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Dec 21, 2017

KHMH touts new surgical services

As the national referral hospital for the country, many Belizeans rely on the services of Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital for life saving procedures. While many times, it’s only the cases of alleged negligence that make it to the news, there are many more stories of new and successful treatments coming out of the hospital on a daily basis. Tonight in Healthy Living, we look a service that has been cutting down recovery time and pain associated with surgeries.


Marleni Cuellar reporting

Technology has greatly improved and enhanced the services available at hospitals. Many complicated treatments have been simplified by the introduction of technology. One very simple example is the use if mini cameras in surgeries – a process called laparoscopy.


Dr. Manuel Gutierrez, General Surgeon, KHMH

Dr. Manuel Gutierrez

“Laparoscopic surgery is a minimally invasive surgery that we do a lot of different procedures  with small incisions. That gives us the advantage to have faster recovery and less pain. We use a camera that is very, very thin. It is a camera of 10mm it allows us to see the inside of the abdominal cavity and then we use really small instrument.”


Dr Manuel Gutierrez has been performing minimally invasive surgery at the KHMH for the past three years. Most surgeons are now trained to perform  minimally invasive surgeries for issues like gall bladder removal or appendicitis. Gutierrez is trained to use laparoscopy in more complex surgeries.


Dr. Manuel Gutierrez

“Two months ago we did the first laparoscopic nephrectomy in the country meaning to remove the kidney. There was a police officer, very young patient, that needed to remove the kidney and we did it with four small incisions. That was a very nice surgery. It was the first in Belize. He was fully recovered by the following the day. The following day he wants to go home so I didn’t allow him to do that. He stay with us about three days and he is fully recovered right now. He’s a police officer and he is back on duty right now. What would have been done before? Normally for kidney removal you would need to do a big incision right here at this area and that is really painful. So it’s more pain to the patient and also more co-morbidity meaning you could have complications of that wound. Is there any difference in cost? Unfortunately yes. It is not expensive but it has a cost. To do whatever laparoscopy procedure in this hospital. It will cost $1800 but that’s the advantage. If you do an appendectomy or nephrectomony. It will be the same cost.”


And while it may cost more than traditional surgeries Guitterez emphasizes that laparascopic surgery allowsfor patients to save on the recovery time in the hospital and is also less painful.


Dr. Manuel Gutierrez

“Definitely laparoscopic surgery has given us a lot of advantage to the patent to the hospital too. Cause we don’t have to keep patients here for a long time. It is better to recover faster as you are able to get back to normal very soon.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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