PH surgeons eye Guinness record for simultaneous surgeries on Sept. 5  

Published August 31, 2022, 7:04 PM

by Isabel de Leon

The Philippine College of Surgeons (PCS) will make a bid for a Guinness World Record when it deploys 86 of its surgeons to 86 private and public hospitals nationwide to perform simultaneous surgeries on indigent patients on Sept. 5 to help ease the surgical backlog in the country brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Dr. Ramon S. Inso, PCS president, said a countdown before 9 a.m. on Sept. 5 will give the signal to volunteer surgeons via a Zoom link to start “cutting up” and perform “safe and quality surgeries” such as the Whipple procedure, hernia repair, and mastectomy, among others.

The free surgical procedures will be performed with the participation of the various PCS chapters, surgical specialty and affiliate societies under it, the Philippine Society of Anesthesiologists, and the Operating Room Nurses Association of the Philippines (ORNAP) as part of the celebration of the PCS’ 86th founding anniversary on Sept. 12.

“The intention really is to help and to promote safe and quality surgery as the country transitions from an acute pandemic phase to a new, and, hopefully, better normal. It is also our way of helping out in the healthcare agenda of the government,” Inso said.

The Philippine College of Surgeons Foundation, Inc. and the PCS Surgery for the Underserved Regions and for Education Commission, gathered volunteer surgeons to perform the surgeries for free to indigent patients.

Globally, the cancelled operations or surgical procedures due to Covid-19 lockdowns and restrictions have reached 28 million and these have resulted in longer waiting lists, the deterioration of the underlying conditions and the patients’ quality of life, thus increasing the risks and volume of irreversible morbidity and premature deaths.

The surgeries will be performed simultaneously in these participating public and private hospitals: Philippine General Hospital, V. Luna Medical Hospital (AFP Medical Center), East Avenue Medical Center, Ospital ng Makati, Ospital ng Muntinlupa, Rizal Medical Center, Tondo Medical Center, FEU Hospital, The Medical City, Perpetual Help Medical Center, De La Salle University Medical Center, Villaflor Hospital, and Cardinal Santos Medical Center, Asian Hospital and Medical Center, and Manila Medical Center, to name a few.

To help the PCS in its quarterly free surgical missions to the underserved and marginalized patients and to also help local artists cope with the pandemic, Dr. Jose Vivencio “Juvie” Villaflor said an art exhibit entitled “Explore Art” will be held on Sept. 11 to 25 at the PINTO Art Museum with participating artists from the PINTO and ALITAPTAP community, as well as National Artist Ben Cab, Elmer Borlongan, Emmanuel Garibay, Ferdie Montemayor, Orley Ypon, Cris Villanueva Jr., Gemiliano and Andresito Orencio, Anthony Palomo, among others.

The simultaneous surgeries and the “Explore Art” exhibit are highlights of the 86th founding anniversary of the PCS.