Urology - Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine - FIU
Voluntary Professor of Urology - University of Miami , Miller School of Medicine


"Thank you Angelo... But it is nothing compared to what you are all doing to improve Haiti's health care in you respective fields.

It is a privilege for me to have brought this tiny grain of sand in this lap project.

Again thank you very much to you all from GASHU and Project Haiti for your engagement in making us enter a modern era in Urology and surgical practice in Haiti.

Way to go!"

Bernard Brutus, MD

Endourology Society – World Endo Initiative in Haiti

I traveled to Port-au-Prince, Haiti from March 4 – 11, 2017 as part of a small group of urologists doing humanitarian surgery associated with Project Haiti and teaching in the city of Port-au-Prince. We worked at the Hopital Saint-Francois de Sales in the center of the city. The hospital was rebuilt following the earthquake in 2010 and just reopened 2 years ago.

The urologist leading the mission was Dr. Henri Lanctin who trained in urology in Ottawa, Canada and has spent most of his working career in community urology practice in Minnesota and now South Dakota. He has been to Haiti on numerous occasions over the last 5 years

We did have a video teleconference with the local urologists approximately 2 weeks before the trip to Haiti. That provided me the opportunity to project a handful of instructional slides, walking through the various aspects of a PCNL case including positioning, gaining access and conducting the stone removal. Cook Canada supplied me with approximately $12,000 of new disposable equipment such as guidewires, balloon dilators, stone baskets and so forth which I packed up in large suitcases and took with me to Haiti. This equipment lasted to about mid week and then after soaking in Cidex I began to re-use this equipment on the subsequent cases.

During the week I did 16 endourology procedures including 12 PCNL’s and 4 ureteroscopies with Holmium laser lithotripsy. There was core group of 4 to 5 local urologists who scrubbed in and participated in most of the cases with the intention that they would begin to embark on these surgeries after I had left. Remarkably enough, the PCNL I did on day one was the first ever percutaneous stone removal done in the country of Haiti. At the present time open surgery remains the standard of care for urolithiasis in Haiti and there is no ESWL or flexible ureteroscopy currently available in the entire country.

There were many interesting challenges to conducting the cases. When I assessed the support services at the hospital the day we arrived, I found out there was no blood bank, no angiography and embolization in the entire country and the hospital had no step-up or ICU type of facilities to stabilize the septic or otherwise unstable patient. The preoperative assessment of the patients was limited to KUB x-rays for the most part and CT assessment was not available due to costs. The hospital did have a reasonably new C-arm but no one available or familiar with operating it. Project Haiti had purchased a used ultrasound lithotripsy unit which we had planned to use unfortunately this arrived with all components except the probes and therefore was not useable. We made due with a pneumatic device that , with some improvisation, was able to fragment renal stones. During the week there were occasional power outages that took down the entire operating room including the Anesthesia monitoring equipment and ventilator plus the C-arm and light sources. We would just wait things out and then proceed again when the power came back on. The nursing staff were excellent and enthusiastic and quickly picked up on the nuances and flow of endourologic cases. All of the cases were performed successfully without complication and all patients went home within a day or two which represents a significant advance to the typical care path.

Since I was in Haiti I have had several communications from the local urologists who I trained. They were triumphant in describing that they placed the first stents with fluoroscopic control ever done in the country as far as they knew. They have also performed their first successful semi-rigid ureteroscopy and laser lithotripsy. Aside from the technical aspects of the surgery that I was able to teach them, it appears this model also promotes camaraderie and team building amongst the local physicians.

For me this was a very satisfying and rewarding experience. I would certainly do it again if the opportunity arose. Both Dr. Lanctin and the local urologists in Haiti are deeply grateful to the Endourology Society for the support that was provided to offset my expenses to travel to Haiti and participate in this activity. I believe that the Endourology Society can have an immense impact worldwide with these types of initiatives. We have great people in our Society and I am sure many others would like to have the privilege that I have had on this recent trip to Haiti.

Respectfully submitted
Dr. John Denstedt, MD, FRCSC
Professor of Urology
Western University
London Canada

Urethral Reconstruction and Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy Workshop – March, 2017

Project Haiti Urology:
Urethral Reconstruction and Percutaneous Nephrolithotomy Workshop,
Hopital St. Francois de Sales, Port-au-Prince, Haiti
March 4-11, 2017

Team members:
Henri Lanctin, MD (Watertown, SD)
Frank Burks, MD (Royal Oaks, MI)
Dan Rosenstein, MD (San Francisco, CA)
John Denstedt, MD (London, Ont, Canada)
Bob Marcovich, MD (Miami, FL)
Keegan Maxwell, MD (St. Cloud, MN)
Maxx Gallegos, MD (Reconstructive fellow, Detroit, MI)
Desmond Adamu, MD (Urology resident, Miami, FL)
Will Sikes, CRNA (Plainwell, MI)
Megan Cleland, BN (San Francisco, CA)

The team arrived by air on Mar.4 and checked in to Le Plaza Hotel, near Hopital St. Francois de Sales (HSFDS) in downtown Port-au-Prince. A team dinner/meeting with Haitian urology colleagues was held that evening.

