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PIA Press Release

Kalinga hospital performs 1st laparoscopic surgery

by Naty Itay-Genzola

TABUK, Kalinga (16 October) -- Kalinga Province has now entered the world of modern age surgery with one of its local hospitals performing the first Minimally Invasive Surgery known as Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy in the whole of Northeastern Luzon.

This first of its kind operation was done at the Almora General Hospital by a team of specialists from Kalinga and nearby Cagayan last September 22, 2006 on patient Rowena Perinda, a teacher at the Bulanao Central School who was suffering from gallstone.

According to Dr. Jaime Almora, a fellow of the Philippine College of Surgeons and Medical Director of Almora General Hospital, Laparoscopic Surgery is done by inserting a small camera into the abdomen through a small puncture whole. This camera will guide the instruments which are inserted in one or two other puncture wounds. The surgeon then operates on the internal organs - in this case the gallbladder, by manipulating the instruments from outside the abdomen while looking at the video monitor.

This operation actually saves the patient’s abdomen from being opened widely to allow the hands of the surgeon to enter the field. Recovery therefore is fast and discomfort is minimal, Almora said. Ordinarily, the open and old method of cholecystectomy will render the patient in bed for about three days before he can sit and usually takes seven days before he can be discharged, he added.

Perinda was up and about the next day was consequently discharged with a smile in her face, Almora quipped.

Dr. Almora was joined by Dr. Erwin Baguinon, a hepatobiliary surgeon from Tuguegarao City, and Dr. Jose Lagayan, surgical resident Physician at Cagayan Valley Medical Center in performing the laparoscopic surgery.

He said this operation is significant because it brought ahead of the other neighboring urban areas in this corner of the world. The current standard of surgical care in all 1st world countries is Minimally Invasive Surgery otherwise known as laparoscopic surgery

Almora said laparoscopic surgery is easy on the patient but a bit hard on the pocket because it uses expensive instruments which are mostly disposable.

However, the Almora General Hospital is reducing its price significantly so that people may avail and enjoy the advantages that it provides right here in town. This is in keeping with the mission statement of the hospital. (PIA-Kalinga) [top]

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