GPHC introduces new surgical approach for total hip replacement

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana

The Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) has announced the successful incorporation of a groundbreaking surgical technique in the Orthopaedics Department. On March 26, 2024, the hospital introduced the Direct Anterior Approach (DAA) to the Hip in the Lateral Position for Total Hip Replacement – Right Hip Joint. This pioneering approach promises enhanced patient outcomes and quicker recovery times.

The introduction of this technique was facilitated by the expertise of visiting Orthopaedic/Arthroplasty surgeon, Dr. Zhou Chao, from the Chinese Medical Brigade. Dr. Zhou led the surgical team comprising Drs. Kaalesh Ramcharran and Dr. Randolph Tulsie, marking a significant milestone for orthopaedic surgery in Guyana.

While total hip replacement surgeries have been routinely conducted at GPHC via the anterior-lateral approach, this marks the first instance of employing the Direct Anterior Approach in Guyana.

This minimally invasive technique boasts several advantages, including smaller surgical incisions, no muscle cutting necessitating repair, faster recovery, and reduced postoperative pain.

Notably, while the Direct Anterior Approach is widely practiced in developed countries, its implementation often requires specialized equipment such as a dedicated operating table and the use of X-ray machines during surgery, along with specialized instruments. However, the technique introduced by Dr. Zhou at GPHC demonstrated comparable results without the need for such specialized equipment.

The inaugural case, performed on March 26, involved a 73-year-old female patient with a history of diabetes mellitus, hypertension, and a previous left total hip replacement. The surgery proceeded smoothly, with the patient experiencing no complications. Postoperative X-rays confirmed the successful placement of the prosthesis, and the patient was discharged with a favourable prognosis.

Building on this success, GPHC’s Orthopaedics Department performed a second case on April 2, 2024. This time, Dr. Kaalesh Ramcharran led the surgery with guidance from Dr. Zhou Chou and assistance from Dr. Ranvir Gajraj. The patient, a 38-year-old male, had been suffering from degenerative arthritis in the right hip for over a year. His successful surgery further underscored the efficacy of the Direct Anterior Approach in lateral position.

The Department of Orthopaedics at GPHC plans to expand the utilization of the Direct Anterior Approach for future total hip replacement surgeries due to its numerous patient benefits. A seminar conducted by the Chinese Medical Brigade on minimally invasive orthopaedic surgeries on March 27 provided valuable insights into the technique’s advantages and application.

Dr. Kaalesh expressed gratitude for the opportunity to adopt this innovative method and highlighted plans to train additional surgeons at GPHC. The department aims to extend the use of this technique to other regional hospitals, ensuring broader access to advanced orthopaedic care across Guyana.

GPHC’s collaboration with the Chinese Medical Brigade, spanning decades, underscores its commitment to leveraging international expertise and fostering continuous advancements in healthcare delivery. The successful integration of the Direct Anterior Approach GPHC represents a significant leap forward in orthopedic surgery in Guyana, promising improved patient outcomes and setting a new standard for surgical excellence in the region.