First ever micro-vascular free tissue transfer surgery done at Georgetown hospital

The first ever Micro-vascular Free Tissue Transfer in Guyana was done on a 29-year-old man whose only other option was amputation, according to a release from the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC).

The release said that the procedure was one of ten surgical procedures performed on burn patients over the last week at the hospital.

The patient on whom the tissue transfer was done had suffered severe burns to the left knee and because it had deteriorated considerable, the joints were completely exposed.

The team also reconstructed the tendons in the knee so that the patient will be able to extend the knee.
According to the release, the surgery, which involved removing the tissue, muscles and vessels from one part of the body to another using a microscope, was spearheaded by a three-member team of Canadian surgeons, Dr Timothy Sparoule, Dr Aroon Yusuf and DR Nanda Gopal. They were assisted by Dr Yin Hu of the Chinese Medical Brigade and the hospital’s Dr Shilindra Rajkumar.

The procedure saw the microsurgical transfer of the muscle, tissue and vessel from the man’s abdomen to the exposed area on the knee.

The hospital said that the surgery lasted over five hours and according to Dr Sproule it was time consuming because of the complexity of the operation.

He explained that the vessels were a mere 2.5mm wide and the sutures used were much thinner than a strand of human hair, thus the use of the microscope.

The release said that this delicate part of the surgery lasted 55 minutes.
The release stated that following the surgery, the patent’s condition was constantly monitored and according to Dr Sproule he is expected to make a full recovery as he recuperates in the High Dependency Unit (HDU) of the hospital.
The doctors also performed a life-saving surgery on a seven-year-old boy who had burns to over 70% of his body.
He is still in a critical condition although the doctors believe he would have been much worse without the surgery.
Meanwhile, the team, which spent one week in Guyana also conducted several clinics and treated over 80 persons who will be monitored by the local doctors and be scheduled for follow-up checks when the team returns in May. The doctors also donated equipment valued $10 million to the Burn Care Unit, including operating room tables, hydrotherapy tub, cardio machines and monitors and anaesthesia machines.

The hospital said it is currently working with the team on establishing a Memoran-dum of Understanding (MOU) which will seek to formalise and cement the working relationship.

The doctors are members of the Canadian Reconstruc-tive Surgery Foundation and work at the Scarborough Hospital and are affiliated with the University of Toronto and Mc Master University.

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