Lip repairs added to advanced surgeries now available at GPHC


Lip and palate repairs joined the list of surgical procedures available at the country’s main referral hospital this year, the Head of Surgeries Dr Shilindra Rajkumar told a press conference on Thursday.

According to Dr Rajkumar, through partnerships with internationally recognised healthcare institutions, the Georgetown Public Hospital continues to improve its services.

A total of 25 lip and pallet repair surgeries were conducted at the hospital in 2023 and another 12 are planned for early 2024.

“Prior to this year Smile Train used to assist with our cleft lips and cleft palate repair as of this year we are now certified as a Smile Train centre and able to do lips and palette surgery

“This year we did 25 lips and palates, this is a collaboration between the departments of plastic surgery and Maxillofacial surgery… in a matter of a few weeks in January we are going to be doing six lips and six pallets over a weekend,” Dr Rajkumar said.

A total of 845 emergency surgeries and 1,721 major surgeries were performed with 12 unplanned surgeries.

Notably, only 0.7 per cent of these had to return to the operating room and in most cases, it was due to surgical site infections.

Dr ShiliDr Shilindra Rajkumar, Head of Department for General Surgery at the Georgetown Public Hospital (Photo: News Room/ November 23, 2023)

Dr Rajkumar said the training for the professionals to become skilled and equipped to perform surgeries will continue in 2024 and he expects more advanced procedures will be attainable.

Last year the hospital procured a laser lithotripter worth a total of $25.2 million and this along with an ultrasonic lithotripter made possible for the removal of renal stone without surgery in 2023.

“It was all done minimally invasive and this is what is the accepted international standard.

“In terms of stone treatment at GPHC, we’ve gotten there…they’ve acquired a nasal endoscope and with the assistance of neurosurgery they were able to drain an intracranial abscess through the nostril, thereby avoiding any incisions,” Rajkumar said.

But the goal is to ensure that all other hospitals also have the capabilities to perform as well. For this reason, the hospital through its surgical department also supports the Diamond Diagnostic Centre in developing a surgical service there.

“Two times per month, the department of surgeries goes out to the   Diamond Diagnostic Centre and we’ve started up a surgical service there.

“We started off with hernias just two weeks ago, our guys did three mastectomies out there which is commendable,” Dr Rajkumar said.

The hospital is also working to get more sub-specilisation for departments and this year it received support from the Northwell Health Centre to have doctors trained in the United States of America. The thoracic surgery department was established this year and in 2024, the capacity for hepatobiliary surgery and laparoscopic bariatric surgery.

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