The next day we visited HSFDS, toured the facility and OR’s. Time was spent organizing equipment, meeting staff and seeing pre-op patients.

Drs. Burks and Rosenstein, working with Dr. Santucci’s fellow Dr. Maxx Gallegos performed, taught and proctored a total of 7 urethral reconstruction procedures. 2 were repeat procedures. There were 4 excision and primary anastomosis cases, 1 buccal mucosal graft, and 2 pelvic fracture urethral injuries. Two of the patients were pediatric (7 and 11 years). Application procedure for Peyronies disease was also completed. There were no complications encountered at the time of team departure from Haiti. Average estimated blood loss was 160 cc. With these cases, this team has now taught and performed 69 urethral stricture cases in Haiti. Haitian urologists, particularly Dr. Youry Dreux, continue to improve in their ability to do cases independently. Accordingly, workshops tend to have a higher number of either repeat procedures or a greater level of difficulty.

Concurrent with the reconstruction workshop, in a second room, a total of 16 stone procedures were performed on 11 patients. This was led by Dr. John Denstedt, who on this trip performed the first percutaneous nephrolithotomy (PCNL) in Haiti. The team also included endourologists Dr. Bob Marcovich and Dr. Keegan Maxwell as well as general urologist, Dr. Henri Lanctin. A total of 13 PCNL’s, 3 semi-rigid ureteroscopic procedures and a percutaneous removal of bladder calculus were performed.

Despite significant pre-planning, technical difficulties were encountered, including the absence of ultrasonic lithotripsy probes, mechanical problems with the backup pneumatic lithotripsy device and an underpowered laser unit which frequently overheated and required cooling and rebooting. These technical issues were compounded by lack of adequate pre-op imaging (CT scans or IVP) and a high level of complexity (large, multiple, dense stones with complex anatomy). There was only 1 case that a solitary stone could be removed without fragmentation.

Because of the above factors, 5 “second look” procedures were performed: 1 large staghorn due to mechanical problems with the pneumatic lithotripter, 2 due to complex intrarenal anatomy (1 with scarring from previous surgery, 1 with blown out calyx and scarred infundibulum), and 2 large, dense midureteral calculi which were embedded in the urothelium.

Despite the above issues and complexities, no complications were encountered by the time of team departure and all cases were either completely stone free by fluoroscopy or the offending calculus was removed. In all cases there was a Haitian urologist scrubbed and assisting.

Both the reconstructive and stone workshops were facilitated by pre-workshop teleconferences with team physicians and Haitian colleagues which included didactic lectures, Q&A sessions and presentation of proposed surgical patients by the Haitian team. This proved to be extremely effective and improved pre-workshop planning and scheduling of cases.

A great deal of time was spent planning next steps for the successful development of the stone treatment center at HSFDS and it is the hope that a young urologist or senior resident will be able to successfully apply for an Endourological Society fellowship for hands on training at a high volume center, such as currently exists in India. Dr. Christian Valme (4th year resident) was invited by Dr. Denstedt to apply to the financial committee of the ES.

The technical and equipment issues were discussed and plans devised to hopefully deal with them. It is anticipated that a second PCNL / URS workshop may be held as soon as late fall 2017, perhaps to coincide with GASHU annual meeting.

Funding for the PCNL / ureteroscopic workshop as well as procurement of equipment and supplies for the stone center was provided by the Endourological Society, a grant from Cook (Canada), Storz Urology, Project Haiti and Project Haiti team members, their hospitals, and various other equipment representatives.

Mr. Chris Gleason from NextMed, LLC who has partnered with Dornier to donate a Dornier ESWL unit joined us to tour HSFDS, meet with team members and hospital administration and develop a time line for implementation of the project. He also outlined the stone treatment decision engine that has been developed and our requirement to participate in outcome tracking and analysis. It was decided and arrangements were made to ship the unit now. Discussions occurred regarding who to send for training in Tucson, AZ with the GPC funded nurse and this was deferred to Haitian urology leadership for final decision. The 2 urologists who will be trained on the ESWL unit will be Drs. Bernard Brutus and Reginald Valme and they will be trained at a NextMed site in West Palm Beach. The dates for the first cases have tentatively been set for May19-21, 2017.

Preliminary discussions were held with an international radiology group, Rad-Aid regarding CT scanning and support at HSFDS as well as radiology resident and technician training. Contacts and introductions were made with further follow up planned.

It is the hope of the team that over time, when word spreads that minimally invasive treatment options are being competently performed at HSFDS, Haitian patients with symptomatic stone disease will present earlier. This will mean smaller, less dense stones which can be more easily treated and, more importantly, lead to less suffering. With our efforts Haitians from all socioeconomic backgrounds will have equal access to these treatment options.

Henri P. Lanctin MD, FACS
March 16, 2017