Indian neurosurgeon on the job at Georgetown Hospital

Stabroek News
March 1, 2004

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The Georgetown Public Hospital is now successfully conducting neurosurgery with the recent appointment of consultant neurosurgeon Dr Varun Bhargava who has over 500 surgeries to his credit.

The hospital currently has the basic instruments needed to conduct neurosurgery which includes various types of brain tumours, head injuries and spinal tumours, according to a press release from the institution.

And the GPHC administration is in the process of securing a CT scanner to further boost its efficiency for patient diagnosis and care. The need for referring patients overseas for neurosurgical attention will be substantially reduced, the release noted.

Since assuming duties on January 17 as Head of Neurosurgery, Dr Bhargava has performed nine successful brain surgeries, including cases of brain cancer. He is the first neurosurgeon to join the GPHC since 2000.

His latest patient was a one-month old infant diagnosed with spinal tumour. The operation was performed without difficulties and the baby has since been discharged from hospital. And three more neurosurgeries, one on another baby, are scheduled to be done soon, the release stated.

Dr Bhargava who hails from Jaipur, Rajasthan in western India, is also proficient at reading CT scans allowing for prompt diagnosis before surgery.

His specialty includes spinal and head injury, brain tumours and vascular surgery in addition to new medical techniques developed in neurosurgery.

Since his arrival here, he has been teaching neurosurgery practices and techniques to final year medical students in Guyana.

Dr Bhargava, according to the release, has recommended that persons with suspected neuro-conditions (fits, seizures, decrease in vision and hearing, recurring headaches and vomiting) should seek the free services of the Georgetown hospital to get an early and accurate diagnosis of the disease.

Patients and members of the public may visit Dr Bhargava at the neurosurgery clinic, a sub-division of the hospital's Surgery Unit, on Thursdays at 11 am, the release added. The release said the doctor is on call 24/7 considering the increase in the number of patients seeking treatment for head injuries.

The press release said that Dr Bhargava learnt about Guyana's dire need for neurosurgeons during discussions with hospital official Dr Madan Rambarran who had visited Jaipur last year. "Impressed with the historical linkages and an inherent cultural attachment he felt existed between Indians in his motherland and its descendants … Dr Bhargava accepted an invitation to join the GPHC on a three-year renewable contract", the release added.