Medical Journal of Zambia

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Scalpel-free surgery could reduce surgeons' risk of HIV and hepatitis

MA Labib


The risk of intraoperative Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) infection poses a challenge to practicing surgeons worldwide, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa with its high HIV prevalence. The risk of acquiring HIV infection from one infected percutaneous exposure is 0.3-0.4%. Prior to extensive screening, blood transfusions were responsible for an estimated 5-10% of new HIV infections in sub-Saharan Africa. In this paper we describe the experience of minimally invasive techniques as alternatives to surgery in urology patients. Trans-urethral ethanol ablation of the prostate (TEAP) for prostatic enlargement, phenol sclerotherapy for hydroceles, and percutaneous aspiration and sclerotherapy for symptomatic renal cysts may result in reduced blood loss, and diminished contact with the patients' exposed tissues or body fluids compared with more invasive surgical options.

Keywords: Sepsis, HIV, management, bloodstream infection

AJOL African Journals Online