A Letter from Dr. Hunt, OB-GYN

The surgical care team begins with my medical office assistant, who books a patient’s appointment, and continues with the greeters at the hospital, and all the operating room staff, including the nurses, techs, cleaners, anaesthetists, and those who look after the patient when the surgery is done. When we talk about a care team, we are referring to many people who can influence the care and surgical experience of a patient.

Victoria General Hospital (VGH) is Vancouver Island’s referral centre for women’s health. Every year, we perform approximately 2,600 gynecological surgeries. We also have one of the four tertiary-care neonatal intensive care units (NICU) in B.C., which means that we look after most premature and complicated deliveries. The work we do is broad, and affects many people.

In obstetrics and gynecology, we look after women who are trying to become pregnant, and also provide care for patients throughout pregnancy and delivery—some of whom may require surgical intervention. We treat both benign (non-cancerous) and malignant (cancerous) conditions. Although there may be non-surgical options for treatment, many benign conditions can significantly affect quality of life. Some of these conditions include prolapse, incontinence, debilitating periods, pelvic pain, and infertility. For these patients, surgery may be the best or only option available to them.

A strong surgical team with appropriate equipment can make a world of difference to the patient’s outcome, and have a significant effect on their quality of life moving forward.

Whenever we can treat these conditions with laparoscopic surgery, it greatly improves patient outcomes. Laparoscopic surgeries are minimally-invasive and require only small incisions. This option has many benefits compared to surgeries that require a large incision in the abdomen (laparotomy), including decreased risk of bleeding and infection, shorter hospital stays, and reduced recovery times.

Right now, our team is limited by the number of laparoscopic surgeries we can perform in a day. We need more gynecological surgical sets. Our current surgical sets are over 20 years old, and have been used approximately 15,000 times.

Through the Emerge Stronger campaign, our community can help fund four new gynecological surgical sets, which will help us treat our patients sooner and greatly improve their outcomes.

I have worked at VGH for 18 years now. As a physician, I am grateful to have the opportunity to help patients overcome their medical problems. I enjoy hearing their stories and unique journeys. For those that require surgery, It’s very rewarding to hear how the surgery has positively impacted them and allowed them to get back to activities and have their quality of life back.

At some point, we are all directly or indirectly going to come into contact with our hospitals. Women’s health is an area of medicine that affects all of us.

—Dr. Harold Hunt, MD

Obstetrician-Gynecologist (OB-GYN), Victoria General Hospital

Every year, Dr. Hunt and his colleagues perform approximately 2,600 gynecological surgeries each year, with referrals from across Vancouver Island. They are currently limited by the number of minimally-invasive laparoscopic surgeries they can perform daily, and are in need more gynecological surgical sets. The current surgical sets are over 20 years old, and have been used approximately 15,000 times. Through the Emerge Stronger campaign, you can help fund four new gynecological surgical sets at $17,000 each. These new surgical sets will reduce recovery times and improve patient outcomes.