I would never have thought making animation-enhanced surgical videos would send me to Brazil, but it actually happened this past March. The 2016 annual meeting for the International Hepato-Pancreatico-Biliary Association (IHPBA) took place in São Paulo for an attendance of hundreds of HPB and transplant surgeons. Since the earliest days of TVASurg, we have been sending our videos to conferences throughout the world, and have submitted several entries to the IHPBA, so it was great to see them in the context of their intended audience.

Sáo Paulo from the air

Flying in to Sáo Paulo, you really get a sense of the immensity of the city.

Sáo Paulo in the evening

Although the conference hours were long, I still managed to get out and explore a little.

Sheridan hotel in Sáo Paulo

The view outside the World Trade Center Sheridan gave a breath-taking glimpse of the tropical paradise beyond.

Sáo Paulo downtown

The last day of the conference was a regional holiday, so there weren’t many locals out.

Attending this conference was an eye-opening experience on many levels. First and foremost, I had no idea as to the volume of surgical videos presented at these conferences. Each day from noon until 5 or 6, and sometimes even earlier, there were back-to-back video sessions running concurrently with other sessions of the program. It was a constant challenge to narrow down where to spend my time!

Video session at IHPBA 2016

Surgical videos were used extensively throughout the conference, both as stand alone works and integrated into talks to demonstrate concepts and techniques.

In addition to the video sessions, were a myriad of plenary and keynote lectures, which again I had to fastidiously search through and arrange an itinerary for myself. The talks covered a fascinating array of topics from advances in transplantation immunosuppresant medications to 3D printing liver anatomy for teaching.

Dr. Paul Greig

It was humbling and satisfying to see the surgeons I work with present should-to-shoulder with many names I recognized from surgical research papers!

Amongst the talks I found the most interesting were historical presentations on the evolution of liver transplantation by Dr. Paul Greig #noBias, developing systematic approaches to decrease bile duct injuries by Dr. Steven Strasberg, and video-based approaches for surgical education by Dr. Ian McGilvray #totallyNoBias

Downtown Sáo Paulo

I think I wore out a pair of shoes on this trip!

Sáo Paulo street art

South America is known for immaculate street art, and Sáo Paulo is a Mecca for it.

Sáo Paulo metro station

Sáo Paulo does a good job of integrating green spaces into the city. This was outside a major subway station.

Ibirapuera Park

Ibirapuera Park was thankfully in a mosquito lull when I ventured through it!

I was gifted with a degree of freedom outside the conference hours, and I took full advantage of the opportunity to explore the tropical megalopolis of Sáo Paulo. I was also given the esteemed pleasure throughout this trip of sampling the finest of Brazilian cuisine. What you've probably heard is true: Brazilians know good food!

Brazilian beef dish

"Carne" is beef in Portuguese,

Brazilian cheese dish

"Queijo" is cheese,

and "Lula" is squid!


  • Hi Paul. It’s very interesting to know that you came here to attent this event. I live in São Paulo and did not attend this time but it would be amazing if we have talked about the medical art possibilities through presentation and so on.
    I don’t know of we have had the pleasure to introduce even on line but my name is Patrick Braga and I’m a scientific illustrator running a company focused in this arena.
    Let’s talk.
    Hope you have had a great time here.

    • Patrick, thanks for reaching out! I think we may have chatted before on LinkedIn. You are doing some great work!
      I had a wonderful time in São Paulo, and would jump on the next chance to come back, although I’m not sure when that would be. If you ever come to visit Canada, definitely shoot me a message!

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