Linden man given new lease on life as GPHC team completes another major surgery

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Keith Murray, 58, was up and about six hours after undergoing surgery at the Georgetown Public Hospital (GPHC) for stomach cancer.

Murray was given a new lease on life, compliments of the laparoscopic team at GPHC, led by Dr. Hemraj Ramcharran that successfully completed the advanced minimally invasive procedure back in March.

Now, the contractor, who hails from Linden, is cancer free.

Murray, at a press conference on Monday, said he first realised something was amiss when he started gaining weight. To him, all he needed was a diet to shed the few extra pounds, but this did not work.

Instead, his health started to deteriorate and in June of last year, he ended up at the hospital with his diagnosis soon after.

But the news was not daunting to Murray, who told reporters that he knew he was in good hands.

“I felt so comfortable with these guys…I did not feel scared and any way, I knew God was with me and I knew I was in good hands because the first thing they told me was that there were gonna make me alright again,” he shared.

Dr. Hemraj Ramcharran (right, front row) with members of his team that performed the surgery

Laparoscopic surgeries at GPHC only started recently, and this was the first of its kind for stomach cancer, Dr. Ramcharran said.

The procedure is known as bandaid surgery, or keyhole surgery, and is a modern surgical technique in which operations are performed far from their location through small incisions elsewhere in the body.

In Murray’s case, three small incisions were made and after two and a half hours, the procedure was over.

This, according to Dr. Ramcharran, is a milestone achieved and shows that small developing countries like Guyana can deliver standard healthcare that can match developing countries.

“We are very happy with the surgeries done and the success rate because most surgeries done in the US, they are done laparoscopically and it has many advantages in terms of recovery,” Dr. Ramcharran explained.

“You return to work faster; you could basically be on your feet the very next day as opposed to the more invasive surgery where you are left in bed for at least two days. You can get back to your life faster; there is less chances of developing hernia and so much more,” he added.

Dr. Ramcharran was pleased to report that the surgery had no complications.

This was the not the first laparoscopic surgery done by his team. Thus far, he said over 50 surgeries have been done using his method.

And in years to come, Dr. Ramcharran believes that conducting surgeries laparoscopically should become the norm in Guyana.

With the right training, it can be done, he outlined.

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