Tuesday, September 20, 2005

GHA announces gallbladder keyhole surgery in Gibraltar

In what it described as another further step in the expansion and improvement of the healthcare services, the Gibraltar Health Authority (GHA) has announced that it is now able to provide its patients with keyhole surgery to remove the gallbladder.

Four were performed in Gibraltar this past week.

The GHA’s Surgical Team, led by David Deardon the recently recruited second Consultant General Surgeon, completed the first four operations successfully September 15 at St Bernard’s Hospital. The following day all patients were well and mobilised with a view to discharge from hospital within a further 24 hours. The patients ranged in age from 12 to 36 years of age.

GHA said it had been impossible to perform keyhole surgery locally in the old St Bernard’s due to the absence of the necessary equipment and expertise.

“All that has now changed. The second Consultant General Surgeon recently employed by the GHA has the training, medical skills and experience to carry out keyhole surgery and this, together with the recent acquisition by the GHA of the necessary equipment has made this major breakthrough possible,” said a GHA spokesman who explained that in the past, when such operations were carried out in Gibraltar by traditional methods, patients were usually required to spend an extended period of time of many days as an inpatient before being discharged. Full recovery would take several weeks.

As from now, when such operations are carried out using keyhole surgery, it will mean that the patient can normally expect to be up and about the day after surgery and to leave Hospital some 24 hours later.

It will also mean that patients will no longer need to travel away from Gibraltar to have such operations done elsewhere and thus avoid all the inconvenience and expense to patients and their families that this entails.

In a statement the Government said it congratulates the Gibraltar Health Authority and all members of the Medical and Nursing Staff for achieving improvements and benefits associated with this major step forward in the provision of Health care in Gibraltar.

“This is a great achievement for Gibraltar and the GHA,” said Ernest Britto the Minister for Health.

“We can now provide top class surgical procedures here in Gibraltar that previously were only available through the Sponsored Patients Program requiring travel into Spain or to the UK for treatment”.

Dr David McCutcheon, the Chief Executive added “this demonstrates that the GHA has passed another milestone on its road to achieving one of its key goals: improved clinical outcome. We are expanding the scope of high quality services available in Gibraltar. This was truly a team effort”.

Mr Deardon said “that this achievement was made possible with the support of great surgical and theatre teams, and by the expertise available in the new St Bernard’s Hospital facility.”

Team members included Dr Richard Roberts the Consultant Anaesthetist. Consultant Surgeon Andrew Sene also supported Mr Deardon. Mr Merida, Mr Pervez and Mr Salman who are members of the General Surgical Team at St Bernard’s provided further assistance.

The team also included nurses specially trained in Theatre Nursing who were led by Richard Durrell and Angie Morgan and the surgical nurses in Dudley Toomey Ward.

The teams in supply and equipment procurement, in Central Sterile Supplies Department and the GHA’s technical services’ specialists who certified the equipment also provided excellent support.

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