Without Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography, a medical technique which is simply referred to as ERCP, surgery could be the alternative for patients who suffer from a blockage of the bile and have become jaundiced.
But soon availability of this service at the Doobay Medical and Research Centre, patients will have certain access to ERCP simply by making an appointment.
“I don’t believe it is currently available here,” said Canada-based Gastroenterologist, Dr. Trevor Seaton, during an interview with this publication.
The ERCP procedure is a procedure that enables the gastroenterologist to examine the pancreatic and bile ducts of a patient with the aid of an endoscope [a bendable, lighted tube about the thickness of an index finger] which is placed through the mouth and into the stomach and first part of the small intestine.
Despite the perceived lack of the technique here, Dr. Seaton asserted that “the need for this is always there [and] when you don’t have it, you have to do a work around to do an alternative.” This therefore means that patients are sometimes sent aboard to have that problem dealt with surgically.
But according to the veteran Gastroenterologist, surgery for this medical dilemma can almost always be avoided through a “cooperative procedure” executed by surgeons.
Dr. Seaton was invited by founder and head of the expanding Doobay facility, Dr. Budhendra Doobay, to offer his expertise here on a visitation basis as part of efforts to make it into a Centre of Excellence offering a wide array of medical services.
“Ultimately our plan is that we will have a full time Gastrointestinal [GI] practice,” said Dr. Seaton. In this regard he added, “We are busily recruiting other colleagues and if we can find a trained Guyanese gastroenterologist we are going to do our best to try to recruit that person here full time but we already have a commitment for other people to join the rotation especially for other advanced procedures once we have them established.”
Trained at both the University of the West Indies and the University of McMaster where he also served for some time, Dr. Seaton currently has a 20-year practice in Canada. The Jamaica-born specialist is among a cadre of professionals who offer gastroenterology service to the Cayman Islands too.
Speaking during an interview about his decision to lend support to Guyana as well, Dr. Seaton said, “Dr. [Budhendra] Doobay is my long time medical school colleague and he was actually a cardiac surgeon at the same hospital where I worked in Canada for many years…
“We know each other even before we went to Canada. I was aware of what was being done here [Doobay Medical and Research Centre] and the remarkable programme in the dialysis centre for chronic renal failure.”
Dr. Seaton said he was enthused by Dr. Doobay’s talk about his vision to expand the facility into a Centre of Excellence that will also incorporate other areas even cardiac care in the future. Of course his interest resides in the idea of a gastroenterology practice and for this Dr. Seaton revealed, “I agreed to come on board.”
Moreover, he shared, “This year we’ve started an Endoscopy Unit and we are starting a Gastrointestinal [GI], endoscopy practice…although I am in a visiting mode.” Currently Dr. Seaton is able to visit every one to two months for a week but, according to him, “our vision is that eventually someone will be doing GI full time and doing all of the special procedures in GI including upper and lower GI which I know is already available in Guyana but we will also be doing advanced procedural like ERCP.”
Dr. Seaton has already started to offer services during his visits for stomach ulcer, colon disease, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, hepatitis, liver disease and celiac disease.
The facility has been designed to offer colonoscopy and gastroscopy. “Persons have been slowly accessing the new services because people view this place as a dialysis centre; they don’t view it as a medical centre…so we want to make sure people know that this is a medical centre,” said Dr. Doobay.
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I refer readers to my column titled, “Claudette Singh, Lennox Shuman, GECOM and tragic Guyana” of Saturday, February... more
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