‘NRH is ready for laparoscopic surgery’


Dr Chen leading the team to organize instruments for laparoscopic surgery.

A Taiwanese colorectal surgeon, Dr Yen-Cheng Chen from Kaohsiung Medical Chung-Ho Memorial University Hospital (KMUH) in Taiwan along with local surgeons at the National Referral Hospital (NRH) has successfully performed one laparoscopic appendectomy.

Speaking to the media yesterday, at the Taiwan Health Centre (THC), he said while this is not the first operation of its kind, they had to first carry out a review to ensure they would have a successful outcome.

Dr Chen said the review was of the whole course, insufflator, monitor, instrument, anesthesiologist, scrub nurse and wound closure.

He voiced that it is important that surgeons and nurses know which instruments to use and have prepared ahead of such an operation especially if it is an operation that has not been carried out after a long period of time.

Chen said for the operation, they had to check all the details of the operation, what was missing and the items that they didn’t have.

Another contribution to the hospital was helping to organise instruments for laparoscopic appendectomy.

“NRH actually has all the instruments they need, they just need someone to organize them and set up a list,” he said.

Chen thinks that laparoscopic appendectomy should be the first step to build up the minimal invasive surgery and NRH is prepared for laparoscopic surgery.

“Many surgeons have completed the training course. I believe laparoscopic surgeries will soon bloom in Solomon Islands,” he said.

The surgeon who began work at the hospital on July 1 and will soon leave the country later in the week also noticed treatment improvement at NRH.

He said compared to past years, NRH has improved in terms of treatment given that it has established basic chemotherapy for cancer treatment and colonoscopy for early cancer diagnosis.

Chen added that the hospital will also have a computed tomography (CT) scan soon which will offer quick and precise diagnosis for people in Solomon Islands.

As surgeons, he said in cases when instruments are not available they will have to work with their hands.

At NRH, he shared some surgical techniques from KMUH which was the hand-made mesh plug for inguinal hernia repair and subcutaneous hydro-dissection for breast surgeries.

“Because there is shortage of medical devices here, we have to make it up by our hands,” said Chen.

Apart from sharing his experience and working with local surgeons, he also learned from them.

Chen said surgeons at the hospital feel to see, in other words actually communicate and touch patients to see where the pain is in order to prepare diagnosis.

“The surgeons here really focus on the physical examinations. They perform palpation, percussion and auscultation on every patient they visit, and I think this is essential to make a correct diagnosis and further management.

“Some doctors in Taiwan rely on image finding too much, and I think the surgeons here just gave me a lesson about the correct ways and attitude to treat patients, to communicate with patients,” said Chen.

Working in the Solomon Islands, he also found time to enjoy local food and the Solomon Islands culture and looks forward to visiting the country again in the future.

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Loretta Brigidia Manela
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