Caribbean nationals access cutting edge surgical technology, technique in Jamaica

Sunday, October 07, 2018

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GLOBALLY, surgical techniques associated with herniated discs are changing and, according to Surgix Jamaica Limited, Jamaica will not be left behind.

In fact, the provider of medical devices and surgical services said in a recent release that the country is well-poised to become the go-to destination in the Caribbean for the replacement of a herniated disc (or “slipped disc”, as it is commonly called), with cutting edge technology and surgical techniques that mirror those available in first-world countries.

The company said it has joined forces with consultant Neurosurgeon Dr Geoffrey Liburd to make this a reality.

According to Winfield Boban, chief executive officer of Surgix Jamaica Limited, “This is a game-changing surgical procedure when compared to what obtained for decades as the standard treatment for herniated discs. We are bringing cutting edge technology and surgical techniques to Jamaica and doing our part for medical tourism, one patient at a time.

“Having worked in Jamaica for almost two decades, Jamaica has the right people and standard of care that rival those found anywhere else in the world. we have it all right here and are keen on letting the rest of the world know that we are open for business,” he continued.

According to the release, a herniated disc refers to a problem with one of the cushions or discs between the individual bones that stack up to form the spine in the body. The discs are important for maintaining motion.

A series of surgeries were successfully completed by Dr Liburd and his team of medical professionals at the University Hospital of the West Indies using artificial discs in this cutting edge procedure. Patients from as far as Guyana have availed themselves of this new technology, and to date, the results are extremely encouraging, the release continued.

According to Dr Liburd, typically patients will complain of neck pain or pain going down the arms, or they might have numbness or tingling in the fingers. Some patients are so bad that they might actually start dropping objects, or might not be able to button their clothes or comb their hair.

In extreme cases, patients may even be unable to walk due to the compression. These are the patients who are generally candidates for this procedure, the doctor said.

“The heart of what we do is to provide the best care while preserving motion and mobility for patients,” Dr Liburd said.

For decades the standard treatment for a 'slipped disc' involved a technique called fusion, which would see the removal of the affected disc and its replacement with bone from the hip, using a metal plate with screws to hold it together.

Once fused, that section will no longer be able to move.

But with the artificial disc from Centinel Spine, which the release said is provided locally by Surgix Jamaica Limited, doctors like Liburd can get patients back on their feet sooner while reducing the effects associated with fusion.

This is possible because according to Boban, “by replacing it with an artificial disc you are maintaining that normal movement the patient had; so they can bend their neck, they can turn the head normally”.

While acknowledging that there are several types of artificial discs available on the market, Dr Liburd confessed his preference for those provided by Surgix Jamaica Limited because, among other things, they are from a world leader in the technology, are among the most-studied discs worldwide, and offer several technical advantages.

Additionally, the technique used results in less blood loss, less dissection in the neck, drastically reduced surgery time, and the patient is up and about and out of hospital sooner, he said.

For Boban and Dr Liburd, “Artificial disc replacement is definitely the way to go, and the products and technical know-how are available right here in Jamaica.”

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