First virtual surgery will be conducted soon- Dr Ramsammy

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Medical practice in Guyana is undergoing a huge transformation with the first robotic-assisted virtual surgery expected to be performed soon, Dr Leslie Ramsammy has said. 

Dr. Ramsammy was an invited guest on the Guyana Dialogue webinar on Thursday night when he announced the new initiative. 

The former Health Minister said through multiple partnerships, Guyanese medical specialists have received training here to undergo such operations. 

“Very few people realise that unlike the old days, our specialists are trained right here in Guyana. We have 18 specialist areas so we train our own pediatrician, our own psychiatrist, our own orthopedic surgeon, our own anesthetic doctors and in various fields,” he said.

Noting that local doctors receive similar training to those that are internationally recognised, he further said that very soon Guyanese doctors will carry out virtual surgeries. 

Dr Ramsammy said, “Very soon we will perform a surgery as part of piloting it and introducing it at one of our hospitals outside of Georgetown while the doctor is at Georgetown hospital. So it will be a virtual operation.”

Earlier this year Salus Medical Inc., a local medical distribution company introduced robotic-assisted surgery to Guyana’s healthcare sector. Among the leading and cutting-edge brands on board is Brainlabs; they utilise software technology such as x-ray vision to diagnose patients and navigate through surgeries using a digital replica of the patient’s organs, muscles and tissues. This helps to reduce blindness or paralysis during intricate procedures.

A representative from Brainlab tests out of its equipment (Photo: News Room/April 22, 2022)

As part of the advancing surgeries that have been performed here, the most recent was the first-ever laparoscopic bariatric surgery. It was performed on a 32-year-old patient and conducted at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC).

Laparoscopic Bariatric Surgery is a form of weight-loss surgery offered to persons who are obese and cannot lose weight.

Dr Ramsammy highlighted that the surgeries performed at the GPHC are now mostly done using robotic methods. 

“Today about 20 percent of the surgeries performed at GPHC are performed by laparoscopy. We don’t have all those big long cuts anymore just insert the needle and surgery is done by robotic methods with our doctors,” he said.

The Health Ministry has also embarked on multiple other partnerships with international companies in the medical field to advance and modernise healthcare here. One such partnership is with Mount Sinai which is helping to develop an electric medical record system. Moving the well-known paper based record keeping to a modernised system.

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