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Malawi: Follow-up of patients after hydrocele surgery

As part of CNTD’s support for Malawi’s MMDP activities, six hydrocele camps were conducted in November and December 2015. Three surgical camps were held in Chikwawa District and three in Nsanje district. 

Quality of Life and Recovery Surveys

Prior to surgery, 200 patients were surveyed to assess their quality of life as a result of their hydrocele. As well as gathering the demographic and socio-economic information of the patients and information about their hydrocele (including size and grading), patients were asked to quantify how their hydrocele impacted on various domains of their life as either ‘no problem’, a ‘mild problem’, a ‘moderate problem’ or a ‘severe problem’. The six domains were pain, mobility, usual activities, self-care, social issues and psychological health, with each domain comprised of 4 to 6 specific questions. Of these 200 patients, 152 were followed-up 3 months’ post-surgery.

Additionally, patients were asked about how well they had recovered from their surgery, how long this had taken and any problems that they had experienced due to infections or other complications.

Results

Before surgery 64% of patients reported a ‘mild to severe problem' with pain, after surgery 97% of patients reported no problems with pain

Before surgery 62% of patients reported a mild to severe problem with mobility, after surgery 98% of patients reported no problems with mobility

Before surgery 81% of patients reported a mild to moderate problem with their psychological health, after surgery 99% of patients reported no problems with their psychological health

At 3 months post-surgery, all patients were fully recovered and over 90% reported that full recovery had taken about 1 month.

The few patients who reported problems, had these issues in the first 2 weeks after surgery, reflecting the importance of appropriate post-operative care and support.

QUOTES FROM PATIENTS

“Now I can freely interact with my friends, before I couldn’t because I was embarrassed”

“I feel better now. I am no longer neglected in the community”

“Now I’m back to my normal self, the way I was created”

“I was unable to go to church before as people would stare at me, but now I can go to church”

“No-one laughs at me now, or calls me names”

“Now I am fine and I can work in the field, the surgery has changed my life”

“Previously I had problems, but now I can walk and ride a bike”

“I am able to farm now. Before my surgery I couldn’t farm”