GPHC’s first in house neurosurgeon completes 15 surgeries


A smiling Keyon Gonsalves a few days after his surgery. [GINA Photo]
[] – Though still in its initial setup stage, the newly specialised Neurosurgical Department at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC), complemented with its first local neurosurgeon, has already recorded many successes.

Neurosurgeon, Dr. Amarnauth Dukhi, who was recently placed at the GPHC, told the Government Information Agency (GINA) that the department has already made an impact, as over the past few weeks, it has managed to successfully complete 15 surgeries.

The doctor said that one of the surgeries was carried out on a 28 – year-old male who had a massive temporal-lobe tumor. This patient had shown high-grade symptoms, which were only diagnosed three months ago when he visited the department.

“He was being asked to go overseas, but then he came to GPHC, I saw him at my clinic, he was diagnosed and we prepared him for surgery.” The patient had surgery, and “I was able to remove the brain tumor,” Dr. Dukhi said.

This patient, Keyon Gonsalves, recovered and was discharged from the hospital on February 9, the day of his 29th birthday.

“I am very thankful to the doctor for a great job that he has done, and to God for saving my life. It is like I have a second chance,” Keyon told GINA.

Baby with congenital malformation. [GINA Photo]
“I feel very good, no pain and nothing,” Keyon explained. He said that he was not scared going into the surgery. “I was hoping for the best, before time I was fearful and could not do anything; it was very painful from my head straight down to my neck, but now I am ok … there is no pain at all,” he said.

The doctor also noted another successful neurosurgical intervention; this time a neural-tube defect, a baby born with this congenital type of malformation right at the GPHC.

The doctor explained that this child was born with part of his brain outside of his skull. With the corrective surgery successfully done, this baby, had been discharged from the hospital. He is just around 60-days old, Dr. Dukhi said.

Dr Amarnauth Dukhi, Neurosurgeon

Commenting on the scenarios of the patients operated on, the specialist declared: “I think that they would have deteriorated over a period of time, because most of these cases, especially that 29 – year – old male, he would have gotten all the complications associated with increased intra-cranial pressure, which most likely would have cut short his life. However, now he is fine and we are hoping that with co-management, with oncology, he would be able to have some level of quality of life.”

Speaking of the impact of having a full time neurosurgeon, Dr Dukhi said, it’s not only the GPHC, but also the national health sector development strategy that will feel the positive impact of a neurosurgeon based at the hospital.

“It is a positive, a major development for the health care system in Guyana, and it also will have some level of impact, in terms of the financial capabilities and expenditure for these types of surgeries previously done overseas,” he said.

“I think that we would be able to improve; we are now starting to set up the facilities to do even more types of complicated surgeries that were not previously done in Guyana. I will continue to work to have a positive impact in terms of neurosurgical procedures and care at GPHC,” he added.

Neurosurgical Consultant, Dr Ivor Crandon, also a Guyanese with many years of experience in the field, has been providing service to the GPHC during periodical visits, and still does.

Dr. Dukhi was one of many young Guyanese who were afforded the opportunity to study medicine through the Guyana-Cuba Scholarship programme. Studies and practical sessions were done in the Spanish speaking island.

He reiterated that this was always a profession that he wanted to be a part of and that is why he happily grabbed the opportunity that was given to him.

“I made the most of it and it is all about giving back, and I am feeling comfortable with the responses and the level of confidence that the population has given so far,” he said. [Extracted and modified from GINA]