An Audit of Laparoscopic Surgery in a Developing Country in East Africa at the Beginning of a Surgeon's Learning Curve
Highlights on Medicine and Medical Research Vol. 5,
23 April 2021
Background: In many surgical conditions, laparoscopic surgery has been used for surgical access. In the West, laparoscopic cholecystectomy is the gold standard treatment for cholecystitis. On the other hand controversy has been generated with laparoscopic appendicectomy due to the cost, time consuming nature of the procedure, together with many trocar sites which in all approximate to the length of an open appendicectomy incision. The advantages of laparoscopic surgery include an early return to normal lifestyle, shorter hospital stay and a reduced postoperative analgesia requirement. The purpose of this study is to audit the initial laparoscopic units experience in a developing country in East Africa.
Methods: This was a retrospective study conducted in the Department of Surgery. All patients that consented to laparoscopic cholecystectomy and laparoscopic appendicectomy over the initial period of 13 months were included in this study.
Results: A total of thirty (30) patients consented to having laparoscopic surgery; Ten (10) patients consented to laparoscopic cholecystectomies with a male:female ration of 1:2.33 and twenty (20) patients consented to laparoscopic appendicectomies with a male:female ratio of 1:1.2. The mean operating time was 58.5 minutes for laparoscopic cholecystectomy and 40.45 minutes for laparoscopic appendicectomy. The duration of post-operative admission ranged from 3 days to 5 days with a mean duration of 4.2 days for laparoscopic cholecystectomy and from 2 days to 5 days with a mean of 2.65 days for laparoscopic appendicectomy. No complications were reported apart from spinal headache in 2 patients (2.6%) out of the total laparoscopic procedures. There were no readmissions over the one month of follow up.
Conclusions: Laparoscopic cholecystectomy and laparoscopic appendicectomy allows for early discharge and is safe. In Uganda, the low incidence of cholecystitis compared to the higher incidence of appendicitis, supports the adoption of laparoscopic appendicectomy compared to cholecystectomy for hand and eye coordination training. The surgeons’ initial cases of laparoscopic procedures have demonstrated an adequate level of safety which supports laparoscopic appendicectomy to acquire the basic laparoscopic surgery skills.
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