Successful start to major deal

Belarusian surgeons develop unique treatment for those with digestive problems
By Kristina Kurilenko

They were the first in the world to use laparoscopy to restore the function of the stomach, avoiding open surgery on those whose food fails to reach the duodenum, causing the stomach to drop towards the small pelvis. Such invasive surgery in the abdominal cavity results in a long recovery time and leaves patients partially disabled, having lost part of their stomach.

The laparoscopy was developed by a professor of the Surgical Department of BelMAPO, Igor Grishin. He tells us, “While studying how best to treat peptic ulcers, we inevitably encounter this rare pathology which few know how to treat. Young women are most likely to suffer from this disease, which causes vomiting; they often start seeing a psychiatrist, despite their problem being physical.” He explains that the key-hole surgery allows patients to retain their stomach function: a clear advantage.

Operations have been successful on two patients so far, with the procedure lasting about two and a half hours. By the evening, the girls could walk and, by the next morning, they could eat. The Head of Surgical Department #1 at Minsk Regional Clinical Hospital, Dmitry Chepik, tells us that those suffering with the disease are taken to hospital in a very serious condition. “Their nutritional disorder leads to weight loss, which leads to loss of strength and, even, social adaptation. Many lose their jobs and families, as they end up having a nervous breakdown. They appear with serious mental and physical exhaustion, as well as a digestive disorder. Those 165-175cm tall can weigh as little as 38-42 kg,” Mr. Chepik notes.
The operation is free of charge, performed exclusively at the Minsk Regional Clinical Hospital. Anyone believing they are suffering from this problem should make themselves known either to the hospital or to the Medical Advisory Centre of BelMAPO.
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