off record
Shaukat Ali Jawaid


 Surgery is not Religion: 
Do what is good 
for the patient


Prof. Francis Seow-Choen an eminent colorectal surgeon from Singapore was the Master Trainer at the 13th Surgical Week for Colorectal Diseases organized by JPMC from October 8-11th 2018.  A very jolly fellow Prof. Seow had a very pleasant personality who demonstrated numerous surgical techniques which were shown live not only to the participants attending the course at Karachi but also  at eight other centers all over the country using the video link conference facility. These cost effective arrangements made by the organizers enabled a large number of surgeons to witness these surgical procedures live and also participate in the interactive discussions.

Responding to some of the questions during the discussion while demonstrating some of the surgical techniques, Prof. Seow remarked that Surgery is not Religion which demand firm belief. One has to do what is good for the patient hence, one might have to modify the technique if the situation demands. Patient safety comes first.  He laid emphasis that surgeons should do only those procedures at which they are good and have enough expertise and experience.

Surgeons he further stated are just like airline passengers, if they have not flown often, they will be afraid. Unlike the Pilot of the plane who is in control, the passengers have to look towards the God Almighty. He further emphasized that surgery should be done step by step whether it is simple operation or difficult surgery. Those who do not follow these principles are always in trouble. In the operation theatre, surgeon as well as the whole surgical team should be relaxed working in a comfortable relaxed atmosphere. There should be no tension. Life of the surgeon is also important. The surgeons should use their fingers effectively.  Post-operative management team should not be seen as an extended part of the surgical team but they must feel that they are all important members of the surgical team, he remarked.

Prof. Roger Motson who was the clinical coordinator during the course opined that no one does anything wrong intentionally but complications do occur. Those who claim they have never seen any complication are either not operating or telling lie. While taking informed consent from the patient for the surgery, it is essential that one spends enough time with the patient to have in depth discussions, tell them the risks involved and the rewards, tell the patient all the treatment options available and what are the alternatives. Discuss the risks with treatment and also mention about the likely complications. Involve the patient in decisions making to reduce the risks. In such cases even if something goes wrong, the patients understand and they are more forgiving, he added.

© Professional Medical Publications. All rights reserved.