Tobago House of Assembly (THA) Secretary of Health, Wellness and Family development Dr Agatha Carrington has described the introduction of reconstructive breast surgery to Tobago as both “first-world service” and “groundbreaking.”
The surgery was introduced by the Tobago Regional Health Authority (TRHA) on Monday at the operating theatre department of the hospital in Signal Hill.
Speaking at the launch, Carrington described the initiative as an important milestone for the heath sector on the island.
“We continue to improve services and we are expanding these services to the women of Tobago. This is another step that we are providing for those women who are diagnosed with breast cancer and will have to have the breast removed, that they now have the opportunity to have the breast reconstructed, and that is first world,” she said.
Lead surgeon Dr Rajen Rampaul, medical director at the Pink Hibiscus Breast Health Specialist Centre, who is also the specialist attached to the Pink Room launched by the division in May 2019, said the moment is exciting for the women of Tobago.
“These are exciting opportunities available to women now. No longer should women be fearful of breast cancer, fearful of losing your breast,” he said.
Those gathered were able to view the four-hour-long surgery in real time on screens outside the theatre. Today’s patient visited the Pink Room, was seen by Rampaul, and has now had three major operationsat the SGH, namely mastectomy, breast reduction (or reconstructive surgery) and plastic surgery, all free of charge.
Speaking with Newsday after witnessing the procedure, CEO Cyrus said "it was an amazing experience."
"It is always great to be involved in historical events. I am very happy that this kind of surgery has been introduced to Tobago because it means that... it represents a major step forward for women who would have that type of surgery but may not want to have the breast removed completely, so its a major psycological advancement fopr our patients," he said.