FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 28, 2006
Contact: Ellen Beth Levitt email@example.com 410-328-8919
A shot of the gallbladder surgery broadcast from Afghanistan.
The first minimally invasive gallbladder surgery ever to be performed in Afghanistan took place on Friday, April 28. It paves the way for this advanced technique to be available for all U.S. troops serving in Operation Enduring Freedom as well as other coalition forces and members of the Afghan National Army and Police.
This first-of-its kind surgery for a U.S. service member in Afghanistan was broadcast live from the 14th Combat Support Hospital at Bagram Air Force Base to more than 1,700 surgeons attending a meeting of the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons in Dallas, Texas. The surgery was performed by Maj. Ross D. Segan, M.D., stationed at Bagram, who learned how to perform minimally invasive surgical procedures during a fellowship at the University of Maryland Medical Center that ended in June 2005.
Dr. Adrian Park, the head of General Surgery at the University of Maryland Medical Center, moderated the live session at the surgical meeting and spoke with Dr. Segan as he performed the surgery. Dr. Park was Dr. Segan’s mentor during his training.
Although laparoscopic procedures are the standard of care in the United States, they require specialized equipment and extensive surgical training. Until now, U.S. service members in Afghanistan who needed gallbladder removal or other types of general surgery have been evacuated to other locations at a high cost, not to mention the cost in troop strength, morale and readiness. With emergency surgery, such as an appendectomy, soldiers had to undergo the traditional “open” procedure requiring a large incision and many weeks of recovery. With the minimally invasive approach, they can recover locally without evacuation and return to full duty several weeks sooner.
“This historic event is important because it paves the way for our U.S. troops and coalition forces serving in Afghanistan to have access to advanced, minimally invasive surgical techniques that will enable them to recover much faster,” says Dr. Park. “Dr. Segan has worked hard to bring this capability to the troops serving in Afghanistan and this certainly is a significant milestone.”
This initiative resulted from a unique partnership that includes the U.S. Army, the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore, and several surgical/health care technology firms (Stryker Endoscopy, Stryker Communications, Tyco Healthcare/U.S. Surgical and BoxLineBox. Ltd.), which have donated supplies and expertise.
For patient inquiries, call 1-800-492-5538 or click here to make an appointment.