LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - From Sulphur, Louisiana to Sweden - the innovation of two local doctors is transforming the way gall bladder surgeries are performed around the world.
It's been 13 years since Sulphur surgeon Kent Seale first crossed paths with Swedish surgeon Erik Nilsson. An article Dr. Seale and his partner, Dr. Walter Ledet had published in a medical journal about a gall bladder surgery technique they had pioneered caught the attention of Dr. Nilsson in Sweden.
"It was new," says Dr. Nilsson, "it was new to me, it was new to the surgical community. I wasn't aware of any paper at that time describing laparoscopic gall bladder surgery as day surgery."
Traditionally, gall bladder surgeries involved five to six inch incisions and prolonged recovery time. But Drs. Seale and Ledet changed that through the minicholecystectomy. "Over the years we have made the incisions smaller and smaller," says Dr. Seale, "as a result of these smaller incisions, the patients have done extremely well."
Trisha Furlow had the procedure in 2003 and has had no complications. "It was a day surgery. I was there about 6:00 in the morning, went home about 10:00 and that was it," says Furlow.
The success of this technique locally has also carried over to Sweden. Drs. Ledet and Seale have both made the journey overseas several times to work with Dr. Nilsson's group...and Dr. Nilsson is back in Southwest Louisiana this week to share the results of his surgeries in Sweden.
"The interaction on a world level, so to speak, is extremely important in that we can delineate improvements in the technique of any type of surgical maneuvers," says Dr. Seale.
"We are very grateful for the Sulphur Surgical Clinic - for their help in Sweden," says Dr. Nilsson. Both teams hope to carry on this continued strive for improvement in medical innovations.