Pilot Study on Laparoscopic Surgery in Port‑Harcourt, Nigeria
Background: Video‑laparoscopic surgery has long been practiced in western countries; however documented practice of this minimal access surgical technique are recently emanating from Nigeria. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first documented study on laparoscopic surgery from the Niger Delta region.
Aim: To evaluate the feasibility of laparoscopy as a useful tool for management of common surgical abdominal conditions in our environment.
Patients and Methods: This was a prospective outcome study of all consecutive surgical patients who had laparoscopic procedures in general and pediatric surgery units of our institution from August 2011 to December 2012. Data on patient’s age, gender, indication for surgery, duration of hospital stay and outcome of surgery were collected and analyzed.
Results: A total of 15 laparoscopic procedures were performed during this study period with age range of 2‑65 years; mean: 32.27 ± 17.86 years. There were 11 males and four females. Six laparoscopic appendicectomies, one laparoscopy‑assisted orchidopexy, five diagnostic laparoscopy ± biopsy, one laparoscopic trans‑abdominal pre‑peritoneal herniorrhaphy for bilateral indirect inguinal hernia and two laparoscopic adhesiolysis for small bowel obstruction were performed. All were successfully completed except one conversion (6.7%) for uncontrollable bleeding in an intra‑abdominal tumor.
Conclusion: The practice of laparoscopic surgery in our environment is feasible and safe despite the numerous, but surmountable challenges. There is the need for adequate training of the support staff and a dedicated theatre suite.
Keywords: General, laparoscopy, pediatric surgery