Two Bermudian doctors have performed the first laparoscopic hysterectomy on the island.
Dr Alton Trott and Dr Yusef Morant-Wade completed the procedure last month and say women will no longer have to travel to the US for the operation.
A total laparoscopic hysterectomy removes the uterus (womb) by keyhole surgery, rather than under the knife.
This minimal invasive surgery not only avoids leaving a large abdominal scar but also cuts down the risk of infection. Women undergoing the procedure also generally have a faster recovery time.
The keyhole surgery can also remove the ovaries and fallopian tubes in a less invasive manner.
The incisions are about 1cm in size and are done through a laparoscope — a narrow telescope about the size of a pencil in thickness.
The laparoscope is inserted through the abdominal wall, usually through the belly button, with a light source and camera attached so that surgeons get a magnified view of the procedure, via a TV screen.
Dr Trott, obstetrician and gynaecologist, said:
“In the past we’ve had to refer our patients to the either Lahey (Hospital & Medical Center) or Brigham and Women’s Hospital in the US.
“So we worked with the Bermuda Hospitals Board to bring in the special equipment that was needed, and Dr Wade also brought in some of his own equipment, enabling us to do the procedures here.”
The two doctors have extensive training in the procedure from their time spent at hospitals in the US. Dr Wade attended medical school in Nashville, Tennessee, and furthered his training in Los Angeles, California and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Dr Trott attended medical school in Philadelphia and then trained in New York, New Jersey, Atlanta and in Delaware.
The equipment imported into Bermuda included a KOH Colpotomizer, a uterine manipulator and a pneumo-occluder.
Dr Wade, obstetrician and gynaecologist, said: “Laparoscopic hysterectomy is available in the US and on some of the larger Caribbean islands, but some of the smaller islands still don’t offer it. So now it is available in Bermuda.”
He explained the advantages of the procedure.
“An abdominal hysterectomy is more of an open surgery and so the recovery time is longer for most women.
“The laparoscopic hysterectomy just leaves a few pinpoint scars, reducing the time spent in the hospital and lowering the risk of infection.
“When we trained in the US, patients who underwent laparoscopic hysterectomies would be out of hospital within 24-hours, rather than three to four days.
“So this brings a big reduction in insurance and healthcare costs as well.”
Dr Wade and Dr Trott said they wanted to return to Bermuda to “give back to the island”.
They opened the Contemporary Ob-Gyn practice in April, at the Arches in Paget.
The clinic also offers help and advice for urinary incontinence, fibroids, irregular menstruation, infertility and the menopause.
The doctors hold seminars and health clinics to educate women on the various medical options available to them.
They also intend to go out to the island’s schools to educate students on safe sex practices.
Commenting on the ‘medical first’ for the island with the total laparoscopic hysterectomy, Dr Wade said: “This is a skill we have and want to share. It’s been exciting, getting all the equipment set up and then the climax of getting things done. It’s very pleasing.
“The patient is fully recovered and is doing great.”
Dr Trott said: “We received many congratulations from other doctors on the island. It’s been a great experience.”
Contemporary Ob-Gyn can be found at The Arches, 13 Berry Hill Road, Paget. Contact 232-0894.