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Oct 14, 2021

Belizean Doctor Shamir Cawich Performs Robotic-Assisted Surgery

By tradition, patients in need of surgery would have the procedure performed by a specialist who would make a large incision into their bodies.  Surgeons would later realize that this created unnecessary trauma and subsequently adopted laparoscopic surgery, commonly called a “keyhole surgery,” by the turn of the twenty-first century. Since then, operations have been performed through small incisions using a camera and specialized instruments. That, however, introduces the likelihood for communication challenges or human error, particularly if the surgeon has poor vision.  With the development of a surgical robot that is fixed to the operating table and controls the laparoscopic camera, the surgeon now has a better view of the operating field. Dr. Shamir Cawich is a Belizean doctor practicing in Trinidad and Tobago where he is also Professor of Liver and Pancreas Surgery at the University of West Indies. Recently, Dr. Cawich and his medical team performed four robotic-assisted surgeries. He explains the difference between the old and new techniques of these procedures.


Dr. Shamir Cawich

Dr. Shamir Cawich, Professor of Liver and Pancreas Surgery

“The original photo I showed you where two big hands are inside, you can see my hands here now holding the instrument and are very tiny instruments, smaller than the diameter of my finger goes in and this is how we do the operations.  And so, this is an example of me removing a gall bladder and you can see me pinching the gall bladder neck here with thumb and third finger, but nowadays we do it like this with these laparoscopic instruments that do the same thing with much more accuracy, much more finesse and much better vision.  And unlike in the late 1900s where surgeons would have to huddle together and look into an open cut and try to avoid the light so that they can see, we don’t do this anymore.  We know stand upright as a surgeon and you can see all of us are looking towards a screen.  But look at this, this is Dr. Mohanke here assisting me, he’s holding the camera, I’m holding the instruments and this is how we perform operations, by looking at a screen to get visual feedback and perform these operations.”

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