Laparoscopic (Key-Hole) surgery arrives at Gizo in time for Easter

By Anita McKay

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Pictured above are DAISI volunteers travelling to Gizo hospital to participate in the laparoscopic surgical visit to Gizo hospital.

Easter is a time for remembrance and healing, which is the theme for a team of specialist surgeons providing a 1 week volunteer surgical mission to Gizo hospital the first week after Easter. Screening of patients will occur on Tuesday 18th April 2017.

Dr Douglass Pikacha (senior general surgeon pictured below) and Dr Benjamin Koete (senior gynaecologist) both from National referral hospital, will visit Gizo hospital with a team of specialist surgeons and gynaecologists providing surgery to the people of the Western Province the first week after Easter long weekend.

douglas pikacha

Dr Douglas Pikacha (pictured above) performed the first key hole removal of gallbladder at National referral hospital and will lead the surgical visit to Gizo hospital.

“The key to happiness is giving”, and this team of specialist surgeons will be participating in the spirit of Easter by providing latest state of the art key-hole (laparoscopic) surgery for common surgical and gynaecological conditions.Gizo hospital was the first in the country to provide key-hole surgery, with the donation of laparoscopic equipment by Olympus, with the first laparoscopic removal of gallbladder in the Solomon Islands performed by visiting surgeon Dr Neil Meulman in April 2012. Since this time numerous key-hole operations have been performed at Gizo hospital. Recently Olympus donated further laparoscopic equipment to National Referral Hospital, Honiara with laparoscopic removal of gallbladder and appendix and diagnostic laparoscopy in Honiara since February this year. Key-hole surgery provides many benefits for abdominal surgery avoiding a large incision. Through a number of small less than 1cm incisions, key-hole instruments and cameras are inserted allowing the surgeon to operate without their hands actually entering the abdomen. Safety is paramount, and key-hole surgery has been shown in research to provide many benefits over open surgery. Key-hole surgery avoids the need for a large abdominal incision, and results in less pain, shorter length of hospital stay, and fewer post-operative complications. It also allows for much sooner return to work and usual activities. Tuesday the 18th April, patients will be allowed to present for screening, and if suitable provided surgery at Gizo hospital during this first week following Easter. Conditions that most benefit, are pain due to gallbladder stones and inflamed appendix confirmed on ultrasound. Gynaecological conditions that most benefit from key-hole surgery include tubal ligation for sterilisation, removal of ovarian cysts, and removal of uterus for conditions (fibroids and cancer) that cause bleeding and anaemia. Traditional open surgery will also be provided including surgery for hernias, and colorectal conditions.m

Author: Anita McKay is a DAISI member and has accompanied a number of surgical volunteer visits to the Solomon Islands.