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Laparoscopic surgery will continue in Rarotonga with a new professor in place

  • Health

Tweet: Dept of Laparoscopic surgery changes.

Flexible endoscopy and Laparoscopic surgery were introduced in Rarotonga Hospital by Prof.  John Dunn, along with his colleague Dr Sue Valnetine and Ian Chappell fifteen years ago.

They’ve not only donated the equipment necessary for their service but also have helped the people with their time and effort and have conducted hundreds of procedures such as gastroscopy, hernia repair, gastroscopy and cholecystectomy. 

Prof Dunn who continues his practice in the Cook Islands is very excited about the new talents that have graced the island. 

Prof. Adam Bartlett, a highly skilled laparoscopic, hepatobiliary, and transplant surgeon who works at both Auckland City Hospital and Endoscopy Auckland, is currently taking over the surgical operations from Prof. Dunn. Senior nurse Marie Fuller supports him well.

For my part, I want to see local endoscopic services improved and refined with a focus on bowel cancer screening. This is consistent with Te Marae Ora’s and senior hospital physicians’ goals.

“I would also want to recognise the ability and commitment of Dr Deacon Teapa and Dr Teariki Noovao, whose extensive capabilities have left me in wonder. Deacon is surrounded by amazing, dedicated theatre and ward teams, who I think is sometimes underappreciated.

In response, Dr Teapa said, “I would want to thank Prof. Dunn for giving the Cook Islands world-class service for 15 years. By avoiding expensive and bothersome travel to New Zealand for treatment, the people and the country have benefited. 

Additionally, we would like to express our gratitude to Professor John, Doctor Ian, and Nurse Sue for their many years of invaluable guidance and education. I’m excited to see how we can improve endoscopy here in our community, and I know the Endoscopy Auckland team will stay in contact.

After completing more than 20 successful treatments last week, the crew shortly departs. “While the focus has been on what my team has provided, it is vital to acknowledge what we have received,” stated Prof. Dunn. This encompasses relationships, camaraderie, learning opportunities, experiences, and information gained by practising surgery. 

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