GPHC continues making headway in minimally invasive surgery

The Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) has once again advanced its provision of surgical care by performing first-of-a-kind minimally invasive laparoscopic surgeries. Historically, most abdominal surgeries have been done using a long incision (cut) on the abdomen.
Over the last decades in developed countries, especially, many of these surgeries have been done laparoscopically, otherwise known as keyhole surgery. This involves the use of three or four small (1cm) incisions through which the surgical instruments are placed to perform the surgery as the surgeon sees the operative field via a video monitor.

The surgery was done by Advanced Laparoscopic Surgeons Dr Hemraj Ramcharran (second from left) and Dr Jagnanand Ramnarine (right). Assisting were Dr Drohinath Singh (left), Dr Bibi Hussain (third from left) and Dr Dianne Narine (second from right)

Laparoscopic surgery is proven superior to open surgery as it results in less post-operative pains, better cosmetic look and finish, and faster return to normal activities. Commonly, patients can walk without pain six hours after surgery. With laparoscopic intervention, there are also less risks of hernia formation along with numerous other benefits. Suffice to state, laparoscopic surgery has replaced open surgery as the standard in many hospitals in the developed world and the more developed islands in the Caribbean.
The GPHC, in keeping with its aim to provide healthcare that is comparable with that of the developed world to its patients, has been progressively advancing surgical care by introducing more laparoscopic techniques. While basic laparoscopic surgeries have been performed for several years, the hospital has increasingly been doing more advanced laparoscopic surgeries. This has been fuelled by the return of a trained Advanced Laparoscopic Surgeon, Dr Hemraj Ramcharran, supported technically and financially by Dr Navindranauth Rambaran, Director of Medical and Professional Services (DMPS) and Robbie Rambaran, Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
While many surgeries including bariatric (weight loss) surgery, and gastrostomies were done previously, the GPHC recently completed a right hemicolectomy for a patient with colon cancer in his right colon. This was removed by laparoscopic surgery which was done through four small incisions. Although a similar procedure was done privately several years ago, this was the first time it was done at GPHC by an entire team of Guyanese surgeons.
The patient, who was happy to be the first one at GPHC to have this surgery done via this new method had the following to say: “I would say that the experience was above my expectations given that it was my first time undergoing a surgery and being admitted to the hospital. Although it was all new to me and the obvious nervousness was there, the surgery itself in my opinion was gentle with the inherent aftermath of a surgery which was all still very bearable and tolerable.”
The surgical team included Dr H Ramcharran, Dr D Ramnarine, Dr N Rambaran, Dr B Hussain and Dr J Bhudial. Moving forward, the GPHC intends to provide laparoscopic surgeries for most conditions requiring surgical interventions, in keeping with the institution’s goal to develop a centre of excellence in minimal invasive surgery and provide the best surgical care to the people of Guyana.