Papua New Guinea
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Doctors perform new surgical technique

A new surgical technique performed by doctors at the Port Moresby General Hospital has saved the life of a young female patient suffering from chronic kidney failure, bringing hope back to her family.

Recently, Dr Kaiyuan Zheng, a nephrology expert from the 12th China Medical team, together with Dr Damien Hasola from PMGH, completed a groundbreaking procedure in Papua New Guinea’s history.

For a kidney failure patient who requires lifelong maintenance hemodialysis, an arteriovenous fistula (AV fistula) is their lifeline.

A well-functioning fistula ensures smooth and effective dialysis during each session.
Undergoing two to three dialysis sessions per week is the fundamental assurance for patients to sustain their lives and maintain their quality of life.

According to Dr Zheng, three months after the young female patient underwent the arteriovenous fistula (AV fistula) creation surgery, the fistula blood vessel remained insufficiently developed with inadequate blood flow.

Upon conducting an ultrasound scan, Dr Zheng identified the cause of the problem: vascular stenosis.

“This situation was well-suited for a vascular intervention procedure, and this time, Dr Zheng utilised ultrasound-guided vascular intervention surgery to flawlessly address the vascular stenosis.

“Firstly, the intervention procedure was minimally invasive, requiring no skin incisions.
“It involved only a puncture needle, approximately the size of an indwelling needle, to access the skin and blood vessel.

“Secondly, unlike traditional X-ray-guided intervention procedures, shallow AV fistula blood vessels are suitable for ultrasound guidance, thereby avoiding X-ray exposure and its potential harm to the human body.

Two weeks after the intervention procedure, a follow-up examination of the patient’s AV fistula revealed that the previously narrowed section of the blood vessel had sufficiently widened, and the blood flow was now suitable for hemodialysis.

“The patient could finally undergo blood dialysis using the AV fistula, eliminating the need for the high-risk dialysis catheter, which had a high infection rate,” he said.

Dr Zheng also reiterated the importance of PNG government giving full attention to chronic kidney disease.

“People should promptly seek medical examination, and once diagnosed, they should timely establish arteriovenous fistulas to prepare for the inevitable need for dialysis in the future.

“The country also needs to establish more dialysis centres, enabling a growing number of kidney patients to survive and receive proper care,” he said.