The Gallstone Bride

“Ouch!” she winced as I gently pressed her abdomen. “Do you think it’s appendicitis….or maybe something to do with my colon…?” Elise Ong looked anxiously at me, searching my face for clues. She spoke with a soft, calm measured voice, a bit like that Bond girl, Michelle Yeoh. A fitness instructor in her forties, she … Read more

The Glass Appendix

Once in a while I encounter a case so bizarre and unusual that it begs to be written. Though much time has elapsed, the details of the case are as fresh in my mind as if it occurred yesterday. It is extremely unlikely that I should encounter a similar case for the rest of my … Read more

The Lady From The Laundry

This case illustrates some important principles in the treatment of rectal cancer. To learn more, read on! “Do you recognize me?” she asked quietly. I did…..but I could not quite place her. “I was working at the Laundry in Lam Wah Ee.” Ah! Of course, that was it. Someone who had always smiled at me, … Read more

An Unusual Case Of Constipation

One day when I was on call, a patient Mr T was admitted under my care. In his fifties, he complained of abdominal discomfort and inability to open his bowels. Sounds like bowel obstruction , I thought….. “It’s rambutans.” he said, helpfully. Huh? Rambutans? He then explained he’d been competing with a friend to see … Read more

The Abscess That Wasn’t

I first met Madam Ooi in May 2012. She complained of persistent pain in the lower right side of her abdomen. “It’s an abscess….” she was told by her doctor. An abscess is a collection of pus. Indeed, she had an operation for this 5 months ago. She was found at laparoscopy to have pus … Read more

A Visitor From Afar

“Nigeria?” My wife looked at me incredulously, eyebrows raised. “Yes, that’s where the email came from!” One could hardly blame her. Every day we hear of email scams from Burkina Faso and other places. Yet, I sensed there was something genuine about this email. 3 trips to East Africa had left me with a lifelong … Read more

To Live!

He had been told he had cancer. “Operate. Or die” Dr Y wore a worried frown as he anxiously sat before me. A middle aged man slightly older than myself, he was dressed simply and came with his sister whom I immediately recognized – she had seen me on many occasions before. She looked just … Read more

Laparoscopic Colon Surgery for Obstructed Tumour

Laparoscopic surgery for colon (large bowel) cancer has many, many advantages over conventional open surgery. Less pain, smaller scars, faster recovery and from the surgeon’s point of view, sometimes much clearer views enabling more complete clearance of the cancer. There are however some challenging situations where laparoscopic surgery is a lot more difficult than conventional … Read more