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New Amsterdam doctor pioneers surgical research

Dr. Tameshwar Algu

Dr. Tameshwar Algu, who works out of the New Amsterdam Regional Hospital (NARH), has managed to conduct extensive research on hernia procedures which has now been published in Caribbean medical journals.

Dr. Algu, MBBS, Dip Surg, ChM, FCCS, who completed medical school in 2007 and completed a post-graduate diploma in Surgical Anatomy in 2012, is now recognised as a Fellow of the Caribbean College of Surgeons.

Dr. Algu was singled out after he made a brief presentation to Minister of Public Health, Volda Lawrence after she heard of his work. She has since committed to ensuring that there will be funds in the 2019 health budget solely for the purpose of research.

Dr. Algu spoke of one of his published research papers and why he saw it fit and necessary to move in this direction of putting together the document.

“No doctor should be practising without evidence-based medicine and we shouldn’t be taking studies done in the first world and other countries as the Holy Grail… We all need to do research. Medicine is ever changing is not just about seeing a patient and being a technician… Apart from providing this service to the patient we also need to see what are we doing.  Is it the right thing? Is it accepted? Are our numbers ok? Are we having too many complications?,” he was quoted as saying by government’s Department of Public Information.

It is important for research to be a vital part of a doctor’s practice, Dr. Algu said, adding that based on procedures conducted it helps a doctor better evaluate outcomes. “There are lots of benefits in research, I know it’s a lot of work, there are lots of benefits, you can get an idea of your practice, what are the outcomes of your procedure, what are the outcomes for the patient, what is the quality of lifestyle for the patient one or two years after.”

As he explored the option of research in specific areas the doctor took note, of the fact that at NARH surgeons tend to be able to handle disease management procedures very well. On this note, he said that things like these should be made public for other practising medical and technical officers to benefit from the knowledge.

“It is good to do research and to analyse one’s practice. I’ve done audits of my practice thus far when I first came here, I was the only surgeon for two years so I basically did an audit of the outcomes of inguinal hernia repairs done at this hospital.”

This research paper has been presented to and published by the Caribbean College of Surgeons and also presented to Guyana Medical and Scientific Conference. “It is a pretty interesting paper because we have a resource-poor setting and we are the second largest hospital in the country… We do suture repairs as an alternative procedure to the mesh repairs.”

Inguinal Hernia Repair is a surgical procedure basically to repair a hernia in one’s groin. This repair is needed when soft tissues protrude through an area of weakness or a defect in your lower abdominal muscles.

Based on research conducted by Dr. Algu, it was found that the alternative procedure of suture repairs had no recurrence as against the mesh repair. Within a two-year period, the NARH has completed 102 Inguinal Hernia Repairs with only one recurrence. However, in these cases, a high surgical site infection was recorded. Dr Algu said further developments are being made in a new research to ensure that this statistic changes.