New Zealand based Zimbabwe gynaecologist trains local doctors on scar-less surgery

BULAWAYO – New Zealand based Zimbabwean gynecologist Doctor Elliot MacKenzie is conducting training at the United Bulawayo Hospital (UBH) aimed at equipping local doctors with skills to perform minimal access surgery, a scar-less and cost saving procedure.

Speaking to ZimLive Tuesday, Dr Mackenzie, who is working with a team of doctors from Harare, said they were using the minimal access surgery to address gynecological challenges faced by women.

“We address abnormal uterine bleeding whereby periods may be too heavy, pre-cancerous changes and pelvic pains amongst other gynecological problems,” he said.

Dr Mackenzie described the new surgery technique as a combination of the best parts of laparoscopy and keyhole surgery, non-invasive types of surgical procedures that allow a surgeon to access the inside of the abdomen and pelvis without having to make large incisions in the skin.

“Operating into the abdomen or the pelvis for different procedures in standard fashion can be done by making an opening on the abdomen or by doing key-hole surgeries on the abdomen or the tummy

“Operations can also be done through the vagina by cutting and tying. This new technique picks up the best pieces from these different surgeries. We then access the womb, the ovaries, or the fallopian tubes through the vagina to do whatever needs to be done in that part.

“We are saying it is a technique that is employing keyhole surgery only through the vagina specifically called vaginal natural orifice transluminal endoscopic surgery. We’re making use of natural openings.”

He said the procedure , which is largely done in first world countries , results in less pain ,less to no scars  and patients recover faster as opposed to open-surgery procedures.

The medical practitioner said it was essential that local doctors gain new techniques which are fast becoming the preferred methods of conducting surgeries.

“This is our second day of operations and we’re not focusing on the number of women who will benefit more, rather we’re focusing on transferring skills and sharing knowledge,” he said.

UBH operating theatre nurse Sister Venencia Moyo applauded Dr MacKenzie for affording local doctors and nurses the opportunity to learn new skills.

“We’ve a visiting doctor from New Zealand who is teaching us about minimum invasive procedures instead of open surgeries by use of our endoscopic equipment.

“This procedure reduces hospital stay for patients and even infections are lessened.

“We’re hopeful that after these training sessions, our local doctors in Bulawayo will also move to minimal invasive procedures,” she said.

Last week, Dr Mackenzie was at Sally Mugabe Central Hospital where he also taught doctors on how to undertake minimal access surgery.

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