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Assisting paediatric surgeons to reconstruct the oesophagus

As an adult surgeon, I have had the opportunity to work on many complex cases requiring oesophageal reconstruction throughout my career. However, in the last year I have been regularly assisting my paediatric surgical colleagues with reconstructions after failed surgery for oesophageal atresia. This week I assisted my paediatric surgical colleagues in performing a particularly difficult oesophageal reconstruction on a 2-year old boy. The young patient had already undergone two failed operations. With careful planning and collaboration, we were successful in reconstructing his oesophagus using a gastric pull-up. It was a pleasure and a privilege to share my experience and expertise with my colleagues in order to help this young child. I am reminded that I almost pursued a career in paediatric surgery had it not been for a fateful phone-call in 1984 that diverted my path to adult general surgery. But here I am, almost 40 years later, operating side-by-side with paediatric surgeons, sharing my 30 year experience in this area.

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