18 doctors at GPHC better equipped to treat hernias


Local surgeons and anesthetists attached at the Georgetown Public Hospital upskilled their knowledge of hernia treatments as part of a robust programme between the hospital and New York’s Northwell Health.

Experts from New York’s Northwell Health visited Guyana at the weekend to perform groundbreaking surgeries for six patients battling complex abdominal wall hernias.

The abdominal wall reconstructive surgeries were conducted between November 18 and 19. Four of the patients have since been discharged while two remain at the Georgetown Public Hospital for observation although each surgery was a success.

While the success of the surgeries is momentous for the patients, it is the 18 local doctors who assisted who will now use the knowledge gained to improve healthcare here.

Dr Ravi Motilall, a consultant and general surgeon, told the News Room on Thursday that these surgeries delved into the intricate causes and treatments for recurring hernias.

“You have your experience and then someone is adding their experience, so it’s like layers and layers of knowledge and in that way, they may have an insight and instead of approaching it from one perspective, you approach it from a different perspective and that’s key to success,” Dr Motilall said.

The collaboration was crucial for patient treatment at the hospital because the six selected patients had recurrences due to the complex nature of hernia.

The hernias occur when one organ pushes through the muscle or tissue that contains it. The experts crafted a holistic approach for treatment with the local doctors. The planning started in July and the selection process was very complex to ensure that the patients have successful outcomes.

“For a lot of these, what we refer to as abdominal wall hernia where a patient may have had a surgery before and then develop a hernia, when the patient would’ve had the next surgery for the hernia, they may have put the mesh on the outer part of the abdomen.

“We put a special mesh between the muscles and then there is one where we put the mesh inside the abdomen but that requires a special mesh. The way that we fix that mesh is very important and over the years there have been special techniques to do that and that’s where the teaching over this weekend came in,” Dr Motilall said.

Dr Adhikar Ramjoo, the Senior Registrar for general surgery, said the planning for these surgeries meant that pre and post operations patient care had to be carefully done.

He said a special material used for the hernia treatment was not available. Northwell Health gifted the material which will be used for future cases.

“The team at Northwell looked at the scans along with the patient’s history and that determined which patient will be feasible to operate on in Guyana.

“Then we started making plans on what special equipment was needed,” Dr Ramjoo said.

The team from the Northwell Health, featured Dr. Gainosuke Sugiyama, Dr. Sebastian Shterental and Dr. Samer Sbayi.

These doctors possess world class training attained through their work in various countries. The doctors at GPHC gained knowledge that might not have been attainable otherwise to address complex medical cases.

1 Comment
  1. Derk says

    What does better equipped means? Does it mean that these Doctors are now trained to do laparoscopic hernia repairs?

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