The Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery successfully hosted the first laser larynx workshop at the Nelson R. Mandela School of Medicine on 13 November. The use of laser for ENT (ear, nose and throat) surgery is a highly specialised procedure which requires skill and expertise.

Visiting Professor N Young, who is a fellowship trained Laryngologist from Yale University (USA) conducted the workshop and elaborated on the principles and advantages of laser surgery.

Taking part in the workshop were 28 participants from across KwaZulu-Natal. They included medical officers, registrars and ENT specialists from both the private and public sectors. These participants had the opportunity to practice using the various types of lasers namely carbon dioxide (CO2) lasers, diode lasers and pulsed dye lasers. Young demonstrated laser vocal cord surgery using the porcine larynx model and porcine tongue specimens.

The aim of the workshop was to transfer specialised skills using modern medical technology to junior and senior doctors practising in both the public and private sectors. It is hoped that this workshop will be an annual event which will appeal to ENT doctors in the entire country. The workshop was facilitated and organized by Dr Tesuven Naidu (ENT Consultant – UKZN), Dr Julia Toman (Yale University) and Dr Nthabeleng Rankhethoa (Acting HOD ENT).

The ENT UKZN–YALE collaboration commenced in 2015 with both universities sharing ideas, research, education and the exchange of trainees. This collaboration has already culminated into three symposia, one workshop and numerous research projects.

‘We are grateful to Dr Zach Porterfield (Yale University) and Dr Julia Toman for their continued support and ensuring this collaboration is a success,’ said Naidu who formed part of the workshop organising team.

Words: Lihle Sosibo