Challenges associated with open surgery including long recovery periods, heavy bleeding and accidents during the procedure are about to be minimised as government goes for minimally invasive surgery.
The procedure makes use of small cuts on the body and few equipment to carry out an operation thereby minimizing body trauma after surgery.
Currently, 60 doctors are being trained on how to use the thin needles and endoscopes which visually guide surgeons in an operation, said the State Minister for Public and Primary Healthcare Dr Patrick Ndimubanzi.
“The aim is to have MIS in all hospitals around the country,” said Dr Ndimubanzi, adding that the cost of operations will remain the same as that of open surgery.
“The only expensive thing is equipment which the government plans to buy after training the doctors,” he said.
Currently, only three doctors —one at King Faisal Hospital and two at University Teaching Hospital of Kigali — are familiar with MIS.
The director general at University Teaching Hospital of Kigali Dr Theobald Hagenimana said that patients who undergo MIS take a maximum of 10 days in the ward after the operation.
“MIS minimizes surgical incisions to reduce trauma to the body and patients recover quickly as opposed to open surgery which leaves a big cut on the body,” he said.
Prof Jacob Souopgui who co-ordinates support from the Belgian government told the press that they are training 10 surgeons on MIS under a post graduate-diploma programme and will train 10 others next year.
“We developed the curriculum in collaboration with University of Rwanda and have been training doctors using animal models such as pigs,” he said.
More than 120 patients at the Rwanda Military Hospital, King Faisal Hospital and University Teaching Hospital of Kigali are set to benefit from MIS with the help of Belgian and Cameroonian doctors.
Most of the patients are women with reproductive health conditions. Others have digestive disease and knee complications.