Surgeons at the private Hospiten hospital in Montego Bay, St. James are hailing as a success the first thoracic surgery in Jamaica, describing it as a medical milestone in the nation’s history.
The operation, which was done on October 30th 2016 on a foreign national, lasted for a little over seven hours, involving four doctors lead by Consultant Cardiothoracic Surgeon Roger Irvine.
A relieved Dr. Irvine said the patient was in a very bad shape when he first came in to the facility. “I must really commend the facility here at Hospiten and also the other members of the team for both their competence and professionalism,” he further noted. “People are not really familiar with this kind of operation because usually someone with an injury of this nature would be hastily sent to the United States for treatment.”
· Dr. Irwine said the situation was one where there was fracturing of the ribs in several places and also severe damage to the lungs which affected the patient’s ability to breathe. He added that the patient was also in danger of going into a respiratory failure. The outcome might have been different had there not been a ventilator machine at the facility.
“This was certainly one of the most challenging operations I have been involved in my over 20 years in the profession,” he further explained. “Because it has never been done before, there was a lot of planning in addition to a few contingency plans in the event something went wrong. Fortunately, everything worked out and the patient is now recovering successfully.”
Thoracic surgery is a surgical specialty which is focused on procedures involving the chest and is more formally known as the thorax.
For Dr. Dwayne Hall, a Consultant General Surgeon who was also a part of the historic operation, the other winner, aside from the patient, was the Jamaica health care system.
“There is this misplaced belief that our health system and our doctors are not capable of performing high risk operations,” he noted. “I am certainly now more hopeful that what we have done here will go a long way in dispelling that notion.”
Dr. Leighton Perrins, an Anaesthesiologist who was also a part of the team agreed. According to him, while health care in general can be pretty costly, Hospiten provides a more attractive option than having to go overseas for treatment.
“Our patients get exceptional care from a team of experienced specialists who are part of the community here at Hospiten,” he said. “We look forward to utilizing this depth of knowledge to help our future patients suffering from traumatic and life threatening injuries.”
Dr. Omar Savon, consultant orthopedic specialist who was the fourth member of the team, said he is very proud to have been a part of such a groundbreaking accomplishment, adding that Jamaica can brace itself for even more historical medical milestones in the future.
“It is also important for our visitors to the island to be aware that in the event of an unexpected traumatic event they can be assured that they will be taken care of here as if they were back at home,” he explained.
Hospiten is a $2.3 billion state-of-the-art private hospital which was officially opened in Rose Hall, St. James, on October 8, 2015.