Bangkok Hospital Phuket making strides towards specialized health care

PHUKET: The Bangkok Phuket Colorectal Disease Institute officially opened to the public on January 9.

Located on the third floor at Phuket’s Bangkok Hospital in Samkong, the institute specializes in the diagnoses and advanced treatment of a multitude of colorectal diseases including colon and prostate cancer.

Founded and directed by Dr Art Hiranyakas, the institute offers patients state-of-the-art medical care by an internationally trained specialist and his team of dedicated nurses. Furthermore, many of the diagnostic tools and treatment procedures at Dr Arts’ disposal cannot be found anywhere else in Southern Thailand.

One such device is the da Vinci surgical system. Operated remotely by a surgeon, the robotic machine is similar to endoscopic or “keyhole” surgery whereby a few small incisions are made, a tiny camera and surgical tools are inserted and the operation is viewed on a monitor. The da Vinci system takes this method a step further by using robotic arms with thin articulating tubes that are manipulated via finger, hand and foot controls. The scene is viewed in 3D at a console and allows the surgeon greater precision and control while maneuvering into harder to reach areas by less invasive means.

Since the hospital acquired the machine two years ago, Dr Art has completed more than 200 surgeries, mostly to treat prostate cancer patients. “It is very useful for prostate surgery and others in the deep pelvis.” He explained that before endoscopic surgical techniques it was often necessary to make incisions big enough to fit both hands and surgical tools. Combined with the difficulty of accessing areas deep within the abdomen, this made for highly invasive procedures.

Dr Arts’ sub-specialty is laparoscopic colorectal surgery – endoscopic surgery relating to the abdominal cavity. Completing over 900 surgeries as part of his training, Dr Art has developed a specialty in diagnostic and therapeutic colonoscopy (examination of the large bowel and parts of the small bowel).

He now prefers to use the da Vinci machine whenever possible, “It is easier for the surgeon and the patient will get a better outcome as well.” The remotely operated machine was developed with multiple applications in mind, “This technology is meant to be used for space surgery, you can operate on people [who are] in outer space… or even war surgery,” says Dr Art.

Bangkok Hospital has developed a certain type of reputation over the years: “Our hospital has been well-known for dental procedures and cosmetics and they [patients] usually come during the high season. We’ve experienced that for 18 years. Nowadays, we are trying to be more serious about health care so we are promoting this kind of center… a tertiary care center.”

This new shift towards specialized health care is one reason why Dr Art made the move from Bangkok two years ago and founded the institute. Bangkok Hospital will be continuing this trend with the unveiling of a new cancer treatment center opening alongside the Colorectal Disease Institute in the next four to six months.

For more information, visit: phukethospital.com/Health-Centre/Colorectal-Surgery-Center.php or Bangkok Hospital Phuket 2/1 Hongyok Utis Road, Muang District, Phuket, 83000, Thailand, Tel: +66 (0) 7625 4425

— Jeremie Schatz

Thai Life

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