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Zhao Xupeng—Unity fosters breakthroughs

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Zhao Xupeng serves as the party group organizer for the sixth China Medical Team to The Gambia and holds the position of Associate Professor and Deputy Chief Physician in General Surgery at the Fourth Hospital affiliated with China Medical University. With extensive clinical experience in general surgery, Zhao specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of common and frequent diseases such as thyroid disorders, biliary diseases, and metabolic and bariatric surgery. His focus on minimally invasive surgical techniques has been a significant part of his long-term commitment to the field.

At Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital, where the surgical demand is high, Dr. Zhao has been dedicated to enhancing medical techniques while ensuring minimal trauma and optimal treatment for patients. On October 18, 2023, at the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital in The Gambia, Dr. Zhao accomplished a landmark procedure: Gambia’s first single-port laparoscopic cholecystectomy. This operation not only showcased Dr. Zhao’s impressive skills but also reflected the high level of technical proficiency and resilient spirit of the China Medical Team.

Faced with several challenges during the surgery, Dr. Zhao exhibited remarkable creativity and adaptability. Due to the lack of specialized single-port laparoscopic equipment, he innovatively utilized a technique involving a reduced Trocar single-port approach around the navel, which demands high surgical expertise. Additionally, constraints with the operating table and complex patient conditions such as severe adhesions around the gallbladder increased the difficulty of the operation. Despite the local doctors’ limited experience with laparoscopic procedures, the collaborative effort with other medical team members ensured the success of this challenging surgery.

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The successful outcome of the surgery not only brought hope to the patient but also stood as a testament to the professional spirit and teamwork of the China Medical Team. The applause that filled the operating room was a recognition of the medical team’s relentless efforts. Through such international medical cooperation, China Medical Team has not only elevated local medical standards but also deepened the friendship between the people of China and The Gambia, writing a new chapter in international medical assistance.

This operation is not just a technical breakthrough but also a vivid interpretation of the spirit of the medical team, continuing to forge and strengthen the bond between China and The Gambia.

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