Ground Breaking Medical Operation at General Hospital

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ST. GEORGE’S, GRENADA, SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 12, 2011: Medical history was made in Grenada on Thursday, February 10. The country became the first of the Windward Islands to ever undertake a total Knee Replacement Surgery on its soil. 

The surgery was done at the General Hospital in St. George’s by a team of Grenadian and American Orthopedic Surgeons and medical theatre technicians. The specialists included Dr. Kester Dragon, Medical Director at the General Hospital.

The Orthopedic Surgical Team during the Knee Replacement operation at the General Hospital in Grenada 

The 70-minute long knee replacement operation was conducted successfully on four patients, including a non-national. All were diagnosed with osteoarthritis as well as other sports and accident-related knee abnormalities.

Dr. Dragon said the success of the procedure augurs well for future medical collaborative efforts, and is a significant development in the local healthcare sector.

“Going forward we can look at undertaking other joint-related surgeries, including shoulder and hip,’’ Dr. Dragon said.

Joseph Buran, one of the American doctors, agreed that the collaboration offers opportunities for tremendous benefits to the government and people of Grenada.

“It is of economic significance because the cost of the equipment, the implants and supplies to conduct the operation is US$50,000.00,’’ Dr. Buran said. “The cost of the surgery per patient in the United States is approximately US $30,000.00 for at least three days.’’

The surgery was at no cost to the patients and all the replacements and supplies as well as some equipment were donated to Grenada.

Another Grenadian specialist who participated in the surgical operation was Dr. Douglas Noel.

He complimented his American counterparts and also welcomed the assistance and support of Zimmer, a US-based company that donated supplies such as titanium, tubal chrome and plastic insertions orthopedic implants. 

Dr. Noel said the contribution of his American colleagues and Zimmer will not go un-notice, promising that Grenada will continue to build on the relationship.

He said several attempts had been made since 2004 to have such medical procedures conducted in Grenada.  The attempts at putting the infrastructure and team in place for such medical surgery were unsuccessful, Dr. Noel said.

All four patients are reported to be comfortably recovering. Without the operation, experts say they had run the risk of experiencing severe limitation in their movement, extreme pain and long-term deformity which ultimately would have threatened their level of productivity.

The Grenada-USA Orthopedic Surgeons Performing the Historic Medical Operation

 Some of the equipment used in the operation.

 

Last Updated on Wednesday, 16 February 2011 14:50