Professor Koshima gave us a lesson not only on lymphedema surgery but also on humility and hard work. While being one of the world’s most renown microsurgeons Professor Koshima is one of the most humble people I have ever met. His office door has just a piece of paper with his name on it instead of posh golden plate and the room was nothing more than work-dedicated space. The rule for trainees in his department is they all should be willing to become the best microsurgeons in the world. When we had dinner at 9pm they all ordered a large cup of coffee and I knew what it was about as I was doing the same when I was a trainee. Are you going to the lab to start you microsurgical training? – they said. ‘We go every night’. It felt familiar, it is what i did back then. The difference was in my department it was only me staying over night for additional lab training and i was considered rather odd
Their skills are amazing, even the junior ones are so well trained. They are connecting the smallest vessels without any effort and so fast. The outcome of lymphedema treatment in their hands is amazing and I came back inspired and with even more confidence that I am doing the right thing offering lymphedema patients hope with surgical treatment.
Ganga Hospital is well known for its enormous volume and endless queue of complex trauma cases. It did not disappoint my expectations. The working pattern, even for more senior consultants, is basically full time 7/7, i.e. non-stop. When they were starting their ward round for more than 100 patients at 9pm I was almost passing out from how tired I was. These people are amazing and watching them to do a replant is the same as seeing the bird flying, it so effortless and amazingly quick! The most complex cases look easy in their hands. The patients were another big impression. Compared to our folk who start complaining after 15 min waiting in OPC, these people because of their religious beliefs never complain. I have seen a 15 year old who lost her arm having all the replant whilst awake under block with her eyes open. I have seen so much suffering and pain and not a single complaint or tear. India, I respect you and your people deeply.
Receiving the First National Prize was quite an amazing event for me, as the Prize means not only national recognition, but also that I had to represent the country at the international congress. It was a very emotional and beautiful moment.
The hospital itself is enormous and the Plastic Surgeons are working very hard with very limited resources. It was another opportunity to feel how lucky we are in UK with what we have got, compared to many other excellent professionals in other countries who work very hard in far more complex conditions.